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EFT Phobia Self Help Treatment - How To Cure Your Phobia Successfully With EFT
Silvia Hartmann writes: Thousands upon thousands of people have successfully cured their phobias of all manner of things, substances, events and occurrences with EFT since it was first released. Indeed, EFT's predecessor TFT (Roger Callahans Thought Field Therapy) breakthrough story revolves around a severe case of ablutophobia (fear of washing and water), which was cured completely in a single tapping session and NEVER came back - this is now 17 years ago, so the METs can be said to really cure phobias once and for all. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to cure phobias successfully in self help treatment.
Phobia Self Help Treatment - How To Cure Your Phobia Successfully With EFT
Thousands upon thousands of people have successfully cured their phobias of all manner of things, substances, events and occurrences with EFT since it was first released.
Indeed, EFT's predecessor TFT (Roger Callahan's Thought Field Therapy) breakthrough story revolves around a severe case of ablutophobia (fear of washing and water), which was cured completely in a single tapping session and NEVER came back - this is now 17 years ago, so the METs can be said to really cure phobias once and for all.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to cure phobias successfully in self help treatment.
1. Learn EFT Properly
This may be achieved by getting personal tuition from a practitioner, or by reading a suitable EFT training manual, for example, Adventures In EFT by Silvia Hartmann.
In order to treat ones own phobia successfully, freebie bits and pieces gleaned from the Internet are NOT sufficient. For example, Gary Craig's manual which accompanies his EFT training course is NOT a stand-alone manual and MUST be used by ordering the accompanying videos/CDs from http://Emofree.com
Phobias are amongst the most intense and extreme emotional and physiological reactions a person can ever experience and if you wish to treat your own phobia in self help with EFT, then you need to be properly trained and equipped to face your own demons.
2. Overcoming Your Phobia - The Pre-Work
For a real phobia (rather than a dislike of something which is an entirely different proposition and should NEVER be confused with a real phobic response which is entirely out of control and tremendously frightening, with painful physiological side effects and huge stress after each occurrence!), we need to do some pre-work.
Many people are so terrified of the "Object of Fear" or OOF for short that they cannot even think about it, say the word or be anywhere near to the OOF even in their own thoughts without getting very stressed out.
So here is our first Prime Directive:
BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF!
EFT is NOT like cognitive therapy approaches or behaviourism where you force a terrified person into the presence of the object in the forlorn hope that they'll get used to that amount of suffering eventually.
EFT is beautiful and gentle and there need not be any fear or pain at all, just perfect release and EASY relief all around - if we do it properly.
So for each person, we need to find is a starting point.
If you cannot even say or think the word related to your own phobia, be it of air travel, clowns or pieces of wood, we can start with very generic set up phrases to relax you into the process of clearing your phobia eventually, once and for all.
Such starting points can be:
It is important to remember always:
If you want to tap a round for, "I don't want to do this at all and it's pointless and nothing will change anyway and I'll never get over this because I'm such a loser ..." then that's what you should be tapping for.
Go with yourself in this pre-work phase and simply tap on whatever comes into your mind.
When you are much more relaxed about it all and slightly curious instead of resistant or frightened, we can go on to the next stage - and no sooner. There is no time frame for this. You might tap pre-work statements like the above for a single round, for two days, a whole week - your OWN time frame is the ONLY RIGHT one.
Step 2 - Distancing Ourselves From The Object Of Fear
Now, we are ready to get to work on your phobia itself.
What happened in the past is that at one time, something very bad happened and the object you are now phobic of was present at that precise time. Our minds and bodies, always mindful of protecting us from bad things, made a note and rings the alarm bells when that OOF is encountered again to make sure you really stay away this time.
This is just the same with every phobia, even though the psych community has had fun over the years with collecting all the "crazy things" people can get phobic of and giving them crazy names - like the ubiquitous Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia which is a fear of long words!!!
If a small child or any human is hurt or frightened badly enough, they will naturally become phobic of something or other that happened to be there as the body mind thinks THAT was the reason for the fear or pain - and sometimes, that's correct as it would be with certain animals or insects jumping and frightening someone. But sometimes it's incorrect and there actually was no cause and effect at all - such as the lady who was stung by a bee which had sat in her hair brush and who became phobic of combing or brushing her hair as the result.
It is a completely natural system and we can undo these things easily with EFT. You are NOT crazy at all, and it doesn't matter WHAT triggers you at all. That was just present when "it" happened and we can now return that to the past and just being a part of our environment, where that naturally belongs.
So, what I would like you to do now is to consider your Object of Fear. If you cannot think about it or say its name, we are going to use a symbol or presentation.
You can call it, "THAT", for example - "Even though I am terrified of THAT, I deeply and profoundly ..."
If that is still to frightening, you can call it something more abstracted still - pick a "code word" like Cinderella, for example. You know what it means and that's all we need and the opening statement becomes, "I am afraid of/terrified of/hate Cinderella, and I deeply ..."
You can also just tap the code word without anything else, so the set up would be just "Cinderella" as you rub the Sore Spot or tap the Karate Chop, and you would just say, "Cinderella" on each point.
Other options include give a codename that is a colour, or a number.
These code words make you "further removed" or further away from the OOF and the further away you are, the less the fear is or the less the likelihood that you will experience a panic attack.
We will use the principle on moving in closer to the OOF itself both in body and in mind, but unlike common therapies for phobias, we stop when we feel fear and we do NOT move any closer until and unless IT IS ENTIRELY COMFORTABLE TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP.
