and Healing Stories
" ... sharing tools for the healing journey..."
Tapping To Heal from Sexual Abuse
By Steve Wells
Recently, I was given this beautiful poem by one of my clients, who I will call Kathy. It comes after about 2 years of using tapping to address some heavy duty issues – and, as a result, quite literally changing her whole life. As you will see from Kathy’s poem and her “Story behind the poem”, she has come a long long way. Her poem speaks of a level of self-acceptance that is a joy to behold. I suggest that you read the poem, then read the story behind the poem, then read the poem again. It will then have a whole new meaning for you.
Sun in my soul
I sat for a winter
a storm with a view
washed up on a reef
purple and bruised
I reached out for land
but what I found
was freedom and light
and sea just for me
Now I can swim
with the sharks
and the seals
and shine in delight
at just being me
The Story Behind the Poem:
My purpose for writing this is to provide encouragement for people to try EFT.
I have been fortunate enough to have Steve Wells cross my path and introduce me to EFT at a work seminar 2 years ago. At the time I was very unhappy in my job. I was miserable and my misery was impacting my personal life. I had never known what I wanted “to do” or “to be” in life and had changed jobs every 6 months to escape the boredom that would always creep in. I finally decided to seek help from Steve to work out a more fulfilling career path, hoping EFT might help me get rid of the boredom.
I knew I wanted to help people and so in my first proactive move I took 5 months off work to figure out what that might be. I ended up doing some real estate deals and donating to my favourite charities, although whilst I knew I was helping people through my donations, I knew this wasn’t enough and I felt empty emotionally.
During this time I was also injuring myself frequently as a result of my emotional disharmony. Eventually the turning point for me came when I broke my arm (at one of my investment properties). For the first time in my life I had to ask people (mainly family) for help as I couldn’t even drive my manual car. I was suddenly stripped of my independence and forced to ask for help, which was very difficult for me to deal with. Whilst I was trying to come to terms with this, my injury and my frustration at not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I found all the difficult and painful events from my past were coming back to haunt me.
I felt emotionally wrecked and confused. I didn’t know what to sort out first. Over time with Steve, I realised that the reason I was revisiting emotionally painful events from my past was because I was in conflict. Throughout my previous ordeals I never once asked for help or support. I was the “strong” one in my family and had identified my role as “the supporter” who helped others through their grief or difficult times. Allowing myself to seek help and have someone listen, focus and help me with my issues was very alien to me and was my first hurdle using EFT. It was the first time I had allowed myself to spend time helping myself rather than others – a concept that felt selfish and made me feel guilty and self centered.
Over time I realised that in order to find contentment in my working life and in fact anything in my life, I needed to first address the personal traumas and events from my past that I had buried. When I began this journey I got disconcerted at the enormity and number of them and I became very distressed. As I’d start using EFT on one issue, another would take over and I became somewhat disillusioned and overwhelmed. (For detail of my traumas see below. I have listed these in hope that if someone can identify with any of them, they know that there is a way to heal the pain).
Eventually Steve was able to draw out from me my core issue. I was still in denial about being raped and as a result, falling pregnant and having an abortion at the age of 20. I thought I had no one to turn to for help as at the same time I was helping my Mum care for a close relative that had terminal cancer. I thought the family was in enough pain without me adding to it. It wasn’t until I started to address the various aspects of this through EFT that I realised how, through keeping the incident to myself and not seeking help, I had allowed it change my identity and affect so many areas of my life and the decisions I have made.
The session when we finally addressed the rape incident was the worst and best hour of my life. As Steve began with some EFT for me to open up and discuss the rape I felt like the room was closing in on me. I could barely breathe and just wanted to curl up and die. It got to the point where Steve took over tapping on my wrist as I went into emotional shutdown. I was at my lowest. As we progressed through the session, the weight lifted and I was able to tap for myself and by the end of the hour I knew the worst had passed and I had taken the first steps on my path to emotional freedom.
Update note from Steve: Since then I have learned many ways of treating severe traumas like this more gently with tapping. One way to do this is to have them do plenty of tapping before accessing the traumatic incident on any of their body discomforts and tensions. Next, we might seek to address any fears and concerns about the issue without tuning into it directly, for example treating the fear of the fear. When having them relay the trauma story it can help to have them go back to a point before the trauma event started and do plenty of tapping there before proceeding into the more emotionally intense parts of the incident. It also helps to create distance by having them disassociate from the event by imagining they are watching it on a screen (if they find this visual process easy to do) rather than being in the experience. These are just some ways of making the experience more gentle for the client. I am in no rush to get to the most challenging and painful parts of the experience and often if enough tapping is done at an earlier point then when you do move into those stronger parts the intensity is typically far less than the client expected.
