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An Hour and Ten Minutes (for relief of attempted murder, two assaults, rape and childhood incidents)

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Often EFT results in "one minute wonders" where lifelong emotional (and/or physical) issues disappear during one or two rounds of tapping. At other times we have to be good detectives and dig for core issues. Although just going through the mechanical tapping process can usually bring good results, it takes experience and artistry to get the sweetest possible music out of the EFT violin.

Deborah Mitnick has been among our most avid EFT students. She has meticulously studied and restudied the DVDs and, as a result, has become a superb practitioner of these procedures. She has honed her skills and now plays the EFT violin with true artistry. She has been willing to try everything and has both triumphed and stubbed her toe in the learning process. This is how expertise is gained.

She shares below a recent case with a severely disturbed woman and takes us step by step through their first session. Please note that there was no formal muscle testing diagnosis. All diagnosis (I'm inclined to call it detective work) was done by using the intuitive methods taught in our DVD set known as (EFT-Beyond the Basics)

There is much to learn from this message. You may wish to read it more than once.

Hugs, Gary

by Deborah Mitnick

The following facts are true although the client's identity has been disguised.

Her mother called me the other day to tell me the following: "Jennifer" has been on Disability and has been unemployed for years. She's spent over three years in the hospital during the past 20 years and has been in weekly psychotherapy with a psychiatrist all of that time. Her longest hospitalization lasted four months.

She's been the victim of an attempted murder as well as two assaults and one rape. And then there were those many childhood incidents that continue to trouble and plague. She's on six psychotropic drugs.

Since her mother had already set the stage for us to meet, Jennifer called me to introduce herself. She was sobbing before I even picked up the phone to say "hello." She lives quite a distance from me. She asked for a phone session, but was too upset to tell me any of the details about what was bothering her. I only knew what her Mom had told me.

Since she sounded so desperate for help, I decided to "jump in" and we just started. I quickly taught her the tapping points. We tapped for "all of these emotions."

I was working in the dark. I had no idea what Jennifer was conjuring up as we tapped. And when I heard her sigh, I had no idea what was relaxing, but I knew we were doing good work together.

After four rounds of "all of these emotions," she said, "Now it's difficult for me to conjure up what I've been so scared about all of my life." I was happy for her, certainly, but I still knew better than to ask her any specific questions about what demons she was wrestling with.

She was then able to tell me that her shoulders felt tight. So, we tapped for "shoulder tightness emotion." Two rounds of "shoulder tightness emotion" led to her report: "My shoulders are relaxing. The tension is gone." (I wondered to myself what emotional issue got "handled" by this round of tapping, but I kept quiet about my thoughts.)

She told me that she's always in a state of anxiety. I decided to have her tap for "anticipatory anxiety" and instructed her to say the affirmation. This must have been more significant than I could realize because she cried and cried and was unable to speak. So, I said the first affirmation for her: "Even though you have this anticipatory anxiety, you want to deeply and completely accept yourself." After tapping just the side of the hand while I was saying the affirmation for her, she began to relax. I heard her sigh. But we continued through five more rounds of tapping, just in case. And then she said, "I don't want to cry anymore. I can't remember the last time I was a zero on anxiety. I don't feel scared. My face is relaxed and my voice is calm. I don't even want a cigarette."

Now she was totally engaged in the process. She reported that she experiences a "flashback in my body." So, we tapped for this specific flashback memory that she consistently experiences on a certain part of her body. This body flashback from one of the assaults is usually a SUDS 10, but after all the tapping we'd done, she could tell me about this generally intense experience with very little discomfort and expressed amazement that she could! After one round of tapping, she said, "It's gone. The flashback that's been there for years is gone." I decided to test that one, and sure enough, it was now a SUDS of 3. (It wasn't gone.) So we tapped for "stuck at a 3" and she spontaneously forgave herself for holding onto it a little bit. She said,"The last time I was less than a 10 about this was years ago. That's pretty good!" I left it at that because she seemed so satisfied with it. (I do not know any of the details about the assault or the reason for that flashback. I only know that EFT was helping her in a manner that any talk therapy she'd experienced had not.)

