My client "Susan" had just seen the movie Precious and reported that it gave her a migraine for two days. "It really brought up a lot of anxiety," she said.
If anyone has not seen Precious, it is a powerful movie by director Lee Daniels about an overweight, illiterate African-American teenager who is pregnant with her second child — both children the result of being raped by her father. It is a story that needs to be told and I appreciated the film very much for the way it dignifies and gives attention to this painful situation.
Susan's history had some parallels with the Precious story. When she was very small, her mother had remarried and her stepfather had sexually abused her for years. She had done much work in therapy and had not wanted to revisit these issues with me. However, Precious gave her a chance to do some healing with EFT in an indirect way.
I asked her what had stayed on her mind about the movie, what had haunted her. "It was awful the way the mother allowed the abuse," she said. "The mother saw it happening and didn't try to stop it." This was on of the most painful things about her own experience too — her mother didn't protect her. So we tapped:
Even though that mother saw Precious being abused — her own daughter! — and didn't even try to stop it, and that makes me feel... (she filled in) ... so angry! I hate that mother! How could she do that?... I love and accept myself... and I honor all my feelings about this...
We tapped until she felt calmer about that, acknowledging of course that it was terrible for Precious to be betrayed by her own mother. Then she brought up another aspect: "It really upset me that the mother saw Precious as a rival. Instead of protecting her daughter, she hated her daughter because her own husband was attracted to her."
Even though Precious' mother saw her as a rival and hated her own daughter... and that makes me feel..... (she filled in with a number of feelings)... the pain of abandonment, the helplessness, the betrayal...
We tapped for all the feelings that were coming up for Susan about Precious and the mother in the film. This was the crux of it for her, even more painful than the actual incest abuse from the father. Finally, she felt much better and said she could think of the whole film without pain. Susan commented that, as much as she had been disgusted by the mother in the film Precious, who truly is horrific, she had a little more understanding of her from the film. That mother was, in many ways, just a child herself, so immature, taking out her own pain of not being loved on her daughter. So much pain. We tapped for the sadness about that. She felt okay about the movie then, and she felt relief that much of her own painful emotion around it had been released.
The beauty of the session was that Susan did not have to discuss any details of her own deeply painful experience. The movie had allowed her to connect with her own feelings without having to revisit her story. By tapping for all her feelings about Precious, she was able to bring some healing to the sensitive incest issue in her life in a way that fully respected her privacy.
I love good cinema and many times I find myself thinking about a movie for days. Now I may add some tapping. Good movies embody universal themes — why not get some cinematic borrowing benefits?
Betty Moore-Hafter, www.CreativeEFT.com, is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner offering EFT Level 1-2 and Level 3 Trainings several times a year. She also offers a special EFT mentoring and support program for EFT International EFT certification at www.EmotionalFreedomMastery.com. Betty offers EFT sessions by phone and by Skype, as well as in person at her Burlington, Vermont office. You can find out more on both websites and pick up free gifts on each site.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published on May 8, 2010.