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This psychiatrist uses EFT

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD is a seasoned EFT'er who takes us through her use of EFT (blended with NLP) to help her badly traumatized client (rape). She says, "She had tried conventional psychotherapy. That had actually made things a lot worse for her, since she had been required to recall the incident in some form at each session. She dropped out after three sessions and was determined never to have any psychotherapy again, ever."

Hugs, Gary

By Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD

The woman looked haggard and worn, at least ten years older than her stated age of 29. She said she had been raped, about seven years before, by a person trusted in her community. Looking into her haunted eyes, anyone would believe her claim.

This "trusted person" was her church choirmaster, a prominent and influential member of the church and the community. Often victims are afraid to report what has happened because of their relationship to or the status of their attacker. But she was not afraid, and had loving parents who listened to her, believed her, and brought charges against the choirmaster. About two weeks after the charges, the choirmaster committed suicide.

The scandal caused lots of problems for the church, for this choirmaster had been particularly beloved. Other people in the choir were actually mad at my patient for "tattling" on their beloved choirmaster. I assured her immediately that I respected her courage, and that she had absolutely done the right thing. That had obviously made her feel a bit better, but it was equally obvious it would not be enough.

She had tried conventional psychotherapy. That had actually made things a lot worse for her, since she had been required to recall the incident in some form at each session. She dropped out after three sessions and was determined never to have any psychotherapy again, ever.

She saw me with an advocate. There is no way this person could have come in to see me alone, for even after seven years, she was too fragile. Since another doctor had prescribed her medication and she had been taking it for quite some time, I renewed the prescriptions as a stop-gap. However, I know from vast experience that in her case they were not going help her (and had not helped her for the several years she had taken them). They seemed useless to her, but I didn't want to cause further problems by suddenly stopping medications that might have adverse withdrawal syndromes.

I confirmed the diagnosis of post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), by the book -- verifying the presence of the three major characteristic diagnostic signs. She still had both nightmares and intrusive daytime thoughts of the incident. She avoided things that reminded her of the incident, for she had basically given up going not only to that church, but to any kind of church at all. She was "high strung" and over-reactive, with the feeling that sudden noises could "put me through the roof."

Just telling me how she felt was enough to make her fight back tears.

I convinced her that I was confident Emotional Freedom Techniques could relieve at least some of her suffering, and possible help her toward a total solution without forcing her to relive the tragic events that had spoiled her life for all these years. Like many practitioners of EFT, I have developed some wrinkles and techniques that I find helpful, but many of the PTSD treatments published on this web site are very similar to what I devised for this particular patient.

I saw this young woman's pain and decided to make this intervention even more powerful by adding a particular element of neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

The patient was surprised to hear that I would consider this type of intervention, having expected a pill-pushing, rushed-for-time, unempathetic psychiatrist. But then again, the reason this person came to me (and most of my patients find me) is because I do things that others in my field don't or won't do.

My primary goal was to immediately and dramatically reduce her symptoms. Nobody can ethically promise a cure, and certainly not in one treatment, I explained. But I wanted to try my most powerful treatment to give her the maximum effect if she were willing. She was desperate and gave me the gift of her trust and confidence - and pleaded with me to begin.

My style may be different that other EFT practitioners, but I generally try to put myself into a state where I am feeling what the patient feels, almost channeling her, you might say. This guided the affirmation that I gave to her, although I urged her to use her own words if she thought of better ways to phrase them. (This rarely happens as most trauma victims are in a more emotional, non-verbal state and cannot express their own feelings in a situation such as this.)

I began with the affirmations and instructed her to repeat them as well as to copy my actions while I tapped on the various meridian points. I put her at ease by assuring her that although nobody had ever felt worse by doing this, we would stop at any moment if anything negative started happening.

Her patient advocate was watching in bemusement and I urged her to copy the tapping and repeat the affirmations silently to herself as I know this is often helpful to the patient.

As the events that had caused her so much pain happened over a brief period of time, I asked her to tell me, if someone made a theatrical movie about what had happened to her, what it would be called. She answered, "Big Trouble After Choir." We repeated this movie title with each tap, as we tapped through our sequence of points.

When we came to the part where she would tap with the fingers of her right hand on the thyroid point between the fourth and fifth bones of the left hand, I told her to continue tapping that place while I guided her through a visualization.

I had decided to use a classical NLP double dissociation to keep the patient removed from actually experiencing the trauma again. I had her visualize an elaborate, old-fashioned movie theater and take a seat as the only occupant in this huge auditorium as the curtains opened and the projector flickered to life on the screen. Rather than directly watching the movie, her role was to observe herself -- the lone patron in the seat -- watching the movie we had described.

Even removed from directly experiencing the film, the patient felt uncomfortable, so I told her to ask the projectionist to fast forward it.

Within a minute, she told me the film was over. I asked her to stay in her seat and watch the screen as the projectionist rewound the film, and it ran backward very quickly, so she couldn't really tell what was happening onscreen. We talked about how utterly silly it looked, like a comedy, and there were even some things she could laugh at. When the film clicked off the reel and the screen went blank, the curtains closed and the lights on the theater came up. I asked her to take a deep breath and smell what was happening in the theater. She looked puzzled until I told her that the film was burning. The last existing copy of "Big Trouble After Choir" perished and nobody would ever be able to see it again.

I guided her out of the theater and back into the sunlight. I made her pause in front of the theater and look up at the marquee. A man with a pail in one hand scrambled up a ladder leaning against the theater and began taking down the letters that spelled "Big Trouble After Choir."

He quickly finished and scrambled back down the ladder. The reason for his hurry was soon apparent -- I told her to see the gigantic crane and wrecking ball approaching the theater, and as we stood safely across the street, the machine demolished the theater. Nobody will ever see any movie in that theater again. All remnants of the evil memories that tortured her were gone.



Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.