Kathy continues: At times I thought I was going backwards and falling into a black hole with no way out – but I hung in there and had faith. The rape had made me feel angry that it happened, guilty for letting myself change the way I lived through my 20’s because of it and sad that I will never know what my 20’s would have been like if it hadn’t happened. After some more sessions with Steve and treating myself using EFT, there came a dramatic and unexpected turning point, when suddenly my world opened up and I felt a sense of release.
Since then, I have successfully treated other aspects stemming from the rape and each aspect got treated more and more quickly. In addition I used EFT on all my other past traumas and got a perspective and sense of calm about them.
I eventually got to a stage where I was enjoying my new career, my life and my relationships with family and friends on a whole new level I had never experienced before. This resulted in me becoming very uneasy. As absurd as this sounds, I thought my life wasn’t suppose to be this good. I felt guilty and uncomfortable with everything being so great. I used EFT to become used to my new life and perspective and have finally found true emotional freedom.
I know that life will throw more obstacles at me but I know I can deal with them and that I will meet them head on and not suppress them for years to torture myself with – it’s such a waste of time and energy! Emotional freedom is the most liberating sensation and its effects have impacted all aspects of my life and most importantly my relationships with family and friends.
My very special thanks go to Steve who helped and guided me along this journey. No amount of words can express my gratitude nor respect and awe for his very special gift (…..and his immense perseverance!).
Detail of traumas
Throughout my life I had a father that used cruel mind games and emotional blackmail on me and others in my family. He also verbally and physically abused my mother.
Between the ages of 20 and 27:
A friend died in a drink driving accident and another died in a motorcycle accident
I was raped, fell pregnant and had an abortion
I helped nurse my Aunty whilst she had terminal cancer and another close family friend died of cancer
My only other Aunty passed away
A close Uncle passed away
A friend committed suicide
A relationship I had been in for 3 years broke up
I was stalked
Steve Comments: I asked Kathy if she could elaborate a little more on her process in order to assist others who are working through similar issues. Here is her reply:
As far as adding more detail about the process for me I would say that during times when I was experiencing emotions of great magnitude (e.g. anger about the rape) I would just tap without actually saying anything. My emotions would be so overpowering and thoughts racing through my mind so fast that trying to think of words to tap with was too much so I would just sit and tap until the feelings subsided and I had settled. I’d then usually take a break (and often go and do some exercise to release the physical tension) before coming back and tapping with some phrases once I could think straight.
Update note from Steve: Back then when we were using EFT we thought it was important to use words to describe feelings. Now with SET we know that isn’t necessary and can even be a distraction at times so we simply allow people to go with whatever they notice and attend to their body sensations, emotions, thoughts in whatever form they come, and follow them as they change on a moment by moment basis. We also recommend a more continual tapping process as you mindfully attend to whatever is in your present awareness. Note that Kathy, having done plenty of tapping herself and noticing what worked for her tended to naturally gravitate towards this more naturalistic way of using the tapping.
Kathy continues: My best advice would be not to get too caught up with getting the right phrase, especially when your head is spinning with emotion and thoughts of more than one trauma or issue. You’ll know if the phrase is right or not once you start and can change it as many times as you like until you feel you’ve got it pinned. Even if you can’t think of the right words or they don’t gel with you, just start tapping without saying anything and usually your thoughts will filter out a phrase or 2 for you in time.
I think that providing phrases for beginners is useful but getting across the concept of the technique is more important. People have different reactions and emotions to experiences and I don’t think one or 2 sets of phrases is appropriate for all. I did look through a few postings on Gary’s website and which provided me with some guidance (mostly reassurance that I wasn’t the only one out there) however what I found most useful was saying to myself “I feel….” and letting myself fill in the gap. This was the best indicator for me and I’d use my answers whilst doing the tapping.
Update note from Steve: It isn’t even necessary to say “I feel X” and describe your feelings in words, as some feelings can’t be put into words. Simply notice whatever you notice and apply tapping as you go.
Kathy continues: Lastly, if like me, people are feeling inundated with numerous issues, grief etc from their past, escaping for a weekend retreat and getting everything down on paper was really helpful. Whilst the weekend when I did that was the most emotionally taxing thing I did, it got a lot of scrambled thoughts and emotions in my head out and I could look at them on paper with a clearer approach. If anyone did take this advice however, I would caution them to tell someone where they are going and leave a contact (e.g. I told my partner and asked him not contact me unless it was an emergency) as it can be really tough and when you’re emotionally all over the shop it’s prudent to let someone know where you are.
