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EFT Case Story: Back to School with EFT
Classic EFT case story from EFT practitioner Kathryn Pearson. In this article Kathryn explains how she took EFT in to her local school in Sheffield, UK, to help teenage girls with exam and general life stress. This article was first featured exclusively in the Summer 2014 (Vol.1 No.1) edition of The Energist.
Read on for the full article...
It was my at-the-time trainer and mentor Sally Canning who first suggested I could combine my real job teaching at a secondary school, with my new dream job of being an EFT practitioner.
I quickly dismissed it. I didn’t want anything from my past interfering with my new found passion and joy!
Then over time, again and again, the more people I told about EFT, the more it got suggested, ‘you should get that into schools! Practice it on your students!' It wasn’t until I’d completed my training that I began to see how right they were.
I was surrounded by needy children; despondent girls with low self-confidence who were beating themselves up about every minor detail of their lives, attention-seeking senseless boys, so desperate for attention they would stop at nothing to get it!
Children who were affected by losses of family members or friends, illnesses, bullying, stress, the list goes on and on.
It’s quite frustrating knowing I have a tool which could help these children, but totally terrifies me that if I was to suggest EFT in my school, I’d be stepping on so many hardworking toes, the toes of the staff who day in, day out, deal with the more ‘disengaged’ pupils of our large secondary school.
They try every intervention possible, endlessly searching for answers for each pupil, but I know with a few sessions of EFT, they could most likely be reintegrated back into school.
To date I have found solace in a few colleagues in my school, our KS4 pastoral support worker and the 6th form pastoral support worker.
I approached both these ladies whom I knew were running ‘exam stress’ groups with their year groups. Both sessions were an immediate success - Of course! Its EFT!
My first session was with group of Year 11's. Their group was specifically designed as somewhere they could come each week to relax and switch off from the pressure of exams and revision.
I introduced EFT to the group (around eight Year 11 girls) and explained how it worked. We then discussed what elements of their exams were ‘stressing them out’.
I made it very clear that they should keep in mind their own particular triggers and feelings and not take on board the experiences of others.
I used the white board in the room to produce an aspect chart. Many of the girls shared the same worries; not being good enough, feeling overwhelmed, not getting into the next year if they failed their exams, letting parents down and not doing enough revision, so it was quite an easy to speak to them as a group.
They discussed how these issues made them feel (constant worrying, feeling heart-broken) and how these emotions would manifest as physical pain and/or interfere with their sleep. They spoke how it was affecting friendships and also their relationships with their parents.
I asked where each girl was on the SUD and wrote these down on the board. They ranged from 8-10, very high stress. I then showed them the tapping points and continued until they were comfortable to tap with their eyes closed.
Once they had mastered tapping I started my dialogue, based on what they had talked about. I didn’t get the girls to repeat out loud, but in their heads, to avoid them feeling self-conscious.
We started by tapping on the karate chop point using the set-up statement; ‘even though I feel stressed about my exams, I love and accept myself.’ I then got them to move to the top of their head: ‘all this work, there’s too much, I can’t cope with it all.’
I asked them to move through the points as I spoke. ‘It gives me headaches, I can feel this panic in my chest, it stops me sleeping, that makes me tired and frustrated.’
‘All this stress, all this panic, I feel stressed, I feel panic.’ ‘What if I don’t pass? What if I let my parents down? What if I don’t do enough? What if I can’t do the exam? I’m so scared I’m so panicky, it makes me stressed and even though I feel this way I love and accept that part of me.’
We continued tapping this cycle for about three rounds, maybe four. I asked all students to take a few deep breaths and asked them for new SUDs. Most students went down to 2/3’s, which I was amazed by!
They said they felt great and relaxed, they looked brighter and their eyes sparkled in the way they do when someone's had a brilliant EFT session. However, there was one girl whose number had only gone down to 10 to 8, so I decided to work with her on a one-to-one basis.
I followed normal EFT procedure and managed to get her number down to one.
After lots of tears she was relieved and couldn’t believe the difference it made. She was really thankful and I have since seen her and she still talks about how much it helped her.
A lot of the other girls have since reported feeling much calmer and more confident towards their studies. I was amazed and overjoyed at the positive impact I’d had on these girls; I’d managed to quickly and easily reduce their stress and anxiety.
How amazing is that?!
I had no idea how a group would work, but I felt pretty happy with how the session went. The pastoral support worker was so impressed she recommended me to a senior member of staff as she was dealing with pretty tough personal issues. I’ve even had other staff asking me to ‘do it on them’, mainly for stress, and I often treat my colleagues in our workroom.
When I discovered Silvia Hartmann's Positive EFT I immediately (as the book suggests) thought of group sessions, especially with my A-Level exam group students in mind.
They have such low self-confidence but are so desperate to succeed. They want the very best for themselves and failure is just not an option, but they find it so difficult to have any belief in themselves at all.
It worries me that this disbelief is ultimately what is holding them (and my results as a teacher!) back. I teach and prepare them for the exams to the highest standard I can, but I couldn’t do much more to prepare them outside the subject matter.
But this fear, this anxiety, this disbelief holds them back, I know it does.
For one of their last lessons as Year 13’s I decided to do some positive EFT, specifically on ‘success.’ They already had an understanding of what EFT is and does, as they’ve seen me treat one particular student in the group who was suffering major panic about an exam in one of my lessons.
I explained about positive EFT having three levels and I asked them to think of three levels of success; immediate, short term and long term to correlate with ‘I want more success in my life, I want even more success in my life and I want all the success in the universe’.
I explained the importance of visualising these levels of success and really feeling the happiness, joy, relief, satisfaction and delight that they would feel when they achieved that level of success.
I gave them an example and then gave them a few moments to think of their own scenarios (such as results day and them getting the results to get into university, their first day at university, graduating, getting their dream job and so forth).
We began with hands on the heart and I spoke out load whilst they internally repeated it, I kept my input to a minimum and just repeated the ‘I want all the……’ statements, using a new one as a prompt to move to the next tapping point.
After two full rounds we stopped. They loved it! They looked much brighter and happier.
Teenagers aren’t very forth coming with telling you how they feel, however a few of them have returned to school to see me to tell me how much relief it brings them to do it again on their own. It fills me with joy!
They said it was a bit ‘weird’ for them and they do get embarrassed sometimes but I’m quite a persuasive person and I kept reassuring them.
I often think they’re quite shocked that I do something so ‘weird’, but I think that gives it appeal! I have been surprised at the amount of girls who have been open to it and willing to try anything to help them.
Boys have been a different entity entirely so far, but I am working on that! Will I ever approach my head teacher and offer my services? I don’t know.
Honestly, I’m happy for now building my own practice outside of school in my specialist field of food and eating habits, but I know EFT and Positive EFT could have a major impact on the lives of all children.
I often imagine what my life would have been like if I’d discovered EFT 15-20 years ago? What if I could have had as much confidence, self-belief and empowerment as I have now?
Imagine if you could have undone all the painful and hurtful things people said or did to you when you were a child, Imagine if you could have let go of all that ‘stuff’ and worry.
Imagine, imagine imagine!
~ Kathryn Pearson is a GoE certified EFT Practitioner with a degree in Nutrition, Health and Lifestyles and teaches Food and Nutrition at a secondary school in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
~ This article was first published in the Summer 2014 (Vol.1 No.1) edition of The Energist.
The Energist is The GoE's new quarterly journal-style magazine that is distributed to over 1,000 of our members and associates worldwide. Find out more about GoE membership and how to obtain your copy of The Energist by clicking here.