Jennifer told me that she's always scared for her life. She bought a "fancy security system" and still worries that she's going to be killed while she sleeps. In two rounds of tapping on "scared for my life" she said she was no longer scared.


At the end of every session, I always ask my clients what was most useful and least useful from our work together. When I presented this question to Jennifer, she told me that there was nothing that wasn't useful and that the affirmations that I chose helped her most of all. She said that her major emotional shift would occur as she tapped the side of her hand and repeated the affirmations that I had intuitively constructed for her.

I spoke to her the day after this first session. She said,"I'm so much better! I didn't look in the rear view mirror once to scan for a killer. For the first time in years, I feel totally safe in my house and I was able to work outside today for the first time in years. I've been immobilized for years. I haven't played the piano in four years and today I was able to play and begin to compose again. I could sit on the piano bench without feeling anxious and without wanting a cigarette."

And then she said, "I've made a list of 12 more things I'd like to work on with you. When can we meet again?"

And then she laughed and laughed and laughed.

She has hope for the first time in years.

This session took an hour and ten minutes.

Deborah Mitnick

Five Sessions with Jennifer: Follow-up on "An Hour and Ten Minutes"

The following facts are true although the client's identity has been disguised.

I've received a number of inquiries about "Jennifer" from some folks on the EFT list. I'd like to tell you what's happened since that first session.

I've met with Jennifer for a total of 7.3 hours during our five sessions to date. Except for the first session that lasted "An Hour and Ten Minutes," each session has averaged about an hour and a half.

During the second session, Jennifer told me that she's been"...too scared to watch television for over two years because even commercials set me off about violence." She reports that she has had flashbacks to her past traumas if she watches any TV. We did a little tapping on this. (In my report on Session #3, I'll tell you about the results!)

She also told me that she has judged herself harshly for carrying a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She considered herself a "sick" person and "stigmatized" because of PTSD. Jennifer said, "It's hard for me to forgive myself for my illness. I don't accept that I'm so weak as to have PTSD."

I decided that this was the time for "education" and I explained PTSD to her as a "normal reaction to an abnormal event." (This definition is from my Critical Incident Stress Debriefing [CISD] training from the Jeffrey Mitchell model). We reviewed some of the typical PTSD symptoms that many people experience. The education served her well. During all of these years, no one had ever attempted to normalize her reactions for her. Yes, Jennifer does have some severe symptoms that may not fit on the standard PTSD list. Yes, she may have some pre-existing conditions that may have exacerbated her PTSD symptoms. But this woman has suffered numerous severe traumas and has many classic symptoms of PTSD.

Although PTSD appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), I personally do not "hold" this diagnosis as a "mental condition." I believe that it is a normal reaction to an abnormal event, in most cases. And that's how I present it to my clients.

She expressed relief as we reviewed the symptoms. She said, "Those symptoms describe me! I never had most of them before the trauma. It was only after these horrendous events that I started to feel so awful!"

Ok! So we have some education under our belts now. But she still judged herself harshly. She said, "How can I ever forgive myself for having the symptoms and not even knowing all these years that most of them are 'normal'?" So, I asked her, "What is your view on forgiveness?" Jennifer said, "I've never forgiven myself for anything."


I asked her, "What is the earliest time that you can remember when you didn't forgive yourself?" With that, she tearfully launched into a description of an event that occurred when she was three years old. We reviewed it twice. SUDS went from 10 to 0.

And then she said, "That felt really good! It hit some very big issues for me. Maybe I can be different now. It doesn't have to be scary anymore. I really was a gifted child after all. I've never been able to say that out loud before, but now I can."