Steve comments: I truly hope that anyone who thinks their problem is too complex, or that tapping “isn’t working” for them will take heart from Kathy’s story. I think it illustrates the true power of tapping when combined with dogged persistence within the context of relational therapy with someone you trust.
Treating Sexual Problems with EFT
By Dr. Silvia Hartmann
If we consider the billions upon billions people spend on all aspects and areas of their lives related to sex - and let us not forget this includes the entire beauty and fitness industry. It is interesting, yet quite telling, to note how little has been written on the topic of treating sexual problems with EFT.
What I would like to do in this article is to present a gentle progression into this area of every adult's life that is still so very difficult to talk about in public in a rational manner.
It is also my hope that there will be some amongst those who are reading this who will find courage and hope and will decide to lift the lid on this topic for themselves at last.
It really is essentially important in every aspect of everyone's life, whether they wish to acknowledge this or not - our sexual systems have inordinate impact on how we feel inside, of how much power we think we have, of course on our "creativity", no matter how it is expressed; on how much success we might believe we can have elsewhere; and in the end, on how much happiness there can be in our lives.
Please do not think that I am suggesting we should use EFT so we can go out and have more sex; that is not the purpose of this article.
What I want to do instead is for each of us to consider the energetic systems that are related to sexuality; these are systems of life itself and need to be given a great deal of respect and quite regardless of any adult's age or state of health or other circumstances.
I would also like to present a step by step system by which any individual in self help, or a counsellor/healer with their clients in a partnership healing setting, may approach the subject and move through the various layers in safety and without any kind of further traumatisation being necessary.
A First Step - Gentling The Systems
Before we even begin with any more specific treatments, a good place for anyone suffering from "shameful" problems of this nature is to tap the following soothing and strengthening statements, for example:
Please remember that EFT treatments are never meant to be something you force yourself or others to have to suffer through; we can start as far back when as we need to in order to make it as easy and gentle as possible to get real healing, change and forward movement into the systems of mind and body.
Once we are beyond the "denial" protection barrier and the issues are really here now in consciousness, the next step might be to simply think about "this whole subject" and tap without any opening statements, simply to take the edge off the tumult of feelings and memories so we can start to think more clearly, target more specific interventions and create change that will actually hold and last "in the field".
This is also a good time to use "tearless trauma technique" approaches and global symbols, numbers, or metaphors to help retain a distance from the problems and memories and still be able to make headway into what is a very serious and very sensitive set of systems.
For example, many women suffer from extreme disturbances in their relationships with their own bodies which often lies at the core of their problems; in many other instances it is a high contributing aspect.
To find a metaphor (such as the Lotus) or even a colour (the root chakra "red" can be used, for instance) and to use EFT treatment rounds about the feelings towards these abstractions can be a breakthrough experience of healing that is truly profound in its repercussions on overall health and happiness in both body and mind.
On the Meridian Therapy internet news group, a very experienced practitioner and EFT healer mailed for help with a lady client who hated sex following a childhood full of abuse. Now, this lady was married but could not bear to be touched.
She loved her husband very much and lived in a constant hell of wanting to please him and have him be happy and satisfied, yet being unable to control her flinch-back and panic reflexes which would arise automatically and in spite of her husband having "been so patient for all these years".
Not much headway was being made with this lady although she seemed responsive to EFT in other ways; the therapist was wondering where she might be missing something, where she was going wrong.
As I looked over the kind of opening statements they had been using it became clear right away that both this lady and the therapist were backing away from "calling a spade a spade" - and this is the next hurdle when we start using EFT for sex problems, fears, inadequacies, past trauma and bad experiences.
Whether we are working in self help by ourselves, or with other people, it matters not - once we get down to specific incidents or current events, oblique and roundabout descriptions of feelings, parts, acts and happenings can not get to the true core of the problems.
For many people, the whole topic of sex is so shocking, "dirty", unpleasant and generally contorted that there may be a lot of merit to just tap rounds of EFT on "those words" themselves and until they can be thought about and talked about in a rational manner and without the energy system going into instant reversal and even more shame and embarrassment ensuing.
Sex is an area which might really have the very highest and least talked about emotions present, whether they may be in the forms of memories of trauma and abuse, or simply every day experiences of fear and failure.
