Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's Therapy - TRAUMA Therapy Toolbox: EFT ~Emotional Freedom Technique / Tapping

Thursday's Therapy

TRAUMA Therapy Toolbox:

EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique / Tapping

A new grieving-mother friend emailed me recently and in the process of our writing one another, I discovered that she has been in grief almost three times as long as I have been. So she was telling me she has received therapy off and on over those years, but she was unaware that there was such a thing as "Trauma Therapy."

I should not be too surprised because the discoveries about trauma are relatively new. And yet, this precious mother lost her child in such a violent way, that I could hardly believe there was no one in the helping field that would have helped her with the traumatic aspects of her very deep grief.

So I decided to share some of what I have found helpful regarding treating our trauma that can be found on the internet.


Tommy and I attended a seminar in Atlanta, Georgia a few months ago for our continuing education led by the psychiatrist who helped to coin the term, PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychiatrist Bessel A. van der Kolk; he also helped to formulate the symptoms that composed the disorder for the Diagnostic Manual for Psychology/Psychiatry. Dr. van der Kolk, in his workshop, instructed us in how to do the tapping technique shown below, and though he (like I) does "talk therapy," he was amazed to discover this technique that uses very little talk therapy, but directly addresses the body through tapping to help effectively rewire our brain by rewiring the brain's neural pathways.

Hebb's Law - Neurons that fire together wire together.

Thus, as we think or envision the traumatic memory or imagine what our child went through before death, the "neuro-bundle" in our brain becomes thicker and thicker over time. Our bodies are triggered by this wiring and rewiring to go into fight-flight-or freeze response in association with such traumatic memories.

In tapping, your body is activating this thick neuro-bundle, and then all of a sudden, the body gets a different signal with your tapping and your newly-spoken positive affirmations. Before, our bodies went into fight-or-flight feelings, "the stress response."

Now we are feeling safe feelings through tapping and repeating safe affirmations along with our thinking the otherwise-frightening thought. So the body rewires the brain to defuse that conditioned reflex loop, so that the body no longer goes into the stress response!

Once people learn how the tapping is done, it's simple enough for them to use on themselves whenever they sense fear or pain.

In recent years, we in the psychology field have seen the development of a family of therapies that offer clinically effective alternatives to traditional, long-term treatments. These therapies only require one to three sessions, but the results are usually permanent. Each of them provides noticeable relief from negative emotions, pain and trauma. It doesn't matter whether the pain suffered is physical or emotional. This first tool in your trauma therapy toolbox is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), better known as "Tapping."

EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique / Tapping:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Demo with Aila

***Warning: If you try this technique along with this registered nurse, Aila, please stop immediately if you feel too much uncomfortable distress in using the technique!

It is important to keep a healthy balance between activating your emotional distress in order to keep your grief flowing, while maintaining a healthy level of emotional peace and safety.

You may want to either try it at another time, or use it in a therapeutic session with a trained psychotherapist who can help you through it.

How about you?

Have you been exposed to any type of "Trauma therapy" for your grief?

If so, I would love for you to share with me some of what you have experienced, and what was helpful and what was not.

Tommy and I would love to hear your experiences and perhaps learn more about what is in the field that can possibly be helpful to others in our same grieving-parent situation. Thank you, and I so look forward to hearing from you! Feel free to comment below, or if you had rather, you may email me at MotherGrieving @

May God bless,



For more on Hebb's law or "Hebb's theory," see this article in Wikipedia:

Aila's video:


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