50-Year Agoraphobia Goes "Poof"
Agoraphobia, in my experience, is often complicated and its many aspects usually require several sessions before tangible progress is achieved. That's not always the case, however, as clearly detailed in this article by Patti Spencer. This case appeared so easy that I wrote Patti back asking her for any stumbling blocks, etc. that may have been present. She responded, "I wish I could make it more complicated, but it was pretty much a slam dunk, 2 or 3 rounds, 15 minute wonder! No stumbling blocks to speak of. It seemed incredible to me that after nearly 50 years of agony in his life, it just kind of went "poof!" and disappeared." - Gary Craig
By Patti Spencer
By Patti Spencer
I want to share with you the story of my friend Bob. When Bob was 17 years old, he had an emergency appendectomy. When he awoke from the surgery, he was in a severe panic and only his mother could comfort him. From this experience, he developed agoraphobia lasting for years.
His chosen profession was real estate, and years before cell phones were available, he would always need to know the location of every phone booth so that he could call for help and find a "safe" person. He had an unhealthy dependence on his mother, and a fear of dying. He saw scores of psychiatrists, and took psychotropic drugs for years. These medications caused a myriad of health problems and altered his wittiness, his great sense of humor, his level of confidence and his basic personality.
He became a self-centered and needy person, and most of his family shunned him. Eventually, he was unable to work. Leaving his home took a great deal of effort. His marriage fell apart. He moved across the country, and I didn't see him for some years.
When I learned about EFT, I was eager to do a session with Bob, who is now 65 years old. He had made some progress in the last several years as a result of a promise to God following successful cancer and heart surgery. When he visited me several months ago, however, he was still crippled by his phobia. He was on his way to travel to New Zealand and Australia, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and brought his ex-wife, Ella, with him because being without a "safe" person was terrifying to him. He couldn't drive anywhere by himself, and basically was extremely uncomfortable being anywhere by himself, especially an open place, such as a park.
I asked Bob what would raise his intensity level the most, and he indicated that going to a park or a large open space by himself, away from his car and his cell phone would send him through the roof. He might be able to force himself to do this, but he would be extremely uncomfortable.
We tapped for no longer than 15 minutes on this issue (this fear of being alone--this anxiety), and his intensity level went down to about a 1. I asked him if he wanted to put it to the test, and he eagerly agreed to do so. He left in the car by himself, drove to an unfamiliar park by himself, and took a walk. Ella and I were beginning to be concerned because he was gone for a full hour (we were giving him about 20 minutes to return). He was perfectly fine when he did return, and had enjoyed the walk and the time to himself.
A couple of days later, Bob and I visited again. He was experiencing a high level of anxiety because he had to drop a relative off at a doctors' office, and then drive back to where he was staying by himself and be alone all afternoon. Another 15 minutes of tapping and I sent him off on his errand. When we met later that evening for dinner, I learned that not only was he relaxed driving by himself, but he decided to drive a significant distance further and go to the beach for a walk. He then drove to another area to visit a friend he hadn't seen in a long time. As it turned out, he was nearly late for dinner because he was enjoying himself so much. Ella was concerned because normally, he would have been calling her all afternoon if he was alone somewhere.
Bob was able to enjoy his vacation without any elevated anxiety, and when I followed up with him several months later, I found that he had been able to nearly completely leave off his medication. He was down to only one prescription, which was a low dosage and he was only taking it every third day. Before he came to visit me, he had to force himself to leave the house to go to his substitute teaching job, even though he enjoyed it immensely. Last week he informed me that he is starting his own company, a real estate brokerage firm.
I have been amazed and grateful at the transformation that can sometimes occur with just a short session of EFT, and it makes me sad to think of all the years Bob spent trying unsuccessfully to solve his problem through conventional methods. Here's the letter Bob sent me recently:
The progress I have made both mentally and physically since the beginning of this year 2005 has been phenomenal.
Honestly, I feel gratitude to God for my abundance of blessings. You see, I attribute much of this progress to forces beyond human comprehension. Now, to get more down to earth. When I saw you in December of 2004 in Mission Viejo, you practiced a "tapping" method with me that gave me immediate results. Forgive me for forgetting the initials of this treatment. Anyway I felt immediate relief after that one session. Combine this with my good fortune to inherit some passive income from commercial real estate and the result is relief from pressure.
GC COMMENT: Skeptics might argue that the receipt of this extra income was the real cause for Bob's agoraphobic improvement. However, out of thousands upon thousands of agoraphobia cases on the record books, I have yet to hear of one that was resolved simply because someone received extra income.
BOB'S LETTER CONTINUES: I guess I am truly puzzled and overwhelmed that I no longer need all that psychiatric medicine I have been taking for years. I even went to my Internist for my annual physical and said to him, "Dr Kendall, I just don't get it. I don't have friends, most of my family doesn't want anything to do with me, I'm really alone, but I have never felt better physically and mentally." He replied by saying, "you have made a 180 degree turn since I meet you in 1999. You know who you are and are finally comfortable with yourself." Of course the results of my physical confirmed that everything is normal. My final thought is that it is impossible for a person to be depressed and/or anxious when one's prevailing attitude is one of gratitude. Talk to you soon.
I am committed to sharing EFT with as many people as possible. Thanks for your generosity and courage in putting it out there for the world to learn.
To find out about EFT courses, and to download the free EFT manual, click here.
Keywords: EFT, phobias, agoraphobia, healing, health