EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 2

Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior

 

Abusive Families Create PTSD Symptoms

In abusive families, children often suffer physical abuse or sexual abuse or their parents criticize them severely or play painful mind-games. A child might see or hear something that’s wrong and try to say something about it, but her parents might tell her that it’s not really happening or that she’s crazy. If she tells her parents she doesn’t want them to do what they’re doing or that it hurts her feelings if they say cruel things to her, they ridicule her, put her down or tell her they’re not doing whatever they’re doing. This is psychological abuse. Abuse often results in PTSD symptoms. (See my blog entry, EFT Helps With PTSD, for a definition of PTSD and some introductory background).

Children Suffering From Childhood Abuse Are Powerless

When children are abused, they often have no recourse—no one is there to help them. They’re trapped, and they don’t know a way out. As young children, parents are like mirrors for us, showing us who we are by the way they act toward us. If they are constantly criticizing or hurting us, the mirror is showing us that we’re ugly or wrong or stupid. And because we have no other input, we automatically believe it.

Childhood Abuse Creates Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior

Having a mirror that says we’re ugly and wrong creates a split in us. On the one hand, we believe it and start to beat upon ourselves just like they do; we hurt ourselves. On the other hand, there’s a healthy core in us that’s really angry about being treated so badly. Unfortunately, children have few relationship tools; often their way of expressing this anger is to act out impulsively or aggressively. This gets them in trouble in the larger world, which usually doesn’t understand the root of their behavior.

Negative Self-Image, Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior Continues into Adulthood

Whatever is mirrored to us as young children stays with us into adulthood. This is because we learned from this mirror before we ever knew we were learning anything. It unconsciously becomes our worldview and our self-view. And the way we learn to react to it to survive emotionally becomes an automatic habit that continues on into adulthood. But I’ve seen that we can change all of this.

EFT Helps With PTSD Symptoms of Childhood Abuse

EFT is amazingly effective with the PTSD symptoms caused by childhood abuse and other causes of PTSD and healing pain, both physical and emotional pain. For more details, see my website EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

EFT Helps With PTSD

What is PTSD?

When most of us experience a threatening, scary or painful event, our energy systems and nervous systems are zapped and, almost inevitably, emotional and/or physical symptoms automatically begin. Usually, they don’t subside until we do specific work to alleviate them. The complex of emotional and physical symptoms that start happening after one of these scary, threatening or painful events is called PTSD—Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD is “Normal”

A lot of times, people who experience PTSD feel that there’s something wrong with them. In a way, there is—because you’re in emotional and/or physical pain. But actually, what’s happening is our body’s normal nervous system reaction to threat. So you could say that PTSD is a healthy survival mechanism built into our nervous system and body. The positive part of this is that it can help us to recognize and react quickly to future threats.

PTSD: Our Body Reacts As If It Were Happening All Over Again

The negative part is that in humans, our nervous system starts reacting to events with even a homeopathic dose of threat or emotional/physical pain as if they are full-blown threats or painful events. And even remembering the original scary, threatening or painful event automatically and immediately creates the same physical and emotional reactions that occurred during the original event.

PTSD Symptoms Are Automatic 

For example, someone who was accosted and robbed by a man with a mustache while walking down a certain street at 4:00pm often will automatically break into a sweat walking down that street at any time of day. Their heart may beat quickly if they’re outside at 4:00pm. Their chest might get tight whenever they see a man with a mustache, no matter where they are or when they see him. In an effort to keep us absolutely safe, our nervous system goes way overboard.

PTSD Symptoms

How intense our fear was during the original threatening event determines our PTSD symptoms. If we were really scared or the emotional pain was really intense, but in both cases, we somehow felt that we could handle it or overcome the danger or the pain, resulting symptoms will probably include increased heartbeat, heat, muscle cramps or body tension, intense fear or panic, or anger. There might also be some active sadness or grief.

If the event was overwhelming to us, or we felt that we couldn’t handle it or overcome the danger, resulting symptoms may include dizziness, spaciness, floatiness, difficulty focusing, changes in how we perceive our bodies, emotional or physical numbness, and difficulty concentrating on what’s happening. Emotionally, we may experience depression, a depressed sadness, despair, nausea, chronic sorrow, hopelessness, and resignation.

EFT With PTSD

EFT is amazingly effective with PTSD symptoms. The emotional and physical after-effects—PTSD symptoms— of one event can often be alleviated in one to four sessions. I think this is because EFT is great at re-balancing our energy systems—and PTSD is a result of our energy system being short-circuited—which affects our nervous system and thus our emotions and bodies.

See EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 2 and EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 3.

For more information, see my website, EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

Relationship Counseling for Emotional Freedom

Relationship Counseling & EFT–Jealousy in Relationships

 Have you ever been angry that your partner or spouse kept indulging himself with special lunches out and scolded him for wasting money? Been angry that your girlfriend or wife liked to buy a new blouse or skirt every season? Or thought your kids are spoiled because they get to choose the story they have read to them at night? Or maybe each one gets to choose their own?

Are They Wrong or Are We Jealous?

I wouldn’t say that these kinds of feelings and thoughts are never just logical and reasonable. Sometimes our partners do spend too much and kids don’t have enough limits. In the couple counseling and relationship counseling part of my practice, I have noticed, though, that a lot of times there’s something else going on in us when we have these feelings and thoughts. Often, it’s because we feel deprived, and this leads us to be jealous of our partners, our children, our co-workers, our friends—whomever we’re around.

Childhood Trauma Leads to Jealousy of His Child

So maybe it would be a good idea to look inside a bit and figure out what’s making us feel deprived? A lot of times, we’re actually depriving ourselves! I had a client, for example, who had been abused and severely controlled by his mother as a child. He was severely punished whenever she wanted something from him that a child should not have to give a parent. When his child wanted something or didn’t want something, he got very angry at him. He saw his child as being unreasonably willful. Digging deeper, he was able to see that, not only was he deprived of choice as a child, but he was even now depriving himself. He was often doing things out of a sense of duty or fear and then resenting what he felt he had to do. I was able to help him see where he had choices and to choose them. This brought him a sense of greater emotional freedom.

It’s Really About Self-Deprivation but Could be About Emotional Freedom

This also works in couples counseling, where couples often have complementary feelings of jealousy, arising out of their own self-deprivation! For example, the wife in one client couple was upset that her husband spent so much time and energy on his career. She had chosen to stay at home with the kids, who were now in school. Without really being aware of it, she had started feeling bad about her worth and unchallenged intellectually. She felt she couldn’t go back to her career because of the kids. When all three of us looked into this more with relationship counseling, her husband was all for her going back to work, her kids were in school during the day, and she was able to get a part-time job in her field.

Relationship Counseling Creates Emotional Freedom

Before they worked through their issues in couples counseling, the husband in this couple felt that his wife had a lot of free time and was angry that she was complaining. It turned out that he was feeling burdened by having to sustain the family financially and worked way more hours than he wanted to. He was depriving himself of time to go for bike rides, which had, in the past, always helped him to relax. He was able to see that the burden was not all on his shoulders, and that he actually could make some time to ride his bike, even before his wife went back to work.

Again, using jealousy as a starting point in their couple therapy to find out how each was depriving him/herself,  the couple was able to find a greater sense of individual emotional freedom and joy in their relationship.

For more information on my work, see my website pages on Couples Counseling and Relationships Counseling, and EFT Case Studies.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë