EFT 4 Veterans – EFT4Vets http://www.eftforvets.com Healing War Trauma, One Soldier At A Time Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:58:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://www.eftforvets.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-Screenshot-2015-08-10-14.58.19-32x32.png EFT 4 Veterans – EFT4Vets http://www.eftforvets.com 32 32 Never Judge PTSD – Healing From War Trauma with EFT http://www.eftforvets.com/1306/never-judge-ptsd-healing-from-war-trauma-with-eft/ http://www.eftforvets.com/1306/never-judge-ptsd-healing-from-war-trauma-with-eft/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 19:08:03 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=1306

“What do you think of me now Ma’am?” He asked.
My head was racing. I had worked with this Marine over the phone for several hours. His wife was there to support him. He told me his name was Joe, but I didn’t know if that was true. I did t know if he called me from a friends house or his own phone. I had no idea what he looked like and would most likely have passed him by on the street.
But I had heard his stories. Stories of intense trauma.
Vietnam did that to people. All wars do.
He was uder care of the VA and had permission to try EFT with me.
Story by story we unpacked whatever he was ready to share. He was a high ranking officer. He took command of the session, decided where to go and what to talk about.
In the beginning, we just worked on his physical stress. That’s all he could do.
But as he learned to trust me more, he began to share stories that nobody other than his pastor had ever heard.
He didn’t talk about it at the VA, and his therapist hadn’t even asked him to do so.
He asked his wife for forgiveness for some of the things he had done to her, when he was raging, infuriated and out of control, destroying so much of their relationship and hoping that she wouldn’t break up with him as a result.
As we worked together, his voice changed from session to session. It became lighter, friendlier, and had a new sense of happiness, even purpose in it.
He was stoic and monotonous when we started, now, after just a few hours, he talked with a sense of freedom and relief.
We addressed some childhood issues, memories with his father, who was also a Marine.
They were intense, some of them more dramatic than his war memories.
I was grateful that we could work through them so safely without him tuning in emotionally.

But then, there was this afternoon, when he told me that he wanted to share something that only his priest knows.
“Ma’am,” he said “I need you to understand that I am not asking for forgiveness. I have been blaming myself for this every day since it happened, since I did this. I would give my life to make it undone. I am a monster and I deserve to burn in hell for this. My guilt is my punishment and I accept that.”
“Can you talk about it?” I asked? I am here to listen
“I talked with my priest. He was trying to make me feel better. But I didn’t want to feel better. I deserve to live in hell for this.”
This was a strong man. I had learned to respect him for so many reasons. I could feel his pain and confirmed that I’d be there for him.

“So here is it.” He said: “I was a Sniper, special forces. My job was to take out the enemy before it took out us..”
“I understand that.” I replied.
“My mission that day was to blow up that civilian bus. We expected enemy forces to be in it. ” “Yes.” I said.

“But…,” he paused, overwhelmed. It took some time for him to regain his composure… “But here’s the thing: the bus was ready to leave. But then, at the very last moment, I saw a father with his son running up to the bus….”
“And I waited until they got on before I blew it up.”
I could hear the crying in his voice. But he had no tears left. He had been carrying this for so many decades.
“I talked to my priest. He was trying to tell me that maybe this was gods will!” That’s bullshit. He was trying to tell me that maybe this little boy would have turned I to a terrorist! But seriously! This was a 9 year old kid! What are the odds of that???”

“What do you think of me now, Ma’am?”

My mind was racing. Could I help him with this? What was I going to say? Was there an appropriate response? Was I the right person to help him, given the severity of the story that he had just shared? Could I even find it in my heart to talk about this differently than he did?
I realized that this was a pivotal moment for me as a healer. If I couldn’t find a way to work with him now, I couldn’t do the work I wanted to do, helping Veterans release war trauma What was my place in this? And was I prepared to take it?

All this took just a few seconds. As I listened to the silence in the other side of the phone line, I realized that I hadn’t asked him the most important question yet.
“Joe” I said “my job is not to judge you. It is not to condone or excuse what happened. My only job that I have signed up for is to help you heal what happened.”
“Please tell me more. Who were you at the time? What were you trained to do? What were the real circumstances of this?”
“You don’t judge me?”
“No. I don’t.”

