Trauma is one of the areas that is most responsive to EFT, in fact I have found success rates in (non-suppressed) trauma to be close to 100% and for trauma generally to be very high in general. Whereas in the past, trauma is something we have had to live with, this is no longer the case. Using EFT, we can gently, yet very efficiently, release the pain connected with past events and experiences. Once the treatment is complete - and this can sometimes be in as little as one or two sessions for specific single-event traumas - the individual feels at peace with the particular event.
EFT represents a paradigm shift in what is psychologically possible. In the field of trauma, talking therapies, including CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) can only go so far.
Clinical Psychologist Roger Callahan back in the 1980's (see What Is EFT?) made a startling discovery. When he applied his acu-point tapping method directly to specific past traumatic events, he found the following happened spontaneously:
- The upset connected with the memory decreased as the treatment proceeded. During this time layers of emotional material cleared and submersed emotions surfaced. After a period (the timing is usually in a small number of hours or even minutes!) there ceased to be any emotional charge at all, just a feeling of peace. Even months and years later, focussing on the same memory could not bring up any upset!
- At the right time, repressed material comes to the surface and also is released, for example in a childhood experience where a deep feeling of being made to feel useless by another individual. As that feeling is released, the individual suddenly realises that is it not about him or her, but about the fact that the perpetrator was highly stressed and said it because she was an alcoholic and was venting supressed emotions. But then a well of anger may suddenly surface because the individual had been treated like that often in childhood and his/her confidence has been affected for the whole of his/her life. Again, continuing to treat these feelings reveals more awareness, and a deepening state of peace.
- Cognitive Shifts Occur; Not only does the upset connected with a past memory release and clear, but the whole situation is experienced with an entirely new and empowering perspective. Someone who was regularly beaten up with a violently abusive father, as the layers clear, suddenly realises that his/her father was himself abused as a child and was acting out that anger and pain. Forgiveness can spontaneously arise. That doesn't mean condoning his actions of course. But it means that the emotional poisoning that was held inside the individual about his/her father ceases, and forgiveness brings a deep healing and peace. It is important to note here that it is not about forced forgiveness. It happens naturally when it is ready.
- The pain we experience from upsetting events doesn't come from the event itself but from the body re-creating the emotions felt at the time in the here and now. This programming was set in place at the time of the trauma. EFT clears the programme, which means that even telling the story in great detail will not re-create the upset.
- That individuals cannot believe the above is possible so easily and usually forget how painful the trauma was, sometimes only minutes afterwards. Once trauma is cleared, people often find other ways to explain why they feel different. For example: "The process distracted me from the feelings" or "It was never a problem anyway". However the same people previously admitted that the trauma had been affecting them for years before the session despite years of therapy and future sessions showed that the trauma no longer triggered any upset.
Healing Repeating Trauma Patterns
It is very common that people experience repeating trauma patterns. For example, a woman may experience repeatedly being abandoned in a serious of relationships. Some of these may be her partner leaving her for another woman, others may be seeing her partner having a serious of affairs. More subtly a partner may die through illness or accident - another form of abandonment. A pattern such as this almost always can be seen in early childhood through some form of feeling abandoned by a parent or guardian. This could mean an early death of a parent, or being forcibly sent to boarding school, or being sent away to be adopted or fostered by other carers.
This particular pattern usually results in a neediness with a partner and the partner can feel his / her freedom being restricted and find s/he needs space. To break the pattern, these other experiences above need to be healed and released. In so doing, the individual is in a new place with respect to the idea of relationship with another, with no fear of being abandoned and the chances of a long lasting relationship are heightened significantly.