In intimate relationships, there are a huge array of very specific triggers of physical sensations, of body postures which are never assumed at any other time, of thoughts and emotions, of sights and scents - in short, there are unusually many aspects to sexual sensation or performance problems.
For really thorough and long lasting healing interventions with EFT that will hold up fully "in the field" we likewise need to be thorough with ourselves or with our clients and make sure that we get all the relevant aspects and treat them until the person feels a true sense of release.
This also very strongly pertains to being able to directly deal with causative memories later on; to be able to describe truthfully and without feeling ashamed what really happened, and to use EFT to finally break the hold of the past, once and for all.
This might also mean that counsellors, coaches and therapists might need to treat themselves for feelings of shame or embarrassment so that they may be able to provide their clients with the stabilising influence and confident guidance they need.
Starting From The Outside In
Especially sexual abuse survivors have symptoms that are clearly a direct result of what happened to them a long time ago but which are not necessarily directly related to having sex at all.
Many for example find it nearly impossible (or indeed, entirely impossible) to present themselves for intimate physical exams with a doctor or gynecologist.
They may also experience problems about taking even top layers of clothes off in public (such as at the beach or in communal changing rooms) or other types of symptoms, from being unable to sleep with the window open even a little way or having to sit close to fire exits in restaurants - there are a multitude of symptoms.
Starting on these rather than on the memories or feelings from the causative events directly is often a very good "way into" these frightening mindscapes.
I would make the comment that anyone who either knows or suspects that their sexual problems have been caused by abuse or trauma might consider seeking the aid of a qualified meridian energy therapist they feel really comfortable and safe with. Self help is a wonderful thing but indeed, some things are really better faced with a knowledgeable guide by ones side.
Should this apply to you, there is also the option of pre-treating fear or any reason to NOT go ahead and find resolution for these problems in self help first and use the EFT self treatments to get yourself to a place where you can ring up and make an appointment.
Treating Other Sexual Problems With EFT
This is of course a vast topic. This article is only designed to give you some ideas of what we can do with EFT, and that you can expect to see a real improvement in many areas of your sex life if you decide to use EFT in that centrally important context.
Performance & Relaxation
Whether it is male "performance" or female abilities to feel what the body can feel and flow with the sexual experience as we were designed to by God and the Universe, energy reversals and blockages are always something we can remove, treat and thus, get a great deal more out of our sex life.
We have already briefly touched on trauma and memories that can cause such reversals and energy blockages; here, I am particularly thinking about emotional responses which are indicators of other types of blockages such as:
Fear. Performance anxiety, thinking that you are not good enough, that there is something wrong with you, that you are "no good at sex" or that you don't deserve to have orgasms, that God thinks sex is bad or that you shouldn't be having it at all - these and a million more fears are the first and prime candidates to destroy the flow of energies through the systems and make our bodies cease up, cramp up in fear and panic and stop us from flowing with the sexual experience in an open and natural fashion.
All of these fears, if they are allowed to be expressed and treated with EFT, can and will recede and this really makes a big difference to your sexual experience.
Shame. Shame, guilt, disgust, distaste, embarrassment - these are really of one category and they are very difficult and painful emotions indeed that are guaranteed to keep an individual in sexual hell for their entire adult lives.
Interestingly, these forms of emotions which are very visceral with aspects of real physiological responses such as gagging responses, feelings of nausea and sickness, breathlessness etc, respond beautifully to the application of EFT and these are excellent self help candidates. In the privacy of your own home and your own mind and body, you can begin to treat such responses with the aid of your own body, or perhaps photographic or artistic representations of what is causing the problem.
I would make the side note that fetishes and strong (but unwanted) desires for certain situations, people or objects can be treated successfully with EFT, even if they have proven entirely untreatable with any other known method or approach; treating issues of shame and guilt about fetishes is also a very, very healing and reconciling thing to do and regardless whether an abatement in desire for the fetish is required or not.
Anger. Anger and feelings of rage at self or at others clearly preclude loving sexual flow in relationships - even with the self. Many people don't even know that they are angry at themselves or at their current partners; usually this is anger by proxy because it wasn't either the self or the current partner who ever did anything wrong to deserve this.
Anger choked down causes big vortices and blockages in the energy system; worse, it causes sexual expression to become of a different flavour than it would otherwise have been. It also precludes honesty and intimacy in sexual relationships with self and others, so to treat anger and rage issues is always a good idea.
Here, I would like to clearly state that to have anger issues in any context, sexual or otherwise, is not a character flaw or some genetic defect but simply always and only a response to painful things that have happened to us in the past -"It hurts and that makes me angry" in a very simple cause-and-effect.