Jennifer wanted the session to continue. She wanted to talk about her problems with sleeping. She reports that she hasn't slept soundly in years. She wakes frequently during the night and is in a startled panic with each awakening. She takes 30mg. of Valium before bed and consistently wakes to take 20-30mg. more every night. She also reports cravings for sweet foods when she wakes up. It's then that she takes the additional Valium as well as raids the pantry for those sweets before she returns to bed.

Since I wasn't certain how to measure SUDS on this sleep problem, I just decided to do just one round with her now on this issue. She would report back to me during the next session as to the results. (And the results are below.)

So, in one long affirmation, I had her tap for "challenge with sleep," "waking during the night," and "cravings for sweets."

And there the second session ended.

Here's how the third session began:

Jennifer's report on sleep: "Since we did the sleep thing, I haven't had to take any extra medication and I've slept soundly throughout the night. I took only 15mg of Valium. I don't even tap for sleep anymore. What a relief!"

Jennifer's report about TV: "I'm now watching scary psycho-thrillers on TV and they don't bother me at all! It's no big deal now. I own lots of these thrillers, but I haven't been able to watch them for years and now I can."

We then worked on a trauma that had plagued her for years. It involved a verbal death threat to her. Some of the specific words of that threat scared her and continued to play in her head, like a stuck record. The words have been revolving in her head for years. I noticed that her SUDS level was not very high. I asked her about that. She said, "If we had talked about this at the beginning of the first session, I wouldn't have been able to tell you about it. Now it's easy to talk about it." But, we reviewed it because it still bothered her. It didn't take more than a couple of EFT minutes until she said; "Now I can't even remember what he [the perpetrator] said. And I've had it memorized for years."

Hmmm. My experience is that people don't "forget" their memories. Instead, they just don't have any emotional intensity on them. So, I asked her to tell me the exact words that the perpetrator had said. And sure enough, she did remember them. She said them out loud with no difficulty. I had her say them louder and with more feeling. ...No intensity. I had her imagine the perpetrator's face as she said the words. ...No intensity.

The session was almost over. I asked her what was most and least useful from the session. She said the most useful thing about the session was "...accepting and forgiving myself for having symptoms of PTSD." (Notice that she no longer accepted PTSD as her identity. She no longer has PTSD. She now just has some symptoms of PTSD. There's a big difference here, but she expressed it in a subtle fashion. I left that alone. There is no need for me to point it out to her.)

We were done. This third session was over.

At the beginning of the fourth session, Jennifer reported that she had had "one down day" since we last spoke. She was again labeling herself harshly for having PTSD. I asked her why. She told me that she's suffered from diarrhea since the most horrific of the traumas and that sometimes she actually soils her clothing. And that makes her feel badly about herself.

Although it's not language that I normally use, I decided to "go for it" with the following intervention. I asked, "So, you've been scared sh**less by that incident?" She laughed! And we tapped for, "Even though I had been scared sh**less by that incident, I want to deeply and completely accept myself."(Notice that I also chose the words "had been scared" and"that incident" rather than "I am scared" and"this incident" to refer to the event. I think that my word choice gave her a little more distance on the trauma. It put it "over there" in the past, rather than in the present.)

She reported that the most useful part of this session was addressing the problem with diarrhea and realizing that even such a physical complaint can be part of the PTSD constellation of symptoms.

On the day of our fifth session, Jennifer reported that she'd had no more problems with diarrhea until that day. And she attributed that one bout of diarrhea to the fact that she was "a little nervous" about going on a job interview!

A job interview???

Here is a woman who's been on Disability for years and hasn't felt well enough to work. And now, she calls me to help her prepare for a job interview the next day!

So, in the two weeks since I met her (all by phone), she now sleeps through the night and takes less medication, easily goes outside, plays the piano again, notices that she is less irritated with others, is busily preparing for a job interview, and she laughs more easily. She remembers her traumas clearly, but has little or no intensity about them!

How long have we worked together? 7.3 hours.

Deborah Mitnick


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