- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Stubborn client, PTSD, hidden aspects and psychological reversal
- PTSD from a traumatic miscarriage is resolved with EFT
- New Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Delivers Rapid, Long Lasting Results for Iraqi War Veterans--No Drugs Necessary
- Bob Patefield wipes out his own PTSD
- An EFT gift for firefighters suffering from PTSD and trauma
- EFT beginner collapses her own PTSD
- Vietnam Vet with severe PTSD sleeps through the night for the first time in 39 years
- War veteran with PTSD gets quality results with EFT
- Curing PTSD
- Pat Farrell resolves her own PTSD
- Knocking down war PTSD symptoms like dominoes
- EFT on DID and PTSD
- EFT clears PTSD -- Nassirya bombing, Iraq
- An EFT Newcomer relieves Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- How I handled my PTSD (child abuse) all by myself
- An efficient way to relieve a PTSD memory
- How I handled my PTSD (witnessing a violent crime) all by myself
- Rape by a "friend"--PTSD and suicidal thoughts
- Jeanne Ranger clears her own PTSD
- A very traumatic birth experience was at the root of this woman
- A problem staying focused and present had its roots in childhood trauma -- EFT resolved it.
- Difficulty with labor pains had its roots in childhood sexual abuse
- Chronic ear infections vanished after childhood trauma was cleared with EFT
- EFT and the devastation of childhood abuse
- A client talks about her abusive childhood and her relief via EFT
- EFT and birth trauma - addressing "the fetus inside me"
- Childhood molestation--using UNDERSTAND in the Set-up phrase
- Deborah Miller helps a man unravel how a childhood molestation affects his current relationship
- 13 years of daily abuse fades with a form of The Personal Peace Procedure
- A creative way to uncover a traumatic childhood event
- An Hour and Ten Minutes (for relief of attempted murder, two assaults, rape and childhood incidents)
- Cleaning up a rape trauma
- A "one minute wonder" rape release.
- An EFT expert beautifully weaves EFT within her client's pain, panic and molestation--success across the board
- A detailed and professional session regarding EFT for rape -- with one year follow-up
- Dr. Eric Robins, MD, uses EFT to avoid surgery for urination problem
- Unique uses for EFT in the surgery room
- Did EFT or Antibiotics help this little boy?
- How to remove a cyst without surgery or lasers
- A sore throat is traced to a childhood tonsil surgery
- Rapid EFT results with an ACL tear -- Every sports team in the world would love to hear about this
- Cataract surgery goes perfectly after releasing inner child Issues
- Pat Gurnick is my hero
- War trauma--no more nightmares
- 15 minutes of EFT brings dramatic results to a Vietnam Veteran
- EFT tapping for trauma brings unexpected benefits
- EFT "Choices" for recent NYC trauma victims.
- Using EFT to negotiate with multiple personalities
- This psychiatrist uses EFT
- Pieter de Zwart combines his intuition with quality testing of his work for a first class result for trauma
- Borrowing Benefits brings up and collapses the Big One
- EFT newcomer resolves her own deep seated issues from childhood
- Handling the aftermath of a mugging with EFT...over the phone
- Did Brenda really abuse her brother?
- Three dissociative disorder cases
- Rape Trauma alleviated completely in one session with EFT -- libido returns
- Three EFT sessions lift depression, anger and sexual abuse trauma
- Handling an abuse case in a quality way
- Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Rape resolved in record time
- The connection between vitiligo and a traumatic experience
- Trauma relief one week after the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy
- EFT after an attack in the street
- Helping a lost boy and his family out in the woods - spontaneous EFT
- The value of guessing: Releasing trauma in an injured elbow
- Sexual abuse case
- EFT helps clear early date rape trauma
- How Rebecca Gurland started with the EFT Personal Peace Procedure and wound up collapsing her major core issues
- EFT used instead of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on severe trauma with impressive results
- EFT Trauma Session Seemed Complete But Needed More Work
- Praise for the EFT Tearless Trauma Technique
- Another approach to the Movie Technique
- Criminal defense attorney does EFT with suicidal client in jail
- Expert handling of a hidden traumatic memory -- all within 30 minutes
- Listen to a successful EFT grief session with Dr. Carol Look and "Toby"
- Approaching complex trauma with EFT - The Inner Theater
- Working with trauma - the connection between EFT and the Amygdula
- Peeling away the layers of sexual abuse
- Tapping for prenatal issues brings benefits
- EFT for our Emergency First Responders
- Hives subside as traumatic incident is resolved
- Step by step through a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder case
- Digging for core issues - reconnection to a trauma that was behind hay fever symptoms
- Hollywood film maker resolves deep personal traumas with EFT
- Resolving the intense after effects of child birth trauma
- A Detailed and Masterful Article on Using EFT for Trauma
- Six successful sessions with a war veteran
- A traumatic fall from a tree
- EFT after Hurricane Ike - Trauma Triage
- The Movie Technique for a traumatic memory and unresolved grief
- How to make EFT work when it "doesn't work."
