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Fears And Phobias


Using EFT for the fear of dentists - including a several year follow-up

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Here's a VERY intense dental phobia case (along with many other issues) that was successfully handled by Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck.  Note her creative methods for testing her work with EFT (easing the client into the dentist's office) and her use of exaggerated humor near the end of the article.  Very well done.

Hugs, Gary

by Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck, EFT-ADV

In my 25 years of practice as a psychotherapist, I never encountered a person with Dental Phobia as severe as "Erin." Erin came to me over a period of years with many other issues, and often mentioned that she had a "terrible, dark secret" that she never told anyone.

Finally, several months ago, Erin told me that she was suicidal over her problem and HAD to tell me. She was certain that I would be so "horrified" that I would never want to work with her again.

Her terrible secret was that she hadn't been to a dentist since she was forced to go as a child FORTY YEARS ago, and now all of her teeth were very loose. One of her top front teeth was hanging by a thread and she promised herself years ago that when that particular tooth fell out, she would have no choice except to kill herself.

I thank God for EFT because without that magnificent tool, I would not have been able to help Erin. With traditional therapies, it would have taken months, if not YEARS to help her with her phobia. Even then, I don't know if she would ever have been able to face walking into a dentist's office.

By using EFT on the double issue of her enormous fear of going to a dentist plus her equally intense SHAME of not going to a dentist, I was able to accompany Erin to a dentist's office only TWO WEEKS after she first told me about her problem.

In order to make the experience as non-threatening as possible, I agreed to go with her to my own dentist who understood the severity of the situation. We set up a scenario where ALL Erin had to do was go into the dentist's waiting room, say "hello" to him and walk back out the door. Erin was not sure she could even do that much (since she was unable to even say the word "DENTIST"), and both the dentist and I agreed that she could cancel at the last minute, if she needed to.

In a marathon session before her first dental appointment, we tapped on many related issues: fear of walking in the door, shame about meeting the dentist, fear of the smell of the office, shame that it was "stupid" to be so afraid, despair that she would never be able to get all the work done that would need to be done, (even if she could get past her initial fear), fear and shame about anyone ever finding out, etc.

By now, Erin's front tooth did fall out and she was holding it in her mouth with her tongue. She was in constant fear that the tooth would fall out, or that she would swallow it. As a professional woman, she was mortified that she needed to make a presentation at work and might "look like a hillbilly."

We tapped in the car all the way to the dentist's office. I often use humor as a way to enhance the effectiveness of the tapping, so we were tapping about meeting "Dr. Tooth!" Erin couldn't believe it, but she was actually laughing as we approached the dentist's office.

I warned Erin ahead of time that the dentist was very old-fashioned and had the ugliest Waiting Room I've ever seen with fake wood paneling. It looked like it hadn't been decorated since the 1940's. Erin told me that she found that oddly comforting because she thought that a very fancy office might be too intimidating.

Erin walked in the door and shook the dentist's hand very calmly. I was ready to immediately leave with Erin when she said: "I'd like to go in and speak to the dentist in his office."

I was totally shocked (and I think Erin was, also). We walked through the doors and I looked around for an office with a desk. It turns out that the dentist didn't have a regular office and the only place we could talk with him was in a regular patient's room with a chair and a drill.

Again, I turned around to escort Erin out the door, and she said: "I will talk with him in the room." We walked in and she sat on a stool just a few inches away from all of the dental equipment in the room. (At this point, I think that Erin may have been calmer than I was!)

The dentist came in and spoke with her very gently. He told her that he could fashion a temporary solution for her broken front tooth (a retainer with a false tooth attached). He told her that it was a very simple, painless procedure that would take less than two minutes. He even said that he would be willing to work with her sitting on a stool if it was too scary for her to sit in the chair.

Once again, I was ready to leave with Erin and give her time to think about what the dentist suggested. Erin then shocked me, the dentist, and herself by saying: "I'm willing to do it NOW and I'm willing to sit in the chair!"

Except for slight pain while the dentist made an impression of her upper teeth, Erin went through the process like a trouper! One week later, we had an appointment to go back to pick up Erin's new front tooth.

In the meantime, Erin's worse fear happened: she lost the tooth that she was holding in her mouth and had to make her presentation with a missing front tooth.

We tapped over the phone before her presentation. I suggested that she tell the group right away that she just had dental work and would be getting a new tooth next week. I told her that she didn't have to tell anyone about her phobia, and making the simple statement out in the open would make it possible for her to continue without embarrassment.

Afterwards, Erin was applauded by her peers for giving a great presentation and not allowing her dental problem to stop her from doing her job. Little did they know, that it was a much bigger deal than anyone there could have imagined!

Erin is now doing very well with her retainer and is very pleased that it looks very natural. In the past month, I have escorted her to the dentist three times and she has gotten x-rays done at an Oral Surgeon's office.

Each time, we have tapped on different issues that have come up, including an intense fear that came up for Erin about "a big man coming towards her to hurt her." We realized that the fear was probably related to sexual abuse, and she was able to get the fear down to a "O." Before our last visit, Erin said that she was completely over the sexual abuse fear, but that now she couldn't get past the shame of having the dentist look inside her "horribly decayed mouth."

Humor and EFT came to the rescue again. Erin was convinced that the dentist would be so "horrified" by the sight of her mouth that he wouldn't be able to stand it. I said to her: "Let me get this straight: this man who has been a dentist for more than 30 years, has NEVER seen such an awful mouth?"

So, we tapped: "Even though the dentist has never seen such an awful mouth." and "Even though I have the worst mouth that ANYONE has ever seen on this planet." and "Even though the dentist will be so horrified that he will NEVER be able to look in another mouth again. I totally and completely love, accept and forgive myself."

For the final exaggeration that got her laughing, we tapped: "Even though the horror of the sight of my mouth will make it impossible for the dentist to continue his practice, and he will end up homeless on the street and it will be ALL MY FAULT, I totally and completely love, accept and forgive myself."

At the dentist's office, when he was talking and smiling with her after the thorough examination, I took the chance of embarrassing Erin by saying to the dentist in front of her: "I just want you to know that Erin was afraid you'd be horrified by the sight of her teeth." The dentist laughed and when Erin got angry with me for "revealing privileged information," the dentist teased her and said: "You signed that privilege away with the confidentiality forms that you signed!"

The latest issue that we haven't tapped on yet, is an intense gag reflex that Erin has. Each time we get to a new issue, Erin is convinced that it may be insurmountable, but I assured her that we will tap this one away just like all of the other problems.

I am so thrilled with the amazing results I am getting using EFT with all of my clients, that I have changed the name of my practice to: "T.A.P. (Transcending All Problems)."

God Bless You,
Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck, EFT-ADV

Follow up

Now, it is several years later. I went with her (tapping all the way) to many dentist and oral surgeon appointments. By the time she was fitted for dentures, Erin had no fears at all and was able to visit the dentist by herself.

Erin proved she was solidly at a 0 intensity level a few months ago. She is retired from her job now, and went to see the dentist for a routine check of her dentures. Not only was she completely free of fear, she made an amazing offer to the dentist.

This same woman who couldn't even say the word "dentist" said very calmly (and sincerely):

"I noticed that your receptionist just retired. If you need someone to fill in a few hours a week, I WOULD BE AVAILABLE!"

The dentist didn't need her to work there, but the transition from extreme life-long dental phobia to making an offer to work in a dentist's office was nothing short of miraculous! And we never could have done it without the power of EFT!




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