Think your way clear of fear
The London Evening Standard – London:
I expected when my marriage broke up last summer that my finances would take a hit, that splitting the CD collection would be painful and that I’d analyse then agonise over the reasons for the split. I didn’t anticipate that a childhood fear of the dark would stand between me and a new life, rendering me unable to sleep or venture out after nightfall.
There didn’t seem any way I could talk myself out of it. Stern words with self weren’t working. I needed help. Then a friend suggested tapping, also known as either Thought Field Therapy (TFT) or Emotional Field Therapy (EFT). After months of broken sleep I was prepared to try anything.
My local practitioner, Suzi Osborne, came round and asked me to think of myself walking down a pitch-black country lane, alone — my idea of hell. My palms were sweating and I felt so anxious I almost wanted to cry.
She took my right wrist in her hand and gently started tapping out a pattern on my forehead, across the top of my chest and inside my right forearm. After a couple of minutes, she stopped, asked me to take a few deep breaths and try to put myself back into that country lane. I could see everything from the previous thought but it no longer made me stressed. That’s the whole idea, Suzi explained. The tapping pattern separates the memory or thought from any negative emotions that used to come with it.
So did I skip out into my garden that night without a care in the world? Well, yes. And I found myself able to walk right to the end — where the big scary apple trees are — without any anxiety.
The technique is also being used by TFT specialists working with US authorities to help New Orleans inhabitants still affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and with children and adults traumatised by the genocide in Rwanda. Powerful stuff. And in a time when so many doctors seem happy to dole out happy pills and expensive long-term therapy referrals to “cure” our fears and phobias, isn’t a quick-fire, drug-free alternative worth a try?