EFT Case Story – Anxiety after a car accident

This is one of my favourite Emotional Freedom Technique case stories so far. I feel blessed and to have helped this client to let go of an issue that she was plagued with for over a decade – in just seven rounds of tapping. And we never even met! We conducted our sessions via email communications.

My client described anxiety that she experienced when she was a passenger in a car, ever since she was involved in a car accident. She had previously seen a psychologist to assist, but the issue remained. She felt ready to get to the bottom of her issue and decided to try Emotional Freedom Technique with me.

I firstly asked for her to describe the accident and her feelings as a passenger now. She described not just one, but five car accidents since 1995. She felt that the bulk of the issues she experienced now stemmed from the first accident: A head-on collision at low speed with her mother as the other driver. She said: “It is hard to get pissed off with the other driver about what they’ve done to you when it is your own mum.”

As a passenger she is instantly tense in the car. She said she tries to do deep breathing, and tries not to think about the fact that she is a passenger. She closes her eyes so she can’t see what’s going on around her, but it tends to make her even more anxious. She says she is constantly telling her husband to slow down and watch out and says it is “driving him insane”. She feels sick with worry. Just wants to get to wherever she’s going, as quickly as they can, so she can get out of the car. She said “The last time I was in the car, I got so tense that I was in so much pain in my lower back from tensing up so much.”

She rates it on the SUE scale as -10. “It is by far the worst it has ever been. I think we can safely say I’ve hit rock bottom for this problem”.

I began by explaining the concept of EFT and describing the Heart & Soul protocol for her to use throughout the treatment for this issue. I suggested she tap on “Calm” as I taught her the protocol and simultaneously de-stressed the energy system.

From there I asked her to consider the initial accident and we were able to break it down to the moment of collision and the associated feelings and thoughts. The feeling that stood out for me was “I felt sick”, so we tapped on this. There was also anger towards her mother and I suggested tapping for that anger.

When reconsidering how she feels about being a passenger in a car now, she said that she still felt at -10 on the SUE scale. There had been no change.

I suggested that we could use the Aspect Model, in case the situation was too emotionally confronting, which has the client considering the girl in the car accident as a separate version of herself. I suggested considering this girl and what she was going through.

She tapped for:

“The aspect was angry”  (still at -10 after this)

“The aspect felt helpless” (still at -10 after this)

I wondered about the uniqueness of the situation and how it meant that she couldn’t get angry and couldn’t get upset, really couldn’t express any feelings about the car accident at all, lest she create more guilt in an already guilty mother. Since her mum may have been her usual emotional support, she would doubly be unable to express how she felt – she was therefore stuck to deal with this issue on her own.

So I suggested that she tap for:

“The aspect that feels she can’t express her feelings”

(suddenly she is now at -2 on the SUE scale!)

While tapping for this, the client described a very strong emotional release. While tapping she ‘saw’ two versions of her mum: the one that hit her (“faceless and emotionless”) and “my mum who was there for me. She wasn’t the driver of the car, just my mum”. She said she was bawling her eyes out after this round, which I felt was a VERY important and positive step forward.

The following day she was a passenger in the car and reported back to me that she was “way less stressed”. She described that she still has a slight panic when she sees brake lights ahead and her husband doesn’t slow down straight away, but overall feels much better.

I asked about this remaining feeling and what comes to mind/feeling when this happens. She responded: “I am worried we won’t stop in time and we will hit the other car. I get quite tense and feel it in my back. I also tend to “brake” myself….I swear I’ll put my foot thru the floor one day!!!” I also asked about the first accident again and what remains there. She explained: “I still feel helpless. Seeing her coming at me and not being able to do anything.”

I suggested that we tap for “The aspect that felt helpless” firstly, and wait until after this round to reconsider the braking issue as I felt that there was probably some overlap: In both situations she was helpless and the current feeling as a passenger may have been an ‘echo’ of the original car accident. My client found herself get sleepy through those rounds and found it hard to focus.

A few weeks later I got an excited email from the client. She described how she was a passenger in a car for a period of 4 hours. She said she felt calm in the car 95% of the trip aside from two moments of anxiousness which she felt were justified: a near miss where a car swerved into their lane, and while having an argument with her husband.

She said “Things are so much better!!! I swear after the night of seeing the two images of mum, it made such a massive change. Thank you!!!!”

My client describes herself as at +8 now on the SUE scale. She has had one appointment with a counsellor for this issue and is considering ceasing the appointments as she is feeling fine. “Thinking back to the accident, I am quite calm about it all. ”

I am thrilled for my client to no longer be being crippled by her anxiety, and also now experiencing emotional freedom from the pain of an accident that occurred so long ago.