“Ma’am” he said “nobody has ever asked me this. Even my therapist at the VA never wanted to know.
You see” he continued ” at the age of 8, my dad put me in a secret military cadre for gifted kids. I was raised there. I was brainwashed. They put those headphones in us and made us think things about ourselves that I can’t repeat here. We believed to be so big, so invincible. I speak Russian and Vietnamese in my sleep. I do t recall to have ever learned this. I can tighten up my muscles so hard, that they can’t even give me a shot at the hospital when I feel threatened. I just break the needle. I am in my 70s now, but I can still pick up a live size tractor if necessary. Had to do that to save someone a little while ago. I am trained and programmed to be invincible and to not think. We all were. We didn’t have a choice. ”
He told me many more stories that I promised not to share. But it became apparent, that what happened that day had a big, huge, decades long story.

That this man had been systematically trained to forget about his humanness so he could do his job. So many of the troops I have worked with report this.

“Joe ” I said, when he was finished “I’d like to share something with you:
I understand why you say that the priest telling you that his was gods will is BS. And that the odds of the boy turning into a terrorist are very very slim. I understand why you want to take full responsibility for what happened that day. And I respect that.
But after listening to you, even though I am a healer not a Marine, after learning more about you, after hearing how you were raised, trained and prepared for many many years to do this job, I can’t help but seeing this differently now”

I paused, as this was huge for me, and quite frankly, it still is…

“Joe, I realize that if I had your background, your upbringing, your story, I would have done the same thing. Anybody would have. Not just you.”

There were many emotions coming up for him now, and we tapped through all of them with EFT.

Eventually we were done, and his demeanor had completely changed.
“I still have a lot to give.” He said “There are many poor devils like me who carry their mess around every day of their lives never knowing how to put it down. This EFT stuff works. I want to reach out to them and support them, too. I have a new mission in my life. No I am ready to take that on now.”

When we send our troops into war zones, we must expect for them to come back changed, injured and deeply impacted by what they were exposed to.

When they return, it is our job to take the responsibility for sending them into war in the first place. And for the things that happened while they were there. It is our job to
Never judge
Never condone
Never excuse what happened

But instead to help heal what happened with respect, listening and acknowledgement.
There needs to be a place for this in our society, where we hold and cherish our troops, and not just want them to “get themselves fixed so they can operate again.”

War trauma impacts everybody, not just the service members.
But when we learn how to acknowledge this without judgment, forgive without condoning or excusing and are truly I recreated in taking the time to listen and learn, our troops have a chance to return home
and have a place in the civilian world.

Thank you Joe for having the courage to step forward and teach me this important lesson. You have saved many lives.

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EFT For Emergency Response – DBHRT Presentation http://www.eftforvets.com/1168/eft-for-emergency-response-dbhrt-presentation/ http://www.eftforvets.com/1168/eft-for-emergency-response-dbhrt-presentation/#comments Sun, 03 Mar 2013 05:20:18 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=1168 On February 8th, I was invited by the DBHRT, the Disaster Behavior Health Response Team of New Hampshire, to give a presentation about how to use EFT in shelters.

As a DBHRT Team Leader, I am grateful that EFT is now available to Behavior Health Volunteers in the state of New Hampshire and beyond.

Since the training was only 3.5 hours, I had to focus on an effective and easy to learn way to teach tapping to providers who had heard of, but didn’t have experience with tapping.

To accomplish this, I decided to focus on three main teaching points:

EFT for self care for providers

EFT for Shelters

EFT for Schools.

These are, with the exception of working with the Military, the main areas where DBHRT gets called most frequently.

The approach we took was:

– Teach and practice the basic recipe without the finger points or gamut, so that it coule easily be learned and memorized in an effective way.

– Demonstrate and practice the constricted breathing technique. The intention here was to

a) Show how stress shows up in the body of almost anybody

b) Demonstrate how EFT is effective even if people just follow the demonstration without any knowledge or background in EFT 

c) Bring measurable results without tuning into emotional aspects of trauma – which is important in a collective stress situation, such as schools or shelters

d) Teach an effective way to work with children or adults that can be repeated as needed and be fun

e) Teach a tool where emotional work can be prepared, as this technique takes the edge of emotional intensity


After the effectiveness of the general tapping with a very basic set up statement ” Even though I have this constricted breathing, I completely accept myself” Was taught and practiced by the attendees, we went on to learn the

Chasing the Pain technique

The intention for this workshop was to make sure, that we can effectively help in groups and emergency situations, without doing therapy or deep trauma work.

