By Deirdre Brocklebank, BA, Dip Reflexology
I have been using and teaching EFT for more than six years. I am also a registered reflexologist and I use EFT combined with reflexology and other energy therapies including Reiki, Pranic and Theta Healing* for most of my sessions with clients.
This is a case study for a young woman in her late twenties whom I will call Anne. Anne came to see me for assistance with several conditions including general anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma (when under stress) and back pain from having broken her Lumbar 4 & 5 and her coccyx several years ago. She also had an extreme phobia for spiders generally, and the Australian Huntsman spider in particular. She was also concerned about her weight.
This is an interesting case as it demonstrates how her phobia of spiders is interwoven with her lack of trust of men, fear of violation/invasion and fear of being alone in a house. I combined EFT with Theta Healing and reflexology in seven sessions over a 5½ month period.
For the purposes of this article I will focus on the phobia of spiders and related issues rather than the physical conditions.
The break up with her fiancé was a highly emotional issue for Anne. I employed Theta Healing to change her belief that “this will be hard to shift” before starting to tap with EFT. She had extreme pain in her heart and nearly as bad in her stomach. I asked her to feel and name the emotions as they arose without doing a setup. Statements included “I’m in agony”. Theta Healing cleared her belief that “I’m not good enough”. After a couple of rounds of tapping her heart still felt heavy but she began to see the other person’s perspective as she “felt sorrow and compassion and sadness for her ex fiancé”. We did a few rounds for “this constricted breathing”. She then tapped for “Even though ……….let me down and betrayed my trust and I felt rejected I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.”
She felt better thinking about her ex-fiancé after this, but intuitively realised from a pain in her collar bone that she “betrayed herself.” She felt this was because, against her better judgement, she had befriended the woman who betrayed her with her ex-fiancé. We tapped for this betrayal and included the choice statement “I now choose to move on from this experience with love and gratitude for the lessons I have learned.” Even though she laughed and said she felt much better she still had some heart bruising. The positive effect of this work was confirmed when she thought she saw her ex-fiancé in the distance two weeks later and she wasn’t affected in any way by this.
In the second session I used EFT and Theta Healing to address weight beliefs. These beliefs were to do with frustration, negative beliefs eg I am fat, I don’t want to lose weight etc overeating addictions, compulsions, fears eg I’m afraid I’ll feel deprived if I lose weight. I downloaded and taught new feelings around eating high vibrational foods to nurture her body. A belief that she was angry at herself muscle tested positively and we addressed this as, “Even though I am angry and I don’t know why, I just am and I will be if I want to be, I deeply and completely love and accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” After tapping she realised that she was afraid of being alone and this made her angry. I changed this belief with Theta Healing plus the associated ones of “I failed” and “I don’t deserve happiness”.
We then addressed two specific incidents that she recalled to do with spiders. Incident one occurred was when she was 4 or 5. Her baby sitter told her, that when she was taking a shower, she found a huge Huntsman spider in her towel against her skin. Anne felt real fear remembering it and she was in shock and dry retching. Incident two occurred when her sister put a tomato shell on her shoulder and told her it was a spider. She still felt great fear talking about it
We tapped for each of these issues with the following setups and appropriate statements: “Even though I hate big, hairy, moving Huntsman spiders with attitude I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.”
“Even though my baby sitter told me she had an experience with a spider on her towel and I took on her fears as I was only a child and I had a great imagination I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” She did one round of “I took on my baby sitter’s fear of spiders.” This was followed by the choice statement “I now choose confidence and peace around big Huntsman spiders and White Tailed spiders.”
When repeating the story she felt some charge so we tapped for, “This remaining fear of Huntsman spiders.” She then repeated the story with no charge. However, when I tapped lightly on her leg like a Huntsman walking on her, her fear was slightly retriggered,
We tapped on the following set up for the second incident. “Even though M…. pretended there was a big spider on my shoulder and I freaked out and was hysterical I deeply and completely love and accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” We then did two rounds of “I freaked out” but she still had some charge when she retold the story. She was tired and requested we finish the session with reflexology.
By the third session Anne reported a significant change in her reactions to thoughts of spiders and associated events because of the EFT. However she still felt some reaction when I asked her to think of the spider incident with her baby sitter again. She felt this was because she was afraid she would pass her fear onto her young relatives.
I suggested she recall the incident using the run the movie technique. She called the movie “The Lucky Escape.” It ran for 20 seconds. She saw a small child in kitchen. The baby sitter was showing off and scared the child with a spooky story when she saw the child playing happily with a spider. The babysitter warned her to be careful. The child left the kitchen very frightened. When she re-ran the movie with her eyes closed, she thought of the spider up against her and shuddered. We addressed her fear with the following setup. “Even though I hate the thought of a big hairy Huntsman against my skin I know it’s my baby sitter’s fear but I can’t help it and I took it on, even so I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” She was obviously very scared so I tapped on her with her permission and asked her to identify with the spider by naming it. She called it “Hairy Legs”. She was still reacting to the thought of it on her bare skin. I employed Theta Healing to identify and change the main self sabotaging belief around the fear which was “I need to be in control of my life all the time.” I also changed the associated belief “I’ll die if I fail”. This was a very emotional issue as she was crying. She agreed to test her reaction to the thought of the spider on her bare skin so I brushed her arm slightly. She had no reaction to that. However, she still reacted to, “Crawling legs on my bare skin.” After a round of this she had no reaction when I brushed her arm as she thought of the spider on her skin and felt “better.”
That was a very important session as Anne had the realisation that her fear of intruders, fear of being alone and fear of her nightmares started after the first spider incident. We tapped for, “Even though I dreamt that someone climbed in my window and I was kidnapped and tortured, I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” We changed the following beliefs with Theta Healing. “Spider man climbed in my window at night and kidnapped and tortured me.” “I have to suffer to live”, “I now choose joy in my life” and “Life is suffering.”
