Occupation: Retired, Hospital Porter
Dates: November 2007
Presenting problem / s: Intrusive Dreams / Night time Panic Attacks / Grief Trauma.
Treatment plan: To offer EFT Interventions to reduce the intensity of the above symptomology.
Alan was referred onto me from a Hospice bereavement counsellor who had recently started work with him, and it became apparent very soon into the work that Alan was having terrible difficulty sleeping at night. Alan had nursed his wife through the short space of time she was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, he would stay awake at night afraid he would be asleep whilst she died and not be there for her. On the night his wife died, Alan had actually fallen asleep.
In the months since, he felt huge amounts of guilt that this had happened, the visiting Hospice counsellor thought talking about the tragedy actually made things worse. Alan was reported to be very depressed, not eating, not washing / dressing properly, no appetite for life at all; I suspected he was ebbing away, from what I had heard his life force seemed fragile. I went to the house to meet with Alan, who presented as a kind and caring, gentle soul. Alan was expecting me to call at his home, as he was not able to leave the house with the numerous medical conditions he had. I asked him if he would like to try something that was slightly different to just talking about his grief, he said he would try anything.
I briefly explained what I was about to do and asked him to use it every night when he got into bed, to start a soothing process, he said he would, I also said he could use it any time especially during the night if he awoke in pain. I asked him to identify what it was exactly that was troubling him in detail, Alan said that he awakes suddenly at night, to see someone standing over the bed looking at him, this night time apparition had been a visitor every night since a Child, the visitor had no features on their face and he did not know who the visitor was, when I asked him to rate the distress this causes him, as he thinks about it here and now, he said 8 – 9 / 10. I was unsure as to whether this was related to the recent death of his wife; Alan was in no fit state for detective work and desperately needed sleep.
We formulated a tapping affirmation which said “even though I have this night time visitation, I accept myself and give myself permission to rest and sleep well from now on”. We used this tapping sequence tapping on all 14 major acupuncture meridians. When we had finished I asked Alan to re assess the SUD’s, he said they were down to a 2 or possibly 1. I have found that it is not necessary as some therapists do and attempt a zero SUD’s rating, as after a tapping exercise has been completed, the electrically sensitive points being worked upon still oscillate for up to half an hour afterwards, so leaving nature to take its course seems logical, any remaining SUD’s are highly likely to reduce on their own.
I arranged to meet with Alan the following week on the same time and day. When I arrived Alan made me a cup of tea; he was very keen to tell me his story when I asked how sleep is for him, these days. Alan said after the session we had had last week, he had felt tired and went to bed shortly after my departure, Alan said he felt very relaxed and surprisingly slipped into a deep sleep straight away.
As was his history with the night, Alan suddenly awoke to see the person entering the room where he was sleeping, in his “hypnogogic” state he awoke to see the person expecting to see a blank face as usual, but to his absolute pleasure the person had a face he could see and knew, I asked him who it was, and he said it was his mother, who had died when he was very small, it all made sense to him now, this person who had been visiting him every night was his Mum, popping in to make sure he was okay. I was aware this was not entirely to do with the death of his wife and seemed like 2 separate issues, but I believe they were linked; I did not raise the death of his wife, as my work seemed to be completed.
After one month I rang, Alan who said things were still okay the sleep was good, no disturbances, other than the void of his wife, but even this was changing, I encouraged him to use the tapping every day to re- balance painful emotions.
I did a follow up call – 3 months later, Alan said his sleep was much better, he was not getting bad dreams, the nigh time visitations still happened, but he wanted them to as he found they blocked any loneliness, he had lost his wife but found his mother, he reported the original SUD; s as nothing at all., he was struggling to remember the original piece of work.
My final follow up call in May (6 months after) found Alan was seeing a bereavement counsellor fortnightly, he had vague recollections about the visitations, slept well, and did not report any problems at all, again the memory of the acuteness of the presenting problems being vague was in harmony with all of the other clients data used in this research study.