By refocussing the intention on the body, we allow trauma victims to release the intensity without having to tune into the emotional cause of it.

We can monitor success in releasing energy blocks by focussing on the physical location, releasing it, and then observing shifts in intensity and location. By doing several rounds of tapping, we can bring great physical and emotional benefits, without having victims tune into the emotional component of the trauma.

Next, the Personal Peace Procedure tool was introduced and practiced. Participants filled out at least 5 issues that they wanted to release, with the added intensity measure “SUDS (Subjective Unit Of Distress Scale”). They learned how to release the intensity of the issues they wrote down, and also practiced in pairs on how to release it.

The combination of the basic recipe, the constricted breathing technique and the chasing the pain technique was then demonstrated and practiced for self care, Shelters and school aged kids.

For shelters, we brainstormed the different emotions that victims go through, divided into age groups.

We found that, even though there are some age specific issues that each group had, there were also some general, effective issues that could be safely addressed with any group. These were: 

– Overwhelm (Even though I am completely overwhelmed right now, I choose to be surprisingly OK with that)

– Anger/Rage

– Fear of what’s next

– Concern for family and friends

We realized that these feelings could be safely addressed by a DBHRT volunteer, without the need to analyze each member’s specific situation.


Finally, we talked about specific ways to help children with EFT.

Reframing of the basic “I deeply and completely accept myself” Was necessary, to make it age appropriate.

Some of the ways to do this were:

Even though I am so upset right now, I know my parents love me

– I know I am a great kid

– I know that I am a great baseball player

– My friends think I’m cool


Or for older kids: Even though  am really upset right now, I know that I can do this

– I know I am a cool dude

– It’s OK, anybody would feel this way.


We introduced the “monkey tap” for younger children, which means “banging” on the chest/collar bone points like a monkey, or tapping simultaneously on the top of the head and under the arm. “monkey noises” or small sounds like “poc poc poc” can be made with each tap, to help the children have fun while they de-stress.

The “SUDS” can be measured by comparing the intensity to the size of animals (Elephants vs kitty cats), or simply by stretching out the arms for the highest intensity and bringing the hands closer together as the intensity decreases.

There is much more to learn to do this work effectively to help people in shelters and schools, as well as the military, but bringing the work back to the four basic teachings:

– Basic short recipe

– Constricted Breathing Technique

– Personal Peace Procedure

– Chasing the pain Technique

Is a solid and effective foundation even for beginners of EFT.



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Anger Management for PTSD: Three Steps to Transforming Rage with EFT Coaching- EFT Podcast http://www.eftforvets.com/1144/anger-management-for-ptsd-three-steps-to-transforming-rage-with-eft-coaching-eft-podcast/ http://www.eftforvets.com/1144/anger-management-for-ptsd-three-steps-to-transforming-rage-with-eft-coaching-eft-podcast/#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2011 19:17:45 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=1144 Anger Management is a very important skill for troops who suffer from PTSD and their families, as well as those who want to help them.

In my experience with EFT for Veterans, rage happens when a person had to endure situations that are unforgivable, inexcusable and that violate what he/she believes in.

I have yet to see a soldier that is not outraged about something that he saw, was exposed to, did or couldn’t prevent from happening.

Even though EFT can take the charge out of those memories, in my experience, there are three steps necessary to truly release rage:

Acknowledgement of what happened without judgment

Releasing the intensity with EFT tapping

Transformation of the experience, to find a deeper meaning and new purpose.

Please click on the link below to listen to the EFT Tapping podcast interview with Ingrid Dinter, conducted by Jondi Whitis from TapFest Radio




Listen to internet radio with EFT Radio Online on Blog Talk Radio


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Interview with Vietnam Veteran Bob Culver about EFT and Healing PTSD http://www.eftforvets.com/1008/interview-with-vietnam-veteran-bob-culver-about-eft-and-healing-ptsd/ Thu, 25 Nov 2010 08:36:21 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=1008 One of the men that I had the honor to meet in San Francisco, during the filming of the documentary “Operation: Emotional Freedom” was Bob Culver.

