When Ted first came to see me, he was afraid of snakes as small as a worm. He lives in an old stone house with lots of stone patios and enjoys gardening, so he was encountering snakes a lot in his daily living. He said, "Being this scared is just not worth it."
Over three sessions we worked with hypnosis and EFT. I helped him go into a relaxed state and learn how to do progressive relaxation on his own. I used hypnosis to help him begin to imagine himself the way he wanted to be, free of this fear.
We brought in EFT to clear the trauma and anxiety around snakes, using specific snake images and a long rubber snake. The rubber snake was great to help him get in touch with different aspects of what bothered him about snakes. Here are some of the key phrases we used:
Even though the eyes look evil, I can feel safe.
Even though they move in that side to side motion, I am okay, I am secure.
Even though the tongue darts, I can feel safe.
We did three movie techniques on three major snake events in his life:
1. “Snake in the Attic” which he thought was a garden hose.
2. “Medusa” A time when he discovered a hundred snakes under the hood of an old Jeep.
3. “Snake in the Ferns” one of his earliest encounters with a huge snake
Ted never made it to the pet shop before Christmas to test the hypnosis and EFT (tapping) work we had been doing, but something better happened. He took his visiting grandkids to Echo, a science museum, and did not know they had snakes there. He turned the corner upstairs and there were three snakes. So the surprise element was there, which is why it was better than visiting a pet shop. And guess what? Not only did he not run and leave the snake area of Echo, which is what he reported he would have done in the past, but instead he peered in and leaned against the glass of their habitat to get a closer look. Ted peered especially at the eyes and how they moved, which were key areas of our work over the three session leading up to this unexpected snake discovery. His wife said "I can't believe you are looking at these snakes. That hypnosis and tapping are really working for you." Success! He actually said he is looking forward to spring and discovering the snakes on his property and he is going to learn more about them before then.
I encouraged him to keep tapping and use empowering anchor phrases like this:
Even though they just show up, I can be surprised and realize they are just another creature, and we can co-exist.
South Burlington, Vermont, US
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on February 10, 2010.