Childhood Fears and Bullying

A case study by Deirdre Brocklebank © 2009

I really enjoy doing EFT with children as I have found them to be generally very creative, open and usually co-operative, while doing the process. The young man that I am writing about in this article is an intelligent and spiritual young man of six years of age (when I first saw him) and I will call him Kyle.

I first worked with Kyle about six weeks previously when we tapped on his being bullied at school. He was initially tentative at that first session and he preferred having the door open while we did the EFT, so he could see his mother in the other room.

For his second session Kyle asked me to help him as he was scared of a dog monster that he saw in a television cartoon. He was also feeling scared during his swimming lessons because of his fear of sharks and crocodiles. He was much more relaxed and confident with me this session. I asked him whether he wanted the door open or closed while we did the EFT. This time he was quite adamant that he wanted the door shut so we wouldn’t be “interrupted”. He was quite subdued initially while telling me about the cartoon monster and he didn’t look me in the eye while he talked and tapped his karate chop point.

As he slowly gained confidence he started to look at me as I encouraged him to describe what the monster did and what it looked like. His confidence grew as I repeated his words and threw in a few of my words such as “ugly, spotty, silly old monster ‘. By this time his confidence was growing to the extent that he told me with glee that the monster did “blue farts” and that his grandfather had said “they shouldn’t show such bloody awful television cartoons to children.”

I made a few suggestions about how we could deal with the monster such as sending it into space or drawing it. He chose to draw it and then to burn the drawing. He insisted that we also burn all the matches that we used. He laughed about the monster going up in smoke and made sure that every bit of the drawing was burnt to ash. After the burning he tapped randomly on the head and body points for statements such as “the silly old monster and the gone to Monster Heaven monster.” I tapped along with him.

He agreed to do an EFT setup and round on the monster. As I mentioned previously, Kyle is quite a spiritual boy and I was impressed before we started tapping, when he looked at the sky and said, “If I look at the sky and look at God I can see my friends. My friends are John and Don.” He could also “see” his dog Darcy that had died. His friends are still alive and it was interesting to note that John was the friend who had been bullying him and he was the reason for Kyle doing the first session of EFT with me

Kyle asked me to tap on him and to speak the setup and he repeated what I said. The setup we worked out together was, “Even though I’m a little bit scared of the scary, smelly, blue-farty, pink and blue spotted monster I‘m a great, happy kid and mummy loves me.” I tapped through the points on him from the top of head to the karate chop using the descriptive words in the setup plus other choice ones that he contributed, including “yukky, stinky, jumping-from-tree and paper-ripping monster.”

Kyle said he “felt fine” after two rounds.

His second fear was about sharks and crocodiles and this also seemed to have stemmed from television shows. He had seen a surfer attacked by a great white shark on television and he had also seen crocodiles leaping out of the water at people on land and in small boats. I was very impressed when he told me with confidence that “crocodiles are like dinosaurs as they are about 100 million years old and they are still here and sharks are too.” He tapped randomly on himself while telling me this.

Kyle wanted to burn the drawing of the shark and the crocodile but as we had run out of matches he decided to tear the drawing into tiny pieces. I agreed to dispose of these later.

He seemed much happier after tearing up the drawing so I encouraged him to talk to me again about the shark and crocodile. I did this by asking him to pretend that he was swimming in the pool and to tell me how he felt. He said he still felt a bit of a “scaredy cat”. I tapped on him for the following setup. “Even though I’m a bit of a scaredy cat in the pool because of the shark and crocodile, I’m a great and happy kid and I’m stronger than anybody else and stronger than a shark and a crocodile.” The statements at each point from the top of head to the under arm, were based on this setup statement. After two rounds he felt “fine”.

Kyle was a much happier boy when we finished the session and he was quite happy for me to tell his mother what we had been tapping on. He even contributed to the conversation without any obvious anxiety or fear.

On the third session we tapped on his nightmares about dinosaurs. They seem related to his seeing dinosaur models in a museum about 20 months before. He described them as being100 feet tall, with grey/brown teeth about10 metres long. He was scared they were going to bite him. This has been a recurring dream as he mentioned that he woke up and rolled out of bed on another occasion because of a dinosaur dream and his mum came and saved him. We tapped two rounds for, “Even though the scary dinosaurs woke me up with a fright and I was scared, I’m a great kid and really brave and strong.” We then tapped one round of each of the following: “I now choose to sleep nicely.” “I’m a big, strong, brave kid.”

The thing that most frightened Kyle about the dinosaurs was their size. I told him about the fable of the elephant being frightened by a mouse and ad-libbed with parallels about his dreams and the dinosaurs – ie even though he is smaller than a dinosaur he is still brave and strong. (I asked him questions to ensure he understood about the differences in sizes of the animals and their comparative bravery). He agreed that the best way to deal with the dinosaurs was to tell them to go away if any more come back when he is asleep.

The value of the previous EFT work that we did on his fear of sharks was evident when he told me of another dream that he had had recently about a shark. In the dream he and the shark kept swapping teeth and finally Kyle got the biggest teeth and he bit the shark.

In the fourth session Kyle mentioned that his friend we had tapped for in the first session was bullying him again. I tapped along with him while he tapped himself for: “Even though every day John says ‘naughty, nice, going cookoo’ to me and its confusing and frustrating, I’m a great kid and I’m Okay.” We tapped two rounds for: “John gets in my head and it’s confusing and frustrating.” He felt a lot better and then tapped on himself for: “Even though I wish John wasn’t there I’m still a great kid.” This was followed by two rounds of the following: “I wish John wasn’t there but I’m still a great kid.” We then tapped together for “Even though I’m distracted by John I’m a great kid.” followed with two rounds of “I’m still distracted by John when he goes to the pencil sharpener.” He is a very insightful child and I was impressed when he told me that it was okay, because John only teases people because he is sad.

Kyle is very sensitive and he told me in a round-about way that his mother had been kicked at school when she was a child and it affected her back. He was worried that his sister would break his back because she kicks him. We tapped for: “Even though I’m worried that Suzy will break my back like what happened to mum, I now choose to accept and love myself and Suzy unconditionally.” He did one round of the main phrase then repeated the story while tapping the KC. He felt okay when thinking about it and changed the subject.

Kyle admitted that he occasionally still feels a bit scared of sharks when he swims in one particular pool because he can’t see the edge. However, once again the efficacy of the EFT that I had done with him in the earlier session was obvious. Instead of wanting to get out of the water, his strategy now is that if he thinks he sees a shark coming to get him, he just moves out of the way and it hits the wall.

His parents were discussing divorce and there was obviously a lot of strain in the family but Kyle did not mention these issues to me. Therefore, I only focussed on what he wanted to address. I will address those issues in the future if he chooses to raise them with me.
Deirdre Brocklebank
B.A. Dip Reflex Cert. IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, Theta Healing practitioner, EFT practitioner and teacher. Member RAA.