Bob had a life long journey of trauma even before joining the military, and had suffered from PTSD for decades.

Bob has been an inspiration in his dedication to move forward with tapping, no matter what life threw at him.

Here is an interview that I took with him recently.

Click Here for the Interview with Bob Culver about his experiences with EFT since he came home from the San Francisco retreat

After returning from San Francisco, Bob continued to work as an institutional chef, until his apartment caught fire and the house burned down to the ground, with all his belongings.

Thanks to the generosity of caring Veterans and people that knew him through the video, we could gather enough finances for Bob to help him relocate to North Carolina, where his daughter and grandchild live.

About ten months later, the job situation forced him to take a short term job in Massachusetts, however, he now decided to return to North Carolina to be closer to his family and the new grandchild.

Bob does not have an easy life, but EFT has helped him tremendously to stay focused and calm, no matter what life throws at him.

He strongly believes that every day tapping is crucial for long term success, and he is an amazing inspiration for many others who share military trauma and live with the consequences very day.

Bob’s message is:” Try it once and see for yourself”.

He will gladly connect with Veterans and other people who would like to learn more about EFT.

Bob can be reached as “Bob Culver” via facebook, or leave a comment below.

UPDATE: Today, November 24th 2010, Bob announced the birth of his second granddaughter Gabriela!


14 Easy Steps To Help Military Families, Not Just On Thanksgiving http://www.eftforvets.com/965/14-easy-steps-to-help-military-families-not-just-on-thanksgiving/ Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:17:36 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=965
4 Thanksgiving Turkeys by Mother and Son!

Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

Getting through the holidays with while the father or mother is deployed is a great challenge for many military families.

Asking for help is difficult for anybody, but for these families it is especially hard:

Many of their needs are not temporary, but rather long term, and they expect of themselves to find a way to make it through the deployment with their own resources only.
They often feel misunderstood, as their situation is hard to comprehend by families who don’t have a loved one overseas.

As a cancer survivor, who learned firsthand the enormous feeling of strength and gratitude that comes from a reliable support chain of caring friends in difficult times, I’d like to make a suggestion:

If you know a military family who has a loved one overseas, don’t ask if they need anything, but assume that they do.

If one “best friend” steps forward and addresses the church, school or sports team that the family belongs to, and is able to find 16 people who commit to sending one meal per month, the family will receive four meals per week.

– If you can find 10 parents who are willing to offer a play date for a military kid after school care for a once per month, this child can feel loved and supported by many friends, while the mother, father or grandparent gets a break.

– If 4 community members are willing to ask what groceries are needed once a month, and run this errand for the mother, she doesn’t have to  worry about getting her shopping issues done and can spend more time playing with the kids.

– If 4 people can be found to plow the driveway after a snowstorm, the coming winter will not be as hard.
– And if 4 families decided to take turns taking kids over night every other weekend, the military wife or husband could get out of the house with a friend and socialize. This would be invaluable relief for  the isolation that many families report.

It can be done, if the community comes together and organizes this proactively.

The trick is, to offer the support without being asked, and to provide a reliable support system that lasts until the returning soldier has settled in (or maybe beyond that).

Many family members share that they are overwhelmed with their new tasks but don’t want their loved one to worry.

Imagine the relief and gratitude overseas, when the soldiers know that they are supported by their communities.
This is truly meaningful, personal support that can be done easily, when a group of people comes together and shares the support chain in a way that is comfortable for them

Here is a checklist of how to set this up:

1)    Address the church, school or other community that the family is a member of
2)    Describe the situation of  the family and have volunteers sign up
3)    Ask specifically what can be offered easily and consistently ntil the soldier comes home. If it is  too much work, it will be hard to keep going  through the entire deployment cycle
4)    Make sure that at least one meal per week is on the list
5)    Ask for special skills (bookkeeping, organizing, handy man talent, cleaning support…) that might be available
6)    Ask who is willing to add another shopping list to  their own or run another errand regularly
7)    Put a list of possible play dates together


8)    Approach the family and tell them what you have organized (it will be easier to accept this way)
9)    Have them give specific requests and needs (foods, supplies, clothes,…)
10)    Have all the supporters make the commitment they can make and put it in the calendar
11)    Get their email addresses and phone numbers
12)    Create a website online, where the menus can be posted, information exchanged and specific needs expressed http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com is one free option
13)    Then it is just a matter of sending weekly or monthly updates to  everybody, reminding them of  their specific day to help
14)    Important: If you are willing to organize this support chain, make sure you get others to help you, too.

