Most people haven’t a clue what goes on in EFT sessions, so it’s very nice to be able to present an client’s eye view. This client very kindly offered to write up her experience of four EFT sessions we had around the theme of caring for a cancer patient. It’s quite a long letter so I’ve split into into two posts.
“I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when I first met Andy Hunt. A friend had passed on his details to me as she knew my father had sadly been diagnosed with terminal cancer and it was clear our family was in for a rough few weeks. I just saw the title of the sessions he was offering – ‘Cancer: Softening the Blow’ – and thought that it wouldn’t harm anything to see what it was all about.
He is a very personable man who is quiet and extremely good at really listening to what you say. At first, I thought we would spend the time in traditional counselling mode – e.g. me talking and him listening and asking occasional questions. Nothing could have been further from what actually happened!
It is true that he listened intently and ensured that he understood all the salient facts. What was to prove more important however was that he was listening out for really negative emotions as these were what he wanted to focus on.
Anyone who either has cancer themselves or is caring for someone with cancer will instantly identify with the welter of emotions that surrounds diagnosis, treatment and the hard task of coming to terms with, as best you can, such a huge, life-changing event. Nearly all emotions are negative and they can become totally overwhelming, preventing you from using all the coping mechanisms that you have learned up until now.
Once Andy had understood the circumstances of my situation – and he asked lots of reflective questions to ensure that he did – he said he was going to ask me to do something odd! Had I not developed confidence in him and seen that he was a caring person himself, this could have been the point where I politely thanked him for his time and quickly left the building.
He said he wanted to focus on some of the negative emotions I had described and to use a tapping technique – EFT – also known as Emotional Freedom Technique – to help remove some of the negative excess emotion.
It did cross my mind that, with the best will in the world, no technique was going to change my father’s diagnosis, nor did I think it could possibly help with what I was feeling at that time. Although nothing could change the former, the technique certainly helped with the latter.
He explained that by tapping certain parts of the body with 2 to 3 fingers, excess negative emotion could be released leaving you in a better position to cope with what was happening. The words ‘proof’ and ‘pudding’ instantly sprang to mind. I wasn’t ready to let go of my doubts and cynicism just yet, and I couldn’t honestly see how tapping your collar bone could actually help anything. I was to be proved wrong.
Focussing on one particular negative emotion – not being able to support my mother sufficiently well through what lay in front of us – Andy asked me to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. He then showed me the tapping technique and I copied him as we repeated “even though I feel inadequate to help my mother cope, I am alright, I am OK” and we tapped away on different acupressure points.
He then asked me to rate what I was feeling again and, to my great surprise, things did feel a bit better. Obviously, my father’s condition hadn’t changed, but I felt less overwhelmed and a little better prepared to cope. It took no time at all to understand and use the technique and I was astounded that it actually seemed to work.
Cynicism hadn’t deserted me completely however …..”
To be continued
For more information about stress and anxiety relief for cancer patients and their carers visit www.softeningtheblow.co.uk