I recommended that she tap in advance for her fear of nightmares with a setup along the lines of the following: “Even though I am scared I will have the invasion dream tonight and respond accordingly and I’ll be unable to wake myself up and if I do I’ll be paralysed with fear and unable to move. Even so I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.
At the fourth session I showed Anne a photo of big Huntsman spider. She had a strong adverse reaction to even looking at it. It triggered the memory of a what she had initially thought was a dream that she had about a White Spider. However, when she woke she found it was not a dream. We tapped for, “Even though the White Spider disappeared under my bed and I couldn’t find it and I was terrified and I didn’t know where it was and I can’t sleep in a room with a spider in it, I deeply and completely accept myself unconditionally with love and gratitude.” After a couple of rounds of negative statements she introduced new positive words about the spider including “stunning, translucent, beautiful with “running quickly”.
Following this tapping, she intuitively felt that she was scared by what she thought was her dream as she “couldn’t satisfy her need to be in control” It was interesting to note that she had begun to use positive descriptive words about the spider, including “white, beautiful, translucent”, with the less positive, “unpredictable, fast, devious, well-hidden, camouflaged, sneaky and kamikaze.” One round of “wake me up spider” was followed by two rounds of “very delicate and beautiful spider”. This resulted in a significant change, for when she looked at the photo of the spider again she could hold it and described the spider without any symptoms of stress. She also was able to look more closely at it as she mentioned its mouth mandibles and that it only had seven legs. This change didn’t last long and we tapped for, “This band around my head”. Her main sabotaging belief around this fear was that she is powerless. We also changed other associated beliefs including, “I don’t deserve happiness.” “I don’t know what it feels like to experience happiness in my life.”
Anne’s insomnia was related to traumatic incidents in her life including the attempted suicide of a close relative while she was asleep in the same house. I cleared related beliefs with Theta Healing to do with doubts about her abilities, plus the most significant belief that “I am vulnerable when I am sleeping.” This was related to her fear of being attacked while asleep and it only cleared after “I am a failure” was replaced with positive downloads. The belief that “I can never let down my guard” was cleared after we changed, “I have to control my life in order to survive.” After changing “I am afraid of spiders” she then muscle tested positively to “I am not afraid of spiders.” However, she was resistant to letting the belief go consciously, as she said “I don’t believe this, because I am still afraid.”
Anne requested only reflexology at the fifth session as she felt very sensitive after the session the week before and was feeling nauseous at the start of this one. Furthermore, she had used the EFT for herself during the week.
I received this email from Anne two days before the sixth session which we had about three months later, and after the EFT workshop that I conducted and which she attended.
“I’ve had the arachnophobia for about twenty years, since I was five or so. Over the years I’ve tried lots several means of clearing those fears but ultimately have had little success. This weekend I worked on the issue over two days. On day one a number of issues came up around spiders that we tapped through and I felt the fear pretty intensely but struggled through, tapping along the way. On the morning of day two I was in the shower when I realised there was a large daddy-long-legs above me on the ceiling. Usually I would immediately get out of the shower and would be unable to take my legs off the perpetrator until it had been removed from the house. However, on this occasion I remained in the shower and tapped on it, all the while looking at the spider. Then I washed my face and even managed to close my eyes, all the while repeating affirmations and then continuing with tapping. I have never managed to do this before and while it was a challenge I was really proud of myself afterwards. I left the spider there in the bathroom so I could allow myself to be further challenged the following day. Later on day two I felt like there was a breakthrough when I had the realisation that much of this fear is connected with feelings of betrayal that have arisen in experiences of my encounters with spiders. Through the EFT process I tapped on issues of betrayal and felt the level of fear around spiders decrease. On day three when I went to the shower my spider was gone. While I still feel there is more to work on in clearing this fear I really do feel that the EFT has helped me to clear a lot of it. So thanks heaps!!!”
This sixth session was very important as Anne confronted several incidents in which she had felt some betrayal and self recriminations where she felt she had let people down.
We also tapped for her guilt of not being there for her mother and another close relative when they needed her. She then tapped to address her deep sense of betrayal when neither her mother nor father believed her when she said a male relative whom she loved and trusted, had made improper advances to her. She tapped on the Karate Chop point for “My parents are not emotionally there for me when I need them. I now choose to love and accept my parents unconditionally.”
The seventh formal session was just prior to Anne moving into a new renal property on her own. She tapped for being scared to be in the house on her own because of fear of invasion. She related this to an incident in which there had been intruders in her house and she slept through it. However, but still felt ill when she realised what had happened. This was very much related to her fear of relationships with men and involved clearing many beliefs including, “If I go to sleep I’ll die” and “If I go to sleep I’ll be violated”
We then tapped on the sensations of a strangled feeling including “vulnerability, dizziness, stuck in my throat, not being able to ask for help, no voice.” She felt better and finished with, “I now choose to be heard” and “I now choose strength and harmony.”
The success of the sessions with Anne’s spider phobia was further supported by the fact that a couple of weeks after the last session, she had calmly removed a poisonous spider from her house with no reaction whatever. A month later she cleaned out a shed “full of spiders” Once again she had no reaction at all.
Deirdre Brocklebank BA, Diploma of Reflexology, Cert, IV Assessment and Workplace Training, EFT Practitioner and teacher, Theta Healing Practitioner.
NB when I mention clearing or changing beliefs with Theta Healing I am also including downloading positive replacement beliefs.
Deirdre Brocklebank BA, Diploma of Reflexology, Cert, IV Assessment and Workplace Training, EFT Practitioner and teacher, Theta Healing Practitioner. Member RAA. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ntpages.com.au/therapist/452