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Other Emotional Issues

Panic And Anxiety

Combining EFT with the Inner Theater approach for panic attacks

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

As a result of our Open Hand Policy, many creative combinations of EFT with other approaches have been developed. This article by Betty Moore-Hafter displays yet another innovative use, this time with a process called The Inner Theater. Please consult physicians on all medical issues.

Hugs, Gary

By Betty Moore-Hafter

Dear Gary,

I would like to share an EFT story in which the Inner Theater approach that Jade Barbee and I have developed really sealed the deal. Inner Theater is a special visual enhancement to the EFT Art of Delivery. It involves going into one's own imaginary world with a focus on the issue at hand and doing the tapping with the images that arise. Because the imagination is the doorway into the subconscious, this is very powerful and effective. As the images transform through the tapping, deep inner change is the result.

My client, I'll call her Cindy, is a young woman in her twenties who was struggling with panic attacks and persistent fears. It was very clear as we talked that her mind has a tendency to look for scary things, obsess about them and thus create all these panicky feelings. We did classic EFT for most of the session, tapping for all the physical manifestations (can't breathe, huge feeling of dread in my stomach, etc.), tapping for the first time she had a panic attack (movie method) and her worst panic attack (movie method). She felt much better and couldn't get the fears back but was worried -- what would happen the next time she started to obsess with scary thoughts?

I asked her to close her eyes and imagine that a doorway in her mind could take her into her own healing place. What would that be like? She immediately saw a beautiful place with blue water, white marble, lots of sunshine, "like Greece." It's amazing how quickly people's minds will usually create vivid imagery, as if welcoming the chance to go there. I told her, "everything that happens here will be for healing... and nothing can happen here without your permission. It's your healing place and you're in control." She loved that -- being out of control is, of course, one of her fears.

I asked her to invite the fears to show up and be embodied in some form. "How would the fears show up here? Remember, they aren't inside you here, they're external to you and you can do what you want with them." She said that they were snakes. "So what do you want to do with the snakes?" She said, "I want to put them in a cage." I guided her to tap:

Even though snakes may show up, I can put them in a cage. I have the power to put these snakes in a cage.

I asked her what was happening and she said that there was a cage about a foot in front of her with three large snakes in it. "How do you feel about that?" "Okay. I feel safe. They're in the cage." I asked her to imagine more snakes slithering in, like the scary thoughts that used to take over her mind. We tapped again:

Even though more snakes of fear may slither in, I can put them in the cage. And I'm okay. I feel good. I feel safe.

I asked her again what was happening in her imagination and she said she'd seen several more snakes slither in but she had immediately put them in the cage. "How did you do that?" "With the power of my mind. I didn't even have to touch them. I just made them go there." Bingo! The tapping plus the imagery had created a new mental response to fears!

I asked her, "What needs to happen now?" She said, "I want to get rid of the cage." We tapped again:

Even though there are snakes here, I've put them in the cage... and I feel good... and I have the power to do whatever I want to do... my mind can make it happen... I'm in control here.

I asked her what was happening in her visualization. She said, "The cage just disappeared. And I feel great!"

When I met with Cindy again, she was amazed at how much better she had been feeling. She reported sleeping better and she's had no fear episodes. Her "overall anxious feeling", which she had described as her general state, is much less. She even looks different, much more relaxed and smiling more. "I still get the urge to obsess sometimes," she said, "but it's easy to counter it and think rationally. I just remember the snakes in the cage."

What I love about the Inner Theater approach is how rich the images are and how they become so powerful and lasting internally. When Cindy simply thinks about snakes in a cage, her subconscious knows how to contain and get rid of the scary thoughts that used to run rampant. This has become a new tendency of the mind. The inner mind is infinitely creative and resourceful and imagery is the language of the subconscious. Add EFT and amazing things can happen!


PS I know that everyone isn't visual. Just a little tweaking of the language, and this approach can feel comfortable even for people who don't tend to visualize -- they can still imagine things in their own way. You can say, "tell me a story of what would happen," or "just get an impression," or "what does it feel like the fears would be --an object, an animal, etc.?


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