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EFT Instead of the Psych Ward for Extreme Break-up Grief


By Steve DeSanto

Michelle (single mom) phoned my wife, Nadine, one night.  Michelle’s 16-year-old son, Mike, was whacking his head against a wall. He was distraught over his girlfriend saying she wanted to break up with him for good this time. The relationship had been volatile. Now she was serious. Mike had "anger issues,” she said, and needed "professional help." Mike’s mom told Nadine, “I was about to take him to the psych ward at the hospital, but then remembered you and EFT. Nadine said, “This is just the kind of thing EFT deals with well.  Why don’t you come to our house and Steve will work with him."

That was fine with me! I'd been itching to help somebody who had issues more serious than a few aches and pains because EFT works like a charm on emotional issues.

So Michelle and Mike showed up 20 minutes later. They came through the front door followed by the girlfriend, Mary, and a mutual friend named Bill. Mike’s head was down, his mood dark and depressed.

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I immediately got him seated on the living room couch, explained EFT briefly, and begin tapping. The first phrase: Even though I'm upset my girlfriend is breaking up with me...

In the meantime, Nadine shepherded the others to the dining room and worked with them so Mike and I could have some privacy.

The first round of tapping didn’t reduce Mike’s upset at all. His intensity remained at 8 on a scale of 0 to 10. (A split second of panic set in. Had I bitten off more than I could chew?) But I tapped on the same phrase a second time and there was a change. Mike got weepy and said, "Now I feel sad about past anger issues." So we tapped on that for a couple rounds. His level of intensity dropped to 0 out of 10.

There was a big sigh of relief from Mike and a big change in his face. Then his upset about the impending loss of his girlfriend cropped up again. We tapped on a different aspect. I forget exactly what, but something like: Even though I still feel sad about the breakup... We then tapped again with slightly different wording. Again, more drop in intensity, but not as much as I’d expected and I was puzzled.

Mike had cleared some hurdles, but something was still weighing on him. It was in his face. “How do you feel now?” I asked. He said, “I still feel sad because I’ll miss Mary so much when she’s gone." I said, “Let’s try to get rid of your sadness.” He said, “But I want to hold on to my sadness, because that’s all I’ll have when she’s gone.”

I took his hand again and tapped, saying: Even though I WANT to hold on to my sadness because that’s all I’ll have when she’s gone... Mike followed along.

The intensity dropped like a rock. “It’s gone!” Mike said, surprised and suddenly at peace. He was almost smiling, but not quite. This was an unforgettable moment for me, to see the serenity that settled over his face.

We chatted amiably for a few minutes. He told me about his artwork and his interest in getting a summer job. Then we returned to his girlfriend issue and tapped on a couple of choices:

I choose not to be a control freak because I know that's best for her. And then, I choose not to be a controller because that's also best for me, too.

Before we got up to join the others in the dining room, I suggested that he could tap on any bothersome thoughts that came up when he was by himself. (I had been doing all the tapping and had apparently not made it clear that EFT was something anybody could do.) He really liked this idea. I said, "How about if you do a round or two on an issue you choose just so I can make sure you know the tapping sequence.” He asked, "Do I have to say it out loud?" I said, “No. It will work if you just think about it." So he did one round on something private and let out a big sigh.

Length of complete session, maybe 30-40 minutes. When they all walked out the front door, everyone who came seemed at peace.

Some additional thoughts:

I’d like to point out some important things relating to the session. First, we had a single mom already stressed out because she was single and raising three kids. Michelle’s a spunky woman and certainly no shrinking violet. But her son’s emotional condition caused her to seriously consider checking him in to the psych ward. If Nadine had not answered the phone, she probably would have done just that. Unfortunately, far too many parents do. They trust the mental health system out of ignorance. They wrongly assume psychiatrists have the inside scoop on matters of the mind and can somehow work magic. (But they can’t ... unless they know EFT--grin).

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