By F. Samnik
My client, a well-groomed, 63-year-old man presents with depression, marked by low energy, inability to concentrate, insomnia (wakes up feeling scared with cold sweats and can’t get back to sleep), and in a depressed mood. He states, “I feel like I’m starting all over and I don’t know if I have the energy or time, at my age, to see this slump in the economy through.”
He reports to me that he’s easily agitated and short-tempered. He indicates he’s happily married and enjoys his grandchildren greatly, but has no interest in other activities outside his business. He has had a recent medical examination and the doctor reports there’s nothing physically wrong with him that would account for his symptoms. This case was recorded with client permission.
I began by asking this client how his body was telling him he was depressed. He replied, “In my chest." I asked him what the sensation was in his chest. He said, “A heaviness, like a weight on my chest.” I asked him to say out loud, “My phone’s not ringing.” (something he mentioned several times during the intake) and check with his chest. He reports a SUD Level of 8.
EFT Tapping Round One:
“Even though I have this weight on my chest because my phone isn’t ringing, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Alternated reminder phrase with “all this weight on my chest” and “my phone isn’t ringing."
About halfway through the round, I changed the phrase to “All this pressure and weight on my chest.” He stopped me and said, “Yes! I have all this pressure to meet payroll and pay the health insurance.” He states his SUD Level has increased to a 10 with a racing heart as well as chest pressure. He states, “The responsibility is crushing.”
EFT Tapping Round Two:
“Even though I feel all this pressure from this crushing responsibility, I deeply and completely accept myself and how I feel.”
"All this crushing responsibility;"
"I’m responsible for a lot of people and it’s crushing me;"
"My heart is racing from all this responsibility;"
"I don’t know how I’m going to pay all these people;"
"They’re counting on me;"
"This overwhelming responsibility;"
"How am I going to do it with no business coming in?"
He report that his SUD Level is now down to a 4 (chest lighter, heart is slower).
I asked him if he had ever experienced this kind of crushing responsibility before in his life. His eyes got big and he said, “When my parents sent me to military school in the 4th grade!” His eyes went up and to the right. I asked him what he was seeing in his mind’s eye. (NLP Eye Accessing Cues). He said he could see himself on a Greyhound bus heading home from military school.
I asked him to look at that boy and tell me what he was experiencing. He started to cry and said, “He’s so scared. He’s on his way back home on a break and he’s afraid he won’t get off at the right stop and he won’t be able to get home.” He now reports a SUD Level of 10, and pain in his chest and heart.
EFT Tapping Rounds Three and Four:
“Even though I feel so scared that I won’t get off at the right stop and won’t be able to get home, I am an amazingly brave kid!”
"I’m so scared;"
"What if I get off at the wrong stop;"
"This is too much responsibility;"
"I’m not old enough to handle all this by myself;"
"This is really scary having to figure all this out;"
"I’m just a little kid - of course I’m scared;"
"What were these people thinking sending me off by myself;"
"They must have really believed I could manage all this;"
"I don’t want to be on this bus by myself;"
"There’s no one to take care of me if I need help;"
"I’m totally responsible for my safety and I don’t feel safe.”
He now reports a SUD Level of 4. He confides, “This is how I’m feeling now, like I can’t keep myself safe, I’m all on my own.” I asked him to repeat this statement: “I believe I am not capable of keeping myself safe.” He reports a 6 on the truth scale with 10 as being absolute truth. I asked him how the statement would need to change to make it absolutely true. He said, “It’s not safe to manage all this responsibility."
EFT Tapping Round Five:
“Even though I believe that I can’t manage all this responsibility all on my own, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"This belief that I can’t manage the responsibility and keep myself safe;"
"As a little boy I really felt this way;"
"I still feel this way;"
"I’m all on my own and I can’t manage all this;"
"If it was true then, it must still be true;"
"I was afraid that I couldn’t keep myself safe because it was too much responsibility;"
"I believe this is still true; no I don’t; yes I DO;"
"There’s a part of me that still feels like this little boy; there’s a higher part of me that knows how strong and capable I am."
