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Email correspondence on a serious childhood abuse case

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Previously, Marilynn Poore has graciously shared with us her efforts to overcome her severe childhood abuse. She worked with Rehana Webster on these issues and has since had ongoing email correspondence with her. This article by Rehana shows this actual correspondence and displays some important aspects for Marilynn's progress. Abuse survivors and trauma specialists should find this helpful. For ease in reading, Marilynn's words are in black and Rehana's are in blue.

Hugs, Gary

By Rehana Webster

Hi Gary,  

Marilynn and I had paired up during the first “Master’s” testing.  She would now like to share her experiences with others who have suffered childhood traumas so that it may help them to use EFT more effectively.   Marilynn had previously written in to Gary regarding the immense traumas suffered during childhood.  Our being paired up was not a conscious decision as we gravitated towards each other prior to the practical demonstration of EFT skills by people selected to ‘sit’ for the Masters level.  

I find that when dealing with any person, who has experienced long term and intense trauma, the client needs on-going support and understanding.  This relationship can become an on-going and long term one.   I encourage the client to use EFT to help themselves, however I am always available when they get stuck and cannot move further without some help.

The client also needs to trust the practitioner at a deep level.  All judgement has to be suspended by the practitioner and by that I mean judging how the client should/could get over their problems.  The practitioner needs to have a high skill level in gaining and maintaining rapport with the client and also most importantly, to be able to move into the clients reality and map of the world inside of them.  In order to help the client move forward it is paramount that the practitioner match and pace the client’s reality till the client exits from and changes the filters/beliefs they are using to keep them stuck in their problems.  

Please note that I use the client’s map of reality and interweave their thoughts and words into setup statements without any sense of judgement or criticism.  Most of the times I get it right and I tell my clients that if I miss the mark, they can change direction to suit themselves.

Marilynn letter to Gary

Dear Gary,

I have continued to process and learn amazing things about myself with the help of EFT.  At times I have enlisted the help of Rehana Webster from New Zealand, whom you helped me to connect with at the first Masters Program July of last year.

I have included Rehana’s responses in blue to make it somewhat easier to follow.  The email correspondence was over several days/weeks. I am hoping that this can help others who have on-going issues/struggles when they can’t seem to get over the trauma with EFT on their own.  I am a professional therapist and I know there are times when we as professionals need some guidance from other EFT professionals.

One of the times was about bad dreams I was having.  It went like this:

Rehana, I have a question for you.  Every time I have a good day where things work out as I want them to and I allow myself to feel good about it, I will have bad dreams (night terrors) that wake me.  Feelings of fear overwhelm me and I can't seem to shake them.  Is there anything I can do to stop these dreams from happening? I have tapped before I go to bed about the dreams; I have tapped when they come up and seem to relieve some of the fear, but they keep coming back, so somehow I know I'm missing something.

The dreams always include some type of violence going on around me that I can't escape from.  I know it is tied to childhood abuse that I couldn't escape from and my need for anger to just survive.  Since I have released so much of the anger from our session, I feel like there is a part of me that just can't let go of that protection piece about anger.  I don't feel the need for anger but the fear that was hidden by the anger is what I'm struggling with now.  It seems to be holding me back from truly moving into a new life of abundance, joy and serenity that I seek.  Is there anything I can focus on that will help me over this hump?


(Rehana is always there to help me see a perspective that I may be missing.  These are the times when I know that I am somehow getting in the way of the EFT working for me.)

Hi Marilynn,

Good to hear from you and always happy to help you along your journey.

Her feedback about the bad dreams (night terrors) really hit home for me. As you will see!

This seems to be a belief system Marilynn, and a sabotaging one.  Deep down there is a belief (which you mention later below). There seems to be a PR here.  So you could do the collarbone breathing first and then tapping using such statements such as:

If I have a good day, then I have to have bad dreams to make up for the good day...because I’m not good enough to have a good day

I’m not allowed to have a good day and if I do, then I will have bad dreams...cause I don’t deserve to have a good day

My life has to be bad and by any chance if I do have a good day then I must make up for it by having bad dreams

I don’t deserves to have a good day and by some mistake if I do, then I have to have bad dreams to remind me that my life is bad.... etc.

You will have to use your own words Marilynn.  Do you see what I'm getting at here?

(I used some of these statements word for word because they really did fit and others I changed a little. Yet she helps me also to know that there are times when I am right in what I’m thinking.)

What follows next is the times when I knew what was wrong and needed the validation:

So somehow I know I'm missing something…

I know it is tied to childhood abuse that I couldn't escape from and my need for anger to just survive.I feel like there is a part of me that just can't let go of that protection piece about anger.

