Stress in special needs parents and EFT

I have been seeing this child Shubho, 8 years old for therapy sessions. He has a synostosis of the radius and the ulna (fusion of the bones of the forearm). He also has a history of absence seizures. He attends Occupational therapy for his sensory processing issues along with behavioral challenges. Parents reported lots of impulsivity and hyperactivity and complete dependency in his self help skills.

Shubho attended therapy with one of my assistant Occupational therapists and met me once in a month. At the end of the month, the therapist reported beautiful changes in Shubho and lot of self regulation that had developed. I was really happy and keen to meet the parents for the follow up anticipating wonderful and amazing developments to be reported by them. Only the parents turned up for the appointment and didn’t get their child. I was keen to know why. I started asking about how is the child doing and was surprised to know that the parents noticed absolutely no changes in the child.

I was trying to discern about what might be the cause. I explored more and found that there are lots of family issues happening in front of the child. Mother had developed severe pain in the neck, shoulders and her back. She was really feeling vulnerable and experienced frustration and self-pity because she was fed up of the medicines and the medical procedures that she was going through. All the stress of ill-health and the inability to manage the child was released unknowingly on the husband and so he was also equally down and depressed. I told the mother to attend EFT session for herself. I generally spoke of the improvements that my assistant therapists had seen in Shubho and his parents affirmed in unison about the progress while still reiterating that there is no progress. I was feeling really sad for them because they really were extremely confused and desperately needed help.

After a week, I met Shubho’s mom for her EFT session. She was very happy and had come to me thinking that tapping will help her remove all the stress and her pains in just a session. I had already explained that 3-4 sessions may be needed and that a lot of self work will be needed at home. She was really defensive and guarded. She was not happy at all about coming for more sessions. I told her that it is completely her decision to attend and I am not going to force or ask her to come if she feels its not helping. Through the session, she realized that it was her need to feel significant and prove herself right which was always coming in her way and leading to arguments and verbal exchange of harsh words with near and dear ones. All of this almost always happened in front of Shubho. But she was still not ready to open up completely and also ensured that she interrupted me every time I wanted to explain something. I stopped explaining and very politely ended the session because her need to over power me and the situation was really strong.

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I was feeling really sad that I could be of no help to her and that the session was a waste of my and her time. I was so very sure that she will never come for EFT or get Shubho for therapy. The sense of ego was so strong and the sense to be always right really empowered her.

The following week roughly after 10 days, we had a parent training on EFT. I was very happy that new parents will get benefitted. I was shocked to see Shubho’s mom in the parent training session. Anyhow, we started the session and when asked if some parent would volunteer, Shubho’s mom came !!! I was determined to achieve a breakthrough this time while also respecting her limits and boundaries. We started and she was accepting and opening very warmly to every question that was asked by me as we did continuous tapping . We achieved a real breakthrough. Not just that, the pains of her neck and back also reduced while the session was in progress. I was myself surprised and excited to enable and witness this transformation. The session ended and then came another major surprise. She came to me and declared that -on the day we had our EFT session, she was crying and sobbing for the full day. She took a lot of time to accept that she could be a reason for the arguments at home .But now she was completely ready to take full charge now. I was feeling proud of her and absolutely admired her courage to speak out. She said that it took her time to ACCEPT that things are happening because of her and that she has the power to change the way she sees the situation. She also mentioned that she is ready to do all the tapping at home. She was also not very hassled about Shubho’s issues like before while still strongly determined to work on him and provide therapy to equip him with skills. I was really happy because the change had started happening- there was a difference in her perception about herself -from being helpless and a victim to being empowered and confident.

I am really touched by this incident and feel great about the difference that will now come in the lives of Shubho and his parents. It really helps when help is more holistic ………..feeling blessed!!!

Reena Singh

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