Imagine how a soldier, who is worried about his spouse and three young children, will feel when he learns that his community has committed to support his family while he is gone. This will last a life time, and it will change the families of the helpers, too.

But the trick is to make the first step and not wait for the military family to ask for help. Chances are they won’t do it.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Returning home from combat http://www.eftforvets.com/374/returning-home-from-combat/ Fri, 29 Jan 2010 15:06:02 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/?p=374 Returning home from combat is not as easy as many expect. Thinking of home feels wonderful: a safe and comfortable place, where things will “sort themselves out”. Many veterans can’t wait to get on the plane and head home, and neither can their relatives. But in the weeks and months ahead, many soldiers face great and unexpected difficulties when they come back to their family and try to adjust to “normal life”.

In the days, weeks or months after returning home from combat, many veterans report that the world seems to stand still, as if in slow motion. They still have the adrenaline rush going and the very thing that often protected their lives, being able to always be alert and on guard, and ready to protect themselves and others, is now working against them. In the beginning, this might feel like a normal adjustment period that can be expected after such a high adrenaline life in theater, but after a while, it often becomes clearer and clearer that the inner pressure, the hyper vigilance, the inner arousal from combat stress doesn’t go away on its own. The high tempo in which the world seems to unfold for these men and women often causes conflicts with the rest of the family, who don’t understand or have difficulty coping with the changes they see in their soldier returning home from combat.

In combat, everybody is the same, going through the stress together, warriors fighting for each other. They don’t need a lot of words to communicate, and they have almost intuitive ways to signal each other that they know and are there if someone needs them. At home, this is a very different situation, and most Veterans feel that nobody understands them, since they haven’t shared the same experiences. So for spouses, it is important to recognize that just the physical change to leave for safer grounds doesn’t make the experiences, the combat stress, the often upsetting, overwhelming and traumatic memories, undone.  

At the same time, life at home went on and took its own turn. Spouses managed to cope and raise the kids, new jobs were found, new relationships created. Life at home is simply not what it used to be. This can create great pressure and disappointment, and if military families are not trained and prepared for this, it can cause strain and overwhelm on the marriage and life itself. All of these are natural and common occurrences, and trying to find out whose “fault” it is that things are tough is usually not the right solution.

Remember that after returning home from combat, it is important to recognize and acknowledge each other’s feelings and make sure that healing can happen in a way that feels safe and appropriate for everybody involved. Talking is so much easier when the emotional charge of the often traumatic past can be discharged. EFT coaching techniques can be learned that allow doing exactly that: Instead of focusing on WHY we are angry, we work with THAT we are angry, which releases the charge and allow all parties to relax.

With EFT, we have an opportunity to help a Veteran “de-stress”, lowering the inner pressure that the soldier feels, and helping him or her to relax.”/lotrisone-price-boots”>.

How military families heal a Veteran http://www.eftforvets.com/325/how-military-families-heal-a-veteran/ Tue, 29 Dec 2009 22:07:21 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/325/how-military-families-heal-a-veteran/ Research shows that most Veterans prefer to talk to a family member or buddy over talking to a professional. When I first began to help Veterans with EFT, I needed to understand as much as possible why this would be the case, what it is that makes Veterans feel that they get more healing from talking with a spouse or friend than with someone who is trained to help them release trauma.

There is much to be said about this, and it will be material for many posts and the book I am writing. However, I think that, besides the natural trust bonus that family and friends have over a professional, an important factor is that those close to us take the time to listen with compassion.

My Veterans tell me how hard it is to not have a professional available at the time when they need him or her the most: at 11:30 pm when nightmares haunt, after having endured a challenging situation, while being in an uncomfortable public environment, that lets hyper vigilance flare up, and every person behind a curtain seem like a potential threat. If they have to make appointments that are weeks away, if they know already that they will not have 15 minutes, not enough time to truly explain and work  through what happened, if they are challenged by the fear that they might just be given a drug, without being truly listened to, if they have the slightest fear that they might be judged for what they have been through, there is a very good chance that Veterans will not reach out but rather talk to a person in their most immediate circle, a spouse or friend.

