‘Tapping’: A Personal Account of my Experiences with TFT
I was introduced to both ‘tapping’ and Jo Cooper when I attended the Ride With Your Mind™ Basic Dismounted Workshop in April 2005. As a whole group, Jo asked all of us to recall a past riding incident that we felt still affected us today. We were then asked to rate the incident on a scale of one to ten - one being ‘ancient history’, you know what happened but it has no impact on you now and ten being that you can visualise it and feel as though it were yesterday. I had the incident that I had in mind rated at nine on this scale and was quite sceptical as Jo asked us to keep the memory uppermost in our thoughts as we copied the ‘tapping’ sequence that she took us through.
What happened next is harder to describe. As we all finished the first sequence and were asked in turn what our number was now, I found myself saying six and could not quite put my finger on why this specific incident had felt so important just a few moments ago. I was not alone; some of the other participants seemed to be having a similar experience.
We went through several more ‘tapping’ sequences, whilst continuing to visualise the same past event and then re-evaluating the number from our original scale. Having repeated this about four times I found my number had now gone down to two. I could still remember the details of my memory, but it really did not feel relevant to me anymore. Still a little disbelieving, I ran through the series of events in my head once more and the best way I can think to express it is that there was the memory, but I could no longer access the previously very strong negative emotions attached to it.
Coupled with my intrigue about what had just happened was my interest at hearing of the success this method has with curing phobias. Having been very squeamish of ‘blood and guts’ since school age – to the extent of having passed out in more than one Biology lesson, a subject I otherwise loved – I decided to approach Jo during the morning break. Individually, she very generously took me through some similar ‘tapping’ sequences – rating my squeamishness, picturing particular events whilst tapping various points and then re-rating the number. This all took about five minutes. Although feeling as though something had altered, the feeling was less profound than the earlier ‘treatment’ and I was left feeling a little unconvinced that my squeamishness had really left me.
However on my return home after the weekend, I soon found that things that would previously have had me leaving the room, for example operations being shown on the television, were now not having an effect on me. In fact, I was actually able to start to properly indulge my interest in biology for the first time. This all led to me furthering my knowledge of equine anatomy and veterinary care by undertaking a week long work experience placement at a large specialist equine veterinary practice in Newmarket. Whilst at the practice I witnessed a wide range of procedures, the culmination of which was going into theatre to observe an operation. This was a fascinating experience, made all the more so by the complete absence of any squeamishness.
For the next few months I thought little more of ‘tapping’ other than to mention it to friends that I thought it might help. However, in August that year I had an unfortunate fall from my Appaloosa mare BB, during which I parted company from her into the post and rail fence of the outdoor school I was working in at the time.
This was my first fall off BB in my seven years of owning her and despite having got back on her immediately after the fall without incident, I soon found that my head was swimming with concerns about how the fall would affect my confidence and our relationship as a partnership long term. Over the next few days, as I sat sidelined with my leg elevated, I kept going over again and again in my head what had happened that day, reliving the fall moment by moment, all the time knowing that I should not be and all the time with the images and feelings evoked by the fall becoming ever more vivid. Therefore I had no doubt in my mind that before I got back on BB again I would be giving Jo a ring. Over the telephone Jo and I talked through my concerns, all the while unearthing a whole range of other issues that were having a bearing on my current feelings. She then led me through a variety of ‘tapping’ sequences and after two separate hour long telephone calls that day I was feeling much more positive. The next week, with my injuries still repairing, I confidently returned to the same outdoor school with BB and rode her without problem. On top of this though, over the following weeks and months I found myself thinking differently about many of the aspects I discussed with Jo that day on the telephone. I certainly feel that the ‘tapping’ sequences did more than just changing how I dealt with the fall and am very pleased with the changes it has brought to me as a whole.
I cannot confess to truly understand how or why ‘tapping’ works and still find myself marvelling at what I can only describe as the ‘weirdness’ of it when I try and explain it to friends, clients or family. However, as a result of my experiences, I have no hesitation in recommending Jo’s work as a great way to affect positive change in your mindset, whatever the issue.
Catherine Wager RWYM™ Student Coach
Email update 20 March 2006
In April I am going to be starting work as an auxiliary nurse at a veterinary practice, progressing to training as a veterinary nurse. During work experience at the same practice, the head nurse actually remarked how truly unsqueamish I was! All of this would have been impossible without the short tapping session you did with me at Mary's dismounted workshop for the squeamishness I have had since my school days.
Also my riding with my mare BB is still all going well, and despite sometimes getting brief 'flutters' if she spooks or is exuberant during her canter transitions, I then find myself being fine and not unduly bothered about it.
Thanks once again
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