I know that I always stress the importance of testing, testing, and re-testing when we believe we have collapsed an issue with a client. Much has also been said about working through the fear of the fear of any phobia since it can be just as strong as the presenting fear/phobia. I’ve recently seen firsthand the need for this piece of validation. Mary called me to ostensibly work on her infertility issues which she had been attempting to work through using conventional methods. After a few minutes it became clear to me that her greatest challenge was an etemophobia that had been plaguing her many years. Etemophobia is the irrational fear of vomit including seeing vomit or fearing that you yourself may vomit. This woman’s phobia was so severe that she had lost a significant amount of weight and was down to 95 lbs simply because the feeling of fullness in her stomach had made her worry about having to vomit. I immediately felt that this was connected to her inability to bear children; morning sickness, infant spit up, etc.

Using some intuitive detective work I found that Mary had been sexually abused at age 7 and when I asked her to describe the emotions behind that incident she said she felt “disgusted with herself”. We then did a number of rounds of tapping on, “Even though I feel disgusted with myself because ___ touched me here, I deeply and completely accept myself” and “Even though I blame myself for the abuse, I forgive myself”
Next we worked directly on the phobia itself and I was relatively sure that the fear was gone. I asked her to test herself by watch the Exorcist and she mentioned the movie First Dates which has a particularly gruesome scene where a walrus throws up a hundred pounds of fish in a veterinary’s office. We had a follow session where I felt that the fear was in fact gone and she had started to gain weight, but apparently we hadn’t completely resolved the fear of the fear.

Mary called me recently to tell me that she had been in a bar when a man next to her suddenly leaned over his bar stool and had vomited all over her while she remained calm. A week later she helped a sick co-worker in a stall of their office by holding her head as this woman hurled her lunch. Mary was thrilled that she finally had proof that this incapacitating fear was really gone.

I was struck by the timing of that call when a few days later I had the opportunity to see the same fear of the fear with a child “Tessa” I had helped last year with her fear of snakes. I felt that this was a pretty straightforward fear and made sure to cover all the aspects as that Gary Craig so well demonstrates with Dave in his DVDs covering phobias. First we tapped on the general idea of the snake, then on the slithering, then on the sudden movements a snake can make, and even on the fear of the snake’s forked tongue. I felt she had reached emotional freedom from this issue but couldn’t find a way to prove it at right then and there. I did ask her to go to a local pet shop to test herself. The snake fear was only a minor side issue we worked on that day and quite frankly it seems so minor I felt fine about not having tested her as thoroughly as I normally would have.
A few days ago I went as an adult chaperone with this girl’s class to the zoo. Tessa had told her little friends that she was worried about seeing snakes at the zoo. All morning her friends warmly hugged Tessa and they took turns looking ahead at the exhibits making sure that poor Tessa wouldn’t run into any surprises. Could this be a secondary benefit I wondered?

At the end of the day we were at the very last exhibit and there in a glass case was the dreaded object of Tessa’s terror. Just then I had a moment to talk to Tessa off to the side away from her guardians. I reminded Tessa that she and I had worked on this fear and that I thought she would be fine and asked her if she was ready to have a look. The feeling of relief was obvious as she took my hand and saw the creature. A big smile arose as she said, “Cool!”

Moral of this story is test, test, test, and don’t forget to work on the fear of the fear which can sometimes be as powerful (if not more so) than the fear itself.

Alina Frank, CERT-I

Author's Bio: 

Alina Frank is an expert EFT practitioner on Whidbey Island, WA outside of Seattle. She has worked with over 2000 clients around the world in phone and VOIP sessions and has written for international and domestic publications. She serves as a forum moderator on Gary Craig's women's issues forum.