EFT is particularly good at healing these old wounds and injuries once and for all, and when that happens, anger simply ceases to exist. It doesn't require a great deal of "forgiveness work" or any hardship other than to just simply repair the injuries in the energy system in the usual way, namely by firstly becoming aware of any issues of anger, giving them expression and doing the EFT treatment as usual with your own words, for example:
Every single anger, rage or hate you can release from yourself with EFT will be a burden released and help you think, feel and flow more freely.
Thoughts Of Shame and Morality
A great area of stopping people from even trying to treat themselves so that they may release their energy blockages and reversals is in "thoughts of shame and morality" - things they were taught or things they believe.
For example, there are many people who think that if they liked sex any better than they did or didn't find it disgusting anymore, that would mean that they would turn into lust driven animals and run around in the streets, doing it with everyone and everything all the time.
This is absolutely not so and nothing but an old wife's scare story.
Someone with sexual instincts which have returned to a state of natural flow will of course seek out sexual partners; but they will not be indiscriminate or stupid about it and much less develop into rapists or paedophiles. Quite in the contrary - those sorts of behaviours indicate a problem rather than ever representing any form of solution.
"Thoughts of shame and morality", as installed by fundamentalist religions for example, cause the most tremendous problems.
The drive to sexual expression is one of the most powerful forces we have in our adult lives and the fact is that if this expression (with a partner or by yourself) becomes mis-routed or perverted, of course we will have the corresponding powerful disturbances and "perversions", if you will.
Releasing blockages, untangling contortions and generally speaking, allowing the mind-body systems relating to being a sexual being to return to a state of health and flow cannot do anything else than to help make life easier, less stressful and more as it was always designed to be.
Magical Sexual Energy Flow
Discussing truthful opening statements and working together with EFT in a partnership to help both partners achieve deeper, more profound and more exhilarating experiences is a truly magical thing.
There are many variations on "Partner EFT" - just sitting opposite one another and touching the points on each other, mirror fashion, either in silence or whilst both say an affirmation or statement of love or intent to change something for one or both of the partners is absolutely fascinating and more intense than most practised Tantra specialists achieve after years of dour practise.
Allowing each other to help each other remove the last blockages and reservations, fears or contortions to experiencing true intimacy with each other is one of the most extraordinary things you could possibly do in a relationship, no matter how you achieve this; gentle touching rather than tapping can keep this process loving and entirely flowing and non-mechanical.
Including the EFT points in a massage can be used easily and without having to say too much; kissing them is a more advanced version which I particularly enjoy, especially when it comes with an opening statement of, "I love you and I desire you deeply and completely."
If you do not have a partner, doing EFT for your own hopes and dreams, fears and limitations in an intimate setting with yourself is a breakthrough experience of learning to love yourself in every way if you will allow yourself to have it.
Celibacy & Spiritual Energy Flow
There are many people who for one reason or the other wish to use sexual energy not for sexual expression in partnership but for other purposes, such as raising energy for healing or spiritual development.
I would point out that we still are in a place where these sexual energies themselves must flow freely first before they can be transmuted into something else. If these energies are blocked or disturbed, they cannot function in the spiritual flow either - no matter what, and no matter how, sexual energies need to flow freely, lightly and cleanly, without contortions and blockages.
I estimate that having ones sexual systems in order might well account for at least 30% of any one adults effectivity and happiness in this life. This doesn't mean they have to have sex at all; and it doesn't mean they have to have a partner.
What we do need however is to address our injuries and disturbances in these systems urgently and as one of the first and most important areas of enquiry when there is something wrong with our lives. It simply is structurally of the essence for a long and healthy life, and at least as important as are diet or exercise to which so very much attention and thought is being given.
EFT gives us a tool at last with which to do this, without fear, shame or guilt; in the privacy of our own homes if need be, and in so doing, allows us to free up unprecedented energies for health, for activity, for success - for life.
Date Rape and Trusting
by Nancy Morris
When clients contact me looking for help with a particular relationship or sexual issue, they usually say that they have tried EFT for this problem on their own and have noticed no change. They say something like this: "I'm having problems with trusting my partner. I've tapped using the phrase 'Even though I have problems trusting, I deeply and completely accept myself' and haven't noticed any change. I don't know what else to do, can you help me?" The purpose of this article is to show how things that have happened in the past contribute to how we react today. Usually you have to get underneath the symptoms to get results.