That is really, really important and the biggest difference between EFT and other treatments - we do not make anything worse, we only make it better.
So, we stay with a keyword or a code word for your problem and tap on THAT until you are ABSOLUTELY READY to go on to being a little more specific, by naming your phobia now in real words, for example.
Please Note: If you have a severe phobia, stop reading this article NOW and treat yourself up to the point where you can name your phobia specifically. I am going to mention certain things by name from now on and would not wish you to be disturbed by this.
3. Naming The Phobia In Words
When you are ready to say, "I am absolutely terrified of snakes/clowns/pieces of blank paper/the scent of vanilla/horses/the taste of paprika on my tongue/the sound of kittens/etc. etc ...and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself," please know that you have taken a major step in the right direction and from now on, everything will unfold as it should.
If you are treating your own phobia in self help and without a guiding practitioner to steady you, you need to have a piece of paper handy and write down any memory flashes, ideas, words that came into your head as you tap the points.
I would even suggest to tap each point at a time and write down what happened *on each point* because this will help you find the *specific aspects* to your own phobia - where it came from, what triggers it, what is especially important to your neurology, etc.
At the end of the round, you can look at your sheet and focus on the next most important important thing to tap for, which will be different for everyone. For some people, it is a memory of when it first happened; for some people, it is a safety thought such as, "Will I be safe when I am not so afraid anymore?"
Take your time, work through these things and be thorough.
Take as long as you need over this step, and once in a while come back to the original opening statement where you named the phobia to check how much, if any, fear remains when you speak the phobia's name.
4. MindWalking Into The Phobia Situation, Encountering The Phobia Object
Now, and before we rush out to face the spider, the swimming pool, the airplane etc. etc., we are going to use the MindWalk technique to be really sure that we are picking up ALL the related aspects and that the fear is really going now.
For this, we are just going to imagine encountering the OOF in a place where you would normally expect, or to remember a time when you did and use that environment.
If you are not very good at imagining by sitting still with your eyes closed, you can do this MindWalk by pretending to have the OOF in the room with you or that your room is a place which is like the environment of the OOF.
If this thought causes you distress, stop immediately and start treating yourself for any fears, thoughts, and also for body sensations associated with this exercise (See The EFT Body Protocol).
Practise this stage until you can walk right up to the OOF, touch it or interact with it in your mind's eye or in pretend acting in your own room and you are perfectly happy, clear and curious about the *real* object/situation in the real world.
Only when you are absolutely ready, we go on to the next step, which is getting closer and closer to really meeting with the OOF and being entirely calm and relaxed about the whole thing.
Step 5 - Bridging Into The Reality
Now, we are going to use something real and tangible. This may be a photograph, a movie representation, or even a real life situation such as a lift in a shopping mall.
Before you do it, remember that if you are still scared while *thinking about it*, you are not yet ready for this step and more tapping needs to be done. You should also not and never use willpower to make yourself do these things or face your fears - that is not what we do in EFT treatments. Just keep tapping for whatever comes up for you until you are simply no longer afraid.
Be at a perfect distance from the real object (or photographic representation) where you can be aware of the reality of it, and yet you are completely calm and unafraid.
Some people can at this point go within 50 steps of a lift, for example, or have the image of a mouse in the same room but about 6 foot away and feel completely calm.
Now we move in a little closer, paying VERY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to how we feel inside. *ANY* twinge, hesitation, churning in the stomach, sweaty hands, nervousness or however fear manifests for you - STOP AND TAP IMMEDIATELY!!!
You are simply NOT allowed any closer UNLESS you are absolutely free of fear and you feel inside yourself a sense of calm or even curiosity or WANTING to go closer.
Follow this process until you are right close up to the OOF.
Step 6 - Phobia Freedom - The Breakthrough Shift
Most people find that at some point in this "edging in" process a real shift occurs - a threshold seems to have been breached and the last ten yards now are nothing as they rush forward, all fears having receded and they are simply not there anymore.
This is what you are actually looking for - this threshold shift into "My God, it is completely gone!! I WANT TO get in the lift/touch that spider/brush my hair!!! Oh WOW!"
Now you might not believe just yet that you too can experience this shift, but I (and thousands of other EFT practitioners!) can seriously tell you that it does happen, time and time again, and that we KNOW we still have some more tapping to do if it hasn't happened.
That move from fear and anxiety into sheer forward movement is the proof to us that the phobia has been entirely overcome and that it will never come back - the job has been completed.
I would sincerely ask you to keep on going until you have this shift as well; please remember that as long as you still feel anxiety anywhere in your body or you are using willpower or gritted teeth, *there is still some work left to be done*.
7 - In Conclusion
When you are working by yourself with a serious phobia or phobic response, this is NOT a one round, all is well kind of deal. There may be a whole lot of tapping to be done over the period of as long as a week to get to that breakthrough moment when the fear has completely and totally gone.
On the other hand, that is not much of an investment in either time or attention if you think how much less stressful life will be for you from that moment on.
If you are really thorough, and most importantly, LISTEN TO YOURSELF with great care so that as soon as a thought or feeling comes up and you treat THAT right away, this protocol WILL absolutely work and allow you to be free of your phobia forever - and should you ever pick up another in the future, you will be able to treat that too.
Should you come across thoughts and feelings that are simply too overwhelming or disturbing to approach by yourself, I highly recommend booking a session with a certified AMT Practitioner to get you at least started off in the right direction, or to help you overcome your phobia, once and for all.
Copyright Silvia Hartmann, 2003.
Trainings Director, The Association For Meridian Energy Therapies The AMT