- Other Emotional Issues
- Anger Management
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- Suppressed anger expelled via the stomach
- EFT for self righteous anger
- Getting over a gang rape--including a follow-up
- EFT alleviates horrendous self-hatred and rage
- Calming down Teddy, an emotionally disturbedboy
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- Anger case history from a client
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- Josh: Building rapport with children--anger & behavior problems.
- EFT for anger helps both Ann and her angry husband--note the surrogate approach
- Unbearable hatred toward classmates
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- Brandon's Story--anger problem becomes history: (including an update at the end)
- EFT for deep seated anger
- EFT and severe mental illness--a murderous impulse
- An interesting approach to EFT and road rage
- Using EFT for on-the-spot "hopping mad" anger
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- The cause of our anger isn't always as it appears
- A client talks about her abusive childhood and her relief via EFT
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- EFT resolves long term resentment
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- Press Release: Can a One-Minute Anger Management Technique Reduce Injury Risk and Chronic Illness?
- Releasing anger patterns with EFT
- A client resolves lifelong anger on her own
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- Stubborn anger issue falls to 0 with emphatic "say what you feel" wording.
- Road Rage and hives disappear in one session after getting to the core issue
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- The client who continually felt resentful
- Employee overcomes anger at supervisor
- Jonas uses EFT for deeper meditation - dangerous PSA reading is now only 0.4
- School Counselor on anger and tension,
- Getting behind a successful EFT anger case
- Football Star Uses New Acupressure Technique to Calm his Road Rage -- No Drugs Needed
- Transgender person with abusive mother relieves rage with EFT
- Anger case--the urge to explode
- Even dropping the kids off at school provides tapping opportunities - an anger issue
- Using EFT to self-calm an intense anger tantrum
- Useful thoughts on anger by Stewart Robertson
- What was REALLY causing Anne's depression?
- EFT student eases his wife's suicidal thoughts
- Louella: Depression, pesticides and low blood sugar
- A successful but involved depression case--"I don't want to tell you how well I'm doing"
- EFT resolves 12 years of postnatal depression
- Long term severe depression gone in ten minutes
- Jaqui Crooks used EFT to overcome her Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Maggie eliminates her own depression
- Surrogate tapping and its effect on depression.
- Persistent EFT by Email on depression, anger and anxiety
- Cross dressing, sexuality and depression
- A case that didn't work--and some suggestions
- A first class look at using EFT for a complex case - depression, guilt, grief and abandonment
- Was it really a manic/depressive disorder?
- A textbook depression case--a "one minute wonder" complete with belief changes
- Approaching Depression with the Tearless Trauma Technique
- After 15 years of therapy, including shock therapy, EFT helps release depression
- Success with a skeptical, depressed scientist - follow up included
- Depression, low self esteem and childhood traumas
- Persistence and a challenging case - Incest, abuse, depression, anxiety attacks, nightmares and flashbacks
- A mis-diagnosed manic/depressive disorder
- Depression with numerous underlying issues
- Major results for anxiety, depression and social issues from one thorough EFT session and consistent EFT "homework"
- Hair loss and facial blemishes fade after EFT relieves important emotional issues -- Depression too!
- Adrienne, a physician
- Gary discusses depression and some new ideas
- A non-therapist does superb work on depression--including her own.
- Newbie uses EFT on depression, allergic reactions and more
- 30+ years of depression gone in 2 minutes
- EFT saves a life by rapidly resolving suicidal depression
- Depression and confusion about God
- EFT on personal depression--"I was angry at myself"
- Press Release: New Method for Depression Often Works When Nothing Else Will
- Dr. Patricia Carrington on depression--a detailed discussion, including meds
- Depression, height phobia and claustrophobia eliminated in one session
- Depression related to guilt
- When depression comes from a related issue
- Depression Drugs and Migraine Drugs Don't Always Do The Job
- Depression on Death Row
- EFT Newcomer eliminates his own deep depression and anxiety disorder
- An intimate look at Depression
- EFT instead of shock treatments?
- From depressed and suicidal ... to ... "I laugh all the time
- Panic And Anxiety
- Test anxiety
- Using EFT for Social Anxiety Disorder
- Successful surrogate tapping for surgery anxiety
- Overcoming Test Anxiety with New Drug-Free Technique: 80% Success Rate
- Getting to the core of "Mark's" anxiety
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- Performance anxiety at a music camp
- EFT brings relief for trauma, anxiety, and an overactive bladder, all in less than an hour
- Travel Anxiety--using the Tell the Story Technique
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- Two surrogate tapping cases: Dental anxiety and severe stomach ache
- Persistence and Panic Attacks - Quality results on a stubborn issue
- Husband relieves wife of major panic attack
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- Relief for another stress related cough
- Gayla uses EFT for panic
- Using EFT for panic when nobody is around
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- Clearing social anxiety with EFT
- A Quality "How To Do It" Session for Fear and Anxiety
- Panic Attacks: Getting behind the thought process
- Current "in your face" anxiety and stress case
- EFT newcomer rids himself of social anxiety
- Detective work crucial in relief for panic attacks
- Sports anxiety, heat sensitivity, being away from home, loneliness, fear of insects.
