Joanna, Coast Guard, MST
All personal information that could lead to the identification of the person in this testimonial has been altered for privacy reasons.
“Joanna” is a non-combat veteran with severe PTSD who has been on medical disability since 1993. In addition to
her PTSD, “Joanna” suffered from severe Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and childhood sexual trauma. When “Joanna”
agreed to try EFT, she did so out of a sense of desperation.
She was open to alternative healing and had tried many things, but nothing had truly brought her the relief she
wanted and needed. I remember the first conversation with her being full of resentment and mistrust about EFT.
She was willing to give it a try though, to work on her sleep issues, so we connected.
“Joanna” had excelled as a female in the military, being the first ever woman to join a very tough elite troop.
Rescuing others from life threatening situations, she had to put her life at risk often several times a day, and it was
usually the night when they got the most calls to rescue someone.
So “Joanna” had learned that the night wasn’t safe.
In addition to the resentment against her father, she suffered from many rapes, some by relatives of friends, and
some within the military. There was so much harassment in her life, that she at some point just shrug her shoulders
about it. After an accident, she was finally bullied out of her job.
So we had a lot of clean up to do.
Since the accident was a situation that had caused her onset of PTSD symptoms, we used the tearless trauma
technique and the movie technique to release the memories in a gentle way.
First we took the edge of some of the feelings she had:
Even though I feel completely overwhelmed right now, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I don’t want to think about what happened, I choose to allow myself to heal anyway.
Even though I am nervous that this EFT won’t work, I choose to be surprisingly calm and confident.
Then we took the memory of the accident, starting way before it happened, and released it piece by piece, until
she could not bring up the intensity anymore.
In her next email she wrote:
“I managed not to wake up last night and slept the whole night through. YEA!! Yesterday, I noticed that I wanted to
“pick-up” my old emotional trauma/baggage around the accident in 1993. I kept revisiting the accident and after
our EFT session the emotional trauma/baggage was gone. Yet I kept wanting to find the old baggage because it
has been with me for so long, it’s comfortable and it’s what I know and it felt awkward and exposed without it. I
recognized what I was doing and did some self-talk, self-encouragement and was able to just let myself be without
trying to re-find of my emotional baggage by treating myself with love and compassion.”
“Joanna” had seen many casualties and people dying in very drastic situations, but the molestation topped them all.
So we took several events from her childhood and, again, released the emotional intensity she felt about them:
Taking the edge of, we tapped on:
Even though I have been though more than most people will ever understand, I deeply and completely accept
Even though sleep was never safe for me, first I was molested for years, and then I had to get up in the middle of
the night to safe someone’s life, I allow myself to be grateful that that is over now.
Even though I resent the fact that I had to go through all this, it’s just not fair and I don’t deserve it, I deeply and
completely accept myself.
Then I had her guess what an intense situation could have been for her. Understandably, she did not want to share
details of what happened at first. So we agreed to call the first incident “issue 1”, and then we called an emotion
she had “this feeling”.
So our set ups were: Even though I have this feeling about issue 1, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I could remember how I felt about issue 1, I allow myself to see that I made it anyway.
Even though sleep is not safe for me, things happen at night, I allow myself to realize that all this happened a long
time ago, and I have been safe at night since 1993 (her discharge from the military). This was an eye opener for
In my experience, many Veterans and people with PTSD symptoms never feel that they arrive in the present. They
keep reliving their trauma from years ago, and their minds function as if the trauma was still happening. So they
feel threatened in their daily life, surrounding themselves with weapons and defense mechanisms. Joanna was no
However, when we put the time in between, she realized that her life for the past fifteen years had been very
different that the beginning of her life. She realized that she had been safe and, even though she was well prepared
to defend herself, she never had to use her weapon.
So it was appropriate for her to assume that her life was different and safe now, and she could allow herself to
In her email after the fourth session, she described the results of our work as follows:
“Here is my 15th day of my sleep log.
I am doing well. I went to bed after using EFT again on my sleep. I went to bed and slept well without any
prescription medication to sleep. I also didn’t wake up at any time during the night. I felt safer and more at peace
when I went to bed than ever before. I realized that I carry over my sleep deficient. If I didn’t “get enough sleep”, I’d
carry it over to the next day and think “I need to make up for it tonight” and I’d be anxious to “make sure I sleep
enough tonight.” Using EFT before I went to bed last night, I reminded myself that I have choices and that there are
no rules about sleeping. I also tapped on releasing my old beliefs about sleeping and let my body be the gauge of
how much sleep I get every night. I felt lighter and more at peace after tapping and went to bed. Slept soundly.
