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Fears And Phobias


EFT helps with fear of heights in the California Sierra Mountains

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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 an entertaining and insightful case by Anna Lee Alvarez who tells us of helping a young boy with his fear of heights. Notice how she gets and maintains rapport with the boy. This is very important when applying EFT to youngsters.

Hugs, Gary

By Anna Lee Alvarez

I am an acupuncturist by profession, but have taught EFT to many of my clients for various problems with much success. I have been on a sabbatical this summer to do some back packing and while hiking the John Muir Trail in California's High Sierras, I came across a number of hikers with strong fears of being in high places, especially where there were steep drop-offs by the trail. On this trail there were many of these, some beside rushing rivers, some going up and coming down mountain passes ranging from 11,000 to 13,000 feet.

Even though I was taking a break from helping my clients, seeing how people were suffering needlessly from their fears induced in me the desire to help them. Many of them, however, were rushing down from the high places to escape their fears and so I was not able to offer my assistance.

However, while hiking up the steep switchbacks leading to the final trail to Mt. Whitney's summit (at over 14,400 ft.), I noticed a young boy and his father carefully and slowly making their way up behind me. At first I thought perhaps one of them was visually impaired and the other was helping with the ascent. But when they finally arrived to the trail crest where the final 1.9 miles of trail to the summit began, I saw that they had joined their group of friends, fathers and sons, and that they appeared to see quite well. The group was stalled at this point, well past needing to rest, however, and I went over to talk with them.

It became apparent that they had not been able to continue their climb due to the extreme fear of heights in the young boy. I offered the youth "a technique he could learn in five minutes that would help." He agreed to try it, and I suggested that the whole group do it with him as that would increase the effect and would address some level of fear of heights in all of us.

They all expressed enthusiasm for this idea and I had them call out a number between 1 and 10 to describe the level of their own fear of heights to begin our session. The numbers ranged from 2 to 8, with the young boy in question calling out 8. I think his true number was 10 at the time, but due to embarrassment in front of the group, he wouldn't express this!

I thought that if we all tapped together the one boy would not feel that he was sticking out like a sore thumb, and he would also realize that likely most people have some level of this particular fear. I also thought that if everyone learned the technique the group would be able to assist in further uses of EFT through the group memory of the technique.

We tapped simply on the fear of heights one round stating simply, "Even though I have this problem with fear of heights, I choose to love and appreciate myself deeply and completely." Then I had them breathe a few deep breaths. Everyone's numbers had come down, and the one boy in question had reduced his number to 5. He was shaking uncontrollably and I told him that shaking was a way for the body to release fear and that he should shake all he wanted.

After a few minutes of talking about the EFT technique and how I had listened to Gary Craig talking by phone with a man across the US about his fear of heights, we laughed at how the man eventually became a sky diver! I offered to do more rounds, but the young boy was too self-conscious to continue.

We then talked for a while about how all kinds of fears keep us from doing wonderful things. Each of the boys offered stories of people they knew who were afraid of one thing or another which made no sense but which ruled that person's life.

The youngster was still not sure that he could hike to the summit as he had been told there were some pretty scary sections with awesome drop-offs along the way. As his father was ready to give up and head down the trail, the boy suddenly rallied and said that he was ready to try the ascent. They took off and I waited a while for some trail friends to show up before heading up myself. By the time I had gone about a third of the way, the group had already returned to come down the trail. They were all smiling, and glad to have made the hike. When the young man and his father approached me, the boy yelled out, "Thank you! Thank you! I did the whole thing and wasn't scared at all!" The relief on his father's face spoke volumes.

Anna Lee Alvarez



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