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Articles & Ideas


How do I use EFT for the client who has many, many, many severe issues?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

Many thanks to Dr. Alexander Lees from Canada for this very detailed and informative account of his client "Barb" and her numerous severe issues. As you will see, Dr. Lees uses re-framing, creative language, diligence and humor to provide impressive success across the board. He concludes by saying...

"We had a total of 15 sessions together. During these hours, we cleared a multitude of issues. Here is a summary of what we cleared:

I would like to say not one iota of any of this exists today."

Hugs, Gary

By Dr. Alexander Lees

The client seated in my office was a middle aged, no nonsense female, and had made it very clear from the beginning that "We have some serious work ahead." I now have her permission to write the story, but because of her position with a large hospital, we agreed on the pseudonym "Barb."

Barb is directly involved in the distribution of literally hundreds of medications, per day. Each must be measured out and distributed via a network of administrative staff and nurses, appearing in the correct room, at the correct time, and in the correct dosage for the specific patient. "My nerves are shot," Barb stated. "I've been on medical leave for almost three years, and my boss is starting to phone a lot, which just makes things worse."

Just to set a frame of reference for this case, I'll present a synopsis of Barb's list that she insisted on reading to me when she first arrived. Fifty-two minutes of our first session were spent this way, and Barb had made it clear from the start that I was to hold all comments until she had verbalized it all.

"Where would you like to start?" I inquired, as Barb sat down for her second session.

"I don't really know," she said. "I've been to see various therapists, over the years, and nothing has really helped. I did get some relief when I saw a psychiatrist, but all the medications are costly, and neither my husband (second husband) nor I like the side affects."

"Okay," I said. "You have presented quite a list of things you would like some assistance with. I know this fellow in California..." Barb bolted forward and interrupted me with, "I can't go to California! What's so special about him, anyway?" "Well," I said, "I call him from time to time, and one time, he asked me the most interesting question, 'If you could live your life over again, but were allowed to skip one thing, and only one thing, what would that be?'"

"All of it," Barb replied.

"Supposing you were in a boat and somehow, all of your life's burdens were right there with you. Now then, further suppose that if you were to throw the right one overboard, the boat would remain afloat, and take you to shore. Now, you can only throw away one of them, so which is the heaviest?"

"Life," she replied.

Once again, I was back wishing I'd taken the time to create a Client School.

Alex: "So, life was heavy 20 years ago, correct?"

Barb: "You bet."

Alex: "And life was too heavy when you were 15." Barb looked down and nodded. "And at age 5?" I asked gently.

Barb: "Things weren't too great. There was a lot of tension, my parents yelled a lot. But, by the time I was eight, I had a brother and sister. I had to look after them. The furnace was in the basement. I had to go down by myself, and put wood, sometimes coal, in it. It was scary."

Further questions revealed Barb had grown up on the Prairies in a small town. The winters were bitterly cold. The basement of the old farm house attracted mice and rats, as well as other 'noises' she had never identified. She also explained how she wore a paper bag with eye holes cut out over head when she went down there to protect herself. When her parents found one, the spanking for "being so wasteful" caused her to hide one under her mattress for future use.

Starting with the P.R. point, and continually tapping it, I had Barb repeat: "Even though I was so scared to go into the basement..." Barb interrupted with: "It was dark and wet. And full of cobwebs. I couldn't use a candle 'cause Dad said it was too dangerous." We continued with: "Even though that dark and wet basement was full of cobwebs, mice, rats, noises, and I was scared, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Barb balked at this last statement. After some discussion we changed it to "Even though that dark and wet basement was full of cobwebs, mice, rats, noises, and I was scared, I would be fine if I didn't have to go down there. It sucked, but I didn't."

"Well, I'm a little calmer, but overwhelmed by how much there is to fix," she finally said.

Using the same format, we tapped the P.R. point with "Even though I'm overwhelmed with all there is to fix, and even though I've spent time, money and effort to do so, then I come to see this guy 'cause someone said I should, and all I get is some bearded old dude slapping the side of my hand..." That broke the ice, and Barb's color returned as she laughed and cried for a few minutes.

"Why did you start with that one?" Barb asked after a while. "It was so long ago, and so many terrible things have happened since." I said, "Although I don't believe we have to analyze our childhood in every case, none the less, when the negative programming starts so early in life, and we still remember these things so clearly some 40+ years later, and as you told me about it, you became so upset, it is useful to assume it still affects you now."

"But I was led to believe we just grow out of it," she replied. Now, we had arrived at one of those pivotal points: We could get lost in a philosophical debate, or continue helping her to make progress towards healing emotional scars. I chose the latter.

Alex: "Quite often, that's true," I said, pacing her. "And when we do, that's that. We move on, we grow, and life is fine. How's your life?"

Barb: "Okay, I get your point, partially. But why bother dealing with what happened so long ago?"

Alex: "Because some of life's experiences, especially when we are so young, imprint in such a way that it's as if a 'filter' was placed in our brain. Do you know how filters work?"

Barb: "Not in the way you mean."

