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MET Case Story: Inner Turmoil
An MET Case Story from recently qualified Kathryn Pearson. This in-depth story details at great length how Kathryn treated a client with a poor snacking habit. Over the sessions Kathryn gets to the depth of the issue, uncovers past trauma and feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.
Kathryn writes: The client is a community event organiser and her main presenting problem was poor snacking habit. This linked to weight issues and suffering anxiety at times.
Read on for the full story....
Our first meeting was at my home and the client seemed relaxed but slight anxiety showed. When we began discussing her presenting problem she became more animated (hand gestures and her voice pitch changed to a more excited one).
She reported feeling 'crap' about her snacking habit, we discussed it at length (the client described a situation where she goes to the petrol station, which I later use to test the SUDs) and I asked her how it made her feel; she said 'like I'm going to cry' and she described a 'pain and lump in her throat' from having an inner dialogue with herself. I quickly took a SUDs reading which was 9/10. I was keen to find out the root cause of the snacking habit and why it made her feel like she wanted to cry. My intuition was that she felt angry or disappointed at herself but did not suggest this. I wanted to see where the first few rounds would take us in case I was wrong. Our first opening statement was 'even though I've got this pain in my throat because I'm having a battle with myself over chocolate, I love and accept myself. I now realise this was a little long! We continued; 'even though it become a habit, I love and accept myself, this fed up feeling, feeling crap and the lack of self control, I love and accept myself. The client then added in 'even though I use it as a reward when I feel fed up'.
I moved to tap the client as I felt it would help her relax. 'Even though I have this terrible, unnecessary snacking habit, that shows lack of self-control, I'm open to the possibility I can get over this now.' 'Even though...I'm not hungry...makes me feel angry...makes me feel physical symptoms'. She reported feeling angry at herself, so we adapted to ... even though I feel angry at myself and its keeping me stuck.' 'I'm open to the possibility I can change.'
I completed around 4 rounds with this, then assessed the SUDs by using an imaginary situation which the client had described before-being in a petrol station, going to fill up with fuel, going in to pay and then picking up chocolate, not being hungry but wanting it and having an inner dialogue with herself. She felt no strong desire to pick up the chocolate like she had before, she felt strong and reported 0.
I got her to take a deep breath and drink; she started speaking about feeling disappointed at not being able to sort herself out, not feeling in control and that made her feel sad. Couldn't identify where she felt it but said it was high and gave a SUDs of 10 for disappointment/sadness. We completed a few rounds of 'even though I feel sad and disappointed with myself for not taking control, I love and accept myself.' It shortened to 'all this disappointment...all this sadness...not being in control.' This very quickly reduced and the client gave a SUDs of 0 again.
I then suggested to the client we discuss issues around body image she had mentioned in her intake form as I felt the issues we had already discussed linked well with this. The client talked about an incident at secondary school, where for no reason, girls had left her out and picked on her one day. They didn't speak to her apart from to call her names. She quickly told how the situation had resolved and other friends had been there for her and the girls had made friends with her again but on that particular day she reported feeling totally isolated. She gave that feeling a SUDs score of 10. I could tell immediately from her tone of voice and expression that this was a painful memory for her. She continued to discuss how even though the issue was resolved, she always felt it was on the fringes-the girls always made 'snidey' comments-this was sporadic so she never knew when they were going to do it. She essentially lived in fear when around these girls in case they picked on her again or left her out-making her feel isolated. She told me that because of this she had built up a defence mechanisms of 'getting in there first' and would quickly insult herself so they couldn't. She said that even though she never has been made to feel like this again, she still has this defence mechanism and is very good at it!
We tapped on 'even though these girls did this to me at school, they left me out for no reason, the poked fun at me, called me things I didn't like, like golf ball, I love and accept myself. 'I still think about it now, I'm always conscious an wary, that its going to happen again, I'm going to be isolated' the client became upset and I could hear a distinct crackling in her throat/voice which indicated her upset. After a few rounds I asked her how this made her feel; she said anxious, so we used that statement too alongside 'isolated' 'even though I felt isolated and that makes me feel anxious I love and accept myself' I added in 'I'm always ready to pick on myself, that's how I've always coped, that's who I am, that's the part of me that keeps me safe, and I love and accept that part of me.' At this point the client became really upset and fought tears.