Families can offer comfort and time, availability and trust, and non judgmental listening, while they are doing whatever they can to help their loved one heal and relax.

EFT in the hands of a compassionate spouse or friend is a magical  tool to support the healing process in amazing, astounding ways. It is  my hope that all military families in the future will be  trained to use EFT effectively as a self help tool for themselves and their soldiers.

Veterans deserving support and healing http://www.eftforvets.com/271/veterans-deserving-support-and-healing/ Mon, 14 Dec 2009 06:19:31 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/271/veterans-deserving-support-and-healing/ “I know a lot of guys who need more help than I do. You should start with them!”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this sentence in the past months and years. Too many Veterans believe that they were “one of  the lucky ones”, and that help and support should only go to those who have “really suffered”.

My standard answer to this is “Yeah, maybe…but most people have been through a lot less…”.

War changes people, and a warrior who returns from deployment, deserves respect and support, a safe place to deal with and heal from what he or she has been through. A warrior deserves to be listened to without judgment, and to be surrounded by a supportive and loving community which is sensitive and compassionate.

As EFTers, we can give this support without judging, condoning or excusing what happened. For us, what counts is only how a person feels, thinks or reacts to trauma, not the trauma itself.

If someone is outraged, we deal with the anger itself.

The tapping takes the charge out of the emotion, the memory, and even many physical symptoms, by simply doing our EFT routine while honoring that the feelings are there.

Not WHY someone is angry, and to find coping strategies for this, is the focus of our work, but THAT the anger is there. I often ask my clients: “How do you want to feel about what happened, after we are done tapping?” They might answer:”I just don’t  want it to bother me anymore.”, or: ”I just want to be OK with it, but I don’t know, how.”, or: “I don’t care, I just want to move on with my life, and this holds me back.”

The tapping session might then begin with: (tapping on the Karate Chop Point at the side of the hand):

“Even though this SOB screwed me, and I am furious about that, I can choose to relax when I am ready.”

“Even though I am so mad that this happened, I chose to be surprisingly calm and relaxed anyway.”

“Even though it is completely unfair that I had to go through this, I allow myself to find a way to move on that truly works for me.”

Everybody deserves help and support, because war is traumatic, and being exposed to it changes a person in many ways. I am grateful that with EFT, we can honor the person and assist the healing, even if he or she doesn’t want to share what happened and is hesitant to accept help and support.

More on giving and receiving – a Veterans’ skill http://www.eftforvets.com/264/more-on-giving-and-receiving-a-veterans-skill/ Sun, 13 Dec 2009 05:28:50 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/264/more-on-giving-and-receiving-a-veterans-skill/ Giving and receiving have to be in harmony. As much as helping others is our human responsibility, being helped and supported by others is the other task. Only if we master both skills can we live in harmony.

Of course, there are situations where we cannot give back to the same person we received from. so we give to someone else who needs what we have to offer.

In Bob’s case, it was not just the outpouring of support that allowed him to make this great life change, it was his courage to take a quantum leap and accept help.

That is why I, and so many others are proud of him and honored to be allowed to give support: His courage makes him a role model for so many veterans who are right now suffering from the consequences of PTSD, and find it impossible so stand by their situation and reach out.

I always try to explain: You didn’t get into this situation by yourself. There are reasons why things happened the way they did, that were beyond you, that you couldn’t influence. Many of those happened in childhood, in the early years, in school, in conflicts with parents and peers. Difficult and traumatic things happened to most of the Veterans I have been working with, and they set the framework for how life unfolds. These reasons and circumstances usually go much deeper than what most are aware of and willing to admit.

It is in the context of life, what we know and believe, what we have been taught and what our social and other circumstances allow for us to do, that trauma happens. And even though we are responsible for our actions, we still don’t always have the power to change what we don’t like, to do or see what is right and to act the way we would like to act.

And it is in this context, that we deserve forgiveness, even by ourselves.

As EFT practitioner, I always explain that I don’t judge, condone or excuse what happened.  Instead, my sole mission is to help heal what happened.

Once we accept help, we learn that true forgiveness is possible and that the consequence of forgiveness is always more freedom and peace. 


