How EFT Helped Heal Childhood Abuse
Dear EFT Community,
Edith Howell, EFT Cert-1 uses the 'Tell the Story' technique to help her client work through the trauma of being abused by her father when she was a young girl.
By Edith Howell, EFT Cert-1
My client Sofia, in her 60s, came to see me feeling emotionally distressed and apprehensive about having to return to her hometown for a family gathering. I told her to identify a specific traumatic event since she was referring to different incidents.
She said it had to do with her father, she had clear memories from the time she was 7-years-old until she was a teenager.
We decided to tap on the event that occurred to her when she was 7. I explained to her that she was going to tell me the story and that she was going to stop the moment she felt emotionally intense so we could tap. I then asked her how she felt now that she was going to tell the story, Sofia said that she was afraid, and it was a 10 on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the most intense).
“Even though I have this fear about telling the story and it is a 10, I deeply and completely love and accept myself…”
“Even though I am so afraid of my father, I accept myself and I accept the fact that I have this fear…”
“Even though I am afraid of what my father is going to do next…”
“Even though I have had this fear for so long, I recognize that this happened a long time ago, and I am open to the possibility that I can let this fear go, so I can start healing…”
After a few more rounds like these, she said she did not feel fear anymore, so I asked her to start telling me the story at a place where she felt safe. Sofia said, “I was 7-years-old, and it was a beautiful summer day, it was warm and I was playing in the yard, when my father told me to go the barn with him and once we were there…”
Sofia was visibly upset, so we started tapping:
“Even though my father took me to the barn and it was so scary…”
“Even though I was only 7 years old and I did not know what was happening…”
“Even though he was bigger than me and I had to obey…”
I asked what emotion she was feeling right now and where did she feel it in her body. Sofia said that she felt guilty because it must have been something that she had done to make him do this to her.
She said her father was fondling her and teaching her how to open-mouth kiss. Sofia reported that she was having troubled breathing, she felt a little catch. Her guilt at this time was a 10, troubled breathing was a 10.
I started tapping on the physical symptom first:
“Even though I am not able to breathe freely…”
“Even though after all these years, my father is still constricting me and I am not able to breathe freely…”
“Even though I have this constrictive father breath…”
“Even though I cannot breathe normally and I feel this little catch…”
I then asked her to take a deep breath and notice how her breathing was. Sofia said she could breathe better and it was a 4. Interestingly, her guilt also went down to a 4, so I decided to work on the remaining guilt.
“Even though I still feel guilty because it must have been something that I had done to make my father do this to me…”
“Even though he started kissing me and I still feel this guilt…”
“Even though he was fondling me and it was my fault, I recognize that I was only a little girl, my father was supposed to protect me and to take care of me, it was not my fault at all, he was the adult...”
“Even though I still wonder what I did to cause this, I am ready to let go of this guilt, I have had it for so long and it has cost me dearly…"
We tapped like this, until she released her guilt completely, and her breathing was normalized.
Sofia then reported being angry as an adult, because she confronted her father in a letter, and he denied that the abuse happened. He turned his relatives against her and he convinced them that she was crazy.
“Even though I am angry at my father and it is a 10, I want to release this anger because it does not help me at all…”
“Even though I am angry at myself for staying quiet when I was a little girl, I felt I could not tell anybody, I was afraid they will blame me. I know that it was not my fault, my father’s job was to protect me and love me like a good father loves his children, but he failed at that, I choose now to love myself because I am a wonderful human being…”
“Even though I am so angry at my relatives, they all took his side, nobody believed me, they said I was crazy. I recognize today that I was the only sane one here, my father was sick and he needed help, all of them needed help…”
After several rounds of tapping, Sofia said that she was not angry anymore, that the session had been very freeing. She told me that she was tired and that she did not care anymore about her father.
She did mention that her father said that he did not read her letter, he said that the letter was full of garbage and lies. I then asked her how she felt about this, and she said that she was sad and she felt it in her chest, and it was a 7 sadness, and her pain was a 5.
“Even though I wrote a letter confronting my father, and he did not even read it…”
“Even though my father said that my letter was full of garbage and lies, I wonder how he knew that…”
“Even though I am sad because my father did not read my letter and he denied that the abuse ever happened, somehow I managed to survive and I know that I deserve complete healing…”
We tapped in this manner until Sofia had cleared her sadness and her pain completely.
I then asked Sofia to tell me the story again while tapping, and she said that she did not feel any emotional intensity at all. I had her close her eyes and told her to revisit the whole story in her mind, while exaggerating the words, everything related to her father, his face, his smells.
Sofia said that her father was the one who chose not to make peace with her, he is the one who missed out on having a warm relationship with her. Sofia was laughing now, she said she was ok.
After all he was gone now, it did not matter anymore.
I said: wasn’t he gone before the session? She thought for a moment, and then said, “My father has been gone for a long time, but before the session, I was feeling emotionally distressed, and now I am finally at peace.”
Sofia said that she did not care what her relatives said anymore, it is their problem if they did not believe her.
There were several other aspects related to the sexual abuse that were dealt with in follow-up sessions.