We continued to tap on 'even though I keep myself safe by being unkind to myself and doing the things that keep me stuck like this, I love and accept that part of me.' 'all this sadness...being stuck...keeping safe' 'I'm open to the possibility this can change and I'm ready to get over this now.'
I asked the client to take a deep breath and take in the room, I asked how she felt now about being isolated, she replied by saying I don't feel that bothered anymore, that done now-it doesn't matter! She gave a SUDs of 0.
With this client there was not need to complete a Gamut 9 procedure.
The second time we met, again it was at my house. The client was relaxed and happy, chatting away. The presenting problem was 'extra' weight she was carrying and her inability to do anything about it; she immediately got wound up and used hand gestures around her throat (hand was tense) to express her frustration at her self. She gave this feeling a SUDs of 10. I could see she was frustrated and starting to get angry so I sat next to her and tapped her karate chop while she continued to talk. She stated that it all started in her teens and getting acceptance from her peers was important but it never happened. She said she had accepted her 'shape' but still knew she needed to lose weight. Her main problem was frustration with herself. We tapped on 'even though I'm frustrated with myself for not doing anything about my weight, I love and accept myself. All this frustration, don't do anything about it, I don't know why I don't... I love and accept myself.' After a few rounds of this I took the SUDs again and it was 4 or 5. She said she wont know its gone until she actioned this as seen the change in herself but didn't feel as wound up.
She then moved on to talk about how she felt a deeper issue was underlying this issue; which was an issue at school where she was betrayed by a boy over an intimate issue at school. She gave the 'ashamed' feeling she had a SUDs of 8. She described how she was given the label of a 'slag' and it was always referred to throughout school. She seemed to think this was the reason for her caring what other people thought of her and that made her angry. We tapped on the 'ashamed' and 'anger' feelings 'even though this happened to me at school, and it still affects me now, I love and accept myself.' 'I feel ashamed, people spoke about me, people called me a 'slag', it was unjust and unfair, I love and accept myself.' I tapped the client for a few rounds (maybe 3-4) and re-took the SUDs, which was 2. I asked the client to complete the Gamut 9 procedure. I then tapped for one more round-'even though some of this problem still remains, I love and accept myself, I'm open to the possibility that it was their issue not mine, I can get over this now.' The SUDs was now 0. I asked the client to have a drink, take a deep breath and relax for a while.
The client said the last tapping had made her realise how much she was aware of people talking about her, which made her feel insecure. This links back to the problem in the previous session of keeping herself 'stuck' (overweight) because she has built up a defence mechanism to protect herself from the issues at school which we have discussed. She said she always thinks people are talking about her for the way she looks but couldn't tell me why. I took a SUDs for how she felt about her looks/how she looks, it was an 8. I tapped the client using 'even though people talking about me makes me feel insecure, I love and accept myself. Even though I think people always judge me on the way I look, I love and accept myself. Even though I keep myself safe by keeping myself stuck, I love and accept myself.' I moved on to say; 'I don't know why I keep myself safe this way, I love and accept myself' after a few tapping points she interrupted me and said that if she changed her weight she would be different and wouldn't know how to defend herself! This seemed a huge revelation for the client so I felt it was important to keep tapping. I continued to tap on the client; 'even though I keep myself stuck and safe, I love and accept myself, even though I'm scared to change as it will mean I'm not 'ready' to defend myself, even though I've always kept myself safe this way, I deserve to get over this problem now, I am ready to get over this problem, I have what it takes to get over this problem.' After these rounds which lasted quite a while, the client gave a SUDs of 0. She said she felt motivated and excited! She also felt empowered. We finished the session there, but the client reported feeling good and happy!
