EFT Eliminates Fear of Flying
Dear EFT Community,
Charmaine Campbell gives a great illustration of addressing various aspects of a phobia, in this case fear of flying, tapping through every stage of the fear.
By Charmaine Campbell
My client's job requires him to fly often and many of these flights are in small planes. "Richard" told me that he had great anxiety while waiting in the airport and when walking to the plane. His anxiety was getting worse and he was worried that it would eventually affect his ability to continue in his job.
He thought he had more anxiety when he had to fly in small planes than in larger jets. He did not think he was afraid of the plane crashing; he just had this anxiety rated at 8 on a scale of 0 to 10. He had flown to meet me for our session, and experienced the anxiety.
He always sat in an aisle seat and would not look out the window.
I explained EFT as an emotional version of acupuncture. He then told me that his brother was an acupuncturist and had treated him on two occasions in the past for a severely injured and painful toe and a "blown knee." He had been amazed at the good results and could scarcely believe how well it worked. I knew at that point that the acupuncture explanation was a good choice.
"Even though I get this 8 anxiety while waiting for my flight..."
We started tapping from when the anxiety started in the waiting room and quickly brought that down to a 0 out of 10. We then moved on to his walking toward the plane and tapped that intensity down also. We tapped right through getting on the plane, taking his seat, and the entire flight. After a few rounds, he said it was all cleared.
I had him test it by imagining the entire event of the morning. I was a bit worried because he had his eyes tightly closed and was frowning and it seemed to be taking too long to do this. But then he told me that he had run the entire scene through six times because he could not believe it was gone. He said, "I really tried to feel anxious and I couldn't!"
Then he told me about an incident that had happened two years previously. He had been flying in a jet about to go over the Rockies when the jet encountered an air pocket and dropped suddenly. A flight attendant from another airline had been sitting beside him and they had been conversing about their families. He told me that she had gripped the armrests tightly and looked scared. He was terrified, and so was everyone else, his stomach felt as if it was going to come out of his mouth. He said he expected to hear screams, but instead "you could have heard a pin drop," he said. "I was sure we were all going to die."
Remembering the incident brought his anxiety level back to an 8 or 9 again. The entire incident had lasted only a few seconds and ever since he'd had this fear of flying. So I had him do the Movie Technique, tapping on that incident using phrases like:
If that stewardess was scared, I had every right to be terrified too.I thought we were all going to die. We survived, but it sure was terrifying.
Finally we brought the intensity down to a 0 and I had him run the movie and test it confirming that it was indeed 0. He had to test this six times too! I guess his convince number is 6. He was amazed that he was no longer afraid. Then he said, "I feel empty, there's an emptiness in my chest where there used to be this anxiety and it's uncomfortable, it doesn't feel good.
I told him that the Universe does not like vacuums and asked if it would be okay to replace the emptiness with something positive instead. He thought that would be fine. I asked him to tap for his subconscious mind filling that empty space with whatever positive emotion it thought would be best for him. I told him it did not matter if neither he nor I knew what that "something positive" was; his subconscious knew exactly what he needed.
We did a couple rounds of tapping on this and he said he was feeling okay again, the emptiness was gone.
The last thing we did was to future pace the flight home that evening. He spiked up to a 9! He said it was even worse than before. That really surprised me. I brought in some neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) at this point. I talked with him about how holding on to negative emotions harms the body; and about the subconscious holding on to fear in the belief that it is protecting him, but really it is awareness that protects him, and I gave him some examples.
Then off we went tapping again:
Even though it was gone and now I have this 9 anxiety again and my subconscious is trying to protect me, I am willing to allow my subconscious to release the fear now and protect me by keeping me healthy.
His intensity came down to a 0. At this point he went silent for a few seconds. He looked at me puzzled and said, "Something just happened that is really strange, I just experienced a place where I was not thinking, not feeling, not anything, I was just, just..."
He seemed to be searching for the word.
"Existing?" I asked.
"Yes! That's it, I was just 'there.'" He seemed really peaceful at this point.
I was amazed at this and said to him, "Do you realize that there are mystics who meditate daily for 15 to 25 years just to get to that experience you just had?" He was surprised at this. I have never had a client speak of an experience like this before.
It had been 90 minutes and I had to end the session to get to my "real job."
I got an e-mail the next day from Richard thanking me and saying that he had felt absolutely no anxiety on his flight home and even fell asleep right away and did not wake up until they were about 5 minutes away from landing—something he had never done before! I replied that, sometime, he might consider sitting by the window and enjoying the scenery!