- Combining EFT with the Inner Theater approach for panic attacks
- Testing your EFT work: Feeling trapped and panic attacks
- Anxiety and the fear of being alone
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- Medical school test anxiety--from C's and D's to A's and B's
- EFT makes good progress with panic, agoraphobia and feeling like a failure
- Stress related cough cured
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- EFT on a case of extreme separation anxiety in a dog and the importance of Core Issues for Animals
- Collapsing a client's anxiety from the 9/11 disaster--with 4 year follow-up
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- Using EFT for a client who feels out of control.
- Success story with 10 day anxiety attack
- Surgery anxiety and EFT
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- Study Shows Simple Drug-Free Acupressure Technique Reduces Dental Anxiety
- Anxiety, eating and more
- Imagination tapping on the finger points reduces stress level to zero
- Newcomer uses EFT to collapse his own panic-attacks and writes letter to "Quackwatch"
- One EFT round with Deborah's daughter relieves performance anxiety
- Eric Robins, MD and Lisa Cox on surgery anxieties
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- Success in neutralizing unwanted memories without the client disclosing the content
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- A detailed panic attack case
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- EFT for panic attacks
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- Daily tapping for Panic Attacks
- One EFT phone session resolves driving test anxiety -- and the benefits expand
- Performance anxiety and many aspects
- Addressing Generalized Anxiety Disorder by aiming EFT at specific events
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
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- Fresh grief and a double benefit.
- Uncontrollable grief resolved with EFT
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- A grief case with many aspects
- Relieving grief over the death of Higgins the dog
- When certain music triggers grief and sadness
- Freedom from grief in only 15 minutes
- Using EFT for Bereavement
- EFT turns grief into beauty
- EFT eliminates unnecessary grief emotions and softens the grieving process - includes 2 month follow up
- EFT brings healing to a whole family while one woman heals her grief
- Community relief from grief with EFT
- This new Widow was helped in many ways by EFT
- EFT for grief and pet loss
- Tapping through grief leads to incredible insight and relief
- EFT for pain and grief for a birth mother who wasn't allowed to see her child -- a touching story with a happy ending
- Getting to important emotions by doing EFT while looking in the mirror
- Imaginary tapping sends grief away
- EFT setup statements for grief
- An easy grief case with an aspect that showed up later
- EFT and meditation for a broken heart
- EFT for love pain
- Shared tapping provides benefits for relationship issues
- EFT Instead of the psych ward after a relationship breaks up
- Taking relationships work to a new level--The Odd Couple
- EFT by telephone smoothes out a tense family reunion
- Insights into picking up another person
- EFT heals a broken heart in rapid time
- Using EFT to improve a relationship
- EFT, One Minute Wonders and Opening to Love
- Using EFT for relationship issues--a detailed case
- Tapping on relationship issues
- Interesting way to use EFT & Tappy Bear for a broken heart
- Relationships, EFT and Spirituality
- Improve relationships by Tapping in the Positive
- Addressing relationship and family issues by tapping on photographs
- Tapping into a state of Love
- EFT resolves a 10 year heartbreak
- "I didn't like kissing my wife after she drank coffee."
- Jack improves his relationship with his grandson using surrogate EFT
- Using EFT to prepare for a difficult encounter
- How clearing an intense cough led to improved family relationships--an EFT two-for-one EFT benefit
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- Finding the love you want by healing the inner child
- Relationship Issue: "My husband was being a jerk"
- What holds you back from your lover?
- EFT is instrumental in bringing a couple back together
- Relationships - on "Being Right"
- Instant relationship fix?
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- EFT for Couples
- Combining role playing with EFT for relationships and other issues
- Using EFT for a Broken Heart
- The Healing Power of Forgiveness
- Love, Intuition, Patience and EFT help a schizophrenic 15 year old.
- Surrogate EFT heals a broken heart for a 16 year old boy
- Retired Stanford professor fixes his wife's computer with EFT
- Relationship success after finding core issue
- EFT to heal family relationships
- Using EFT on "blocking thoughts" to good relationships
- Writing a letter
- Reframes (seeing things differently) for guilt, shame and sorrow
- Restless leg syndrome linked to guilt - 20 years of restlessness gone in 2 sessions
- How to reduce guilt via an EFT "Tapping Circle" -- keeping privacy for everyone
- The Rolling EFT process
- The "Tapping the System" Technique
- How Guilt and Shame Block the Law of Attraction
- Using EFT for unnecessary guilt - Did EFT get someone's husband to cook dinner?
