Louise—Anxiety Treatment using EFT Dr. Carol Ann Conrad, EdD
Louise was in her late 60’s and sought me out at the recommendation of her doctor. She had struggled with panic attacks and anxiety most all of her life. At one point more than 20 years earlier, the panic and anxiety became so intense she was unable to leave her home and participate in life. She was afraid of all kinds of terrible things happening to her. While she no longer felt she couldn’t leave home, she was constantly vigilant that she might become that anxious again.
A part of Louise knew that it was irrational to be so afraid of bad things happening, but another part of her felt so insecure in herself that she was unable to reassure herself it was safe. She found herself frozen, as if the brake and accelerator were on at the same time—keeping her stuck and miserable inside. She couldn’t participate as fully in life as she wanted. She was ready to change, though she didn’t know how.
As Louise and I began to work and she felt safe to share her story, she opened up about things she had held as a secret for many years from even her closest friends. She had never told anyone about her fears, about her irrational worries or her lack of self-confidence. She spoke about her feelings of shame and loneliness and especially about her feelings of guilt for past unhealed relationships. I was able to help her express some of those feelings to some of those people, including her family as she in an imaginal way told them about her pain and unresolved feelings. She faced her fears and began to realize that they had served a purpose in her life to keep her safe, she was able to let go of the contempt for herself. Instead of being angry for being afraid, she began to have compassion. The fears slowly began to subside. As she shared with me for the first time she was able to realize that her friends and family did love her and would accept her. In time, Louise started to get her needs met by turning to her friends and family for comfort instead of trying to deal with it all alone inside. The more connected she was with others, the less afraid she was inside. Anxiety and fear of being rejected and alone helped Louise began to embrace the rest of her life and enjoy it with the ones she loved.