Death of a Parent and Divorce Processed with EFT and 9 Gamut
Dear EFT Community,
This story is excerpted from the Clinical EFT Handbook. It's a good example of when to use the 9 Gamut technique, and describes how as a practitioner it's vital to pay close attention to a client's eye movements.
By Dawson Church
I have found that when administering the 9 Gamut Procedure as a practitioner, it is extremely important to observe the client's eye rotation. Clients can persistently jump over some portion of the visual field.
For instance, I worked with a client with a close relationship with her father and a distant relationship with her mother. Her father had died recently, and her core belief, compounded by a recent divorce was "I'm all alone."
The strength of her cognition around this belief was a 10. Though she had begun the session presenting with a minor issue having to do with a coworker, her more fundamental layers of grief began to surface involuntarily.
When doing the 9 Gamut, this particular client's eyes persistently skipped over the lower right hand quadrant of her peripheral vision. She was also crying uncontrollably and unable to tap or follow directions as she began to feel her grief deeply in the safe environment of the EFT session.
Complicating matters, we only had 15 minutes in which to complete the session, which is why I emphasized the 9 Gamut in this case. Observing her inability to view one quadrant, I used my hand to guide her. I asked her to follow my hand with her eyes while I slowly described a large circle with my fingertips.
She still skipped over the same quadrant. I slowed down further, and moved my fingers through the part of the arc she had trouble viewing until she was able to complete the entire circle. I had her say, "I'm all alone," periodically as a reminder phrase. I then reversed direction, and spent a minute or two working on only the problematic quadrant, going in both directions.
Eventually she exhibited many physiological signs of stress relief, such as sighing, a relaxation of the trapezius muscles in her shoulders, yawning, and deeper breathing. Her SUD numbers dropped slowly and steadily.
Out of time, I tested her level of intensity on the cognition "I'm all alone."
She smiled and told me she has a great group of friends, two sisters with whom she's close, and that she feels stronger for having survived divorce.
Some clients are unable to perform the 9 Gamut Procedure without such a visual reference from a practitioner's fingertips. Because EFT is primarily a self-help technique in which the power of transformation should rest in the client and not the practitioner, my preference is to encourage the client to perform the 9 Gamut on their own as soon as possible.
However, clients typically have difficulty in perceiving when their eyes are skipping over a particular area of their peripheral vision. Even when asked to notice and correct for this, many clients are unable to do so.
For this reason, clients usually find the 9 Gamut easier when led through the procedure by a practitioner. This can be successful even if the session is being conducted over the phone.
The procedure is not so difficult that a verbal description by a practitioner is insufficient for a geographically distant client to perform it.
Distant sessions with visual contact such as those delivered by Skype, Google Plus, or Face Time are easier since the client can follow the practitioner's eye movements, and the practitioner can see whether or not the client is following the procedure.
The old model of memory believed that memory was static, like taking a picture out of a photo album, looking at it, and putting it back in the album unchanged. However, new models of brain function show that when we recall a memory, we might associate the memory with cues from the present.
For example, the memory of a rape might be terrifying for a client to remember alone. When told to a sympathetic therapist in a safe setting, elements of the current setting may be incorporated into the emotional content of a memory. This phenomenon, called memory reconsolidation, is well-understood.
I believe that subsequent research will show that something similar is happening when clients perform the 9 Gamut Procedure.
Research tools such as fMRI and magnetoencephalograph, which show with areas of the brain are active during recall of a memory, show activation of the fear centers of the midbrain during the recollection of a traumatic event. It's likely that these areas will show a reduction or even complete extinction of these neurological patterns after the 9 Gamut.
For these many clinical reasons, backed by the emerging science linking eye movements to memory reconsolidation, the 9 Gamut Procedure is an essential part of every Clinical EFT practitioner's toolkit.