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Fears And Phobias


EFT clears an obsessive dental phobia: Note the insightful questions involved

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

This excellent article by John Freedom deserves special attention because of the quality questions he asks of his client. They zero in on important core issues.

Hugs, Gary

By John Freedom

‘Michael’  (not his real name)  came to me with an unusual problem. He was experiencing a major fear of going to the dentist. Besides being a phobia, his anticipatory fear had become obsessive, in that it would ‘attack’ him at odd times (not just when he had a dental appointment), and he could not get rid of it. Besides preventing him from going to the dentist (which he needed to do), it was also destroying his day-to-day peace of mind.

While this was clearly more than a ‘simple phobia,’ treating the emotional aspects of the fear of dentists was the place to begin. We tapped a couple rounds on ‘this fear of dentists.’ The intensity came down a few points, but was still there.

So I asked Michael, “Do you have a memory of dental pain or trauma that this fear is reminding you of?” “Yes”, he replied. He told me of a memory when, as a young boy, he had chewed on some aluminum foil, causing an unpleasant pain.

We tapped a couple rounds on ‘the aluminum foil pain.’ It felt ‘lighter’, but there was still more there.  I decided to look for other aspects. He mentioned having fear of a ‘sudden pain, just coming out of nowhere.’ Said that he felt as though he had to ‘keep his guard up’ at all times. (This is not the usual case with dental pain, as people usually have quite a bit of notice before visiting the dentist.)

I asked Mark, “When you were a little boy, what used to happen to you that was sudden and unexpected?” He thought for a moment, and then said, “My dad used to sometimes pick me up, and just start spanking and hitting me, without warning.”  He reported feeling rather upset, while telling me this. I had him rub the sore spot on his chest, while repeating these setup phrases.

Even though dad picked me up and spanked me unexpectedly…

Even though I feel afraid of being attacked randomly and suddenly…

Even though I’ve had to keep my guard up ever since…

Even though I know that my dad is no longer alive, and that he wanted the best for me, in his own way, and I’m choosing to tap on myself, release these fears, and feel safe in my own body, now.

We then tapped on the spankings, on being picked up by dad, and on this quality/aspect of ‘being attacked suddenly and randomly.” “That feels much better!” he said, after a couple rounds of tapping. “But I don’t know that it’s totally gone. After all, I’ve had this issue for quite a while, and it just ‘hits me out of the blue’ at random times.”

One of the concepts that comes out of NLP is the idea that every behavior, no matter how ‘negative’ or ‘destructive’, has a positive purpose. So I asked Michael,  “If this random behavior were to have a positive purpose for you, what might that be?” At first he said, ‘Well, it has no positive purpose - it’s a real drag.”   I persisted again, saying, “IF it had a positive purpose for you, or a positive purpose for that young boy, what might that be?”  

He thought a moment, and said, “Well, I never really thought of it that way, but I’ve always felt like I’ve had to keep my guard up, and it may be trying to protect me in some odd way.” He reported feeling an “AHA!” and a ‘shiver of recognition’ as he talked about this phobia trying to ‘protect’ him. Working on it from this angle, I guided him to say, variations of the following:

Even though I have this fear of being attacked suddenly and unexpectedly,

Even though I’ve had to KEEP MY GUARD UP, all the time,

Even though I have to be very careful, so someone doesn’t attack me,

Even though I know that, my dad is no longer alive, and I’m OK now … I’m a strong, mature adult now and no one is going to pick on me again …I survived!  And even lived to tell the tale.

And, I’m choosing to Forgive that little boy who believed he had to keep his guard up … Support and protect that little boy who’s been so vigilant about protecting me ever since … Love and honor and respect myself, for being so vigilant and so watchful.

We did another couple rounds of tapping. Michael reported that not only was the fear of dentists and dental pain gone, but also that he now felt ‘relieved’, because he understood why that fear was so obsessive - it was trying to warn him and protect him from danger!  Recognizing that he was a strong, adult now, and that it was unlikely that anyone would ever spank (or attack) him ever again, he realized that he could finally ‘let his guard down,’ and live in peace with himself.

Follow up: I called Michael a couple weeks later. He reported that, “I think I’m doing really well,  we really turned the corner on it.  I can laugh about it now, it makes sense to me on an emotional level and hopefully on a deeper spiritual level…”

In my work with Michael, I used a powerful variation of the standard setup phrase, called ‘The Parts Setup.’ For more information, see the article on Designing Your Own Custom Setup Phrases.

John Freedom


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