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Three EFT sessions lift depression, anger and sexual abuse trauma

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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 is a masterful piece of EFT work by Shelley Hawkins-Clark. Note how she steps through the various issues with her badly abused male client.

Hugs, Gary

By Shelley Hawkins-Clark

Dear Gary,

At the urging of his caring and generous mother-in-law, a client came to me recently seeking help for a feeling of being shut down, depressed and struggling in his marriage.  He wanted to be able to communicate better with his wife and daughters, feel more confident and “not be miserable.”  He’d become afraid of his own anger.  He is in another part of the United States, so we worked completely by phone.  He was very skeptical of EFT while also hoping it would help.

In each of 3 sessions, I addressed significant issues with him.  As a child, he was sexually abused, forced to watch his sister’s rape by his stepbrother, and sent to a boy’s home where he was further physically and sexually abused.  He is now in his early 30s and just over a year ago, his sister was brutally murdered and the one responsible has gone unpunished.  You might imagine the soup of emotion that had been stewing over the years.

I asked him what pressed on him the most.  He wanted to begin with his sister’s murder.  I started with the movie technique to bring the general anxiety down, then we addressed individual aspects of the event; his guilt that he couldn’t do anything about it, anger that the guy got away with it, not able to forgive himself for not helping her when she recently asked, the sadness, loss, the fact that her son won’t know her.  This event was completely neutralized in the first session.

In the second session, I followed up with questions about his sister’s murder.  He said he had to “make himself think about it” during the week to see if it bothered him.  He had no reaction to it. He then wanted to address his anger.  He felt he didn’t have a right to feel angry and didn’t trust himself with his anger.  He felt guilt for breaking a guy’s nose a few years earlier and not going to jail.  I started to address the pieces here: regret, guilt, should have been punished, fear of expressing anger.  Each one was coming down in intensity beginning from around 6-8 out of 10. As these came down, the door opened (as EFT has a way of doing) to working on the sexual abuse.

The remainder of the session, we addressed the rape of his sister.  I used the movie technique extensively so that he would not have to talk or think about it, addressing the general anxiety at first, which was a 10.  When his general anxiety about the “Psychotic Stepbrother” movie was nearly a 0, I moved to each crescendo until each was eliminated.

To test whether any anxiety still remained, I asked if he was comfortable telling me the story of what happened.  He thought that would be fine, since running the movie through his mind no longer caused any emotional response.  Some slight response arose as he remembered a couple more details while telling it out loud.  I addressed each of these remnants and asked him to tell me the story again.

After telling me the story, I asked him if at any point in the story anything still bothered him. Intuitively, I usually know whether there is anything remaining, but I like to double check by asking my clients.  It also opens the door for new aspects and avenues to show themselves.  It was silent for a long moment and finally he said, “just a minute, I’m still looking for it.”  Then he remarked that he felt bewildered.  “Wow, I’ve been carrying this all my life and now it’s gone.”

In the third session, we began addressing physical and sexual abuse that he experienced at home and at the boy’s ranch.  We started again with a combination of the movie technique and the tearless trauma technique, with titles such as “Freaks R Us,” and “The Ranch.”

The pain around these events neutralized until we came to a particular occurrence of sexual abuse. It would not budge.  Intuitively, I asked if he struggled with addressing this with me, as a woman. Indeed, addressing the issue at all, but especially with a woman practitioner, felt embarrassing and stressful, even though we were again using the movie technique where nothing is being described.

I ignored the sexual abuse event and directed the tapping completely on the aspects of the shame, embarrassment and other feelings associated with even thinking about addressing this with me.  Once these pieces were cleared, I went back to address the sexual abuse.  Without tapping on any piece of the actual event, the entire event had collapsed.  Afterward, he described what took place and was free of emotional charge.

Many weeks later, I started working with his wife as a client and asked how he was doing.  We never know exactly how our new freedom will take form when we free up emotional/energetic fuel stores that have been trapped in us.  Often it is like an “awakening.” Here is some of what she emailed to me.

“Here’s my husband’s story from a grateful wife’s eyes!  For the last three years my husband was among the walking dead. He was constantly sullen, unkempt, defensive about every little thing and especially cold to my advances, emotionally or physically.  He was never intentionally mean or combative, just very apathetic to the world around him, including me and our infant daughter.

Generally, when he got home from work, he either slept on the couch until dinner or zoned out in front of the television.  There was MINIMAL conversation other than ‘How was your day,’ and he seemed to rarely laugh.  As a counselor in the substance abuse field, I easily recognized the ‘clinically depressed-type’ symptoms.  It was like living with a zombie; he was miserable to live with. […After his sister was murdered] I helplessly watched him descend into complete despair and hopelessness.

After completing the three sessions in about 3 weeks, he started to act a bit differently.  The last few [weeks] have been incredible.  He is a completely different person.  He is motivated at work, he helps around the house, TV doesn’t seem to be a huge interest to him, he helps me cook dinner, he plays with our 14-month [old] daughter and shows great interest in how we’re doing while he’s at work.  He tells really funny jokes and has a great laugh!  I never knew he could be so funny!  He has started to care about his appearance and at the latest wedding we went to, I didn't have to prompt him to wear his suit!  

He communicates with me so much more and on deeper levels than before.  I really feel like I'm getting to know him all over again!  

He is self-motivated to take care of chores instead of me begging him over and over again to do something.  He communicates with me about plans for the future, seems very much more interested in my current pregnancy and seeks me out for dates and intimate time!  The depression truly seems to have lifted off of his back and he seems to be able to focus on goals and objectives much better than before. I can't tell you how different he is - it is truly like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, except now I have the good guy around all the time! 

Admittedly, I wondered if it was EFT that did the trick and asked him what made him change, he succinctly said - ‘God brought me to EFT, and EFT opened my eyes and brought me back to God.’  Wow.  I'm a believer.”

Me too, Gary, me too.

By Shelley Hawkins-Clark


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