By Rehana Webster
Gary Craig’s Introduction
As you might appreciate, prisoners often feel such pain, guilt, fear, etc. about their issues that they don’t want to discuss them with anyone. Accordingly, they can be very close mouthed about their problems. So how do you apply EFT if the client won’t even tell you what the problem is?
Rehana provides us with a creative solution to this problem as she describes a session with her prisoner/client, “HP.” She taps on the client herself and uses clever phraseology designed to “tune the client in” to the problem. As you will see, her method achieved success.
Her idea isn’t limited to prisoners, of course. It is applicable whenever a client doesn’t want to verbalize their problem.
HP was assigned to have EFT sessions with me in early May. He was assessed as high-risk and recidivist. The reason was that HP had pulled out of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy program he was to undertake as part of his court sentence. He was given a choice of participating in EFT sessions or face being ‘breached’ if he didn’t comply.
From the first appointment it was clear that HP was not happy to be there. This 6-foot plus, solid – built like a heavyweight boxer, tattooed, macho man was as uncommunicative as a brick wall. He was determined to not give an inch. He was complying by showing up but he didn’t have to participate. Any questions I asked were answered with monosyllables and he made no attempt to make any eye contact with me. I could have been talking to myself!
There was a flicker of interest when I told HP that this therapy was non-analytical, simple, quick and had lasting effects and was entirely ‘private’. He could do it in his head and not share anything with me. He was definitely interested now as he sat up in his chair, faced me as asked how it worked. I talked about the body’s energy system being unbalanced and negative emotions, etc.
Finally, with his permission I tapped on the points on his face and hand. We didn’t explore the setup statement or gamut procedure. I wanted to take it one step at a time. I asked HP to think of an event he felt upset about and scale it from 0-10. This was a problem for HP and he couldn’t fathom it out. I could see from his face, which was tense, nostrils flaring, eyes narrowing and shallow breathing, that it was high on the scale. I demonstrated to how he could give me an approximation. I held both arms wide apart saying that was equal to a 10, then brought my arms forward to equate to a 5 and in front of my body to equate to 1 or 0. This made sense to him and he admitted that the upset was a 10+. He did not want to share the event with me and said so.
I asked him to run the event in his mind like a movie, just like it had occurred in the past. He refused to verbalize anything and a reminder statement was out of the question. So I used the following phrases as I tapped on him:
· Remember what happened
· Remember all the details you can about this event
· Remember what you said
· Remember what was said
· Remember what you heard
· What was going on around you
· What do you remember seeing
· What were you feeling at the time
· Where in your body were you feeling those feelings
· What did those feelings feel like
· Was there any temperature or movement to these feelings
· Were there any sounds or smells to these feelings
· Was there any taste in your mouth…….
I did all the verbalizing and I watched his eyes to determine whether he was feeling, listening or viewing by where his eyes were travelling during the tapping. After about six rounds of tapping I noticed his breathing change and his whole body relax noticeably. His face softened and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “it doesn’t seem that important any more”. HP is not a man of many words as you may have guessed.
I gave him his little notebook (each client gets one so they can record dates, frequency and issues they are required to tap on as homework) and asked him to record the number of times he tapped before his next appointment the following week. I had my doubts that HP would follow up on or even take this EFT session seriously.
The following week HP was waiting for me and I knew immediately something was very different about him. His whole body language was different. He even had a hint of a smile. Before our session commenced, I had taken a phone call and disagreement has ensured. As I was airing my feeling rather fervently HP looked me straight in the eyes and with a straight face said “YOU HAD BETTER TAP ON IT”…..Well, talk about a pattern interrupt on me…I was blown away and burst into laughter and so did HP. This was a different man from last week!
HP told me that he had tapped frequently on many of the ‘STINK’ experiences of his life and really found it was making a difference to his attitude. He couldn’t seem to bring up those old negative feeling on the issues he had tapped on. He also informed me that he had spoken to other ‘BROS’ (his friends who are on strength at this office) and told them about this wonderful technique and urged them to get on the EFT program too. What an amazing change in his attitude.
HP did not use his notebook to record anything and I don’t think he will. We will only be having a couple more sessions together and they will be to monitor his progress and perhaps, if he is willing, to teach him the rest of the protocol.