You are absolutely correct Marilynn.  So use...something like:

Even though part of me believes that in order to survive I must not have good days...and punishes me if I do by having bad dreams, I'm a good person etc.

Part of me believes it is not real to have good days and punishes me for having good days by giving me bad dreams...because I don’t deserves to....

It's not safe for me to have good days...

It's not safe for others if I have good days...

It's impossible for me to have good days...

It will change my identity to have good days...

I can’t forgive my self for having good days..

I can’t forgive others if I have good days...

Part of me is not willing to have good days...   etc.

All the above statements are for the reversal you are experiencing, Marilynn, so this will take you a week to do...or if you are motivated you could do it in a day...and email me back to see what’s happened to the bad dreams.

Cheers, Rehana

I applied those statements as well, alternating at times with some choices and here is what came up and I emailed Rehana about next:


I have been tapping on the things you gave me and seem to have hit on a core issue.

One of the things that came up quite readily was acceptance of the part of me that has been giving me the bad dreams. 

Another thing that I find hard to tap on that seems to be tied to this is physical pain.  I will have stabbing pains in my chest and back that come and goes.  It always seems to be connected to trust issues and the phrase "a stab in the back" which I try to tap on but often can't find any words for, so I usually just tap on the feelings/physical pains that I connect with until they subside.  I know I am missing something as it has continued to come back.

I am doing a lot of things to move forward with my career in the EFT and my art therapy.  This can be, I know is a big trigger as I am choosing to be out there in the public and can be judged by others.  This always seems to be connected with my childhood abuse. 

 (Always following what comes up is so important. This is what happened during the course of me tapping on the things Rehana gave me.) This in particular I enjoy about the EFT:

One of the things I found myself tapping on today was no one would acknowledge me, or what was happening to me as a child. This came up as I was tapping on the feelings/physical pain.

“Even though I was never acknowledged or believed as a child, I can accept myself today, and release the anger and pain of my past”.  Tapped on that while I was driving to my meeting this morning.  Know that it helped as I found myself able to talk with the director of a hospice about the future plans I have of working with other hospices-, which I hadn't been able to do before. It worked out beautifully, as she was supportive of my ideas and what I told her.  She even gave me some good advice to help with what I am trying to do. 

This would not have been possible for me to do without some shifting in perceptions having had occurred during the previous tapping.  I had not thought about doing this on my way to the meeting.  It was something that seemed to spontaneously happen in the course of me being there and seeing the director.

My dream is that I am hoping to contract with other art therapists within hospices/cancer institute/schools in the Ks City areas thru my corporation to work part-time or fulltime doing art therapy.  Often what I and other art therapists encounter is that they get hired as an art therapist then end up only doing a small percentage of art therapy and work doing other things the rest of the time.

Just wanted to give you an update and thank you for all the help!


Rehana continues to give me the feedback I need to work through these traumas that I want to release from my life: 

Acceptance of the part of me that has been giving me the bad dreams.  Every part needs to be owned and loved. More tapping to do on this for sure

Trust issues and the phrase "a stab in the back":  OK, how about stabbing pains like being stabbed in the back by someone you trusted.... connecting all the people who you trusted, who should have acted in a trusting manner, who betrayed you, who stabbed you in the back or where ever.... people who were family, close, who should be trustworthy. I try to weave a thread between betrayal and stabbing chest pains…to objectify the pain.  Make the pain into an object and then change it so the client’s perspective changes.

I know this is a big trigger as I am choosing to be out there in the public and can be judged by others.  This always seems to be connected with my childhood abuse. How about...they can read my mind, my thoughts, my every move so when I put myself out there, they will know me for who I am.... they will judge me and I won’t come up to their expectations...they will know I’m a fake..Etc (I’m just adlibbing here Marilynn...delete anything that doesn’t ring true)

(These statements are ones I will need to create a personal peace procedure on - as these are going to be ongoing ones I will continue to do…)

It worked out beautifully, as she was supportive of my ideas and what I told her.  She even gave me some good advice to help with what I am trying to do. Well done. 

It's great to see how you are moving forward and getting past your issues, overcoming them, conquering them.  Well done dear.  You deserve everything you dream of now.  Keep on tapping and working on stuff as it comes up. 

I am hoping to change that for all art therapists that work with me.   I am also including the EFT within every agency I contact so I am putting the word out and slowing changing how traditional therapy is done in the area.  I plan on having as many art therapists and other therapists trained in EFT within my organization to change how therapy is done in my area of the Midwest. I provide services to Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas with the EFT training and individual sessions.

This in particular is why you are reading this now:

It would be good if you shared with Gary how you are doing as you were one of the first people to volunteer your stuff at the masters and I was so fortunate to somehow be paired with you!   I know he will be very happy to hear from you personally.

Much love, Rehana



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