The third time we met was in the client's house and she was relaxed. Her body language showed she was a little self-conscious so I ensured I adapted mine to make her feel at ease. She started by expressing her annoyance at her 'lack of motivation', she started to sigh a lot and tug on her jumper. Physical cues that she was unhappy. I straight away felt the need to start taping her karate chop while she spoke, as I asked her 'what causes the lack of motivation?' and she looked down, sighed, face dropped, but she looked ready to share. Her fear that EFT would be great 'now' but that she wuld slip back into her old ways quickly because she has lack of motivation; I asked her how that made her fell, she replied 'anxious'. I felt it was important to get rid of this first before we uncovered the reason behind the lack of motivation. She gave the anxiousness a SUDs of 7. She spoke about always doing this, as soon as something gets tough, she gives up. I asked or a specific example, which she provided and used the terms 'difficulty following things through' 'can't be bothered' 'easier to give up'. So we tapped on 'even though I'm anxious because I lack motivation, I love and accept myself' 'I don't have any motivation to complete things, I'm fearful I will slip back into my old habits, I don't see things through to the end, as soon as something starts to get difficult, I give up, that's what I've always done, that's who I am, I live and accept that part of me.' 'all this anxiety, fear, worry, I love and accept myself'. 'I'm open to the possibility that I have what it takes to be motivated.' This only lasted for about 3 rounds, after which I took a SUDs-it was 0! She said that gripping anxiety had totally gone. Felt uplifted. She then quickly told me she knew why she had a lack of seeing things through (now in her life) and it was due to working 5 days, not getting enough time to get 'stuck into anything' and felt she had 'lack of control' and that she was 'chasing her tail'. The strongest comment she made to me was that she feels like she has so much to do, she doesn't know where to start, so she just doesn't start anything!
I suggested the feeling of overwhelm-she totally agreed and said that was the emotion she felt. She was angry she didnt have time on her own anymore and that she feels guilty if she uses her evening and weekend time to do anything for her as it is 'family' time. I asked for a SUDs reading when talking about feeling overwhelmed, the client reported a 9. We tapped on 'Even though I feel overwhelmed by all this stuff I have to do, I love and accept myself.' 'Even though I feel like I chase my tail around all week, I love and accept myself.' 'even though I have so much to do, I don't know where to start, so I don't, I give up, I love and accept myself.' (She interrupted me and said that she knew that it was the fact that she had to work 5 days that made her feel this way; as she changed jobs 1 year ago from 3 days to 5 days, so has felt like this for a year.) I adapted the tapping cycle to include 'even though I changed jobs and that's the reason for this overwhelm, I love and accept myself.' 'even though I grieve for my old life and the change this new jobs has created, I love and accept myself'. After a round 4 rounds (2 pre-interruption, 2 post.) I took a SUDs to make sure we were on the right track-she gave a 3 for the overwhelm, so I said that is a feeling that is good to tap on for 'homework' and discussed this with her later. She showed signs of real excitement about uncovering this about her job, so I was keen to eliminate it and address it. She was surprised by how true she felt my 'grief' comment was and agreed that that is what has been happening in her life. I asked her how that made her feel and she said angry. She gave the anger a SUDs of 9. She said how she was not used to not having time on her own and it has all been building up in the last year since changing jobs.
She referred back to the first conversation we had about going round and round in circles, getting so far with something and then getting interrupted by Monday and work. She was frustrated at how her life had change and that she gets no time for herself. This has affected motivation-developing an almost a 'what's the point?' attitude. She concluded herself that this was the reason for her lack of motivation. So we tapped on 'even though I'm so angry that I changed jobs, I love and accept myself, even though I'm angry that my job affects my life in this way, I love and accept myself. So angry, life has changed, don't get time to do anything, I just give up, what's the point.' I moved on to 'I'm open to the possibility that I have what it takes to be motivated and efficient, and I'm open to the possibility I can change, the situation can change and I have what it takes to change.' This lasted for around 4-5 rounds. Client gave a SUDs of 0. She felt happy, her face had changed, she almost had a sparkle in her eyes! She reported feeling something big release during the session (she yawned quite a lot) and was really pleased with our sessions.
I gave home work to tap on for feelings of overwhelm. I said if she felt bogged down, or unmotivated because she had so much to do, just to tap for a while and allow the feelings to dissipate.
We read the clients hopes for our time together; she had written; 'to be more motivated, be in control, and have a positive relationship with food'.
She said that she felt she had all of those now! And was delighted and amazed at how her eating habits have changed; resulting in no inner dialogue with herself. Being able to 'take it or leave it' with chocolate – when before our time she would and could quite easily have 2-3 bars per day!