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Fears And Phobias


Testing claustrophobia results.

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

by Gary Craig

Hi Everyone,

My recent EFT training for school personnel at the Peoria School District in Arizona contained several modules which met with the usual successes. For example....

1. Over 80% reported obvious relief from physical pains and discomforts.

2. Over 80% reported substantial relief from traumatic memories using the Tearless Trauma Technique (most went from 7-10 down to 0-2).

3. Over 80% no longer wanted their chocolate or other addictive substance after using EFT for addictive cravings.

4. 8 out of 9 claustrophobics gained obvious relief from their fear. We don't know how the remaining one did because there was no way to test our results on her particular form of phobia--sleeping in the upper tier of a camper. She didn't seem very stressed at the thought of it, however.

The claustrophobia session was of particular interest because we were, in most cases, able to test our results. Testing is always important because it provides feedback on how well we are doing. In my experience, most conventional emotional healing methods do NOT contain an adequate provision for testing. Often, the process is performed and the "test" is a question like, "how do you feel now?" Frankly, that's a little wimpy. I've never understood why many in the healing professions prefer to tip toe around the issue rather than challenge their work with a head on test.

I think it's essential to test so that we know how we're doing with the client. Did we eliminate the problem completely or did we fall on our face? Are there more aspects to deal with? Did the client switch issues? Client issues vary, of course, and thus testing is not the same for everyone. Here are some techniques I use that you might find helpful.

1. Have them say a pointed statement that hits the heart of the issue. Their reaction will tell you whether or not you have more work to do. Please forgive their graphic nature of the examples below. They are given here as the type of statements that truly test the effectiveness of your work. If you react strongly to them, however, it is because YOU have a charge on them. A client who has undergone successful EFT'ing on these issues will react matter-of-factly to them.

a. "My buddy, John, died in my arms in Vietnam with his entrails in my lap."

b. "My father licked my genitals."

c. "My brother laughed when he set me on fire."

I don't always hit the client with these battering rams right away. I usually play it by ear and sometimes "sneak up on it" with milder statements before I spring the "big one." This way you can minimize any pain (and do more tapping, if necessary) on the way to the final statement. Eventually, however, these statements provide a quality test. The subject matter may still not be his/her favorite subject. But there's no reason to have an unnecessary charge on it.

2. Have them imagine the event as vividly as possible. Ask them to close their eyes and exaggerate the sights, sounds and feelings and literally try to get themselves upset. This will often bring up aspects that had previously gone unnoticed. When they go through the whole exaggerated event without emotional discord, then you have strong evidence of success.

3. If possible, recreate the problem in real time. For example, take the height phobic to the top of a high building and look down or take a rape victim to the rape scene and have them narrate the event for you. This is one of the best tests you can perform. Any left over aspects will likely show up in these real life situations.

I used this "recreate the problem in real time" technique with our claustrophobics in the above mentioned workshop. Two of them said that being wrapped up and bound in sheets would be unbearable (one of these "sheet people" broke into a full body sweat just thinking about it). Fortunately, one of the participants had some sheets in her car, thereby providing an ideal test. Several of the other claustrophobics announced early on that they would NEVER get in a closet, let alone have the door closed or locked. My little "yippee guy" went off inside me because there was a lockable closet nearby. This was test heaven.

We tapped as a group for claustrophobia and I told everyone (and meant it) that they were not going to be asked to test their fear (be wrapped up in a sheet or get in a closet) unless they were perfectly willing to do so. This is the proper way to do EFT. If they are not willing to do these things it is because we haven't solved the problem yet and thus have more aspects or core issues to address. We should continue to tap UNTIL they are willing. The alternative is the conventional "clench your fists, grit your teeth and be brave" method which usually serves to create immediate pain and sometimes makes the problem even worse through additional traumatization.

The "sheet people" were relatively easy. After a few rounds of tapping, we bound them up tightly within sheets. Some minor aspects showed up during this process but they were quickly dissolved in a few moments of tapping. The former claustrophobics were perfectly calm during the sheet wrapping and exhibited no discomfort whatsoever. It was as though they were putting on a necklace rather than having their whole body constricted by those sheets.

The "closet people" were more of a challenge. This was partly because there were 5 or 6 of them and partly because they had more aspects that required a little more time. Some of the aspects I remember were....

1. Being in a closet with other people.

2. Being behind other people in the closet.

3. Lack of trust about being let out.

The "lack of trust" aspect was an interesting one. Because it was a public seminar, I dug only far enough with the lady involved to discern that certain people had betrayed her trust in the past. To me, this "closet trust" problem was nothing more than a replay of a past event. She may have good reason not to trust certain people from her past but it wasn't necessary to overlay that on the rest of her life. So we did some tapping on her trust issue (without her disclosing the details) and apparently resolved it because she had no problem in the closet.

They all went willingly into the closet and were quite calm except one who went to a 6 in intensity. We tapped right then and there (the best time because the aspects are present in the real situation) and, in moments, she was OK. I then closed the door and, with their permission, locked it. We even put blankets over the cracks around the doors so that it became even darker in the closet. No problem. I finally unlocked the door and they all walked calmly out.


Hugs, Gary


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