When Joan initially contacted me it was to improve her sex life with her boyfriend of 3 years. She found it impossible to "let go" and trust. In this write-up I'll address just one of many specific events we've worked through; Joan had many, many traumatic events starting very early in life. One of them was an attempted date rape when she was 21 years old.
Before she told me the details of this situation, I asked her how intense it felt to her just knowing that we were going to approach this event. She said it was about a 7 on a scale of 0-10. I assured Joan that she was at choice and we could stop at any time, even right now before we started. (NOTE: I always find that I'm more courageous if I feel like I have an "out" if I want to take it. So I always offer that "out" to my clients.) Joan said she wanted to proceed. So just to take the edge off, we did some tapping on the physical symptoms she was feeling that let her know it was a 7 intensity until that intensity came down to a 3 level. She felt calmer now.
Then we proceeded using the ‘Tell the Story Technique’. I asked Joan to just start at the very beginning, before anything bad happened and to stop when her intensity went up even a little. She began: there was this guy, we'll call him Jim, who was a friend, a fellow college student who was in med school and everyone liked him a lot. He was confident and a great dancer and Joan and Jim entered a dance contest together, which they won! He asked her back to his apartment to celebrate and she went. Then he came onto her. At this point I stopped her to ask her intensity and it was a 10. I asked Joan what emotions she was feeling and she said "shame and embarrassment". So we tapped on "this shame" and "this embarrassment" (NOTE: these two feelings are so interchangeable to most people that it works well to tap on them together. Usually you would want to tap on only one emotion at a time.) Her intensity came down to a 6 after this round of tapping. I asked her what she was thinking and she said, "Why'd I go over there?" and her intensity went up to an 8.
So we tapped on: “Even though I chose to go to his apartment, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though we were celebrating and I went to his apartment after midnight, I was young and a little naive, and I love and accept my young self. Even though I went to his apartment, I love and forgive myself.” Then we tapped around the standard EFT points using phrases like these:
“He was a med student; Jim was well liked; I enjoyed dancing with him; it was so much fun; we'd won the contest; I was happy and excited; I wanted the fun to continue; everyone liked him; it was after midnight; I was young and naïve; I love and forgive myself; he took advantage of the situation; he had no right to do that; I liked how popular he was; I felt great dancing with him; I love and accept my young self.” By the end of this round Joan's intensity was down to a 2 so I had her continue with the details of the event.
Joan said she may have been open to a relationship with Jim if he had acted differently. But he threw her down and started pulling her top off and her skirt up. She knew right away that, "I could've been anybody; he didn't have a crush on me." So she told him to "stop it, stop it". At this point Joan's intensity went back up to an 8 and she felt queasy in her stomach. We stopped and tapped on this part of the event until she felt more comfortable and then proceeded further into the event.
She was saying "stop it" as Jim was trying to put his penis in her mouth and get his fingers inside her. She continued to say, "No, stop it" and then she slugged him and ran out of the apartment. Joan's intensity was way up again. So we tapped: “Even though he was a pig and tried to push my head onto his penis, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though he kept trying to push himself on me, I told him to stop it, and I love and accept myself for knowing what I wanted. Even though he really forced himself on me, I put up a great fight and protected myself and I'm proud of the young woman I was.” Then we tapped on the EFT points using these phrases: “He was really forceful; he was so popular with everyone; I knew I'd lose my dancing partner; that was a big loss for me; I still said "No, stop it"; I'm really proud of myself; he was going to be a doctor; I liked his confidence; I knew he didn't have a crush on me; I told him "No, stop it", I love and forgive myself for going there; I'd hoped he might really like me; I could tell that I could've been anyone; I love and appreciate myself for knowing the difference; he really used me; he just thought of me as a local townie; but I showed him; I protected myself; I slugged him and got out of there; I love and accept my young self and how I took care of me.”
At this point I asked Joan to run the entire story through in her head (Movie Technique) and report what her intensity was. She did this and reported that it was a 0. Wanting to make sure that this event was completely cleared up because it affected her trust in herself and her own judgment as well as her trust in men (who were they underneath the nice guy that everyone liked?), I then asked her to Tell the Story again from the beginning. Each time a client does this more and more details emerge and when we tap, all these fragments are cleared from the nervous system.