- Lawyer resolves many personal traumas and writes testimonial letter
- K was left for dead after a Serial Killer's Attack -- EFT cleans up the traumatic aftermath
- A chiropractor helps a homicide trauma - burping is a sign of relief
- It started in a prison camp
- An EFT Formula for Specific Trauma
- A traumatized female reclaims trust in her instincts
- Hurricane Katrina survivor successfully receives EFT for trauma
- Examples of "Stress Inoculation" through EFT...."but does it last?"
- Working with extreme trauma using a variation of the EFT Movie Technique
- Battered woman with cramped hands completes flower drawing after EFT--a one minute wonder
- Fear of dentists and oral rape
- Rapid relief from accident flashbacks
- Trauma in the trunk of a car
- Using EFT to unravel the many pieces of a child molestation
- Releasing the Trauma of placing her husband in a nursing home
- The layers of trauma
- An even more tearless trauma technique
- EFT with a Vietnam nurse - a quality use of specific events
- Where only the pros should tread.
- Successfully handling childhood molestation--a classy case by Nancy Morris
- The "emotional stunt double" process using EFT
- Comparing traumatic abreactions--with and without EFT
- An expert discusses EFT and sudden trauma.
- An extreme trauma with a severe abreaction--and what to do about it
- EFT in the aftermath of domestic violence
- Getting over a gang rape--including a follow-up
- Trauma relief for a Prisoner of War and a fruit phobia
- Thoughts on Abreactions and how to handle them
- Finding the trauma behind the trauma
- Delivering EFT to a macho war veteran
- Katrina Victims Enjoy New Trauma Relief Method
- Tapping on hearing traumatic stories from others - ear problems
- Rape trauma: "It just doesn't seem to bother me like it did."
- Tapping for the troops
- Using Group EFT in a school setting for a crisis
- Persistent use of EFT brings assistance in traumatic dream
- The Sun in my Soul - EFT overhauls Kathy's life
- What would you do for your client if his son shot and killed another boy?
- EFT newcomer diffuses trauma even though he didn't know it was rape
- Releasing 14 years of pent up grief and trauma
- Tip-Toeing into two car accident traumas
- How do you work with a traumatic incident that a client does not remember?
- Some tips for easing trauma survivors into using EFT
- Miranda: Repressed memory of childhood sexual abuse
- Using EFT for Trauma Relief after a major earthquake in Indonesia
- Aileen's client is an actress and no longer has "Interrogation Trauma" -- acting improves
- Trauma success in Israel--as told by the client
- Using the EFT Tell the Story Technique helps calm a rape victim
- Tina broke free from an age 12 trauma
- Andrea's miscarriage
- Tearless Trauma Technique
- Creating a new emotional state for trauma sufferers
- Surrogate EFT for sleeping client dramatically clears sexual abuse
- Group trauma treatment--CISD with EFT
- WAILING ON WALL STREET
- Releasing fear and trauma after a dog bite
- Accessing the deeper levels of trauma stored in our cellular memory
- Taking the edge off of a molestation.