- EFT and infertility
- Stubborn guilt finally subsides after doing a search on our website and DVDs for ideas
- A bout of cystitis turns out to be a bout of guilt
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- Eating Disorders
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- A Bulimia "one session wonder"
- Bulimia in Brazil
- "Acceptance Tapping" - A powerful EFT treatment variation for severe compulsive disorders and bulimia.
- Joe resolves his Anorexia...and more
- Love, diligence and an eating disorder
- Michal describes what it is like to be free from an eating disorder
- Anger Management
Other Emotional Issues
Using EFT for relationship issues--a detailed case
Note: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™. It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping and most EFT'ers should find it very helpful. However, if your benefits are temporary or a more in-depth approach is needed, you are urged to (1) consult The Gold Standard EFT Tapping Tutorial, (2) Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist, and/or (3) get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.
Many thanks to Deborah Miller PhD from Mexico for giving us all the details and language used for an important relationship case. Everyone has relationships and thus this article should benefit us all.
I had the loveliest experience helping a friend of mine and his wife. They are still newlyweds, married less than a year. They were going through a time of struggle to communicate and find direction for their life together. (This may resonate with other couples whether newlyweds or married for many years.)
I worked with each of them separately with EFT to release their individual blocks. I’ve included detailed information and most of the scripts I used from several sessions to give a fuller idea of the process that took place. This article shows how working with each of the partners in a relationship individually is helpful to the relationship.
I appreciate the willingness of my friends (whose names I changed) to share their story in the hopes of helping other couples improve their relationships by releasing their old stories and triggers.
Deborah Miller, Ph.D.
Many marital problems occur when partners are not communicating well because each of the partners is listening through their own personal filter created by their life experiences. In this case, Mary has been dealing with depression for years. She finds there are days when she doesn’t want to get out of bed or have the desire to do anything. She feels lost, depressed, that there is no hope, that things will always be the same and she will never be good enough. This inability to change has been very hard on her husband, Gary. He offers repeatedly that there is hope, that he is there to give support, suggests how others helped him and so on. He wants to help her feel better, but she was not ready and did not want to use the methods he was suggesting just because they worked for him. Finally he came to the realization that his wife needed something different to help her feel better. With this knowledge and the release of his old reactions (you’ll find out later) with EFT, he could continue to support her, but not pressure her.
During a phone conversation with my friend Gary, he discussed how difficult his relationship with his wife was at that moment. She was unhappy so much of the time and they weren’t communicating well so they were feeling the distance between them grow. I offered to do some EFT with Mary if she was inclined to do so. Well, at that moment she walked in the room (I love those synchronicities) and Gary passed her the phone. We talked for a bit and I told her about EFT and my offer to facilitate a session with her. She told me that she feels like she is behind a wall. When I told her how EFT had helped me release my own walls and depression, she was excited about giving it a try.
She explained that in the past she had gone to a talk therapist, but found that it left her feeling fear that no matter what she tried it wouldn’t work. She believed it was her fault that the therapy wasn’t working. She believed that going to more sessions would confirm that she was never going to be good enough.
I asked her to tell me a story of a time when she didn’t feel good enough. She mentioned going back to the church where she used to go. In this church you always introduce yourself if you are new or returning. She did by stating her name and that she is the daughter of “stated her mother’s name.” She did so because most of the people there knew her mother. The woman leading the session told her that she still didn’t get it, that she was her own person. Mary felt sad because she felt she was doing the right thing by going back to church but still not doing it right because she couldn’t even introduce herself correctly.
The 0-10 intensity level was a four. I helped her tap on this topic even though the SUDs level was low to give her an idea of what EFT was like. We tapped one round and the intensity level dropped to zero. She was excited at this point because she did’t feel any of the criticism or sadness that she had been holding onto. At this point I asked her to tell me about something more in depth that was bothering her.
She said that she felt like there was a wall in front of her. That it went up for a reason she can’t remember and that all her little hurts have been packed on top of that original one. I asked her to describe the wall. She said it was brick and red. I asked if it was tall, or dark, or musty, but she said she could’t see because she was right up close to the wall and could only see about 20 bricks. Then I asked her what she felt when she looked at the wall. She said constriction, confinement, sadness and inability to function. The intensity level was an 8.
We tapped the following:
Even though I have this brick red wall in front of me, I’m a good girl.
Even though I can only see 20 bricks around me, I love and accept myself.
Even though I feel so constricted, confined, sad and trapped, I love and accept myself deeply and completely.
I can’t move.
I have the inability to function.
I am trapped.
I feel depressed.
This brick wall.
I can’t move.
I can see the bricks in front of me.
I can breathe.
I am less constricted.
I am not trapped. I can move.
It’s OK to move.
I love and accept myself.
I’m a good girl even if I can’t remember why the wall went up.
The intensity level dropped to 5. She said she could see that the wall goes really far to the right and left, but it is really thin. She knew she didn’t have to go around it. She only needed to break through it.
We continued with the following:
Even though the wall still exists, I can chisel a hole in it.
Even though the wall goes way to the right and left, I love and accept myself.
