What is your motivation to help veterans?
- Experience as daughter of a WWII Veteran and POW
- Experience in Bosnia, Concentration camps,…
What is your background for the work that you do?
- Interfaith Minister
- Life Coach specializing in EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques
- Registered with the NH board for Mental Health Practice as alternative provider
- I am not a licensed mental health professional, and don’t diagnose or treat disease.
- I see helping Veterans as my human responsibility and approach it from a spiritual and human aspect.
What is EFT?
- Unique form of Acupuncture without needles
- Properly applied, it can release the tension and response to traumatic events, negative beliefs and even many physical symptoms
- Can be used and easily taught as a self help tool
- Veterans, Military families, even children can use the “tapping” easily to help release the stress
- EFT does not replace traditional treatment through licensed mental health professionals and medical doctors.
- Instead, It is a self help tool and coaching tool that everybody can easily learn and apply.
How does EFT work?
- EFT uses a combination of appropriate affirmations or “set up statements”, which describe the issue someone wants to release:
“Even though I feel completely overwhelmed right now” - and combines it with a positive statement
“I deeply and completely accept myself”. The “acupuncture without needles part” is actually a gentle tapping technique,
which stimulates certain release points on the head and upper body in relation to the statement.
So while these affirmations are being stated, the points are tapped.
This a bit unusual technique balances our energies in relation to the memory or issue and literally takes the charge out of it.
The surprising result is that the person can now think and even talk about the traumatic event without emotional attachment.
Whatever happened is now truly in the past. And those results are usually lasting.
The nice thing is that the clients often don’t even have to remember specifically what happened.
There are ways to release the trauma without even remembering or recalling them. This is what trained EFT practitioners can help with.
Can you give us a demonstration?
- I’d be happy to give some healing demonstrations during the show, where people could experience the appropriate and discrete gentleness of EFT.
This could help them move forward if they’d like.
Are there any side effects?
- EFT is very safe to apply. However when someone has been through a lot, and is not experienced in working with trauma, he/she might tune into
memories that he/she cannot release alone. So please use common sense and work with/go to only issues that you feel safe and skilled to work with.
Otherwise, please work with a trained professional. My clients understand my professional boundaries as a life coach and have to agree with the disclaimer on my website and a personal disclaimer before we begin to tap. EFT does not replace therapy or treatment through a licensed medical doctor or mental health professional, it complements it.
Can you share some results?
- I frequently see that after just a few sessions, often even after the first one, the sleep patterns change: Nightmares subside, people begin to sleep restfully
through the night
- I see intrusive thoughts subside rather quickly: People report that, under normal circumstances, they would have stood up and left easily, but now they
don’t have that urge anymore
- People have hope and become more relaxed and joyful. They see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- People are releasing many physical symptoms that are stress related. I have seen fine motor skills improve dramatically after a TBI, headaches,
backpain, trembling, open sores disappear, fibromyalgia knots shrink and then disappear, and many more
Are there resources available?
- There is currently a non-military, confidential research program, which offers 6 free, confidential sessions to Veterans. The only requirement is that
certain forms are being filled out before, during and after the program. Please go to www.eft4vets.com and www.stressproject.org for more information
What is the most important thing when helping Veterans heal?
- These men and women have been through a lot, and trust is of the essence. Introduce yourself, make yourself available, allow all questions and
concerns to be talked about.
- Listen! My job as coach is NOT to judge, not to condone and not to excuse what happened. My job is to help heal what happened in a goal oriented way.
- Given our circumstances, we always do the best we can. This doesn’t mean that we do what we wish we could have done, but there are reasons why
- As a Minister and Coach, I understand that forgiveness doesn’t come from excuses, but from seeing our lives in context, with all that happened before,
during and after an event, and honor that we did the best we could. We have to offer unconditional forgiveness.
Why should everybody help Veterans? What is the importance of forgiveness?
- War is the result of our mindset of separation. When we as a collective consciousness begin to be afraid of each other and feel threatened, we sent
soldiers to fight for us.
- When trauma happens in war, when the soldier is exposed to situations that cannot be forgiven, soldiers can experience a break inside. They feel that
they are forever disconnected from the whole, that they cannot return and have to stay in war. There is a huge loneliness, sadness, often guilt, and
overwhelming anger at the betrayal they had to endure. There is a feeling of being haunted, and reexperiencing with all senses, awake and asleep, the
trauma of the unforgivable that happened.
- Many Vietnam Veterans report that they died in Vietnam, that they should not have returned.
- When a soldier is not welcomed back with the honor of the warrior, but ridiculed and prejudiced against, that is another unforgivable event, and it can
cause huge trauma.
- Not being welcomed back in the appropriate way can cause delayed combat stress symptoms.
- Research has shown that most Veterans prefer to talk with their spouse, partner, a friend or military buddy over a mental health institution.
- We have to be ready to help these men and women return and find their inner warrior, their peace and forgiveness for what happened in war. This is a
human responsibility that we all carry, and it cannot be left up to the military alone to welcome soldiers back and help them heal.
Can you share some examples of what you have worked with?
I can share stories of healing about:
- Death of a buddy
- Nurse was forced to let go of Vietnamese patients to free up space in the hospital
- Anger after not being welcomed back with dignity and gratitude
- MST (Military sexual trauma)
- Intrusive thoughts
- Hopelessness (turned into “finding peace”)
What is the hardest thing to work with?
- Finding ways to allow for the Vets to trust and reach out
- Many have told me that asking for help is counterintuitive, as they are trained to help others and not ask for help themselves
- Once we begin to work together, the results are usually just wonderful and lasting
How about non-military trauma?
- More often than not do I see that other trauma needs to be released as well: Family issues, self esteem, early childhood trauma and others can set
someone up for a very difficult life. As I minister, I honor my clients as a whole person and help them find peace with whatever might be in the way.
How about long term care?
- Ultimately, the dream is that Veterans can have support groups where they use EFT as a self help tool.
- Veterans prefer to talk about war experiences with Veterans, so we have to find ways to accommodate this
How about the families?
- When a soldier goes to war, the whole family, the whole community goes with him/her. When the soldier suffers, they suffer. Often, the pain and fear is at
least as big, as they have to live with the insecurities of where their loved one is, if he/she is safe and what will happen once he/she comes back home.
There are powerful and wonderful ways with EFT to take the tension out of these fears and help the families relax and be positively open.
- Families have to face the reality that their loved one WILL have changed. War changes people, and even if someone does not develop long term trauma
symptoms, the person will not be who he/she was before he/she left. Families have to learn how to deal with that in a positive and comfortable way,
releasing the fears and overwhelm and learn how to take one step at a time.
- Families have their own set of problems from all walks of life to deal with, and often no support. They deserve the attention, love, appreciation and support
from their community and environment. With EFT, we can make the daily life so much easier
- With EFT, parents can help their children release their fears and sadness and deal with their life and situation one step at a time
I could give a demonstration of this during the show if desired
What is your dream?
- My dream is that the Veterans and their families, those who understand what war truly means, will be able to go out into the world and teach.
And I always see that those I have worked with, are on a mission to spread the word and help others heal as well.
- My job is not to tell them what to do with their lives, but to help them make their own choices according to who they want to be, and not according to what their past limits allowed for them to do.
- When I see that a person makes his/her own choices, I consider my job done. However, I am always available for my Veterans even after, because life happens, and when something gets triggered that we haven’t worked on before, we should tap on it and let it go.