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Getting to the other side of an emotional overload: can anger be a healing tool out of depression?

In her late 50s, Laetitia had faced 2 cancers, and was still in a depression that has probably been underlying since her late teens. She had just lost her mother a year before she first came to me. She had spent most of her life hiding and repressing her emotions, as instructed by her mother, who forbade all emotion.


Since her mother had gotten ill then passed away, Laetitia literally spent her time crying, and was exhausted. When she came in the first time, she was crying even before she opened her mouth to explain anything. We immediately started tapping just to allow her to calm down.

On that first session, we dealt with her resentment at Mum for not allowing her to grieve for a very close friend of hers who had died when she was in her 30s. She was able to forgive her mother, who had been told as a little girl not to show any feelings. She also allowed herself to grieve for her friend here and there, even 20 years later. To her great surprise, when she left, she was actually smiling.


She came back a month later, having tapped very little on her own, and again, there were a lot of emotions as we tapped on her identity issues: “my parents are both gone, so I am nobody's daughter, and my children have left home, so I am nobody's mother.” Now what ? As we tapped all her fears away, a smile appeared on her lips, and she left with the idea that she might have her own identity after all. From then on she decided EFT was going to really help her, and she started to tap on her own, daily. She particularly liked a fully positive round, a gratitude round and the mirror exercise that you will find on She also tapped when she needed special support to get through a difficult situation. As the result of her newly found daily emotional hygiene, she began to notice changes in her reactions to life's difficulties. Like after a “small” car accident in the fog, with only slight car damage: “it's [EFT is] working", I just can't quantify it. In another life, I wouldn't have been able to cope with the accident”.


We were now getting to the core of her healing. One big step for her was... feeling angry! You'll say that feeling angry is not exactly a good thing. But for Laetitia, acknowledging her anger was acknowledging herself as a person who deserved respect, from herself and from others. She had never really “felt anger” before EFT, and definitely never expressed anger in any conscious form. When a family event created a situation where she would usually had reacted by creating more guilt for herself she suddenly got in touch with her anger. On our next session together, she still couldn't express her anger with words, even tapping, but she eventually allowed herself to express it hitting a cushion I gave her. I just loved her answer when I asked her how it felt to let the anger out : “Human ! I didn't grow horns! I didn't know you could let your anger out, I thought only bad people do this.”


The next big step was when she decided she was fed up with all this crying and all this anger. She said she wasn't sure she wanted to continue EFT sessions, because it was too emotional. On the other hand, she kept noticing her progress....

Let me share a couple of view here :

1. EFT is a tool that allows us to express and clear up our feelings. It doesn't CREATE feelings, but it does allows the feelings to get out and that can be painful at first.

2. EFT is also a tool that we can use in many different ways. If I had offered Laetitia on her first session to « have a good laugh » using EFT, I doubt she would have enjoyed any of it. She just needed to let out the bulk of her emotions first. And it did take a lot of courage and commitment for her to get through this.


But now she was definitely ready. So she learned to adapt her use of EFT either before the tears appeared, or to let the tears out when she was in a safe environment, allowing her to build a stronger self in her day to day life. When she would tap with me, and I would see tears coming up, I would include a joke about that old habit in the tapping round, and invariably, she'd start laughing and “forget” about the crying.

She still has work to do to clear all the depression, but she discovered herself as a person, accepting all of her feelings, and managing them as they showed up.


If you feel you're getting too emotional when you start tapping, you might want to review this FAQ.


In Laetitia's situation, the emotion overload had already been there before she started EFT. Because EFT is at its best when we are really focussed on our issues, it actually made things easier for Laetitia to get progress fast. The greater the emotion to clear, the greater the step towards freedom.


3 months Follow-up.

Laetitia is learning to deal with her anger as she continues to clear it at every opportunity.

You might want to review her feedback about EFT below. Enjoy her humour!


Ways in which EFT has changed my life

I have learned that the little things that bothered me and that I was in the habit of ignoring were actually the indicators of bigger things that needed to be looked after. Previously, had I walked into the kitchen, felt it was untidy within the hour I would have myself branded as the laziest and most useless housekeeper that ever walked. Any family member that was unfortunate enough to cross my path would have felt the weight of my bad humour. Post EFT there is actually nothing wrong with my kitchen it is no better or worse than others but I was looking at it through the eyes of someone who had not slept well the night before...solution, leave the kitchen, lie down for 20 minutes listening to some nice music, hence hours of misery averted. Now I have to confess that it doesn’t happen automatically I have to work at it (Rome wasn’t built in a day) but the change is happening.

I was the sort of person who took everybody’s troubles personally and my inability to ‘fix’ them usually brought me to a very dark place in my mind. For instance when a close friend was diagnosed with cancer recently I was able to be there for her without taking on the burden of trying to make everything ok (that was not possible). Before EFT I would have gone into that dark place where I would probably have stayed for weeks but with the help of EFT I was able to cope. I always thought that if you ‘safeguarded’ yourself against other peoples problems it meant you didn’t care for, or about them. I’m learning that nothing could be further from the truth, you can only solve your own problems and you do an injustice to people to try to solve theirs. I’m still a long way from where I would like to be but sure there is no time limit on learning.

Thank you Laetitia for your honesty, and everybody else... keep tapping!