Repeats the statement, “I believe it’s not safe to manage all this responsibility.” Reports truth of statement at a SUD Level of 4. Reiterated times when he was capable of managing a lot of responsibility.
I asked, ”Was there ever a time when you couldn’t keep yourself safe?" He replied, “The hazing was pretty bad in military school.” Open further exploration, he remembered a time when he was cornered by some upper classman and they yelled and threatened him. The Movie Technique was utilized.
The title he chose: “Petrified!" as the name of this movie. His SUD Level was back up to 8-9
EFT Tapping RoundS Five and Six:
“Even though I have this Petrified move, I deeply and completely love and accept myself." (Said three times).
“This Petrified Movie.”
Big sigh, face and shoulders relax. He now reports SUD Level of 5.
EFT Tapping Round Seven:
“Even though those upper classman yelled and threatened to beat me and I was so scared, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
His SUD Level goes up to a 10 when he states, “I thought they were going to kill me.”
We tapped another round just on "the fear of dying."
"Even though I was afraid of dying, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"I thought they would kill me;"
"There’s no one here to help me;"
"I don’t know how to defend myself;"
"They’re bigger than I am and there’s two of them;"
"They could kill me with their voices; they look like they want to kill me;"
"They’re in my face."
The client lets out another big sigh. He reports a SUD Level of 5.
I then asked him to repeat the bullying story and he became triggered at the point when one guy got in his face and yelled, "You’re a maggot and don’t deserve to live!"
He reports feeling a SUD Level of 6 in his chest (hard to breathe, fear).
EFT Tapping Round Eight:
"Even though he got in my face and yelled, 'You’re a maggot and don’t deserve to live!' I deeply and completely accept and love myself."
Even though I got so scared when he yelled, 'You’re a maggot and don’t deserve to live!' I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
Even though it was hard to breathe and I was so scared, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
"He got in my face and screamed at me;"
"That look on his face terrified me;"
"I thought he could kill me. I was petrified;"
"I was just a little kid and he was so big;"
"Of course I was scared. He was a big bully and wanted me to be scared of him. It worked. He’s still scaring me. He’s probably old and decrepit right now, but he still has the power to kill me with his words."
At this point, he starts to laugh and says, “I can see him in a wheelchair trying to scream at me as I’m towering over him. His voice sounds so weak now.” I ask him to tell me the story again. No SUD Level intensity reported.
I ask him to repeat the phrase: “My phone’s not ringing.” After doing so reports a SUD Level of 4. When asked how he knows it’s a 4, he states, “I felt a pang in my solar plexus.” We explored other times he felt weighted by responsibility which were noted to address in the next session.
How rapport was established at the beginning of the EFT session, and what I did to make the client comfortable in the clinical setting.
• We had already had a consultation, so rapport building had already started.
• Water was offered and explained importance of hydration.
• Asked him how he was feeling about getting started and asked about any questions or concerns.
• Reviewed the intake form and paced with him while he expounded on past history.
How I explained to the client what to expect:
• Was the client asked what s/he already knew about EFT? (If this was the first visit) This was done at the consulation.
• Was any theory explained? At the consulation.
• Did the practitioner ask if the client had questions, and, if so, were the questions answered accurately and confidently? Yes!
• Were the set-up and the reminder phrase explained (if first time)? During the consult and then again when I started this first session.
• Did the client and practitioner do a practice round of tapping to ascertain that the client knew the tapping points? (If this was the first visit) Yes – used the Constricted Breathing Technique.
• Was there a discussion of confidentiality, and/or signing of Informed Consent? Both are part of my Treatment Contract which I also reviewed with him personally.
How I demonstrate presence with the client:
• Eye contact.
• Active listening and furthering questions.
• Mirroring and Pacing.
• Expression of compassion and understanding.
• Lack of judgment, refrain from giving advice.
This client was pretty forth-coming with events that may have been part of the presenting issue. It took 4 sessions to completely abate the feelings of depression. Worked through a lot of fears and limiting beliefs about money. At the last session he reported his energy was back, he was sleeping through the night, and had scheduled two business meetings that culminated into fairly large contracts.
He said that once he let his fear go he was able to become clear about what he needed to do to get new business.