Even though the wall is thin I am ok.
Even though the wall is there, I know it is thin because now I could step back and see it. I am ready to move beyond the wall.
The wall went up at a time when I needed it but now I’m ready to move on.
I thank the wall for being there when I needed it.
I’m a good girl even if I can’t remember why the wall went up.
It’s ok to move forward.
I can break through the wall because it served its purpose and I don’t need it any more.
I can take down the wall. It is safe. I call in the angels and Gary to help me and support me.
I’m safe. I am ok.
I can take down some of the wall. I chisel and thank the wall for helping me when I needed it. I’m a good girl.
I chisel and know that I’m a good girl. I didn’t do anything wrong. Whatever happened to me or whatever I saw, it wasn’t my fault. I’m a good girl.
I’m not trapped anymore. I can move.
I’m a good girl.
I can take back my power now. (I asked her what it was like and she imagined it as air).
I take back all the power I’ve ever given to anyone. It’s mine.
It feels so good to take back my power. I love having my power.
It feels good to have my power. It fills my solar plexus.
I am happy. I am free.
The intensity level dropped to a 3. She said that she could see how the wall served its purpose and now she could let it go. She felt that she could chisel a hole in the wall. She felt freer, hopeful, and that she could take back her power. She knew it was still there, that she had more work to do, that it would be long-term and that it had to take time because if it went away fast then she would be stupid for having it that long.
I asked her if she really believed it had to take a long time and she said yes. I said I didn’t believe it did, that this was a belief too. I said I believe that the wall could come down quickly and easily. If it did come down quickly it didn’t indicate that she was stupid, just that the wall needed to be there until she was ready to let it go. Everything happens at the perfect moment.
We continued to tap with the following sequence:
Even though the wall is still there, I’m ok. I’m a great person. I’m ready to move forward.
Even though that wall was there for so long and I’d feel stupid if it went away in just a few minutes, I know it’s not true. It was there for as long as it needed to be. And when I’m ready it can disappear.
Even though I don’t want to feel stupid for holding onto it for so long, I love and accept myself.
The wall is still there.
I feel it will take work.
I feel that it has to be that way.
Those are my old beliefs.
I believe that I can’t do anything right, so how would I be able to get rid of this wall so quickly.
That’s an old belief too.
I choose new beliefs. I choose to believe in myself.
I choose to feel good. I choose to let go of this wall.
I choose to do it with ease. It’s fun to do something new.
I’m not stupid at all. I’m very wise.
I choose to chisel away a bigger hole.
It is safe for me to do so. It is ok to do so quickly.
The universe is changing faster now so I can too.
I like making changes. I like being in charge of my life.
I like feeling good about myself. I like having fun in life.
I like having hope.
I am hopeful. I trust.
I enjoy my life without this wall. It is safe.
When we finished tapping her intensity level was at zero. She was gleeful and stated that she had stepped through the wall. I asked her what it was like there. She stated that it’s really sunny and peaceful. There were other people there but she didn’t see them. Gary was there. She said she was alone when she was behind the wall, but now there were others there with her.
She was so excited and happy to have moved so quickly through a wall that had been in existence for years. Even though we never encountered the reason the wall first went up, it was sufficient to recognize that it had been put in place at a time when it was needed, and it could come down when it wasn’t. So she let it go and moved forward.
I received a phone message from her husband later that evening saying he came home (he left for a meeting the moment we started doing EFT) to find a new woman, a happy, joyous woman. Needless to say, when the time is right, everything can change easily.
Mary and I did another EFT session together about a week later. Even though the wall had come down (and hadn’t come back), there were other things affecting their relationship. (Oh, the expectations we have in relationships and what we do when they are not met that can lead to troubles in relationships.)
Mary told me that she felt a little trapped. She knew she has a lot to work on personally, but expected that she would have companionship and help to defray it when she got married. She felt that by getting married she’d get to know another person, what makes him happy, sad, what makes him who he is. Her complaint was that her husband is just happy and content (not a common complaint but he did go through his own long process to get to this point). Because he’s Buddha-like she doesn’t get a chance to work through anything or grow with him (She didn’t recognize that the problems they have now are a chance to work things through with him). She’s ok with it but she didn’t know it would be like that. Then she commented that she didn’t want the things he has to offer to help her feel better. (How many of us feel this way? We have expectations of what our relationship is supposed to be, then feel disillusioned when it isn’t and we don’t know what to do to make it better. Or we want to find our own way to feel better and what someone else has to offer is not what we want.)