- Gillian Wightman leads us expertly through a complicated "father abuse" case -- a fabulous start
- Using EFT for "womb issues"
- Email correspondence on a serious childhood abuse case
- Bringing Bev out of a semi-catatonic state
- Relieving the trauma of a car accident with EFT
- EFT newcomer taps herself out of a dissociative state during regular therapy
- Using EFT when the client has a memory "blank spot"
- Using EFT after a terrorist attack
- Tapping on love pain leads Marta to her traumatic birth experience
- Using Surrogate EFT on 2-month old baby after surgery
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
A Detailed and Masterful Article on Using EFT for Trauma
Note: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™. It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping and most EFT'ers should find it very helpful. However, if your benefits are temporary or a more in-depth approach is needed, you are urged to (1) consult The Gold Standard EFT Tapping Tutorial, (2) Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist, and/or (3) get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.
Emma Roberts from the UK gives us an in-depth look at trauma and many ways to provide relief with EFT. A must read for professionals and serious students.
Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, as does people's response to it. EFT can be used successfully with all of them but this is one area where it may be appropriate to work with a qualified practitioner, at least initially. The primary concern when working with trauma is your safety or the safety of your client. This is paramount as re-traumatising and abreaction are to be avoided at all costs.
Trauma influences our cognitive schemas at a profound level. It undermines our beliefs in both ourselves and our existence, and also our sense of reality as we know it. The resulting beliefs can seriously disrupt the every day running of our lives without us necessarily even realising it.
EFT's effectiveness in working with trauma is extensive. Whilst it can bring immediate relief from traumatic memories, it is also a gentle tool for revealing the many layers and aspects that may be connected with trauma, working through them systematically and effectively until their emotional charge has gone.
In this article I will look at the different manifestations of trauma and the options for working with them using EFT.
Self Care for Therapists
Before beginning to work with trauma it is vital to look at ourselves as therapists and our own response to trauma in its many forms.
The first step is to work on any unresolved trauma we may still be attached to so that we are not triggered by our clients' experiences. The difference between empathising and colluding with the client needs emphasising. Whilst it is important to feel empathy for the client it is not useful for them if we are accessing our own stuff and we will be getting in the way of the process. As Gary often says, allow the work to be through you not by you. We must be a clear channel in order to fully serve our clients and get maximum results.
Test drive your trauma 'buttons' by imagining different future possible scenarios and/or past events and noticing what, if anything, still gets an emotional response.... Apply EFT to it.
Also recognise that you are human and things can sneak up on you and surprise you. You are likely to hear some horrific stories. If this happens during a client session imagine putting it out of the room, or in a box, remembering to return and work with it at the earliest opportunity. If you are tapping alongside your client you may clear your response during the session anyway.
Using EFT yourself on a regular basis is even more important in trauma work than most areas. Trauma therapists traditionally experience a high level of burnout. EFT gives us the opportunity to change that and be of even more powerful use. Walk your talk!
Trauma can be broadly broken down into four categories:
1) Prolonged past traumatic experiences
Systematic abuse over a prolonged period of time that is over in the present day eg childhood abuse, bullying, war experience etc
2) Ongoing trauma
Systematic abuse continuing today where client is constantly re-traumatised eg domestic violence and marital rape, psychological abuse, bullying at work etc.
3) One-off trauma
Rape, terrorist attack, accident, assault etc
4) Perceived trauma
Trauma not physically experienced by the client but witnessed in a secondary manner via the media, friends, colleagues, stories etc
The Presenting Client
Some clients will need to tell you their story immediately. When they do their energy system will be disrupting massively and you will need to tap continually on them. In order to do this and keep rapport with a new client it is important to preframe this when introducing yourself and your work. I recommend tapping on your clients wherever possible for the following two main reasons:
1) By connecting two energy systems physically the effects can be doubly powerful.
2) It allows the client to focus on their issue without worrying about 'getting the tapping wrong'. Whilst this can be a useful way of unearthing core beliefs, such as not being good enough, I don't consider it to be initially helpful in the context of trauma, rather another door to be returned to when they are in a more comfortable place.
Other clients will present with physical issues such as insomnia, migraines or even cancer where they make no connection to any previous traumatic events. However, when an event happens that challenges our beliefs of the world, and our personal safety, it can create a physiological response as well as an emotional one. In these cases, always start with where the client is at, using your detective skills and careful questioning to gently ease out any specific events that may be contributing to the current state.