Alex: "Okay. All the available channels are being fed into a TV set, yet I am only watching channel 5. All the other channels are being filtered out by the tuner. Granted, I can manipulate the tuner, and now I'm watching channel 6. all the other channels are filtered out. If it wasn't for the tuner, I wouldn't be watching what I wanted to see."

After a few seconds of contemplation, Barb said, "And your point is?"

I replied, "It's as if your tuner is stuck on receiving signals of danger. Everything else is filtered out. This is called a biased perception filter. The way of looking at life was set very early. That's why you want to throw life away, it's too full of danger."

"How did you know I was suicidal?" Barb asked with eyes wide open.

"There's only one reason that I know of for being that way," I said quietly. "The emotional pain has disrupted life so much that after a while, it seems the only relief available to stop the pain. You have a lot of emotional pain."

Barb: "So, now what do we do?"

Alex: "How about emotional surgery?" (This statement really resonated for her. Working in a hospital, Barb could readily identify with "cutting out the problem.") "Go for it," she said.

I pre-framed what we would do next by saying: "We both know that when your parents came home, the dinner wasn't good enough, the way you handled your charges wasn't good enough, the way you handled keeping the house warm wasn't good enough, and so generally speaking, you just plain weren't good enough. Based on all of this, what do you guess we are going to do now?"

"You are probably going to tap me for something," Barb said. "I'd love to, but I'm not feeling good enough," I replied. Barb seemed concerned for a few moments, then she made a most interesting statement. "You can tap for that, you know." We both laughed, and I said, "Why don't you?" With a little assistance, Barb began tapping her P.R. point, and as she did so, began with: "Even though I'm not good enough, and everything I've done was not good enough, I deeply and completely accept myself." She then was assisted with tapping the balance of the points using the phrase: "Not good enough."

As neither one of us was completely satisfied with the result, I introduced Barb to the 9 Gamut procedure. After it's completion, we did a 15 second round on the regular points using the phrase: "This remaining not good enough." As the color improved in her face, and she became visibly more relaxed, we did a round using the phrase: "I choose to be good enough." (Note: at the next session, a discussion regarding this revealed Barb wasn't that comfortable with the phrasing. I thanked her for the feedback, and we changed it to "I choose to become good enough more and more, as each day passes." Turning it into an 'event' was too big a step. Creating a 'process' suited Barb much better.)

"I have to change my appointment time," was the essence of the next phone call. "My neck is really out of whack. My head is throbbing and my balance isn't right." After some discussion, Barb did a round on "This burning neck pain," followed with a round using the reminder phrase, "This throbbing head," then a round using the reminder phrase, "This lack of balance," then "This fear of falling," and finally, "This fear of change."

Her husband then took the phone, and said he'd still like to bring her to the office, but later in the day. When Barb arrived (clutching an ice pack to the right side of her neck) we went over her activities during the previous few days. Nothing special seemed to have occurred, until she mentioned, in passing, that they had guests for dinner the previous night. At this point in her narration, her breathing had become very shallow.

"Okay, let's slow down time," I said. "You are sitting, or standing... and began to think about... your guests are to arrive." I paused for a few seconds. This gave Barb time to go inside, and re-live the events before her guests appeared.

"Well, 'George' and I usually eat in the living room," she began haltingly. "We only sit at the dining room table when we entertain, which isn't very often."

"And, do the symptoms you experience become worse when you entertain guests?" Barb thought about this for a few moments, then offered: "Well, we have these straight high backed chairs around the table. When I sat in the kitchen waiting for my parents, I sat on a straight chair. If I fell asleep, I'd fall off, and wake up, which is why I chose it." Barb's left hand was now clutching her throat, and she had let go of the ice pack in her right hand.

A little more investigating revealed Barb really did lock the door after her parents had left, and had chosen that chair knowing she'd probably be awake at midnight. This way, she could unlock the door when she heard the truck. She also explained she would be able to "feed the furnace" before it became too cold in the house. We tapped on "fear of being alone," then did a round on "fear of falling asleep," followed by "fear of the furnace going out," and finally, a deeper fear of "not doing things right."

I gave George a diagram showing which points to tap, and wrote down the reminder phrases I'd used, based on Barb's comments. The next day, George phoned to say "It works in your office, but not at home." We quickly ascertained he was supplying the word patterns, not Barb. After clarifying it must be her description, not his, he later left an enthusiastic message that they were starting to get results.

The first thing Barb said when she arrived for her next appointment was: "My chiropractor wants to know if you give seminars on this tapping business? He says my neck (C3, C4, T1) is responding much better to treatment, and he wants to know if there is a short form of it he can use in the office." (Note: I have helped a chiropractor friend organize a seminar specifically for chiropractors to use EFT in their practice.)

"Now, I think I'd like to play with my fear of driving today," Barb said, somewhat nervously. "George is missing a lot of work time driving me to all these specialists, and my friends are starting to come up with various excuses." We isolated the worst car accident, and watching the movie of it on the wall (disocciated) we tapped the various aspects as they came up.

