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Drowning related trauma relief for a 9 year old boy

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Those of us with extended EFT experience have many stories to tell--some of which are particularly heartwarming and stand out above the rest. Such is the case with Tom Altaffer, an experienced veteran in this field, who shares with us a life changing trauma relief for a young boy.

Hugs, Gary

by Tom Altaffer, LCSW

We are used to EFT performing miracles in our daily lives all the time. I for one, find myself taking it for granted until something happens that is really out of the ordinary. Such a thing happened to me recently.

I was contacted by the mother of a young boy who's name had recently been in the newspaper in connection to a drowning. The young man was at a lake with a friend (a young man). The boy (age 9) was not a good swimmer and was holding on to the demarcation ropes in a lake for support while he swam. He was told he had to let go by the lifeguard and he became frightened, so his friend came out to help him. He climbed on his friend's back and they started back for shore when the friend was sucked down into the water into a deep hole. The boy was saved, but the friend died.

The boy was traumatized (of course). He experienced terrible nightmares and periods of crying, self blame and anger after the event. He came to see me, and with his mother's help we worked on his bad feelings for two sessions with EFT until they were all manageable. Since the child was so young and the trauma so dramatic, I decided to test the treatment by going to the lake with him the next week.

The next week, his mother reported that the boy had experienced no further nightmares and that the self blame and despondency had almost disappeared. We went with him to the lake where his friend had died, stopping occasionally to do a few rounds of EFT (applied by his mother or myself). He was able to return to the lake and point out where the events had occurred and discuss the incident without undue distress. He even elected to go into the water and splash around.

In the two weeks since this session his mother reports that there have still been no problems with nightmares, and that he has begun talking about his friend without obvious distress but with appropriate sadness at the loss. She also reports that when she went to pick him up at camp, the counselor happily reported to her that her son, with some other children, jumped off a dock into another lake. The boy reported to his mother that it was very scary when the water closed over his head and he began swimming up to the surface, but he was ok and did not panic. It had not occurred to me to treat him for this aspect of the experience so it is not surprising that it was scary, but I am thrilled that he felt comfortable enough to even consider it.

So far as I, the boy or his mother can tell, the trauma is healed after only two sessions.

Trauma like this is considered impossible to treat by conventional methods. Had we waited for the research on EFT's effectiveness to be done, this boy would still be having nightmares and blaming himself for the death of his friend. Today, he is fine. He is not happy about what happened or the loss of his friend, but he is not being tortured constantly.

Thomas Altaffer, LCSW, TFTdx

More articles on Children's Issues


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