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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

An efficient way to relieve a PTSD memory

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is sometimes surprisingly easy to handle with EFT. In many cases, one need only break it down into its underlying SPECIFIC EVENTS and then apply EFT to each of those bothersome memories. Typically, after a few of these memories have been neutralized, a "generalization effect" comes into play that serves to collapse the ones remaining.

Not every PTSD case responds in this text book fashion, of course, but many do. With the proper application of EFT, these formerly intense memories can evaporate in moments. One such example showed up in my kitchen yesterday.

"Donnie" is a local plumber whom I called to repair some faulty plumbing under my kitchen sink. He spent about 40 minutes making the repair and then, out of curiosity, asked me what I was doing on my computer. The conversation went like this....

Donnie: What keeps you so occupied on that computer?

Gary: Oh, I'm just working on my web site. I founded a procedure that helps people get over unwanted emotional issues.

Donnie: Such as....?

Gary: Well, just about anything...including grief, fear, depression and traumatized people like war veterans, rape victims and the like.

Donnie: You mean like PTSD?

[Note: In my experience, the only people familiar with that term are therapists and those who either have PTSD or know someone who does. Thus I suspicioned that I was talking to a PTSD sufferer.]

Gary: Yes. Do you have PTSD?

Donnie: Yes, my therapist diagnosed me as having it. I used to be a police officer and witnessed more than my share of disasters. I've worked on it a lot with my therapist over the last 10 years and I've pretty much taken care of it.

[Note: I never believe new clients when they say this. I honor that they think they have "taken care it" but I have yet to see a PTSD case addressed by conventional techniques (like talk therapy) that does anything more than help the client "sweep it under the rug" so that it is out of sight. However, out of sight doesn't mean gone. The issue is still there and will remain until it is properly resolved.]

Gary: [as a test] What was your worst memory?

Donnie: [with obvious teary emotion] Sorry, this is embarrassing. I'm too emotional to tell you.

Gary: OK, sorry for the question. Let me offer you a brief experience with this new process. It might help and I don't even have to know what happened.

Donnie: [gratefully] Sure.

[At this point I gave him a 2 minute run down of the theory behind the process and described it as an "emotional version of acupuncture, except that we tap certain release points with our fingertips rather than use needles."]

Gary: [using the Movie Technique] If that worst memory was a movie how long would it last?

Donnie: About 20 minutes.

Gary: Was there more than one crescendo or peak moment within that 20 minutes?

Donnie: There were 5 or 6.

Gary: OK. Just isolate the worse crescendo of those 5 or 6 and tell me how long that movie lasts

[Note: I am purposely forcing him to pick one very specific crescendo. Otherwise he may shift from crescendo to crescendo (aspect to aspect) within our session].

Donnie: About 30 seconds.

Gary: And what would be a title for that movie?

Donnie: [with emotion] Abuse.

Gary: [Note: I sensed this was a very tense memory and electing to use the Tearless Trauma Technique] To make this as painless as possible, just guess for me what you think the intensity would be, on a 0-10 scale, if you were to vividly imagine it.

Donnie: 8

Gary: OK, just follow along with me and tap in the same places on your body that I tap on mine. Repeat my words too, whether or not you believe them. [Note: From here I just did straight EFT on that memory--"Even though I have this abuse memory...."]

Donnie: OK.

Gary: [after 2 minutes of EFT] Now guess at what you think the 0-10 intensity would be if you were to vividly imagine it.

Donnie: 1 or 2....or maybe 0.

Gary: Alright. Now close your eyes and vividly imagine that 30 second movie and tell me what intensity you get to.

Donnie: I think it is a zero. I really can't tell for sure because the movie is breaking up. I can't seem to focus on it. [Note: This is a classic response when a memory has been successfully neutralized with EFT]

Gary: Is that unusual for you?

Donnie: Very unusual.

Gary: Now run the entire 20 minute movie and see what 0-10 intensity is there for the other crescendos. If you get intense along the way, please stop.

Donnie: That's strange. They are all breaking up except for one and that one is maybe a 4. I just can't seem to find the movie except for this one piece.

Final note: Success. In this case we selected the most intense of his crescendos and, once neutralized, it generalized over the rest (except for one). This is a text book case where collapsing one table leg under the client's emotional table serves to wobble and essentially collapse the whole structure. We spent one more round of EFT on that remaining crescendo and it, too, went by the wayside. Total time taken was less than 10 minutes, including the up front explanation.

There are more difficult PTSD cases, of course, but why get too advanced when a simple approach may do the job?

Hugs, Gary


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