“Goals” was the topic of their last “discussion” and it was so intense that they were both ready to end the marriage. (An added complicating layer to this relationship is that they are from different cultures, American and Mexican. So there are language and cultural barriers.) Mary likes to make short and long-term goals like taking classes, studying for a career, saving for a home and retirement. She felt Gary doesn’t do that because he is content “being happy.” She kept asking him what his goals are but according to her he didn’t appear to have any. (I believe it was because they didn’t match her concept of a goal. I shared my experience of goals American vs Mexican style. I’ve found that individuals as well as cultures perceive goals differently and the ways in which goals are created and implemented are different. In this particular case, her husband would not think in terms of “goals” as she defines them but as his “dreams.” In addition, he’s believes being happy is more important than being rich. But she is a goal-oriented person so she thought he didn’t have any goals because they weren’t as defined or aggressive as hers. So this created conflict because she believed he wasn’t being honest and she couldn’t see him moving towards his goals.All she could see was that he was enjoying whatever he was doing, working, relaxing, enjoying breakfast, etc). She felt frustrated that he is excited about finding inner peace and his way of wanting others to find it too. She wanted to see him “do” something, make and reach a goal. (Maybe if she could have seen the struggle his childhood was, she would understand how many goals he has already achieved.) She believes she is a solution-oriented person but if she doesn’t find a solution when in a situation with someone, she goes into preservation mode of having to do it alone, or giving up (We could say her old pattern or habit.) Her idea of marriage was that she planned on having help with her goals and problems. Since she couldn’t find a way to get her husband involved in making goals she got upset, and then gave up. They would have a life of existing together. (The attitude of giving up was the biggest part of the irritation for Gary. Giving up was something he couldn’t understand and he was not ready to have a relationship of existence together.)
Our session occurred only a few hours after an intense talk where they were both ready to get divorced. Neither one is a person who would quickly or easily make such a decision so this indicated that the tension was very high.
We broached the topic of goals brought up during their discussion. Her intensity level was 10.
Even though I’m so absolutely frustrated with Gary and our relationship, I love and accept myself.
Even though this relationship is so different than I expected and wanted, I love myself completely and profoundly.
Even though I don’t know how to continue in the relationship with Gary, I love and accept myself.
I’m so frustrated, feel at a loss and it feels hopeless.
How are we ever going to continue if we are so different?
I’m goal-oriented and he’s not.
He’s Buddha-like and I’m not.
We just don’t communicate. It makes me sad because I can’t get through to him nor he to me. So we are building a wall that keeps us apart because we can’t share.
I had other expectations for my husband. And this isn’t what I expected. I wanted goals, sharing, progression, openness and hope.
There isn’t any hope right now. I’m ready to give up.
It feels hopeless and I am ready to stop and go into existence mode, survival mode, just like I’ve always done.
I’m open to seeing this differently.
I’d like to find a new way to communicate.
I’m willing to make different kinds of goals or explain it in different ways.
I’d like to observe Gary and recognize his growth and see when he is learning.
I’m ready to find new and different solutions. I’m way past my wall. So now I’m ready to open up to new experiences and new ways of doing things.
I enjoy this challenge.
It isn’t a fight. It is an opportunity to grow and mature, to be compassionate and understanding while learning what I truly want and then being able to soften and gently share it.
I’m free of this old pattern. I’m ready to do some new things. I’m ready to BE instead of always moving and doing.
I like that Gary is different. It gives me something new to work with and it can be an adventure.
I love and accept myself while on this journey.
Her SUDS level dropped to a 1.5. Her comments were: I feel good now, but know there is lots of work coming. Maybe I’m a pessimist. I always have to be working, not chilling, with nothing to do but talking about what you are going to have for breakfast.
We continued with the following:
I have to get a degree to get the money for us to retire or we’ll just die in the ghetto.
Even though I feel good now, I know I have a lot of work to do, I still love myself.
Even though I might be a pessimist because I’m an American and I was taught to be that way, I love and accept myself.
Even though I feel I have to get this degree and make money because Gary might not make enough, I love myself. I forgive myself. I forgive Gary for not learning how to be an American with lots of goals and money as the biggest goal.
I have too many goals. I think I might want to get rid of one or two.
I have too many goals and Gary doesn’t have any.
It makes me feel obliged to work harder to make sure I can retire and feel safe and secure.
I always thought my partner would do that. Or at least help me a lot.
I have my own beliefs too and not all of them are positive. I’m attached to some of them.
So it is difficult to change some of them because I’m not certain who I would be if I change them or only focus on what I’m having for breakfast.
I feel I have to focus on the bigger picture.
I feel I have to do things this way. I feel I have to DO so many things instead of Being happy, content, at peace, strong, safe.
I have too many have to’s. I’m ready to have more to Be’s. To be happy, to be content, to be positive, to be strong and safe.
I love this journey learning how to be flexible while still being strong.
Mary felt good after this round. She recognized that her need for goals was her issue not his. She could ask herself, “What’s the problem?” She recognized that what she wants from life is her responsibility, and that it is all right to modify her goals. She wondered why she was putting so much pressure on herself which caused her to put so much pressure on her husband. Then she admitted that this only happens with her husband because she doesn’t get close enough to anyone else to take anything out on them. She doesn’t even expect them to meet her expectations. I asked her why it wasn’t safe to let anybody in. She said it was not safe because she needed things and if she just did without, then she only felt the pain of being without, not the pain of not having her desires fulfilled. I asked if she had any previous experiences of this. She said her expectations that her mom do what she was supposed to do, cook dinner, take care of her children, take care of her house, love us. Her intensity level on this was 10. (Now we’re seeing how her past experiences are affecting her expectations with her husband.)