As Joan told the story from beginning to end her intensity went up to a 4 specifically focused on Jim pulling at her clothes, trying to push her face onto his penis, and biting her in the process. She called him a creep. We tapped on all these aspects of the story focusing on: what she had to lose by pushing him away (her status in the group as his dance partner, their friendship, lots of good times); the fact that she could tell that he did not really care for her; to him she was just a female body and she trusted her feelings and was brave enough to fight him off, slug him, and get herself out of the creep's apartment. When we were done with this Joan was at a zero. (NOTE: During this part of the session we used the 9 Gamut routine. When the intensity is low and a traumatic event has been nearly cleared I believe it's important to cement the experience of going through the event and having low/no reaction to the memory by doing the brain balancing of the 9 Gamut procedure.)
By the end of the session Joan said she could feel herself reclaiming and acknowledging her courageous self. She no longer felt like a victim, realized that she did trust her feelings about Jim not caring about her, and that when she was sure what she wanted to do she was able to protect herself and get out of there.
Often our ability to trust others is connected to our ability to trust ourselves, trust our instincts, and trust our own ability to make mistakes and learn from them. My philosophy is that as human beings we are mistake-making machines (I mean this in the lightest possible sense) and that every day we make mistakes and can love and accept ourselves with those mistakes. We'd better; we're going to make more if we're living right!
EFT for Sexual Anxiety and Mistrust
Trust is an important part of a healthy sexual relationship based on honesty and willingness to be open. Lack of trust and open communication between partners can create problems with sexual compatibility. Here is is a combination of statements by EFT Practitioner, Nancy Morris' client, "Jill" about her mistrust of her husband--then Nancy's responses to Jill as an EFT practitioner.
By Nancy Morris, EFT INT-1
This is a combination of writings by my client, who we'll call "Jill," and comments by me about how we approached resolving her problem using EFT.
"Before I contacted Nancy Morris, I was a complete emotional wreck. I was having panic attacks on a near daily basis that were unfounded. These panic attacks and crying sessions started putting strain on my marriage and on my own health. I knew I was WAY over my head and that I needed to get some help...FAST.
After almost 6 years of marriage I began having anxiety that my husband was masturbating rather than wanting to make love to me. I knew consciously this was completely silly, yet my mind could not get over this concern. I started searching for "clues" that he had masturbated and it turned my life upside-down. Anytime he would use the bathroom, I would start panicking. Finally I had to tell him what was going on and it was not only embarrassing, but one of the hardest problems I have had to deal with emotionally.
I must admit that I was skeptical that EFT could help me "get over" these intense feelings I had about my husband masturbating. However, I had done EFT in the past for a sexual trauma in my teenage years with noticeable improvement, so I wanted to try EFT with my new problem as well. After all what did I have to lose?
During our First Session, Jill was very nervous and we used EFT to calm her. We then worked on specific events that she remembered from her childhood and a family that was strict and religious.
One event especially held a lot of intensity for Jill: She confided that as a teenager she had been forced to have sex by an older relative.
There were many aspects to address from this event.
She felt betrayed because he'd been her friend, he was a relative which made it "not normal", and it involved being forced to give oral sex. In addition, as is very common, she realized that she loved the attention he gave her and how special he'd made her feel prior to this violation; she wanted to feel loved and he took advantage.
"Talking to Nancy the first time I was so nervous, but she has a way of calming you and making you smile and laugh. I knew right away she was a good match for me. We connected very well on the phone, which admittedly I have trouble with sometimes."
At our Second Session, we addressed Jill's feeling of not deserving love and pleasure because of what had happened to her as a teen. Because of physical problems, Jill had been uninterested in sex for quite a while and felt guilty about that.
She had given her husband the OK to satisfy himself but now she realized she was obsessed with whether he was doing it, when, where, how often, etc. She also admitted that she was afraid she was not enough for her husband and felt guilty for not completely satisfying him.
In our Third Session, we worked on clearing her intense reaction when she thought her husband might be masturbating in the shower. I gave Jill EFT tapping homework after each appointment and this time I added a suggestion that she spend 15 minutes by herself behind closed doors doing something sensual.
A bath, putting on lotion, etc.
"After the first few sessions with Nancy, I realized that these feelings actually had nothing to do with my husband and were in fact my insecurities about myself.
We uncovered that after all of those years of marriage, I had neglected to give myself time for ME. I was handing out a lot to my husband, but never took the time to see what I needed. Whether it be a relaxing bath, a trip to the mall or some alone time with my own body."
At Session Four Jill said it had been "surprisingly more difficult" than she'd thought to take that 15 minutes for herself but she wanted to slow down and become more aware of herself.
Aspects of this we worked on were: feeling selfish, difficulty just closing the door and separating herself from her husband, her impatience with herself, feeling sneaky and dishonest keeping anything from her husband.
