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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Vietnam Vet with severe PTSD sleeps through the night for the first time in 39 years

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Here's a quality use of EFT by Kim Eisen in behalf of a badly traumatized Vietnam Veteran. Note how her diligence takes the charge out of a major traumatic incident. Note also that, despite the obvious improvement, the client dismisses the "tapping stuff" and disavows it being responsible for the impressive result.

Hugs, Gary

By Kim Eisen

Hi Gary,

This shows the amazing results with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a Vietnam Veteran.  (Please be warned that this is long and there are graphic details in this story).

I met George (not his real name) by chance one day.  On the second day I knew him, we were visiting and George started to cry uncontrollably and tell me how horrible the war was.  He said that he has not slept more than 2 to 3 hours a night in 39 years because of flashbacks which also occurred randomly during the day. 

I could see it was very deep and he was in great despair, so I mentioned that I worked with PTSD.  George responded that he had been to all the therapies and he was as good as he was going to get and so he just managed it.  So, I let it go.  The next morning while visiting he mentioned it again and I felt I had earned his trust the day before, so I just said “Wanna play?” (meaning with my technique) He agreed, saying it couldn't hurt.

I described EFT and tapped on George to show him where to tap, and the pressure we would be using.  First, I had him tell me the flashback story from the beginning to the end.  And, when he was unable to speak I tapped on him until he could continue.  He was clearly at a level of intensity of more than 10 on a 10-point scale. 

To give you some background, they were getting bombed and a radio cable needed repair when another man (I'll call Henry) came to help George.  George was going to run one end of a cable to another location and Henry told George that he should stay there and start repairing things and he would run the cable to the other location.  They switched positions on this thick huge cable and were only about 5 feet apart.  As soon as they changed positions, right then, in front of George's eyes, Henry got hit ... but just not hit, he exploded like a human cantaloupe, and Henry was gone.

There's obviously a lot of things coming into play here … tremendous grief, survivor’s guilt, along with unworthiness, traumatic event, incomprehension that this could happen, it should have been me, etc.

After we got through the first round of the story, I had him start and stop whenever his intensity rose.  He started his story and the intensity came fairly quickly.  In the following sequence, you should know that there were long pauses between each because of the intensity of the truth of each sentence, and I tapped the points on him when he was unable to and couldn't through the tears.  Note: I think one of the greatest powers of EFT is its ability to address the conscious and better yet, the unconscious personal and universal truth of a situation.

Even though he switched places with me and got hit, I'm going to try to love and accept myself anyway. Reminder phrase: He switched places with me …he got hit.

Even though it should have been me, I'm going to try to forgive myself anyway. Reminder phrase:It should have been me.

Even though he was just trying to help me, I'm going to try to accept myself. Reminder phrase: He was just trying to help me …and looked what happened(From our conversations I had noted that George has never really allowed anyone to really help him since).

Even though I saw him explode in front of me, I'm going to try to accept myself.  Reminder phrase: He exploded in front of me … like a cantaloupe. (Note: He was not feeling love about himself and the whole situation, so I thought I'd ease in to the word love after the first few rounds)

Even though nobody should have ever had to see something like this happen, I love and accept myself.

As soon as I mentioned 'Love' without the word 'trying', he got angry and said he couldn't love himself.  He had also mentioned the day before that he didn't want to forget as if it would be some kind of dishonor to Henry.  I believe he thought he wanted to remember for the honor, but it included self-punishment (survivors guilt), as well. 

I had responded that it was not my intention to have him forget, but to help him reduce the flashbacks.  It is important to note that some people do not want to forget their traumatic events because they think that means they would have to forgive the other party, or themselves, if they feel responsible. 

I would not suggest you ever tell someone you can help them to forget … which is not what you're really doing here.  EFT is a neutralization process and when starting to use this technique it can seem as if the person has forgotten a situation.  We continued tapping:

Even though it's hard to love myself when I feel so responsible, I'm going to try.

Even though I should never have had to see this…

Even though it was other people bombing us, I still feel responsible and it's all my fault.  At this point he decidedly told me it was not all his fault - good change already.

Even though Henry will never see his family again…  This was a big one - extreme despair - I had to tap on him for several minutes while he cried until I felt a softening, heard a huge sigh and his facial expression changed to where I knew we had hit home.  This took about 45 minutes which is long for EFT but was needed in this situation.

I asked him how he felt and he said, “I think it's working and I feel better.”  Then I had him start the movie over again and the intensity rose again at the 'he got hit' part.  We tapped some more.

Even though Henry was hit and I wasn't, I deeply and completely love, accept and forgive myself, because I didn't know it was going to happen.  This was a big one too, as it was from acceptance of the truth that he couldn't have known it was going to happen that there was a huge release of responsibility for him … I could feel and see the energy release from George.

George continued tapping himself this time and just started saying "Thank you, thank you" over and over again through the tears while we continued tapping the points until he felt complete.  He was exhausted and grateful and we were complete for that session which was about 1 hour in length.

That night, for the first time in 39 years, he slept 8 hours straight.

I spoke to him two weeks later and he told me that he had slept for 12 hours a few nights before, and he felt great.  He also stated that he wasn't ready to give me credit for it, but what I did couldn't have hurt.  I laughed and said, "It's o.k., I don't need the credit.  As long as you're feeling good that's all that matters.”

I spoke to him two months later and in general conversation he started telling me all the things he was doing and that he had lived in a house for four years and had never unpacked the boxes, but was unpacking everything, organizing it, and started feeling as if he had a home. 

He's also making plans to repair a boat he's had in the water for years - in fact he was on it when I called.  I asked him how he felt and he replied that he felt good.  I asked him how the flashbacks were and he said he had everything under control but it was probably because he's come to accept everything that happened and didn't really think it was that weird tapping stuff I did to him.  I just smile.  Then I asked him if he's sleeping through the night, and he now gets up once during the night to get something to eat because he's used to doing that but all-in-all everything's great.

Kim Eisen


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