We used the following sequence:
Even though it is easier to not have expectations, and only feel that pain, I love myself.
Even though people don’t fulfill expectations, I’m still a good girl. I’m good person. I’m still lovable.
Even though my mom didn’t fulfill my expectations of taking care of me, loving me, holding me, listening to me and anything else, I love myself completely. I’m ok. I’m safe. It doesn’t mean everyone will do what she did. It just means she didn’t know how. No one taught her how. Maybe her mom didn’t give her what she needed so she couldn’t figure out what I needed.
My mom hurt me because she wasn’t there for me, not the way I wanted it.
But it hurt that she couldn’t figure it out.
I didn’t know how to tell her what I needed, I expected her to know.
She is a mom for god’s sake.
I was just a little girl wanting to be held, fed, given hugs and kisses.
But I didn’t get that - I got myself – I got to be alone – I had to make my own goals. I had to do it alone – so I’ve always wanted to share with someone.
But they’ve never been there for me – I put up the wall and no one could get in and even now I have trouble letting Gary in and he’s my husband.
I can release this fear and need.
I’m ok. I’m safe. It’s safe to open a bit and share.
I know that sometimes I’ll get my wish and sometimes it will come differently than I expect.
But everything is ok. Everything is about learning and opening up and sharing.
So I share even though sometimes I’ve been hurt. I know that each time I open up and trust in myself and God, that it will get a little easier and I will receive the love I desire.
I’m going to enjoy trying this.
I may be surprised by what wonderful things I receive.
I love and accept myself completely.
Her first comment was, she’s (her mom) grown a lot. Now she’s working on her own issues and I want to be there for her. She left us alone most of the time because she was working. It was lonely being only with my sister. I’ve spent most of my life alone. I’m an introvert. (You may have noticed that in this set I included a couple of phrases about the wall and how it related to her feelings of being alone since she stated in the first session that she felt alone behind that wall. So I felt the wall had been there to protect her from her unfulfilled expectations and from being hurt further.)
I used the following sequence:
Even though I spent most of my childhood alone or with my sister while my mom worked, I love an accept myself.
I’m really a good kid, even though I’m a loner. Even though I learned to be alone, that it was easier to be alone, because people are not there for you whether you want them to be or not.
Even though I’m alone a lot even when other people around, I’m wonderful.
I was alone so much.
My mom was always working to take care of us, but what we wanted was her time and her presence and her love.
So we were alone.
It felt lonely.
So I forgot how to ask for love or what I need, because I feel I have to do it alone.
But that’s not true, it was just the circumstances at the time.
I don’t have to be alone, but I’m ok alone, and I am open to being with others.
I deserve love and receive it.
I can ask for what I need and receive it in whatever form it comes.
It’s ok to ask – and I’m ok whether the person can give it or not – that is there stuff. I’m ok enough to ask.
I’m willing to receive too. It is a fun project.
I think I’ll ask more.
I think I’ll receive more.
I think I’ll become a better communicator.
I think I like being happy and loving and lovable.
I’m really lovable and loving.
She felt completely relaxed. She could see more clearly how her childhood affected the way she did things, her expectations, and created a belief that no one ever fulfills your expectations so it is better not to have them. We concluded this session.
Later that night I got a call from Gary. He got home from work late and Mary was already asleep. He was still frustrated from their discussion earlier in the day. So we did some EFT to help him release his frustrations. We did so in his native language to capture the nuisances of his experience, but I’ve translated the essence of it here.
We began with his frustration and feelings of not being able to take it any more. He said he has tried to be patient and understanding but it is too difficult to live with someone who starts out the day not being happy, not seeing anything beautiful, not seeing that she can create a lovely day, only seeing a day to work. When I asked him how that made him feel he said frustrated, it bothered him, he couldn’t understand it. I asked what exactly it was that bothered him the most. He said the expression on her face. It was an expression of bitterness, unhappiness, frustration, and it was very hard. It is not the expression he so enjoys when she is happy with eyes shining brightly and filled with light. (There is the added twist here that in the Mexican culture it is quite common to “put on a happy face” even in the midst of trauma and disaster.)
We started with these phrases:
I see this bitter, unhappy face.
I don’t like to see it; I can’t accept it.
It bothers me and I don’t know why.
It frustrates me. I can’t understand it.
It’s something I don’t like. I want a happy woman not a bitter one.
I don’t know why I don’t like the expression on her face; perhaps it reminds me of something difficult during my childhood.
I don’t want to remember that I was so bitter too.
