The Emotional Stunt Double Process using EFT


As you probably know in film-making a stunt double is someone who looks like the star and stands in for them in anything that looks remotely dangerous. The stunt double takes the risk while the star remains untouched. In a session with a client whom I’ll call Katie, we developed a way of using an ’emotional stunt double’ to do the difficult work of resolving a traumatic experience that happened more than 40 years ago.

Katie’s Story

Katie had been driving home late at night on a remote country road in bad weather. To avoid an oncoming driver she swerved off the road running into a stone wall. Recounting this story provoked a lot of emotion for her. Originally we were using the Movie Technique to resolve the trauma.

Since her experience was very intense I suggested that we might think of ourselves as onlookers to that traumatic experience and watch what had happened to that ‘younger Katie’.

There are two ways of recalling a memory, we can remember it as if seeing it through our own eyes – from an associated, first person, perspective, or we can see it as if we are looking at ourselves from an external point of view, almost as if we were someone else having this experience – this is a dissociated, third person, perspective.

One of the important differences between associated and dissociated memories is that dissociated memories are usually far less emotionally intense than the associated version. This seems to be an inbuilt protective mechanism that many people use to distance themselves from unpleasant experiences.

Using words that acknowledged this third person perspective we tapped for that ‘younger Katie’ who was having that traumatic experience.

Katie said: “She thinks she’s about to die – Rather than using the standard setup “Even though I think I’m about to die” which would associate her into a very unpleasant experience we used a third person setup statement for the ’emotional stunt double’.

“Even though she thinks she is about to die, I deeply and completely accept her.”

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ChangeCamp is back!

feedback0005Yes folks, there is going to be another ChangeCamp this year. Following the great success of the first ever ChangeCamp we are going to show the Autumn collection of presentations and workshops on Saturday 24th October 2009 at Gosforth High Schoool in Newcastle

If you were at the first ChangeCamp you will know the score: pay £10, sign up for the presentations that interest you, turn up with some food to share and have lots of fun while learning lots of useful stuff.

The presentations list will grow as we get closer to the day, One of the things I’d like to find out is just how muchfeedback0001 excellent learning and enjoyment can be packed into one day.

If you want to attend, great! Tell you friends all about it.

If you want to help, great! It’s a great way to take part. Let me know if you can.

If you want to present, great! It’s a great way to meet new people and share what you know. Let me know.

Look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones on October 24th.

To sign up visit:

Autumn dates for Beginners EFT

smallgirldrawingI’m running a new series of Beginner’s EFT sessions at St Oswald’s Hospice Teaching Centre as a simple introduction to EFT and a fundraiser for the hospice. It’s an excellent way to find out about EFT and give a worthwhile organisation a boost.

The dates for the new Beginner’s EFT sessions are:

  • Monday 28th Sepember 2009 from 6pm to 9pm
  • Tuesday 20th October 2009 from 6pm to 9pm
  • Wednesday 25th November 2009 from 6pm to 9pm
  • Thursday 17th December 2009 from 6pm to 9pm

The cost is just a £15 to the hospice. Visit the Beginner’s EFT page for more details.

Photo courtesy of  Geoff Penaluna

Six Step Recovery Program for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Theories

This peach of an article about the responsibilities and attitudes of therapists is courtesy of Bill O’Hanlon,

1. We admit we are powerful enough to induce the sense of pathology in those with whom we work. We resolve to stop imposing our beliefs on others. We give our theories up to a lower power.

2. We vow to really listen to and acknowledge the feelings and points of view of the people with whom we work without closing down the possibilities for change for them in the future.

3. We resolve to treat each person as an individual and tailor our treatment to individual needs, perceptions and goals rather than try to fit them into pre-conceived models.

4. We resolve to confront and break through our denial about people’s strengths, abilities and health. We recognize that not everything people say and do has a pathological motive. We have decided not to label others in a way that disqualifies, invalidates of discourages them. We will studiously avoid hardening of the categories.

5. We recognize that humor can help break the cycle of hopelessness. People are grim enough when they are suffering without therapy adding to their sense of grimness. We vow to be sincere and never serious.

6. We are committed to bringing ourselves and our humanity into the therapeutic encounter rather than remaining distant professional doing techniques and methods on “our patients.”

Let me hear an amen!

I highly recommend Bill O’Hanlon’s newsletter it’s worth every pixel.

The Incredible Shrinking Syringe

Drawing the Syringes
Image by johnnyalive via Flickr

A client of mine is undergoing chemotherapy. Every three weeks she gets injections of three drugs into a drip line inserted into the wrist.

The drugs have to go into the drip line because there is quite a volume of medication and the syringes holding them are big, about six inches long and an inch across, arriving in a plastic tray with the needles, tubes and other bits and pieces.

The day before her second round of chemo  she told me that just the thought of those injections was making her feel very nauseous.

She said: “The syringe is this *$!*%$# long!“. Moving her hands about two feet apart, in the style of a fisherman telling you about the one that got away.

I asked her if the syringe was that big in her mind’s eye. She told me it was. I suggested to her that she shrink that image of the syringe down to it’s actual size. She did this easily. Commenting that the syringe now fitted in the tray.

Then she told me that her nausea linked to the treatment had completely disappeared!

This is an excellent demonstration of a fundamental principal of NLP: How you represent the outside world in your inner world will powerfully affect your subjective experience.

Do some things make you unnecessarily anxious and afraid? How are they depicted in your imagination? Are they too big? Closer than they should be? More vivid in some way? Do they sound louder than they are in real life?  These qualities of our experience, known as submodalities in NLP, can be understood and changed to change the quality of our lives.

In my clients case, changing her representation of that syringe changed the way she felt about it.  It’s a simple enough change to make if you know it’s possible. The best way to learn how to make changes like that is to attend an NLP Practitioner training. Click on the link to learn more about IntegrityNLP NLP Practitioner trainings.

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