Can EFT and Events Psychology help when it comes to making a difficult decision? See for yourself:
The client (I will call her Megan) is a 33 year old married woman and mother of a six year old daughter. For several years, she has been caught in an extremely stressful conflict: Her husband and her daughter want her to have more children (adopted if necessary), but she has this "tremendous fear of having more children". She did not even want her first child, and has had a very hard time being a mother, especially in her daughter's early years. A traditional religious background with strong feelings of the obligation to procreate doesn't allow her to just say no. Thinking about having to make a decision about this issue puts her stress level at a 10.
Our intention is to allow Megan to make this decision -whatever it is- in a stress free manner.
In the first session, we agree to work on "this tremendous fear of having children, and not being able to make a decision about having more or not".
Just talking about this makes Megan "double over" ("No, no, don't push this on me"), tensing of her gut, hyperventilating, arms and legs freeze, going off to "la-la-land" (dissociation). "Childbirth is not safe!" We do EFT including various body sensations for a long time until her stress level goes from a 10 to a 3.
She does not know where this might be originated at all, so I introduce the concept of an Event Model to her that answers the question: What specific event would have caused these feelings?
I am guiding her through it, and she comes up with this:
Megan is 4 or 5 years old, at home with her mother and her sister, at 3 p.m. The sisters play happily with a little wooden truck in the living room. Then the mother comes into the room, and it feels like being thrown into an acid bath. Fear, sick feeling, negative energy cutting through the air. The mother is towering over Megan with this cold look, and says something in a sharp voice. Megan is in severe shock, can't even hear what the mother is saying, it is all garbled, but it is something about going to her room.
At this point, Megan's stress level is so high that we start doing EFT on it. During the tapping that includes various body sensations, a memory shoots up: Her mother coming to church late. Megan: "She was so embarrassed and just did not want to exist. I got her view of femininity. Being a woman is not a good thing, it makes you weak and powerless, and having children makes it worse. I saw in complete clarity how she despised being a mother"
When the stress level is down, I guide her back to our model and elicit the actual event in the story. Megan: "Being castaway to another room by her angry words".
Being a mother and having children is insanity and must be avoided at all cost.
Women are weak and at the mercy of men.
Women are vulnerable and can't protect themselves.
In the second session, we start with tapping on the remaining stress about "This tremendous fear of having children..." It is a free falling feeling in her stomach, panic, being vulnerable, not on solid ground, the discomfort of being dependant on a "cold, insensitive, unsupportive military" (her husband is a military man on repeated deployment). Also guilt: She does not think she has the right to decline having more children (adopted or not).
When the stress is on a 1-2, we go back to the Event Model. Talking about the specific event that would have caused these feelings, she gets quite stressed out again and we tap for the remainder of the session on feeling physically blown over by her mother's negativity, feeling paralyzed, in shock about being cast away into another room.
In the third session, we do an enrichment/evolvement, which answers the question: What event, if it had happened for you, would end your present problem once and for all?
Megan came up with this scenario:
Dad comes home and goes into the kitchen to calm the mother down, then he scoops little Megan and her sister up, they hug and play, and tell each other "I love you". The feeling is playful, fun, warm, relaxed, elated, alive, excited. Megan: "Things are right! The way they should be!" Little Megan is running around, screaming in excitement. Her parents look lovingly at each other. Megan calls this event Family becoming whole.
There is still a trace of sadness and longing, and we tap a round on that until it disappears.
Motherhood is a mix of joy and anxiety (70% joy).
I am able to make a decision I am at peace with. Once I make that decision, it's settled.
At the end, Megan was hugely relieved and feeling very peaceful. She said she would be able to make this decision in a relaxed manner.
©2010 Carna Zacharias-Miller