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EFT - The Body And Metaphors Within Emotional Issues
This is a real case study that I feel truly shows the body’s use of metaphors as a form of protection in deep rooted emotional issues. As a therapist, I must admit that I lost some of my professionalism while working on this case as, not only was it particularly emotional, but the client was actually my brother, Lewis. Lewis has had difficulties since he was very young. My parents persevered for years trying to find the right help. He has ADD, and as a youngster was completely hyper active, wildly imaginative and uncontrollable with little or no ability to hold his concentration to almost anything. However when he was around twelve he became the polar opposite. The change was so incredibly drastic. He became low, quiet and withdrawn – which seemed almost lazy to everyone else knowing what he had been like before. My parents have seen many specialists and doctors but have been unable to get the right help for him. Now at the age of twenty he is much more balanced but still has many difficulties and deep rooted emotional issues, as you will soon discover.
Added Dec 24, 2008 | 7,272 Reads
Lewis was feeling particularly low and disheartened due to a failed telephone interview for a job. We decided to do an EFT session to try and lift his low mood. Initially we tapped on failing the interview and the feelings arising from that. Immediately he began to twitch quite violently in his arms and body and told me it reminded him of the feelings he used to get as a hyper active child, feeling driven to do things. We worked on bringing these symptoms down. Initially he had an image of a k’nex ball – which was something he played with often as a child. As we tapped on that vision the images really began to pour out, and he could see them very clearly. Next he noted a swimming pool, then a river with bark floating on it, then a river with a stick poking out of it, and then a memory began to come together – hopefully you can look back on these metaphors and see some links and similarity between them and the memory as I did.
The memory he had was of a family trip to the park, at the age of seven, where he suddenly felt ‘possessed’ (this happened often due to ADD, he often felt driven and compelled to take action) and had grabbed some packets of maltesers my parents had brought for us and ran to the river feeling unable to stop himself, and threw them into the river. My dad had then held him over the river to pick them back out. Firstly I used the movie technique, and at the beginning of the memory before he had even taken action, he was aware of black shadows creeping up his back. As we tapped for the shadows they lessened, until they were only up his legs, then like ink on his feet, and lastly he noticed that it was like poison in his big toe (which he gets repeatedly in life). Through using the movie technique the memory had changed a little, now he had not stolen the sweets, but said that his family knew that he had thought of doing it, and were angry. I took the opportunity to use a technique called Matrix Re-imprinting, by Karl Dawson. Matrix re-imprinting is a technique where the client visualises tapping on the echo (the child they were in the memory, as if the young version of them is in front of them) to dissolve the emotion. Little did I know how difficult that would be.
Throughout the continuous tapping Lewis could see his echo (himself at the age of 7) in the park with his shadow moving around him ‘like a sun dial’ as if he had been there for a very long time. He then found the echo in a ‘black place’ which later revealed itself to be the park, but only in complete darkness. When he tried to approach his echo it completely ignored him, but with persistence eventually made him listen, but then we had the difficulty that the echo would not trust him, and certainly would not allow being tapped on in any way. I asked what the echo needed. ‘His family’. This brought up a lot of emotion and called for the use of a lot of improvisation and imagination. I gave Lewis a torch and told him to shine the light for his echo. ‘His family are there but they’re hiding behind the trees.’ We shone the light but the echo would not look. I told Lewis to imagine powering up a white light in his solar plexus just like sonic the hedgehog(a game he played often at that age) and when he had enough power to shatter the black sky and darkness. I then told Lewis to create a sunrise which revealed the park in full light. The echo was becoming more accessible now but still would not allow tapping. I suggested that the echo could speak to ‘little Kelly’ (myself in his memory at age eight) and that maybe she could help. He said, ‘she cares, but she’s too young to understand,’. Even I found that particularly emotional. In a way I was actually there, but there was nothing I could do for him.
The echo was still stubborn and wouldn’t allow tapping. I asked what he would need in order to fix this situation. He replied, ‘a walk around the park together.’ He and his family took a walk around the park, he found himself whizzing up the path on his bike in the sunshine where the family accepted and loved him, and he hadn’t stolen the sweets, or even thought about it for that matter. Everything was normal and happy and when the echo got home it finally trusted Lewis and allowed tapping, where they spoke for a while to resolve the issue completely.
I had never experienced such an amazing journey through someone else’s consciousness, and I think it shows the depth and significance of that experience and the effect it actually had on him. I also found it incredibly interesting to learn about the metaphors his body used, and how they gently unravelled bit by bit, without becoming overwhelming in anyway, like a form of self protection. We still have a long way to go, and a lot of work to do, but to know I provided relief from something that had plagued him for thirteen years, encourages me to keep going and build his confidence to help him become the man he wants to be.
More on metaphor and energy psychology treatments here.
Added Dec 24, 2008 | 7,272 Reads