But now I am better without anger, sadness and hopelessness.
I choose to focus on the good.
I have faith in me and in her.
I choose to have faith that God put her in my path.
I choose to see how I am growing with her.
I am growing and learning how to communicate better.
I am learning understanding and compassion for someone hurt by her mother.
I am open.
I am ok.
I am patience and understanding.
I only imagine the life I want with her.
I am going to have a wonderful life with her.
I love myself completely and deeply.
His frustration dropped but it was still there. So we did the following:
Still a little.
The rest of being bothered.
The rest of the frustration.
The rest of not understanding.
I don’t like for anything that facial expression.
It is so ugly, so bitter.
My frustration with her.
I am free of this irritation.
I am free of this frustration.
I am free of this ugly memory from my childhood.
I am free of my past so that I live well now with my wife.
I feel peace.
I have faith that we found our path together.
After this round he was much more relaxed. I asked him what he could still see when he imagined that facial expression. He said it was the expression, the frown, the scowl. So we continued with the following:
The negative expression.
The expression that makes me remember my mother and father angry at me when I was young.
I felt bad.
I don’t want to feel bad because I said something bad. It wasn’t my fault.
Those horrible expressions.
I am free. I don’t need them anymore.
No one can make me feel bad without my permission.
Only I am bothered by it, no one caused it.
It is my reaction and I choose to free myself of it.
I choose to release the emotion and no accept these bad feelings.
I love and accept myself.
The emotion dropped but there was still a bit of charge when thinking about the facial expression and how it related to every day things, so we did one more round.
Those expressions in the house – order – in the way that she says it is ok.
Nothing is ok if it isn’t in the way she wants it.
The way to communicate.
I don’t like to follow orders.
I am a free man and when someone gives me orders I want to leave.
No one can make the house the way she wants it. It is impossible.
I feel like I live in a jail.
I don’t like it. I want to be free.
If it isn’t how she wants it than she is in a bad mood.
I don’t want to receive this anger.
It is not my fault. It’s not what I want. There are other things more important.
I want us to be flexible, communicate well, that we share this space well.
I am flexible and she is too. It is our dream and all of my dreams come true.
I find ways to communicate with her and everything comes out fine.
And afterwards there are laughs and smiles.
I like seeing this happy face and feel good.
Gary told me that he felt everything will be fine now. He felt lighter and more relaxed. (In this session we focused on the facial expression and how it bothered him, how it reflected some of his old patterns, how it related to his childhood of not being good enough and how that was being reflected in his relationship with his wife.)
A few days later I did another session with Mary because she woke feeling depressed. The good thing is that she was willing to do some EFT to shift through it instead of staying depressed.
I asked her to explain how it feels when she wakes up depressed. She says she wakes not feeling good. This morning she felt bad because she had to start an organic chemistry class in the afternoon and felt stressed about it. And last night her mom dropped a bomb shell at the birthday dinner they gave her. It was shocking how someone who was abusive to her sister could tell stories of how she treated her as if she were talking about another person doing these things.
On a scale of 0-10 she was at a 20. I asked her if the wall had come back up, but she said no it was still gone. She felt immobilized and sad though.
We used the following sequence:
Even though I woke up this morning feeling horrible, I feel all tied up, I feel immobilized, I don’t even know where to begin, but I still love and accept myself.
I love myself deeply and completely even though last night my mom threw me a bombshell. I still haven’t recovered and I feel immobilized and shocked by it.
I accept myself and the times I feel immobilized even though I don’t like them.
I forgive myself for being shocked and feeling like I can’t move, I can’t do anything, I’m stuck. I’m really just repeating the old pattern and that I can step out of, little by little as I see the pieces, as the ball of stuff comes unwound bit by bit.
I feel immobilized.
I can’t move. It is too shocking.
I can’t believe my mom could talk about her abusive actions as if it were someone else, as if she didn’t feel guilty, as if it weren’t her fault.
I can’t believe she doesn’t feel it in fact I know she does.
It must hurt so much to talk about and be open and honest about your behavior, especially when it wasn’t good behavior.
It hurts me to hear it and I couldn’t tell her that.
I want her to heal but I don’t want to suffer as she heals, because it reminds me of the hurt I received from her.
I choose to release that hurt, I don’t have to hold onto it anymore.
I can move, I can move past this. It doesn’t have to paralyze me for the rest of my life.
It happened in the past, and I live in the NOW.
So I can choose to live this moment well and joyfully, and that will make new memories and a new past that is filled with joy.
I release my shock, my hurt, my depression, my immobility.
I walked through the wall and I’m still on the other side, so now I’m going to baby steps forward.
I enjoy that I get to open up and release these old pains that I’ve been holding onto and in their place put new memories that make my body feel happy, that make me feel happy.
I choose to be a little happier every day.
