Two years ago, Norma came to see me after she had witnessed an accident where a very close friend nearly died. That trauma was only the tip of the iceberg, and over a few months, we uprooted together numerous childhood traumas, long "forgotten" and buried. EFT also allowed Norma to change some of the core beliefs that had been driving her life for over 30 years, such as: " I need stress to survive", "I must be perfect", "Stress prevents me from collapsing out of exhaustion" etc... EFT also gave her a tool to manage difficult situations with her family. Norma now uses EFT from time to time, mainly to prepare for occasions that might create stress and anxiety in her life. When she feels she won't be able to tap it all away on her own, she comes back to me for a session, maybe once of twice a year at the most. Here is one of these sessions.

Getting close to her forties, Norma decided to go back to school for a Masters related to her occupation. She already used EFT to go through the interviews and be accepted in the school. Now she's nearly finished, and she's about to present her thesis in front of the Jury, as it is customary in France (Norma is French, and the sessions are all happening via Skype). She believes she would greatly benefit from a session to prepare for that moment, no doubt a difficult one for her.

Norma used EFT several times as she was writing her thesis. Her first word when we start the session is: “I actually can't feel any stress at all". A very usual and subconscious reaction for Norma "If I don't see the stress, then, there's none, is there?!” My role is to help her to identify any buried stress, and let it go NOW, before the presentation.

I do my best to trigger Norma's stress by any means, describing a presentation where everything goes from bad to worse. And just digging a little bit, the stress is there all right!

Important detail: Norma has decided to present her thesis in a very personal way, and to discuss very difficult times from her personal and family history. Interesting decision indeed, when you consider that 2 years earlier, she would only have mentioned the topic with reluctance, and brushing over it. She certainly would not have done it publicly, in detail, and in front of a Jury! This already shows a significant benefit of her EFT work.

So we roll out the film of the thesis presentation: leaving from home, commuting, arriving at the school, and setting up the room, the arrival of the Jury, going over her presentation and finally taking questions from the Jury. At each step, we are introducing the worst case scenario, raising the stress level as much as possible, and we then proceed to let go of any related negative emotion. The idea is to roll out that film from beginning to end, peacefully, and maybe with a bit of humour!

Here are a few set-up we tapped away:

Even though the Jury President could make me lose it and undermine me...

Even though I have this bag of anxiety knots in my belly....

Even though my throat still feels a little tense when I think about the presentation...

Even though I am programmed to lose it, so I WILL lose it... I choose to change my programming... I choose the program "self assured" (Norma bursts out laughing "I feel like I'm programming a washing machine!")

Even though they might ask me a question for which I have no answer, and I'll get panicked (shaking hands, tense stomach and throat, maybe even tears...)...

Even though I learned to have a tense throat when I hear the word "stress"... maybe I can now learn to feel relaxed, no matter what?

Even though the school Director might be in the public, and that makes me nervous...

Even though the Jury are looking for my weaknesses and finding them (or they're finding them by chance, just because I'm speaking about very personal things)...

Even though I'm not quite sure I know what I'll say... I choose to easily find my words, at the perfect time...

While tapping, we also use other tools, such as visualisation, colours, breathing, etc... Norma's aim is to feel confident, with a well meaning Jury.

Comment from Norma after the session: "Thank you. At the beginning of the year, the presentation made me feel ________. {she can't even find a proper word to describe the induced stress}, and now I feel fully relaxed."

At the end of that session, I gave her homework: imagine and visualise, at least once a day a perfect presentation, where everything is flawless, in every little detail.

There are 6 days left before the presentation.

The day before the presentation, we have a new discussion. A few more concerns arise:

Even though this is an unusual situation, therefore I HAVE TO feel stressed out..

Even though I could fail and lose points for my diploma....

Even though the car will choose THAT DAY to fail me...

Even though we're a bit optimistic to assume that everything will be flawless...

Even though the President of the Jury will look for a problem and will be nasty to me...

Even though I feel a little tension when I see the Jury walking in the room...

It doesn't take long before Norma is perfectly at ease, ready to face any bad situation I introduce into the scenario. She now feels perfectly at ease.

 

Follow-up and outcome of the presentation

Here are a few extracts from Norma's report after the presentation:

I didn't feel stressed out at all... it went well. The President of the Jury did tease me a bit, but we had a very interesting conversation, and I could feel he was well meaning. Rating: 15 out of 20. I can't believe it's over!

15/20 in France is a really good outcome at that level of study. Norma is happy with this. She adds a few more details. Please note each of the aspects we had tapped on

I prepared the room and set my things up. The President of the Jury (the teaser), arrives before my mentor. We talked in a very relaxed way, (a friend was in the room to support me too) while we were waiting. When my mentor arrived, everything just unfolded. We all took seat, standing up for the introduction of the context by the president of the Jury. Then I had 20 minutes to present my work in an original way, in 20 minutes maximum. ... I spoke in a relaxed fashion... Both members of the Jury congratulated me on my research work. The President asked me several questions. I couldn't answer them all in detail, but he acted as a well meaning well of science. Once this was finished, my friend and I left the room for them to debrief, for about 10 minutes... I only felt a little bit of stress once, when I found it difficult to answer one particular question. No stress when he teased me, because I knew it was usual, and I could feel the Jury being well meaning.

It was a truly relaxed and enjoyable moment for all. As I said to Norma, she was probably doing the Jury a favour too by preparing herself to be relaxed. I could imagine that after a day of presentations with people mostly tense, the Jury probably also enjoyed a more relaxed atmosphere!