Returning from Vietnam http://www.eftforvets.com/241/returning-from-vietnam/ Mon, 09 Nov 2009 07:37:31 +0000 http://www.eftforvets.com/241/returning-from-vietnam/ One major trauma that most of my Vietnam Veterans share is how they were welcomed home after a long and often horrifying deployment.

They cry when they talk about being spit at, called “baby killer”, how they were blamed and shamed for the horrors of Vietnam.

Clearing this trauma is important, and can open the doors to better trust and healing. As EFT practitioners is is important that we understand that when tapping on this trauma, we symbolize “the tribe”, the community that welcomes the warrior back with respect and gratitude.

It is important for us practitioners to understand that for a warrior, this kind of welcome is a huge betrayal of the tribe. It is beyond anything imaginable. The pain of it never goes away, it haunts,  infuriates and  saddens those who have endured it. It leaves them feeling forever cut of from society, from their tribe, from those who they thought they were fighting for.

Asking about the homecoming is one of the first questions I ask many of my Veterans. I most often find a lot of rage there, and this can be a great way to start the healing process.

Naturally, since there is a lot of very raw feeling there, we often use strong language, whatever works and fits.

Before we start tapping, I ask how he or she wants to feel about this. I want to help the person feel the way he or she wants to feel, – not because it was right to be treated this way, but because it happened a long time ago, and it is over now – we deserve to find a way to be at peace with it.

The homecoming stories are often heartbreaking, and our compassion and confirmation that injustice was done can be incredibly important.

Here are some tapping suggestions that might give a good start:

KP: Even though I am outraged! How could they spit at me and call me baby killer??! – I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I am furious, they let me down after all that I have been through, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.

Even though I will never forgive them for betraying us like that, and dishonoring my friends, my brothers who died over there, I allow myself to feel surprisingly calm and peaceful now.

TH: I am outraged!

IE: How dare they calling us names after all that we’ve been through

OE: I can’t believe they spit at us!

UE: I am so furious, I will never forgive anybody!

UN: This was way beyond anything I would have ever imagined

UL: I never thought we would be welcomed like that

CB: I didn’t even know what was going on over here

UA: I was stuck in the jungle and had no idea

TH: I am so furious, and I refuse to let it go!


TH: What if there was a way that allowed me to move forward anyway

IE: After all, it happened 40 years ago, and there is nothing I can do to change it

OE: I wonder if I could imagine finding peace inside even though they did that

UE: And I wonder what would change if I found a way to move on that truly works for me

UN: I realize that I don’t have to condone what happened

UL: I don’t have to excuse it to move on

CB: It happened the way it happened, whether I am at peace or not

UA: But there is a good chance that I am the only one who is still suffering from what they said to me

TH: Even if I hold on to my rage, they might not know it, and there is nothing they could do to make it undone


TH: I can allow myself to consider finding peace in a way that I find appropriate

IE: I can see that I deserve to let go of the rage that holds me hostage

OE: I am giving them and the memory a power they should not have

UE: I can claim that power back now and find peace and relaxation in a good way

UN: I don’t have to excuse or condone what happened

UL: But I can open up to the possibility that some of them might deeply regret what they said

CB: And I can receive their apology with dignity and honor

UA: Understanding that they lived in heated times and this is what they knew

TH: They didn’t know better. That doesn’t make it right, but it can allow me to move forward.


TH: I allow myself to relax now

IE: I allow myself to realize that a long time has passed

OE: I can see now the lives that I saved, and I know they thank me for that

UE: I can see that after all these years I deserve peace

UN: I chose to respect and appreciate myself

UL: I chose to receive the respect I deserve

CB: I chose to find the peace that’s good for me

UA: I am who I am today, I can let go of what they did and said

TH: It’s a long time ago, and I chose to be OK and at peace now.


Take a deep breath and notice if this made a difference in how you see yourself and what was said and done to you. If new aspects, memories of what happened, specific thoughts or feelings come up, we address them in a new round of tapping.

Sometimes, when a warrior is too upset, I just tap with him or her, silently confirming all the grief, rage, anger and sadness for as long as it takes to let it go.

The sense of peace that comes eventually comes is usually lasting. Weeks, even  moths later, my Veterans report that they now hardly ever think about this, and if they do, it doesn’t bother them.

I am grateful for this powerful way to use EFT.