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Rape trauma: "It just doesn't seem to bother me like it did."

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Gratitude to Alan Batchelder for sharing with us a rape trauma case of his from two years ago. Please read his message with care and note how it exemplifies the following EFT principles.

  • Complete relaxation after the process has been successfully completed.
  • When asked to bring up the emotional event (after doing EFT) the client says she just "can't get there" and "it just doesn't seem to bother me like it did." This is very typical and indicative of major healing.
  • Healthy cognitive shifts occur after the process. She says, "Well, that was 20 years ago. I was just a little girl. I couldn't protect myself then the way I can now. What's the point in getting upset about something like that."
  • It lasted. After 2 years, she still has no problem with it.

Hugs, Gary

by Alan Batchelder

Hi Gary.

Just now getting to read mail that has backed up for several weeks. I want to share my own similar experience with you.

"Sandy" and her partner came in for pre-marriage counseling. Among the issues they were concerned about was their sexual relationship. Most often, she found herself reacting with uncontrollable negative feelings when he initiated sexual play. He was willing to be patient, kind and understanding, and seemed genuinely interested in sex as a shared experience, which she freely acknowledged. Still, she got upset and turned off. They asked whether I could help. I suggested a session with her alone.

When she came in I asked the gentle question, "Is there something in your earlier years that you could talk about?" She immediately burst into tears, her SUDS shot to a ten, and she began to relate her story, punctuated with heavy sobbing and gasping. I sat, quiet and attentive, as she told this cryptic story: "When I was seven years old we lived in [a small town in Southern Oregon]. One day my step-father took me for a walk down a country road. It was in the summer. We hiked up the side of a hill. Then we stopped. Then he took off all my clothes. Then he took off all his clothes."

At this point she was scarcely able to breath. I stopped her and said that it was not necessary to go any further, but to follow my lead and do what I showed her. We went through the first EFT tapping procedure without even clearing for PR. Her 0-10 intensity dropped to 6. We then cleared with "Even though I still have some of this..." and tapped again. 0-10 intensity fell to 2. One more clearing with "Even if I never get completely over this..." and a last round of tapping.

By this time she was breathing quietly. Her skin was free of blotches, her eyes were clear, and she was looking at her hands, lying folded in her lap. I said, "Sandy, as you sit there now, think back to that hot summer day when your step-father took you for that walk down that country road. Think about how you hiked up the side of that hill until you stopped. Think about how he took off all your clothes. Think of how he took off all his clothes. (pause) Now, what do you get?"

She sat there without moving for maybe five seconds, then looked calmly at me and said, without undue emotion. "Well, I still hate him." I agreed that hating him was a pretty reasonable response and possibly a useful one to keep, then asked, "But what about the distress you were feeling?"

Again she paused before answering. This time she laughed as she said, "I don't know. I just can't get there. Well, that was 20 years ago. I was just a little girl. I couldn't protect myself then the way I can now. What's the point in getting upset about something like that. I never let that man touch me again, and my kids have never been allowed to be near him. I don't know, it just doesn't seem to bother me like it did."

That was over two years ago. I asked her a couple of months ago whether "that problem" we had worked on had ever come back. She laughed and told me that it was "good and gone." Her partner, now her husband, whom I saw last week, confirmed that there was no sign of the former difficulties. They have the usual "things", he said, but nothing they could not handle.

Thanks for letting me share, Gary. And, more than anything, for teaching me what has become central to my practice.

Blessings, Alan


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