“Katrina” came to me for weight loss issues. She said she could eat reasonably all day but towards the evening, she would lose control and, as she said, “when I get started, it’s hard for me to pull back.”
Her feeling was one of frustration, which was at a 10. So we began tapping.
Even though I’m so frustrated that I can’t control my eating in the evenings, I love and accept myself...
The frustration went down to a 4-5. What came up for her then was, she said, “a lot of sadness.” I asked her if she had any thoughts or memories associated with the sadness.
Katrina said that what was coming to mind for her was a very early memory. It was not a new memory -- she’s always been aware of it. She said that she vividly remembered being a very small toddler in her high chair in the kitchen, and seeing her bottle on the high shelf -- but because her mother was weaning her from the bottle, the mother wouldn’t give the little girl the bottle. Her mother’s words were, “That’s not for you.” Little Katrina was given a cup instead.
I asked her to tell me a little more about her childhood. I learned that she was the child of a single mom who had to work very hard to support her family. Katrina was to some extent raised by relatives and neighbors. Her mother was matter-of-fact and didn’t have time for the “nonsense” of children’s feelings. For the mother, it was a very practical matter to wean the child from the bottle. The mother thought she had put it where the little girl couldn’t see it. For Katrina, a sensitive child, the incident in the kitchen had left a terrible feeling of deprivation and hurt.
We returned to “the bottle story” and decided to tap using a modified Movie Method. There wasn’t a lot of action, but there really were a lot of feelings. As we tapped, tears flowed.
Even though I can see my bottle, but Mommy won’t let me have it, I love and accept myself... I love and accept the little girl that I was...
Even though Mommy says, 'That’s not for you...'
Even though I’m just a little girl... confused... why can’t I have it? It’s mine!
Even though Mommy isn’t paying any attention to my feelings...
Even though Mommy didn’t understand how much I wanted that...
We talked and tapped with regard to what the little girl needed: someone to pay attention to her feelings, to validate what she felt, to take her seriously, and to understand her. It wasn’t even so much that the little girl needed the bottle -- she needed empathy and understanding for her feelings.
Even though no one took her seriously...no one was really there for her... I love and accept this little girl.
Katrina felt much better and could now recount "the bottle story" without painful emotion.
I had asked Katrina to bring in a “temptation food” to tap for, and she brought a Reese’s peanut butter cup. We decided to get it out and see how she felt about it. Normally her craving would have been high, but just talking and tapping for the little girl inside her seemed to have made a difference. Her craving was only about a 2. We did a few rounds of tapping and she felt even more neutral about the candy.
I often make a hypnotherapy-type recording at the end of a session so that positive and nurturing messages can continue to support the healing process. In Katrina’s case, I knew that it was not yet time to “deprive” the hurt part of her by trying to change behaviors drastically. Instead, we gave good messages to the child part of her. We affirmed that she could have what she wanted now. Katrina could also “tap in” these good messages:
I have the control now.
I can have this if I want to -- I can choose to have it or not.
I’m now paying attention to what the craving is about...
I’m slowing things down. I’ll breathe and pay attention.
What the little girl needed was someone to pay attention to her feelings
... and validate her feelings... and take her seriously... and understand her.
I love and accept my little girl self. I honor my child self for what how hard it was at times. No one to pay attention... no one to really understand... but I understand.
When Katrina came in for her next session, she said that it had been amazing. She had had no desire for chocolate during the three weeks since our last session. She said she gave the Reese’s away! She just didn’t want it. “It feels great,” she said. “I’m not feeling as if, when I see it, I’ll go into this caveman ‘gotta have it’ urge. That kind of craving is gone.” She had also noticed feeling generally calmer and happier.
There is more work to do, but Katrina is developing a relationship with the part of herself that was the source of her cravings. That part needed love, attention, and understanding. As our healing work brings this in, I expect that it will get easier and easier for Katrina to make good choices and eat in a balanced way.
There is a follow-up to this story. Go to Part 2
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 September 17, 2011.