Her intensity level dropped to a 5. What she felt now was mostly the pain of the situation between her mom and her sister. Her mother was verbally and physically abusive to her sister. Her sister took it on so she didn’t have to have it. She disappeared a lot because it was hurtful to see. This went on until her sister was 17 years old. Her sister is 2 years older than she is. We continued:
Even though I saw my mom abuse my sister every day, I love and accept myself. It wasn’t my fault.
Even though my mom hurt my sister and all I could do was run and hide, I love and accept it.
Even though my mom was so hurtful to my sister and my sister protected me from it, it wasn’t my fault. We were all doing the best we could even though it wasn’t good enough.
Even though it hurts so much to have lived like this, and it makes me want to hide and not move, and not make any mistakes because it might happen to me, so I hide, and I don’t let anybody in because it’s not safe.
But that was the past. Now it is ok to open up a little. Even my mom is different now. So I can be different too. I can choose to be who I want to be. I can put these experiences in the past.
They were so hurtful.
It was so hard to see and to hear.
So I put up a big big wall to protect me, but now it doesn’t let anybody in.
So I got rid of the wall. It did what it needed to, and now I’m on the other side learning to open up even more with people that are safe like Gary.
It’s ok to be cautious. It can even be wise.
All the hurt of the past disappears. Puff it is gone.
It is all gone. I don’t need it anymore.
I choose to let it all disappear. I release all the charge it has or had.
I feel better for letting it go.
I feel better for forgiving my mom for not having control and being so frustrated trying to raise two girls on her own.
We all suffered, but we choose now to move past the suffering into understanding and compassion.
I love and accept myself completely and profoundly.
Her intensity level dropped to a zero. I asked her to tell me the story her mother recounted last night that upset her so. Her mother told a story about her sister raising her fist to her and her response was to tell her daughter to go ahead and hit her. Just hit me one time. Her sister was wise enough to know that if she did it would unleash the rage on her that her mother was feeling. Mary was there, but her mother didn’t even remember her being there. She was so good at blending in, at being invisible. Her Suds level was a 10. We tapped the following phrases:
Even though the story my mom told last night made me realize how invisible I used to be, I love and accept myself.
Even though I used to hide to the point that my mom can’t even remember me being there I love and accept myself. I’m a good girl. I’m visible, I’m worthy. I don’t have to fight like my sister to be seen. There are many ways to be seen, to be recognized, to be honored.
Even though my mom and sister were fighting and my sister put up a fist to hit my mom, and my mom reacted and told her to try, I love and forgive them for all their fights.
My sister’s face as she faced my mother.
My mother’s reaction.
How I continued to hide to avoid being involved.
It was all so hurtful, why did they do that, it didn’t have to be that way.
I hated seeing them fight, I never want to fight, I’d rather shut down then fight.
All those hurts, all those hits, all those nasty words and anger.
I hated it so much I wanted to shut it all out and be safe and be in a loving environment.
I can have that even with my mom.
Things are different now so I release the pain of these memories.
Everything happens for a reason. I learned many things.
I am clear about what I don’t want in a relationship. I know how I don’t want to communicate. I know that I don’t want physical violence in life. Those are good things to learn.
So I choose to look at these hard moments and see what good things I learned.
I release the rest of the pain, the shock, the hurt, all that I didn’t understand, I was a kid. How was I supposed to understand or help or make it different?
I did my part. It was ok. I stayed out of it. I didn’t get involved and make it worse.
So now I choose to let it go so that I can help us all heal.
I am healing. It feels good.
I like feeling mobile and honest and caring and loving.
I recognize that I have an opportunity to do things better than my mother and sister did.
It is an honor to be aligned and clear about how I want to live my life with love and understanding that is pain free.
I have already begun to do.
I love and accept myself.
When we finished she said it feels like it is just a fact. It is the past. It is just what happened and we still all really love each other. I had her repeat the story and she felt fine. It was a fact of the past without the emotional charge. (It was so gone that we took a turn to another concern, her upcoming organic chemistry class. Isn’t that incredible? To so easily release a traumatic childhood experience and then switch right into a new topic.) When we tapped for the organic chemistry fears basically the old thought pattern of not being good enough, not succeeding, hiding and resignation came up. We tapped a couple of rounds and she felt ready to do her best in the class. That concluded our session.
I got a call from my friend about two weeks after the last session I did with Mary. Since then Mary felt depressed once but she did some EFT on herself. Instead of the one to two days of deep depression it lasted half a day and even then it wasn’t very severe. So she has learned a technique to help her shift out of her depression.
Gary said they are communicating well and are again open to learn together. He feels wonderful and is so happy with how EFT has helped him and Mary.
Once again I appreciate their willingness to share their story. Each one of them ended up looking at something from their past, their childhood. Releasing those blocks has allowed them to be present with each other and communicate in a different way, one of hearing from the present, not the past. How many of us could benefit from releasing our old stories so that we could communicate better in relationship? I’m so glad that EFT exists because it is a wonderful tool for helping relationships and improving communication.
Deborah Miller, PhD
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