What I’m about to describe is a variation on the movie technique that I have used to great effect. I call it the Bundled Movie Technique. It builds on the invaluable original.
In the original form we take one clear incident that troubles the client, create a movie that at most is a few minutes long, tap on the title and each scene of the movie to neutralise each specific element of it. I regularly use it to help work through deeply distressing incidents.
The twist I’ve used with success is when there are too many memories of the same type of event happening over time. With this type of history the similar memories tend to blend into one another. As a result, it’s often hard for a client to pick out one memory to deal with at a time. I call this variation the “Bundled Movie” Technique.
To use the Bundled Movie Technique I ask the client to create a two minute movie drawing on elements of what they’ve experienced. This seems to have the effect of neatly gathering together many similar memories, whilst still giving the focus and specificity we need to neutralise their emotional distress using EFT.
I found this variation so helpful when working with long term physical and sexual abuse cases as it achieves such rapid gentle results. Here’s an example of how I helped one client.
“Louise” came to me distressed at not being able to sleep much. She was suffering from nightmares, and felt close to a nervous breakdown. She’d suffered intense nightmares since leaving home at age of 18 and would wake every night screaming with terror. She’s now in her mid 30s. She’d been introduced to EFT by friends but together they were not making sufficient headway and so she decided to get help from a practitioner.
In the first two sessions we relieved heavy guilt over a pregnancy termination, intense grief at losing her beloved grandfather when she was a child, and guilt at not being able to help her dying grandmother more than she did. We used plenty of reframing. For example, she felt guilty at not being able to save her grandmother. Once her SUDs levels were greatly reduced we reframed that even the skilled and experienced medical doctors were unable to diagnose what was wrong with her grandmother, so how could she have done more. The negative feelings for each issue were swiftly resolved. These were issues that naturally came up in conversation and helped her gain strength of mind before turning to an issue that has tormented her since childhood.
We came to her relationship with her abusive mother. Since early childhood Louise had been subject to repeated physical violence and daily mental torment. She could not easily pick out a few incidents. They merged into each other. The abuse had started more than 30 years before, but she still felt it on a daily basis.
I asked her to create her own two minute movie based on elements of what she experienced. First I asked her to create her own title. She called the movie ‘Rejection’ and we took a rating: 10+. She was visibly terror stricken. I tend to use a stream of consciousness style of wordplay. I prefer this style of work as I can follow the flow of my intuition whilst staying alert to how the client is responding. What follows are elements of the wordplay that I used at the time.
Even though I feel this dread in my chest at this movie title . . . my body feels the turmoil of that movie . . . this dreaded fear for my life . . . my being is in panic mode . . . this movie brings heavy panic
Even though I can feel the panic in my whole being at what I experienced in this movie . . . there’s a sick feeling in my stomach . . . this heavy panic that smothers me
Even though I’m furious that she did this to me . . . how dare she . . . she was my mother . . . she had no right to reject me . . . she should have been there for me . . . and yet she rejected me
Even though I’m saddened at the treatment I received at her hands . . . I thought she would love me . . . but she didn’t . . . I’m sad I had to go through that hell . . . sad that I remember the torment every night
Even though this rejection hurts . . . it pains me . . . I was so alone . . . no one to care for this little girl . . . just rejection
We gently tapped all those negative emotions down to zero. She looked and felt calmer.
I then asked her to talk through the movie scene by scene. I watched her face for emotional intensity, and used my intuition to check for distress. Anytime negative feelings came up we stopped to clear it. We tapped through many scenes of being physically assaulted by her mother.
Even though my mother and brothers encircled me to hurl abuse . . . she encouraged them . . . egged them on . . . they said appalling things . . . there was no escape . . . they had me circled . . . penned in . . . those foul words . . . .that venom
Even though it hurt that my own flesh and blood could do that . . . didn’t my brothers know better? . . . I guess if it wasn’t me it would be them . . . they were grateful it was me and not them . . . . poor them . . . still living with her nastiness . . . . they’re adults but not yet free
Even though part of me hears her tread on the stair . . . . there’s a heavy uncomfortable feeling in my chest . . .
Even though my mother is coming into my bedroom whilst I’m half asleep . . . . I can feel the fear in my throat . . . I can’t breathe . . . I daren’t breathe . . . please ignore me . . . . don’t come in
Even though I feel sick at the change of light in my darkened room as she opened the door . . . the desperate whisper of her breath on me . . .her eyes boring in to me . . . I’ll pretend I’m asleep . . . she doesn’t care
Even though she took such pleasure in hissing abuse at me . . . she’s telling me I’m not good enough . . . I can’t escape her . . . there’s poison pouring out of her mouth . . . she’s full of evil . . . thank God I’m far away from her
Even though she was a nasty person and still is . . . at least I’ve left that behind . . . I’m free . . . I don’t have to accept that anymore . . .
Once we had calmed down all the elements that were causing her terror, I asked Louise to go through the movie again in her mind to test for any remaining fears. We tapped through a few more that were at much lower levels until she could feel completely calm about what used to happen to her. Upon further testing it became clear that the other times she experienced abuse were no longer troubling her.
We switched to tapping on the present, and replaced the nightmares with choosing to experience peaceful rest at night from now on. We also brought in divine peace and love to support her in her life going forward.
She felt much lighter at the end as if a weight has been lifted. In the weeks after the appointment she noticed an improvement in her sleep. She woke up much less and no longer was she screaming in her sleep. When she does wake up at night she finds it easy to get back to sleep within a few minutes. We’re working on the remaining factors behind this – none of these are connected to the abuse she suffered at her mother’s hands. However, it’s clear from what Louise says that the one movie we tapped through a month ago has brought about a significant improvement in her quality of life.
I’ve used the Bundled Movie technique with several other clients who have experienced long term physical or emotional abuse and have had success every time. I’ve even found it to work with one client who doesn’t consider herself visually creative. I think this is because she is accessing images she has experienced rather than creating from afresh.
Sejual Shah is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer and Advanced Practitioner in the UK. She helps execs with career growth and confidence issues. Since 2008 she has pioneered ways of delivering business EFT courses to large companies at home and abroad and loves coaching other practitioners to do this as well. She is the co-founder of Business Energetics. Her website is www.healthyinmind.com
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on January 28, 2012.