Though I’ve been utilizing EFT as my main treatment modality in my psychotherapy practice for 7 years, I still can get blown away by the near miraculous results. I’d like to share a recent case with you that really made my heart soar. Mind you, this is a complicated case and continues to be a work in progress.
Matthew (not his real name) is an adorable 8 year old boy, who was born with several birth defects, is developmentally delayed, has TICS associated with Tourette Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and has issues with ADD. In his young life he has had several major surgeries, including a life-saving one the day he was born (after which he spent many days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and has had over 40 other hospitalizations.
As you can well imagine, Matthew developed severe anxiety reactions as it relates to any kind of medical or therapy appointment. Since he continues to require frequent medical and therapeutic interventions, he spends a lot of his time in a high state of anxiety. Mom has developed symptoms of vicarious trauma having to witness her son’s physical and emotional suffering.
Matthew’s mom contacted me a few weeks before Matthew was to have an extensive medical evaluation and some dental procedures. She was hoping EFT would help his anxiety relating to these and subsequent appointments.
After a thorough history was taken, I made a home visit to see Matthew. I did not want to add to his trauma by having him come see a “therapist” before we had a chance to collapse some of the previous medical traumas. His open smile and warm nature immediately endeared me to him. He ushered me into “his office” where we sat down at a child size table.
After demonstrating a few rounds on the bear, I asked if he wanted to give it a try. I wanted to give him as much sense of control as possible, so I asked him to play follow the leader while he mimicked me through the tapping procedure. Unfortunately, his motor skills were not fine enough for him to tap the points himself. I gave him the choice between mom and me to tap on his buttons for him. He chose me. I asked mom to tap along with us…borrowing benefits couldn’t hurt.
Matthew does not have the cognitive, verbal, or emotional acuity to express his fears or anxieties. This is when the art of getting oneself out of the way pays great dividends. We started with latest trauma of having some teeth pulled at the dentist. Though mom had promised Matthew she would be in the room with him, the dentist wouldn’t allow it (a source of great guilt and angst for mom). Matthew also has extreme separation anxiety.