Still tired and sleepy, yet somewhat refreshed. I think this EFT is working.”
“Joanna” realized that she had joined the army to learn the techniques she needed to keep herself safe, a direct
consequence of the constant threat she lived under as a child and adolescent. So we tapped on her finding peace
with that reality and claiming her power back from her past.
Since all Veterans that I have worked with agreed that PTSD is a symptom of a separation from the soul, I very
often suggest using EFT to call the soul back at some point. This can be a transformational experience for the
Veterans, and they report a sense of peace and belonging, reconnecting and release of the deep loneliness
inside. This is a moment when EFT can become very spiritual, and I make sure that that works with the Veteran’s
belief system. However, so far I have always seen a deep understanding beyond what I had expected with all of my
Veterans about the loss of the soul, so I feel safe to suggest this kind of tapping:
Even though I believed that my soul was gone, and it hurt to live like that , I choose to open up to the possibility that
my soul was hiding in a safe place, waiting for me to call on it to return.
Even though I felt that my soul left me a long time ago, I allow myself to feel safe and prepared for its return.
Even though I felt so lost and lonely, I didn’t know what had happened and how to live with it,
I tell my soul now that I am safe now, I made it through, and I can’t wait for it to return to me.
Then we just tapped on “I am calling my soul back” I can’t wait for it to return” “I am so glad that this is over now”
“What a nightmare it has been” “I remember the years when I didn’t know if I was going to make it through” “But I
realize now that I did!” “I must have it in me” “I must be a survivor!” “I have what it takes to survive even the toughest
situations!” “And I deserve to be proud of myself and call my soul back – in a way that works for me!”
Then we end with a round of Gratitude tapping, to elevate her vibration even higher and allow for her to realize on
all levels that she is safe and can be at peace with the here and now.
I asked Joanne if she was willing to write a testimonial about her healing experience, and here is her personal
I had already tried group counseling; PTSD awareness training; Veteran’s Administration individual counseling for
many years; Transcendental Meditation; metaphysical training
(including candle magic, crystal and gemstone magic, and numerology); herbology and herbal remedies; Vimala
Handwriting by Vimala Rogers; astrology; Native American healing beliefs; prescribed pharmaceuticals; Western
medicine; chiropractic care; New Age healing techniques such as pendulum dowsing and chakra cleansing;
University of New Mexico PTSD Sleep Study and Nightmare Reduction; Veteran’s Administration Group therapy
many times; nutritional education; self-help books; and almost any other suggestion by any health care worker.
“I still couldn’t fall asleep. I couldn’t remain asleep without waking up repeatedly during the night. And I was plagued
by repeated traumatic nightmares every night. Sleep was my enemy and I fought it every night, waking up
exhausted and tired. I obsessed about sleep because I was always in sleep deficit. I would get very distressed if I
stayed up late, yet couldn’t seem to go to bed until late because I dreaded the nightmares. I wouldn’t take naps
during the day because it would make getting to sleep more difficult at night. The things that I tried helped very little.
I gave EFT a chance and I was thrilled with the results. Within two sessions, I felt myself release all the associated
trauma, emotions, and obsessions that interfered with my sleep. Sleep became an easy and gentle activity free
from worry and fretting. No longer am I afraid of going to sleep or of even how much sleep I receive. Today I let my
body tell me when to sleep instead of rigorously following a clock. Sleep today is a joy that refreshes my body and
rejuvenates my soul. I wake up earlier than I used to and I need less sleep than before. Sometimes the associated
old beliefs about sleep come up but now I utilize EFT to release them. Quick. Easy. Gentle. No more nightmares.
No more fighting sleep.”
It was not easy for Joanna to get started and trust such a different technique and healing approach, and she can
be very proud of herself for hanging in there and not giving into her fears and resentment before she allowed EFT
to do it’s magic.
A statistical background:
To be able to monitor “Joanna’s” progress, and in conjunction with Dawson Church, I asked her to fill out an
informed consent form and keep a daily sleep journal. We also used two well established, standardized research
tools: The SA-45 and the PCL-M, both of which are explained on my website.
Within ten days and four EFT sessions, “Joanna’s” SA-45 score fell from 162 before the first session to 97 after
the last. Her PCL-M score fell from 76 to 47 (a score of 50 and higher is considered PTSD for military personnel).
“Joanna” and I will have some more cleanups to do in relation to her military experiences and the chronic physical
pain that she feels. But this is a great start.