A client recently came back from a visit to her parents and reported that, just like all through her childhood, she again felt that her mother didn’t like her. Now just imagine her going back home during the holidays, when everything is heightened!

A Negative Family Pattern in Action

If one of the family patterns you dealt with as a child was disapproval by one of your parents, or a feeling that one of them didn’t love you, when you go back home for the holidays, that feeling is bound to surface again. I’d like to give some EFT Tapping suggestions that could help decrease your anxiety.

Recognizing the Family Pattern and How You Fall Into It

Let’s say this is about you and your mother, as with my client above.

  • Think about what your mother says or does that makes you feel unloved or disapproved of; be as specific as possible
  • Notice your reaction: do you feel angry, hopeless, sad, worthless…what? If there’s more than one emotion, which one is the strongest right now, when you’re thinking about it?
  • Imagine something specific that might happen during which your mother might do or say this thing that makes you feel unloved or disapproved of.

EFT Tapping on the Family Pattern

Now begin tapping on the outside part of your palm (karate chop point) as you’re saying:

“Even though I feel worthless when my mother’s eyebrows go up when we’re having breakfast and I reach for the orange juice, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”

“Even though this same family pattern has happened since I was a little kid, and I always feel worthless; it’s a habit now, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway. When I was a kid, I was small and powerless, but now I’m an adult. I have my own life away from my family and maybe it doesn’t matter so much if my mother raises her eyebrows at me.”

“Even though I have this habit of feeling worthless; I learned this way back when I was a kid, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway. I consider the possibility that Mom was dealing with her own stuff all along, and maybe it doesn’t have a lot to do with me. And anyway, there are ways I now feel really worthwhile.”

Then tap on the other points, using reminder phrases such as “I feel worthless when I think Mom might raise her eyebrows at me,” “It’s a habit of mine to react by feeling I’m worthless.” “In my life now, I feel really worthwhile in some ways.” Etc.

It could be that other emotions will arise; just use EFT Tapping on each one as it comes up.

EFT Tapping Points Resource

If you need directions on tapping points you can e-mail me at zoeric@comcast.net, tell me you saw this article on my blog, and I’ll e-mail the points to you.

For more information on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), and my work, please check out my home page and my EFT Case Studies pages. You can also get information on my Family Therapy work and Relationship Counseling.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,


*Denver EFT*Boulder EFT*Colorado EFT*EFT Wherever You Are!

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 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,


Zoe on How to Get to the Core with EFT Therapy

Getting to the Core of an Issue of Emotional Pain with EFT Therapy

I’ve found that one of the most important things to do when we’re using EFT–Emotional Freedom Techniques– to work on an issue is to know how to get to the core of the issue.

EFT Core Issues–The Thread

One way I think of it is to imagine holding one end of a thread. That’s where you’re starting with whatever you want to work on. Now you want to slide your hand all the way to where the thread starts—that’s the core.

EFT Core Issues–The Root

Another way I think of it is to imagine a thistle with those prickly leaves. If you just pull on it, you’ll get a bit of the root, but a lot of it is still in the ground, and will quickly grow its prickly leaves again. To eradicate the thistle, you have to dig way down to the very end of the long root and completely dig it out.

Getting to the Core Issue With EFT Creates Emotional Healing

There are actually a number of ways to identify core issues with EFT—using your creativity is really useful. I’ll just give you one example here below:

If a client and I are starting with a relationship problem where she might be reacting with a lot of charge whenever her daughter does the normal teenage thing of coming up with arguments when my client says “no” to something her daughter wants to do. My client acts out emotional trauma and gets really angry, feeling that her daughter is trying to force her to go along with something that feels wrong to her. Although she doesn’t want her daughter to do whatever it is, she gives in and then feels violated.

From the outside, it’s evident that there’s more going on here than the events at hand. You can tell because of the intense emotional pain that arises in my client—it feels bigger than the current situation warrants. You can also tell if, when you start working on the current issue between a mother and her daughter, her intensity goes down somewhat, but you get stuck and it doesn’t go down all the way. We can then guess that the origins of the problem are somewhere in the past—either with a previous relationship or in a painful childhood event, childhood trauma, or a pattern of events that cause emotional pain.

EFT–Core Issue Indicators

By feeling into what’s happening currently, we can guess the qualities of the previous relationship that is at the root of the current problem:

  • Something feels wrong to her
  • Something may have hurt her
  • She wasn’t able to stop it
  • She felt forced to do something she didn’t want to do, that felt wrong to her and hurt her
  • She was made to do it anyway
  • She felt violated

Now we can use these guesses to ask her when she has felt something like this in the past. She may come up with any number of things, from something that might seem small as an adult looking at it from the outside, all the way to a very abusive situation such as childhood trauma that resulted in long-term emotional pain or physical pain. A “small seeming” possibility is her mother always making her take castor oil when she was a child. A “big” thing might be sexual abuse, being locked in a closet, or other experiences that caused traumatic stress.

EFT Gets to the Core for Emotional Healing

Once you find out the event or pattern of events that feel similar to the current event(s), you’ve arrived at the other end of the thread. Now, to mix metaphors, you can dig at the root until you get way down to the bottom of the root—EFT tapping on the specific events and emotional pain.

Of course, it’s always important to be very careful when dealing with very painful or traumatic events. Usually, you can’t just dive in and have the person (or yourself) go into the details of these kinds of events, because you could end up re-traumatizing the person (or yourself).

For case studies, see my website pages on EFT Case Studies and EFT with Emotional Pain and Trauma.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,