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EFT Case Study: Insomnia

posted Jun 23, 2014, 3:25 PM by Jan Watkins   [ updated Aug 24, 2016, 6:52 AM ]

Clients often ask whether EFT will work for a particular issue. EFT will improve any situation you are dealing with. It is a powerful tool to work through any situation.

You can achieve lasting results by thoroughly exploring the roots of an issue. This short 20-minute session from a recent workshop illustrates the effectiveness of approaching an issue using the EFT clinical techniques that you can learn in the workshops.

* The EFT techniques used are bulleted and indicated parenthetically. 

"Susan," not her real name, volunteered to work on her insomnia. Susan explained that she regularly woke in the middle of the night. She would take the first thought or concern that came to her mind and imagine how that thought or concern could develop into the worst possible outcome. 

  • I had her locate in her body exactly how this felt and asked her to describe the pain vividly (specificity, using physical symptoms to address emotional issues). She immediately felt pressure in her chest. 
  • She described it as a fist-sized, dense, sharp, blue pain. Susan rated the sensation at an 8 out of 10 (SUDS). *
  • I asked her if she could recall the first time she felt this feeling and she could not (searching for core events). I then encouraged her to continue feeling the sensation, but to also be aware if any thoughts or memories came to her mind as we began the Set Up statement, "Even though I have this fist-sized, dense, sharp, blue pain in my chest, I accept myself and I'm ok now." 
  • After a round or two of tapping, she recalled a seemingly random memory of a sporting accident. She reported about the accident, "I didn't do what I knew how to do." For the next round we tapped on, "Even though I didn't do what I knew how to do, I deeply and completely love and accept myself" (exact words). 
After a round or two, I asked if she noticed anything. She recalled a memory of sitting outside her parents' bedroom door as a very small child while they argued. She remembered feeling powerless and incapable of doing what needed to be done or of impacting the situation positively. The words came to her mind, "I can't take care of myself." I asked her to focus in her mind and in her body on the child sitting outside that door and to notice how the child felt. We then did a couple of rounds incorporating those words into the set up. I asked her to use the image of the child to check for progress of emotional changes. Sometimes it is easier for a client to focus on an image of his or her child self and notice the emotional reaction the child is having rather than to identify a current emotional response. I asked her what the child needed to know to be alright. She said, "I can take care of myself." 
  • We tapped on the child's emotions until she imagined the child was OK and walked away from the door to her parents' room (using intuition, client-centered process, specific core events). 
Sometimes it is helpful to have the client verbalize true statements that the child was unaware of such as, "that's over, you're ok now, you have more resources, you don't have to stay there to solve that problem." You can use your intuition to guide the session. These memories represent the experiences that our early developing brain generalizes for survival purposes. 
  • Our brain will form conclusions, such as, "I can't take care of myself" (table legs, table tops). Until this limiting learning is updated, the brain will continue to operate under that program. 
  • I then asked Susan to locate the dense sharp pain in her chest. She rated it at a 4. We returned our focus to the physical sensation until it was a zero (testing and aspects). We finished our short demonstration there. 
Susan emailed me later: 

"I woke, as usual, during the night to use the bathroom, which is when the thoughts rush forward the fastest, are the most vivid, and have the strongest emotional impact. It took me a minute to realize that it didn't happen, but didn't get too excited about it...yet. When I woke up in the morning, again it took a few seconds to realize that it hadn't happened! I've noticed the same thing ever since! As an experiment, I've even tried to start my thoughts going toward some terrible end, but I can't even really do that - doesn't happen...at all! It truly is amazing! I am so thrilled and thankful."

Not all sessions work in this way or this quickly. It is important to be inquisitive and to remember that the client generally has what he or she needs to work through an issue (client-centered process). If you are working on yourself, use these same principles for great results.