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EFT helps children who express their anger by moving their bodies

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

A thank you is in order to Henk van der Veen from the Netherlands for this clever use of body movements for applying EFT to children. This idea has wide appeal and can be used for adults as well.

Hugs, Gary

By Henk van der Veen, EFT-ADV

Dear Gary

I have worked for almost a year with EFT and I am still astonished by the results.  I have a background as an engineer (yes!) and did a lot of training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Solution Focused Therapy, and Body Oriented Psychotherapy.

These techniques harmonize beautifully with EFT.  Nowadays I work primarily with EFT, supported by those other techniques.  One example is my work with a 15-year-old boy who seemed young for his age.  His mother asked if I could work with him but the boy was very skeptical about the treatment.

He has some difficulties expressing his feelings verbally and his main problem is rage.  He can become very angry at the other boys at the school he attends (for children with all kinds of handicaps).  I noticed as he described the incidents that he was using small movements of his body to express his anger.  So I used that expression.  One incident was when another boy told him that he was stupid.  I saw little grabbing movements in his arms so I asked him to take my arms and give as much pressure as he feels the anger.  He gave a lot of pressure, indicating that there was a lot of rage.

Then I tapped, using setups like the anger I feel in my arms … Even though I want to hit him in his face…  

I used the unconscious reaction of his body, making it more explicit with words and using EFT on it all.  I tested his level of intensity in the same way.  I know from studying body-oriented psychotherapy, that when you replay in the body the original situation, old feelings pop up immediately.  So I repeated the words 'you are stupid' and took his arms so he couldn’t move.  If there was still rage, he MUST feel it at that moment.  He couldn't feel rage anymore; it was gone. He said to his mom, (who was in the session) “Mom, it really works -I can’t feel the anger anymore.”

The second incident happened when a boy in a wheelchair was furious.  I saw movements in his legs, so I asked him what his legs wanted to do.  I held his legs with my hands and he said he wanted to kick.  So I used it in the setup:

Even though I have anger in my legs…

Even though I’d really like to kick ‘em in the ass…

When we test his level of intensity by holding his arms the same way the other boy did we had the same reaction - all the furious feelings were gone.

It was fabulous to use some body-wise things with EFT because that triggered the boys’ deep feelings.  And when someone is well connected with his feelings, EFT works almost instantaneously. Especially in these case because they primarily expressed their emotions with their bodies instead of with words.

I know of course that many therapists are not familiar with, or skilled to use those techniques, but if you have some experience, or feel familiar with it, it can be a great support.

With kind regards and very grateful for EFT in my life and work.

Henk van der Veen


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