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Other Emotional Issues


Depression, low self esteem and childhood traumas

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Mair Llewellyn from the UK gives us substantial detail on a case involving numerous issues. The depression, in this case, was most likely the result of the influence of all the other factors. At least that's the way it played out. Interestingly, the various problems were seething under the surface even though, to outside observers, she appeared very successful and together.

Mair, like so many others, blends EFT with other techniques and she was thoughtful enough to give us a professional look behind the scenes.

Hugs, Gary

by Mair Llewellyn

(Gary in the case history below names and personal details have been changed to maintain confidentiality)

Marie came to me in January wanting to stop biting her nails. Although on the surface this may seem a simple habit, early on in our first session together we discovered that her nail biting was just a symptom of many underlying childhood traumas. The first session with a client usually involves some cognitive thinking strategies. I have been in practise as a psychotherapist for over 20 years and I have found that for lasting change to occur, (whatever the methodology used) frequently a genuine cognitive rebalancing needs to happen. This also seems to enhance the total healing effects when using EFT too.

GC COMMENT: I also find this cognitive restructuring happens within the EFT process. It's as though the release of burdensome negative emotions permits healthier attitudes to surface.

MAIR CONTINUES: Gary discusses the idea of the writing on our walls [from The Palace of Possibilities]. Marie's walls were covered with writing about her inadequacies as a person, what she wasn't and couldn't do. Yet, it became so clear to me that she was a very accomplished person. Professionally, she managed people and major contracts. Her bosses and the organization that she works for have a deep respect for her. It appeared that all her positive energy was directed into her professional competencies and her desire to achieve as a loving Mother. Little consideration was being given to herself.

Yet despite all of her obvious successes she had suffered profoundly from depression and low self esteem, from the age of 10 or 11. As a child she had always felt inferior as a girl because her dad told her from an early age that he wanted a boy. When she was three and her younger brother arrived she felt her little brother seemed to command all of her father's attention which she so craved. From a very early age she suffered from being overweight and children laughed at her. For as long as she could remember she had bitten her nails as had her father. Her Father also ate heavily and the fact that he did so really disgusted her because he seemed so greedy. Within her mind she had many very significant incidents that saddened her and left her feeling wanting.

GC COMMENT: Here are some suggested phrases that might prove helpful with issues like these....

  • "Even though my apparently greedy father wanted a boy...."
  • "Even though I am still a slave to my father's preferences...."
  • "Even though I link my self esteem to the gluttonous and imperfect choices of an apparently greedy, self involved, disgusting man...."
  • "Even though if I respect my own needs I somehow think that amounts to being greedy like my father...."
  • "Even though my father did not have the ability to see my beauty, I forgive myself for caring this around and I forgive my father for his deficiencies...."
  • "Even though I think I'm wanting and don't really know what for...."
  • "Even though I think I'm wanting for the love of my father, I accept my self for wanting something my father didn't know how to give...."

MAIR CONTINUES: On her second session after using her journal (a cognitive therapy technique) we discovered many problems to tap on. What came across very strongly was her feeling of being second best to her brother. We began tapping on this and she suddenly stopped, saying she had recalled being weighed and measured in school as a child and lining up with everyone laughing at her. Up until this point she had not discussed her weight problem in much detail, however it had been of prime importance when she had been writing in her journal (in between session one and two) This ridicule from her classmates was obviously a very upsetting issue and further compounded her already low self esteem. Whatever she had tried up until now in the way of diets had failed. Had the writing on her walls maintained this continuing programme?

For very many years she had attempted to lose weight but had found the process so demeaning it was almost like she was rejoining that queue at school again. Instead of adding to her confidence, it was very destructive. It became obvious that this was a core issue for her and we spent some time rubbing her sore spot and tapping whilst she released without her discussing any particular set up statement. During this time of tapping I talked through the process of reflecting the feelings she had described to me about her dad, about her not being a boy, and about her brother, as well as the upsetting image of her queuing to be weighed at school. As we rubbed the sore spot and did some facial tapping she became more peaceful.

GC COMMENT: This is a technique that I have found quite helpful. When a client is talking about a bothersome issue s/he is clearly tuned into it. Just start tapping on the meridians while they tell the story.

MAIR CONTINUES: At her collarbone point I asked her to wait a while so that she may take her time to re-orientate herself . She begun to laugh and said how silly it all was that she was frightened to this day to go to the nurse who was dispensing her slimming pills so begrudgingly.

For some months the local surgery [medical facility] had been working with her and prescribing these very expensive pills. They are supposed to jettison the fat from her body as she ate to assist in her weight loss programme. Despite this supposed benefit only one pound in weight had been lost over the 9 months of using them. All she got from taking the pills was severe stomach-ache and diarrhea. The nurses attitude towards her was very hard and uncaring. Only a couple of weeks ago this person had given her a good talking to saying she wasn't trying and that it was costing the National Health Service [in the UK] so many pounds each week. This awful experience only compounded her already low self esteem and her need to be protected in some way.

After tapping she decided that she would not continue to be humiliated by this process, it wasn't doing any good anyway and she knew that she needed to address the underlying issues. On the third visit she proudly showed me her nails, which had begun to grow. She surprised me when she said that she had that morning visited her doctor to ask if she could have her anti depressant drugs reduced because she was feeling much more in control of what was happening to her. Her doctor was reluctant to do this until she felt stronger. They both agreed to work together alongside the therapy she was receiving from me.

Marie reported vast improvements in her moods on a day to day basis. During the month I had been seeing her, she found she was eating more healthily without being aware or choosing to. A fact which had had to be pointed out to her by her husband as she had not even noticed. She was thrilled about all the things that were happening, but I still sensed there were some issues to work on. It was as if much of the writing on the walls had cleared yet some of it indelibly remained. During this session we did some tapping on "Even though I don't feel totally free and I don't quite know why ......." As she begun to tap through this she suddenly said I just cannot forgive myself for hanging onto all these bad feelings for so long. We tapped on "I respect myself even though I cannot forgive myself for hanging onto this for so long" Towards the end of two rounds of tapping Marie said "I feel trapped by my own history". We tapped on being trapped and forgiving herself and others until her SUD's level reached a 1.

At this point in the session, I felt that further help would come by doing what I call a type of time trail therapy. When I do this with clients I ask their unconscious mind to activate the way they were meant to be. I usually say something like "unconscious mind would you please release Marie from her past traumas through her breathing out and on her in breath recapture her rightful heritage. I have found over the last fifteen years that asking the subconscious mind to regain someone's birthright and to activate that process again, is readily accepted. (This does not eliminate lessons and learning or the memories, it just releases the debilitating trauma)

I discussed with Marie that this process would happen even though she may not believe it or be consciously aware of it occurring. The example of unconscious assimilation I gave her was of how after a meal she naturally digests her minerals, nutrients and proteins out of her conscious awareness. Time trail therapy can be naturally implemented in exactly the same way by the other part of her mind. Even though she was not aware consciously of the assimilation of this instruction to recapture her birthright the process is still there ready to run again.

Affirmations and future pacing also help tremendously in these instances to etch the clients desired intentions within their mind. When Marie left I held her in my mind positively sensing that maybe she would not need to come for a further visit. A month later when her next appointment was due she rang to say she did not need to come as she was very happy and still enjoyed using her friend EFT for day to day stresses and as a positive maintenance programme.

You can imagine how very thrilled I was to meet her quite by accident in a local supermarket, two months later. When I saw her she rushed across and said "thank you Mary for giving me back my life".

Mair Llewellyn


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