Jill realized she had a belief that "your spouse should meet all your needs" which put a lot of pressure on Jill as well as on her husband.
Her EFT homework was to tap on:
“Even though I'm hard on myself, I'd like to be kind and compassionate.”
During Sessions Five and Six we covered the following--
Specific events from her past that made her feel she had to be perfect. Body image issues. ;How to develop some independence from her husband and make friends and create interests of her own. Accepting her emotions/her feeling self.
Accepting the mistakes she's made; accepting that, like all of us, she'll make more mistakes in the future and that's OK! Forgiving herself for having a low libido when she wasn't feeling well. Forgiving herself for an eating disorder that may have caused health problems.
I continued to assign EFT tapping homework as well as practical exercises such as doing a visual inventory of her body and noticing what comes up; doing a tactile inventory of her body and noticing how she felt touching different parts of herself.
Jill did her homework and was great about reporting back her responses and resistance which was an excellent guide for us to know what to work on next.
"After 6 sessions, I am no longer having panic attacks when my husband wants to use the bathroom. I am now paying more attention to my own needs and making sure I take time out for myself away from my husband. I have even asked my husband to just leave the house for an hour so I can have some time to myself to relax and think.
This is especially important since we both work out of the house and we see each other all the time.
There were many, many other aspects to these problems that I never would have even thought about if it weren't for Nancy guiding me along the way. EFT is a great tool on your own, but I think sometimes you need an expert to guide you through what to tap on. I would highly recommend Nancy Morris if you are having any trouble. She was very intuitive and often times I'd have to stop her mid-tap and say, 'How did you know that's what I was thinking?' She's absolutely amazing and can't say enough about the sessions I spent with her. In the future I won't hesitate to call her if anything new comes up.
Treating Sexual Assault with Energy Psychology
By Dr. Katrina Anderson
Often clients come to me after they have tried traditional psychotherapy or feel as if nothing else has worked. My clients typically have a tremendous amount of intellectual insight into their symptoms but can’t seem to “feel better.” This was the case when “Sarah,” found me. She was a 28-year-old female who reported surviving a variety of sexual assaults throughout her life, including childhood sexual abuse as well as subsequent rapes in her adult life. Throughout her lifespan, she experienced a variety of symptoms related to her abuse. For example, in her adolescence, “Sarah” suffered from anorexia and self- harming behaviors. By the time she found me, she reported having daily panic attacks, inability to focus, difficult time making decisions, and general dysregulation of mood. She felt she had tried everything, and was starting to feel like nothing would ever change. Feelings of hopelessness are very common with complex PTSD.
“Sarah” experienced so much anxiety that it was often difficult for her to decide or know what she wanted to do. So we first utilized muscle testing (a method for getting feedback from our bodies by “testing” muscle strength) to determine which sequence of acupoints would be right for her. We found a specific combination for anxiety. “Sarah,” and I spent a few weeks tapping this sequence of points to release her anxiety. (There is a direct connection between our emotions and acupressure points on our bodies. Dr. Roger Callahan, an innovative psychologist, developed a system of treatment called Thought Field Therapy, aka TFT, a powerful method for rapidly relieving emotional distress by tapping specific sequences of acupoints. As there are 12 possible acupoints, TFT uses muscle testing to determine which points, in which sequence, will work best for each individual).
After a few weeks, “Sarah” reported feeling an overall decrease in anxiety symptoms as well as panic attacks. Along with this, she also felt she gained a tool that she could utilize on her own to cope with her anxiety. She also found that muscle testing helped her build a relationship with her mind-body system that her trauma had previously caused her to dissociate from. She could now more consciously determine what she wanted to work on next. “Sarah” decided she wanted to use TFT to target her trauma more specifically. Again we utilized muscle testing to determine which TFT sequence to use, and we began to target specific scenes and feelings with the tapping.
After about six months, “Sarah” reported that she had released the emotional “charge” around ten different memories. Her overall anxiety had decreased a tremendous amount, and she has not had a panic attack in over three months. She felt her confidence increased, and she was able to focus at work in a way she had never experienced before. “Sarah” also reported that her sleep has improved, and intrusive thoughts have drastically decreased.
Overall, “Sarah” has reported feeling much better. She stated her symptoms decreased, and she was able to create a new relationship with her mind-body system. “Sarah,” said she felt very empowered to gain tools that worked for her and were easy to practice at home. Although she is continuing to work through issues, she is now able to work through the “old stuff” while functioning better and living a happy, healthy life in the present.