Barb was so tired after this session, George and I had to assist her to the car. "Had to get my neighbor to help get her into the house and onto the couch," George said on the phone. She slept all afternoon. I woke her at 4:30 with a cup of tea. All she said was: 'Get rid of the chairs' and fell asleep again. "What should I do?" "Let her sleep. Check on her every hour or so, and hold off on the chairs. The chairs aren't the problem, but her memories associated with them are," I advised.

During the next session we tapped on:

"This dizziness when I try to drive" "This fear of not being able to stop the car" "This stomach ache when sitting behind the wheel" "This sound of tires sliding" (her words) "This lack of control feeling"

For the next session, I'd borrowed a high back chair. This definitely brought up some other aspects, and, true to form, Barb's neck began throbbing. "I remember that strange place between being awake, and half asleep. My head would fall forward and I would snap it back." As she said this, Barb's head jerked backward, and with eyebrows up and eyes wide open, she quickly grabbed the back of her neck as her jaw dropped open, then I heard the noise of her teeth coming together.

We quickly tapped the P.R. point, using the phrase: "Even though I would fall asleep, and my head would fall forward, and then I'd bolt upright, I deeply and completely accept myself." We then tapped the remaining points (shortcut) using the phrase: "This falling asleep in the chair." We talked for a while, then completed a round using the phrase: "This muscle memory." This was followed by a round for: "This fear of falling asleep."

"Barb slept most of the night using only one sleeping pill," said George on the phone. "Usually, she wakes up with a start every few hours, and takes another one." We completed the insomnia during the next session. This included tapping for: "This fear of falling asleep," "Being irresponsible by falling asleep," "Not good enough because I fall asleep," "Fear of being caught asleep," and "This sick feeling in my stomach just before I fall asleep."

Each of these was a separate round, and done in the order Barb presented them. To assist her, each time we completed a round, I asked her "What comes up for you now?" We wrote down Barb's 'homework,' which was variations of word patterns to use if and when she awoke during the night.

"I choose to fall asleep gently and easily." "Even though I am awake, I deeply and completely accept myself." "This fear of sleeping." "I choose to trust my unconscious, which never sleeps, to arouse me if there is a real danger."

"I don't know which one did it, but I wake up about every third night and tap. I haven't used any pills," she said, rather pleased with herself, at our next appointment.

During this session, Barb hesitatingly explained her husband had to sit in the bathroom with her while she bathed. Although he seemed to be okay just sitting there and reading the paper or a book, if the phone rang and he left, the rising panic would cause her to quickly head for the bedroom or living room, dripping wet and shaking. We devoted the rest of the session to this issue. We started with making a movie, watching self go into the bathroom, begin to prepare the bath, and tapped for "This anxiety" each time she faltered. "Oh my goodness. I never realized this before. I flash on the radio, just above the water and expecting the shock which never happened. And, it's so fast, like part of a second." We immediately tapped using the phrase "This radio picture in my head." "I'm still waiting for the shock," she said after a while.

The next round, starting with the P.R. point, was "Even though I'm waiting for the shock, and it never came because the radio came unplugged, I deeply and completely accept myself." The reminder phrase used on the rest of the points was "This shock that never came." This round calmed her considerably, and she went quiet for a while.

"He really tried to kill me. What a horrible thing to do. Maybe it was God punishing me for not doing a good job as a child." Barb is very religious, and had made that clear when we first met. We were on very delicate ground here. I decided to quote "someone else." This way "someone else" would be the fall guy if things didn't go well.

"Someone famous, and very religious, once said, 'Isn't it interesting that when things go bad, it's God's will, and when things go well, it's called good luck.'" As Barb thought about this for a moment, I suggested a round. Starting with the P.R. point, I tapped it, using the phrase, "Even though my ex-husband tried to kill me, and this is really a statement about his behavior and his problem, I'm OK and he's probably in jail again." After the third repeat, Barb interjected and said, "That's right. God accepts that things happen, but doesn't try to kill people in bathtubs. That's silly." We completed the round on the remaining points, using the reminder phrase "This crazy ex-husband, still in my head."

The next appointment delivered a real surprise -- Barb had driven herself. "The old man is back at work," she said with a grin, "now we can pay you."

We had a total of 15 sessions together. During these hours, we cleared a multitude of issues. Here is a summary of what we cleared:

I would like to say not one iota of any of this exists today. However, Barb and George are now quite comfortable tapping on what George calls "fine tuning," and Barb calls "minor incidents." Both are becoming quite adept at spontaneously generating word patterns that work, and are enthusiastically unanimous in saying "This time and effort was the best investment we have ever made. The changes are like magic!"

Barb called as I began to write about this case. With her permission, I'll conclude this report with her comment: "I called my mother the other day. I haven't spoken to her in a few months. She kept asking if this was really Barb calling. She kept saying my voice and manner were really different. I guess it's time to talk to my Doctor about getting off the meds."

Footnote: Barb returned to work, part-time. The following Monday, she became full-time again, and glad to be productive again, doing what she likes best, helping to ease other's pain.

Dr. Alexander R. Lees


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