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Other Emotional Issues


A case that didn't work--and some suggestions

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Margaret Condy is a new EFT'er and has had some good successes. However, she couldn't get her father-in-law's recent onset of depression to budge. We don't claim 100% results with EFT but our success ratio is high enough to cause us to wonder "what happened" when we appear to strike out. These cases where EFT "didn't work" offer us opportunities to learn and further enhance our skills.

With this in mind, I offer comments within Margaret's message that may help us expand our skills.

Hugs, Gary

by Margaret Condy

Hi, Gary:

Because you asked for failures as well as successes in using EFT for depression, I decided this was a good time to communicate with you again. To refresh your memory, just over a month ago I spoke to you on the phone about my father-in-law, Ken, who is suffering from depression. This came on as a result of having to deal with the situation involving his wife, Olive, who has Alzheimer's and has had to be put into a nursing home.

Ken's depression had reached the point where he was virtually non-functional. The doctor had put him on Zoloft and another "anxiety pill." The Zoloft was making him very sick, with severe nausea and other symptoms.

I had just recently learned EFT, through a one-day workshop and then your EFT Course, and my father-in-law, desperate for relief, agreed to try it. We spent at least an hour talking about his emotions and tapping on many of them, including anger at himself for putting her in the home, loneliness, and grief. They were all at 10 when we started, and they remained there.

GC COMMENT: It is unusual to tap on 3 different issues (anger, loneliness, grief) and get no result whatsoever UNLESS he switches from aspect to aspect behind the scenes (in which case he is making headway but doesn't know it yet) AND/OR the issues are too global. These subjects are covered in The EFT Course.

For example, starting EFT with "Even though I feel lonely..." is probably too global because it is most likely comprised of many earlier "lonely events" in his life. Thus, it is usually more efficient to be specific and address the specific events such as, "Even though I felt so alone when my parents left for vacation on my 8th birthday...."

Grief is often another word for the "fear of being alone" or "guilt for what I did or did not do." Again, to reduce these to specific events in the past is often rewarded.

MARGARET CONTINUES: Then you and I spoke on the phone, and you suggested tapping on guilt. You pointed out that there could be a core issue here, and suggested that I try asking him something like "If you could live your life over, what is it that you did you wish you could undo?" The only thing he could come up with was that he wished he had gone to a university, because he felt he would have been a better companion for Olive. But then he said there was no guilt attached to that. And just observing his physical demeanor, I'm convinced he was telling the truth. (I should point out that I'm not a professional therapist, but I am a Therapeutic Touch practitioner, and frequently able to tune in to people's emotions successfully.) So we tried tapping on a few things again (feeling inadequate, loss of control, abandoned, etc.), and once again there was no change. I also tried the Collarbone Breathing Exercise, with no results.

GC COMMENT: I wasn't there, of course, but from what I read in your message I would have pinned him down more on the guilt thing. To bring up only one guilt item throughout his entire life or marriage is suggestive of someone who isn't able (or doesn't want) to "get into it." Maybe there isn't any more guilt but I wouldn't be ready to buy that without some further digging.

Also, feeling inadequate, loss of control and being abandoned are very global terms. To tap on these is like trying to topple an entire negative forest in one swipe. This sometimes works, by the way, but typically you must take the global issues apart and go for the contributing specific events (i.e. the individual negative trees in the forest).

MARGARET CONTINUES: He had gone off the Zoloft the previous day, and I was by this time really suspicious that the Zoloft--or possibly something else--was acting as an energy toxin. So two weeks later we sat down again for one more try. I figured that the Zoloft should be pretty well out of his system by then. But once again, we got nowhere. I still suspect an energy toxin is blocking things, but I can't ask him to stop his medications or cut out foods. So I finally came to the conclusion that I could do no more at this point. Perhaps a more experienced EFTer could make a difference, but I'm afraid that at least for now, I have to concede defeat in this case.

GC COMMENT: Energy toxins could be the cause, but I doubt it. He wasn't having his symptoms until his wife's Alzheimer's disease and her entry into the nursing home. This points to an emotional cause and I would keep digging for the core issue(s). I address energy toxins after everything else has failed.

MARGARET CONTINUES: However, my faith in EFT is NOT diminished; I continue to have satisfying successes with other people, and I will definitely continue to use it as much as possible.

In hope,

Margaret Condy


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