Others will have totally detached themselves from the traumatic event/s, they will be unable to access any emotion, and often just present with a general feeling of depression or anxiety. In these cases again you will need to apply all your detective skills to coax out the underlying specific emotional contributors and events.
The following set up statements can be useful here:
Even though I have all these problems I deeply and completely accept myself
Even though life is grim I deeply and completely accept myself
Even though things can only get worse I deeply and completely accept myself
Even though I feel bad and am not sure why I deeply and completely accept myself
Here, Gary's question 'If you could live your life again which person or event would you leave out?' is an excellent way of getting to the specific core issue.
Another client group will be aware of the trauma but anxious about even thinking about it, let alone talking about it. With these clients the first thing to do is, again, to meet them where they are at and work with the presenting anxiety. Some of the following set-up statements can be useful here:
Even though I am anxious even thinking about the event I deeply and completely accept myself
Even though I am frightened to look at that time again I deeply and completely accept myself.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can be caused by one event or by prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences, such as war (see Gary's dvds The EFT Course, Part 1, Video 3, 6 Days at the VA). Sufferers of PTSD store the memories of past events in their minds as thought they are happening today, they replay them through flashbacks, hyper- vigilance, nightmares, jumpiness and other physiological symptoms. They may also have removed themselves from normal life, as the world is seen as unsafe, making them detach and withdraw both from becoming involved both physically and emotionally.
Methods for working with Trauma
- Tearless Trauma
- Movie Technique
- Telling the Story
- Tsunami Technique
- Imagination Technique
This is a very gentle way of using double dissociation to keep the client safe from abreaction and is usually the best starting point when working with a specific traumatic event.
- Identify a specific traumatic incident from the past. An example might be, "the time my father punched me when I was 12." By contrast, the phrase "my father abused me" would be too broad because, chances are, the abuse took place over many, many incidents.
- Get them to make it into a mini movie and put it on a wall away from them
- Give it a title.
- Ask them to GUESS at what their emotional intensity would be (on a 0-10 scale) IF they were to vividly watch the movie. Instruct them NOT to actually watch it (although some will close their eyes and do this anyway). ThisGUESS is a surprisingly useful estimate...and...it serves to minimize emotional pain.
- Have the client develop a phrase using the movie title for the EFT process such as "this father-punch emotion" and then proceed with a round of tapping.
- After this round of tapping, ask the client to GUESS again around ask them to state their new number.
- Perform more rounds of EFT (numbers. In my experience, a total of 3 or 4 rounds will bring just about everyone down to GUESSES of 0 to 3.
- Once the client is down to acceptably low GUESSES, then perform another round of tapping and, after this round, ask them how they would feel about watching the movie. Notice that this is the first time you are asking them to do this. All previous times have been relatively painless GUESSES.
- If they are OK with that get them to watch the movie, instructing them to stop at any part that still 'gets' them and tap on it.
- Keep going until they are able to watch their whole movie with no emotional attachment. Often they will say something like 'It is like watching someone else' or 'I cant see it clearly any more'.
- Locate specific trauma
- Make it into a movie and put it on the wall away from you
- What is it's title?
- Don't look at it, draw a curtain over it
- Estimate 0 - 10 intensity if you were to watch it (guess)
- Create Reminder Phrase using movie title for the EFT process
- Do EFT on it
- Guess at the intensity again
- Do more EFT rounds until 'guessed' intensity is low
- Watch the movie, stopping at any part that still 'gets you'
- More rounds of EFT as necessary
The Movie Technique
This is the same principle as Tearless Trauma only without the double dissociation. If the trauma is not perceived as too intense then this would be a safe starting place too.
- Create a mini movie of the specific event
- How intense do they feel about watching it (using SUDS scale 0 -10)
- If high intensity rating revert to Tearless Trauma above
- If OK run movie, stopping at any point where there is emotional intensity and tap
- Keep going until whole movie is clear of any emotional intensity
Telling the Story
Telling The Story is an excellent way of testing your results and clearing up any remaining undetected aspects. Ideally, use this once you feel you have reduced the intensity to an acceptable level, or cleared it completely. However, sometimes you will need to use it immediately, as detailed above.
