"When gold standard approaches recommends 12 to 18 sessions to treat PTSD, and EFT achieves the same outcomes in 4 to 10 sessions, then, are all therapies really equal?" - Dawson Church
Do you know what effects post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has on people?
I experienced it firsthand more than 30 years ago. Yet, the memory still makes me shiver today. That, after having used Energy Psychology and other therapies to heal myself from the trauma caused by the original event numerous times.
I was 16 when my father committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. In appearance, that traumatic event ended a decade-long distressing life but in reality, unbeknown to me, the emotional afflictions carried on.
Initially, my father wanted to shoot my mother who ran off and climbed over a fence to escape him. She fell off the top of the fence and broke her back in the process. As my mother was injured and in hiding, my older sister and I (the 2 oldest children of our family) were left to ‘handle’ the aftermath.
At 16, I couldn't imagine how my father felt when he realized that he'd likely be charged with attempted murder. My guess is that he didn't want to go to jail. He'd rather die by his own hands, thus, he committed suicide. The image at the morgue where my sister and I saw my father’s bloody face was etched into my memory forever.
Before that suicide though, negative things started decades before, when I was 5. The Vietnam war ended. The Americans have retreated from Vietnam and the communist party has taken over the South of Vietnam. Back then, what I didn’t know was that my father had just started suffering from PTSD himself. Although our family survived the war despite our hiding place being shot at and bombs dropped around us, my father went through a different and more terrible experience.
He was an army officer in the South Vietnamese regime. Upon the war ending, the communist party put him in what they called a “re-education camp” - aka prison - for several years. When he was released, he rarely mentioned the horrific things he experienced during those years. As a child, all I knew was that he lost not just his career and personal/financial assets, but also his dignity to earn a living.
You see, once the communist party was in control, nobody dared to deal with ex-prisoners for fear of getting themselves in trouble, as the communist party monitored every aspect of everyone’s life.
At that time, the only thing left for my father was to become a farmer. Unfortunately, we couldn’t even afford to buy farming land as my family had lost everything (due to my father’s position in the South Vietnam army) when the communist party took over.
For over a decade, due to the effect of PTSD, my family’s life was dreadful – even after we left Vietnam shortly after my father was released from prison.
After my father died from shooting himself, for me, the day-to-day living was better because I no longer had to face his angry outbursts. But, the negative emotional impact continued on for years - even after I closed that door tightly. I didn't know I was suffering from PTSD. I didn't even know there was a disorder called PTSD. I didn't know it affects my emotions, thoughts and behaviours negatively.
A few years ago, when I first started practicing Energy Psychology, I had the opportunity to work with a Canadian veteran who was in Afghanistan. The PTSD he was suffering spilled onto other areas of his life without him even realizing that. That’s the thing with PTSD, it can be insidious at times.
It was also an opportunity for me to reopen that tightly closed traumatic door and started my healing journey with PTSD, as well as my relationship with my father – even though he passed away more than 30 years ago.
PTSD symptoms are often characterized by the following signs: “re-experiencing,” having nightmares, or flashbacks; “avoidance,” avoiding crowds or situations which may remind the person of the traumatic experience (i.e. hearing a car backfire may sound like a gun firing to a soldier); “negative cognition and moods,” feeling a sense of guilt, distancing themselves from others; self-destructive behaviour, irritability and angry outbursts, and trouble sleeping.
So why aren’t people who suffer from PTSD reaching out? It’s the stigma around it. They don’t feel like they can talk about it. They rather hide and suffer in silence. Their behaviour may stem from their training to be “tough” and “strong”. Seeking help may be viewed as a sign of weakness.
But you know what takes courage? Admitting it’s a disorder and getting help. Brave people do that.
If you’re affected by PTSD, allow me to help you. I’ve been there. I understand how you feel. There’s no need for you to keep living your life under the horrific effects of PTSD – no matter which traumatic event it’s from. It’s time to release the emotional burdens that wear you out. You’re safe with me and I’m only a click away.
Below is a link to one of the research papers proving that clinical EFT is effective at treating PTSD in just 4 to 10 sessions. Its conclusion says:
“Unless cost-effective therapies are implemented rapidly, the estimated cost to the US economy of PTSD in veterans alone could exceed a trillion dollars . If widely adopted, Clinical EFT promises to be a cost-effective, evidence-based treatment.
Combining acupressure with elements derived from cognitive and exposure therapies, EFT has been validated in more than 100 clinical trials and has demonstrated efficacy for a range of populations and psychological conditions. Treatment effects have equalled or exceeded those obtained from pharmacological interventions and conventional psychotherapy.
Clinical Guidelines for applying EFT in the treatment of PTSD have been developed, utilizing a stepped-care approach. Five EFT sessions are recommended for subclinical PTSD symptomology, 10 sessions for clinical PTSD, and intensive psychotherapy or psychopharmacology or both for non-responsive patients or those with a history of developmental trauma.
In addition, family support, group EFT utilizing the Borrowing Benefits approach, and online resources may be recommended as adjuncts to individual sessions. As an empirically validated, cost-effective therapy, EFT is recommended as a first-line intervention for clinicians treating PTSD.”
Here's the link if you wish to read the research in detail for yourself: https://bit.ly/2WHe4mt