EFT for Anxiety, Stress & Traumatic Memories
EFT is the most elegant way I know to reduce or eliminate stress. It's a powerful self-help tool that's easily learned and can be used whenever stressful situations arise. Even a few minutes of tapping can often restore calm and perspective.
Really severe anxiety though is most often related to unresolved traumatic memories. Old memories may be re-triggered by cues in our current environment, sometimes without our conscious awareness.
Even subtle reminders of the original event can set off intense emotional or physical reactions, leading to hyper-vigilance, difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders, and panic attacks. In a very real sense we're emotionally hijacked by the past and this can be terrifying when we don't understand what's going on.
Matrix Reimprinting is the ideal tool for truly resolving traumatic memories and getting your life back.
Just a reminder: I am NOT a licensed therapist or psychologist. Nothing in this post is intended as medical or psychological advice. My use of the term "trauma" is meant in the colloquial sense and not as a diagnostic term. Please read my full disclosure notice at the bottom of this post.
My definition of trauma is very simple:
Trauma happens any time we go from fight or flight into the Freeze Response.
The Freeze Response happens when we are faced with a threat but feel powerless to take action. We go into fight or flight but there's no way to fight and no where to run. Often the threat is unexpected – some kind of shock. And very often we all alone in the situation, with no one there to help us.
I'm sure you can see how young children could Freeze very easily. They have few resources, and often become surprised and frightened when something unexpected happens. A child might find herself alone and lost in the grocery aisle, not having seen mom duck around the corner. Or a teacher might scold her in front of the class and being in trouble feels like the end of the world.
The Freeze Response happens to adults too. Imagine a woman who accidentally discovers her husband has been cheating on her. She didn’t see it coming and her identity as a happily married wife is suddenly threatened.
Perhaps she feels powerless, so fight or flight isn’t available. A sense of shame keeps her from telling anyone and so she feels totally isolated. She’s very likely to Freeze.
When this happens, when we go into the Freeze Response, our brain stores the event in what’s called “Procedural Memory”. This is a special kind of memory that doesn’t fade away over time – much like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn how you never forget, even if many years go by.
In the moment of Freeze, the brain stores ALL of the information coming in through our senses – all the sights, sounds, smells and sensations in that moment. It also records what we’re feeling (usually something intense) and what we’re thinking to make sense of what’s happening.
Dr. Robert Scaer describes this as a “trauma capsule” which contains all of this information within a protective layer of dissociation. The dissociation shields us from the overwhelming intensity of the experience, while storing it away for immediate access.
With a traumatic memory two remarkable things are happening at the same time – in procedural memory the event never stops happening. The younger self within that memory is trapped there endlessly reliving it. At the same time, the whole thing is shoved down below the level of our conscious awareness by the dissociation.
If the “capsule” is working really well, we may not even remember the event at all. Or perhaps we know something bad happened but have no feelings about it - the feelings really are there! Just on the other side of the dissociation.
When cues from our current environment happen to match the contents of a trauma capsule – a certain color, or facial expression, or the smell of cologne or the sound of brakes screeching, the protective barrier may be breached and suddenly we’re feeling the original emotional intensity. Often without knowing why. This can make us feel seriously crazy.
EFT can do a great job of discharging the original emotional distress, but a really key part of the trauma capsule is whatever we decided in that moment to make sense of what was happening. These decisions become core beliefs, or perceptual filters, that color how we see ourselves and the world from that point on.
If you decide at a very young age that you’re unlovable, or that the world is a dangerous place, or that the people you love will abandon you, this will change your trajectory in life. You’ll begin to misinterpret events to conform to the belief. Your behavior will change and you’re very likely to end up re-enacting the traumatic event all through your life.
The part of our brain that deals with fight, flight and freeze is the amygdala, located in the non-verbal limbic system. It doesn’t register spoken language! We can’t talk our way out of trauma. And that’s why we tap. Tapping is a way of hacking into the limbic system and shutting down the associations with threat.
This tends to be a very gentle process - there is no “toughing it out” or “being brave and pushing through.” Relief tends to be immediate and permanent.With Matrix Reimprinting we go beyond simply discharging the trauma, we actually reverse the negative decisions (beliefs) made by our younger self by essentially changing the memory.
What about PTSD?
PTSD or Post Trumatic Stress Disorder is a medical, psychological or psychiatric diagnosis and I do not diagnose or treat any such diagnostic disorder. I am not a licensed therapist or psychologist. I do not deal with medications and don't accept any form of insurance.
What I do instead is relatively simple - through tapping we may be able to discharge the emotional distress associated with specific memories and with Matrix Reimprinting we can discover and reverse the negative core beliefs encapsulated in those memories.
EFT for anxiety is key. I focus on symptoms, such as hyper-vigilance, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems and panic attacks. I appreciate that this level of distress is extremely hard to live with, and sufferers sometimes become numb, detached and hopeless. They may become socially isolated, avoiding public places where they might be easily triggered.
Loved ones and family members often feel the brunt of their anger and frustration, and because conventional treatments haven't been very successful, many resort to heavy alcohol or drug use to self medicate.
Through EFT tapping we may be able to discharge the emotional distress associated with specific memories and with Matrix Reimprinting we can discover and reverse the negative core beliefs encapsulated in those memories. I've helped many clients suffering from this level of distress, and have made it my specialty.
EFT for anxiety, stress and traumatic memories is one of my specialties. If you would like to discuss your own issues and whether EFT can help you, or have any questions at all, I'm happy to set up a free 20 minute consultation. Or if you'd like to dive in, please fill out my intake questionnaire and I'll get back to you directly.
Please Note: I am NOT a licensed health care provider, counselor, or psychotherapist. I offer my services as a self-help educator and ordained minister. I do not diagnose or treat illness, disease, or psychological disorders. EFT and Matrix Reimprinting are not a substitute for professional health care. Information provided in this website is for general education and not intended to replace qualified medical or psychological advice.