- Have your client tell their story of the event/memory/trigger.
- As soon as any emotional disturbance is detected stop and tap on the last statement the client made.
- Test by having the client re-tell that part of the story. They should be able to go past the previous emotional point easily. If not, there are further aspects to be addressed.
- When the client is calm on the first point, have them continue to tell the story. Stop and tap on each emotional disturbance.
- Test by asking your client to tell the entire story from start to finish. Your work is completed when your client can do this and remain calm throughout.
The Tsunami Technique
In these days of mass disasters, natural or otherwise, we thought you might be interested in an EFT phenomena which came to the fore during Sue Beer and I's recent trauma workshop at The EFT Centre, London.
The workshop was for a small group of Level 2 and 3 EFT practitioners and focussed more on working with clients than self application. However, we wanted to give them an experience of Tearless Trauma so they would know how it would be for a client.
Thinking that the most contained way of doing this as a teaching example would be to go for a group experience, we asked them to each pick a specific memory/image/photograph from the Tsunami that still 'got' them now. We knew that no one had had any direct experience of the Tsunami. Most of them had a problem even finding this memory.
We did a group tap on these 'Tsunami emotions' and it quickly became apparent that each and every one of them had associated into something completely unrelated to the Tsunami. It seemed that when the slight Tsunami emotion had cleared other powerful, seemingly unconnected emotions and past events surfaced.
Whilst this in itself is not particularly unusual with EFT, it did come as a surprise in this environment. It revealed new aspects of earlier specific traumas that they thought they had cleared, and in a couple of cases specific events were recalled that had hitherto been repressed.
Obviously we then had to take a detour from the course content and help them clear these issues - swiftly achieved.
Again, none of the above may be a surprise, and although unexpected, all the responses were easy to clear and some important work was done. However, these were an unusual group in that they were all dedicated EFT practitioners who had worked consistently through their own issues and who were using EFT on an ongoing basis daily and considered they had cleared the big trees from their emotional forests.
We now use the 'Tsunami technique' with some clients who seem stuck as a way to facilitate unearthing underlying trauma, where there doesn't seem to be an obvious door to go through and it ALWAYS gets results. In a seemingly roundabout way, something good and positive has emerged from the appalling events of that Boxing Day.
- Check no direct emotional involvement with Tsunami
- Pick Tsunami memory/image/photograph
- Put it on screen, behind a curtain (as in Tearless Trauma)
- Tap on this 'Tsunami emotion'
- Keep tuned into client and monitor emotional response
- What does it remind you of?
- Tap on whatever comes up, following the chain until emotions are fully resolved
- Test results with both the emergent specific event and also original memory
Sometimes people may only have a sense of having experienced trauma. This can be to do with the age at which the trauma occurred, if it was pre-verbal and stored in pre verbal memory, and how much is stored cognitively. In cases where there is no actual memory, just a physical sense of something having happened, or a knowledge that it did, but no memory, get the client to 'make it up'. It is not important whether it is true or not, what is important is the resultant limiting behaviours and beliefs that are showing up today. Imagining and guessing in the west is what the east call sixth sense... it comes from somewhere, trust it and go with it, it is often an important door.
However, be careful to never ever suggest trauma or abuse has occurred and to frame the Imagination Technique as a game, and not the truth.
To conclude, EFT is an exciting new tool in working with Trauma. It allows the client to get immediate relief from traumatic experiences and gently opens the door to revealing and clearing the multiple layers of aspects and beliefs which may be present in a pain free, systematic manner. Trauma can be experienced at many different levels and there is no fixed formula for specific trauma groups. However, as a general rule, the higher the intensity the more the need to dissociate the client, using the Movie Technique or Tearless Trauma. For unfeeling clients, the Tsunami and Imagination Techniques are useful.
In order to achieve maximum results when working with clients it is important to keep more flexible than your clients, and whilst the above techniques provide a valuable framework within which to work, allow your creativity to flow and your intuition to guide you!
FOR MORE EFT HELP ...
Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist.