“The Siren Thing”

From childhood trauma to lifelong phobia

By Nancy Gnecco, M.Ed., LPC, EFT Master, ACEP Diplomat

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Pat is a 59 year old woman who came to resolve a lifelong phobia of the “the screaming sirens and flashing lights of ambulances and fire trucks.” She described her response as “an extreme emotional reaction” in which she would get tears in her eyes and hastily “suppress the intensity” in any way she could.

About seven years ago she became aware of previously repressed body memories of her life being in danger during infancy. During a Borrowing Benefits EFT group session she had focused on a memory of one of her siblings attempting to kill her when she was an infant. She reported that she had cleared this trauma, and knew that the significance of her reaction to rescue vehicles was based in her “infant self in pain and danger needing to summon help.”

Regardless of what she perceived as the core issue, she felt “resigned and clueless about how to heal these old feelings and this association.” She had tried many other therapeutic modalities with little or no success, and had attended another group “Borrowing Benefits” session focusing on “The Siren Thing.”  However, she had not achieved the significant relief that she had experienced with the childhood memory. It was suggested that the reason she may not have gotten significant benefit in the group work was that, unlike the childhood memory, with this issue her focus on "the Siren Thing" may have been too global. She was trying to clear the entire “Siren Thing” all at one time, rather than focusing on a specific incident. As we know, the tapping techniques work best the more specific we are.

Because of that possibility, when she came in for an individual session I had her focus on the most recent time she had been distressed by the sound and flashing lights of an ambulance. She recounted an event that had happened during the previous week. Before the session we had discussed the importance of clearing specific events, and the globalization effect that doing so can have on bigger issues.

Before starting on her mental “movie” of the memory we reduced what she called her “overall habitual anxiety” to a zero using a few rounds of tapping. With her current anxiety lowered she said she “slammed right into the movie”, and described it in this way. “It had happened just a few days ago when I was driving to work and an ambulance came bearing down on me from the rear. Fear and sadness seemed indistinguishable. The second I ‘saw’ the ambulance I was feeling the intensity at an eight on a ten point scale.” Tears came in the session as they had when it happened.  "I pulled off to the side of the road to let the ambulance pass, and get myself under control."

We tapped a few rounds on “This Ambulance Movie”. Pat breathed easier. Her intensity began to come down and then shot up again. It became clear that she had switched aspects. When asked about this she admitted that she was reliving her childhood trauma as well as the one the other day. This is her account of her experience, “I was saying -- both to the person in the ambulance, and to my infant self, and the part of me still hurting -- some phrases.” “Hang in there.” This was the first phrase and we tapped down the intensity from a 10 to a 3. Then came the second phrase-- “Help is on the way” which brought her back to an intensity of 10 with tears and physical tremors.

Pat dissociated at this point, and I asked her, “Where did you go?” She reported that she had “left the building” so we tapped on:

Even though I need to leave the building...
Even though this is too scary to remember…
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to be in this room...
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to be in my body...

Pat quieted, but her eyes were still closed and she appeared to be processing the work we were doing so I asked her to squeeze my hand when she was back in her body. We then rechecked the safety of being in her body, in the building, in the room. The intensity was zero on all statements. It took two more rounds of tapping for her to experience relief on the statement, “Even though this is too scary to remember, and talk about…”

We then went back to test the statement, “Help is on the way.” and a third phrase came to her mind. Out loud she said, “Stay alive.” Her body became rigid, and she reported tension (Intensity: 8) in her neck, then a feeling of “thumbprints” in her neck. We tapped using the “chasing the pain” protocol around her body with it getting lower and lower until it was in her “sitter” (buttocks). It seemed to get stuck there.

I suggested that, while tapping, she visualize the pain traveling down her legs and out her feet into the Earth. She was able to tap herself to zero.

We retested the three statements and the original movie. All were at a zero. At the end of the session Pat decided that when she next saw a screaming ambulance or fire truck, she could recite the three phrases as a blessing both for the person or persons in the vehicle, and for the inner child, a blessing ending with, “I chose life; I choose life. And so it is.”

I was delighted to get an email from Pat a few days later saying, “I heard a siren a couple of days ago—nine days after our session. Although it was not directly in front of my car as it was in my movie, I could see and hear it. I felt no intensity at all. I simply began the blessing—" Hang in there, sweetheart; help is on the way! When I got to the final phrase—"Stay alive!" —I felt soft tears pricking the back of my eyes.” She reported that she started tapping the karate chop point on the steering wheel of her car and was able to bring her intensity down and used the tapping protocol in the positive with her new insights.

Had she not worked on the infant trauma regarding her sibling in a prior session and made the connection with her current response to emergency vehicles it is unlikely that we would have been able to make such dramatic progress in one session.  It is also important to point out the importance of choosing a specific incident to work on since she was not getting relief from the more global, "Siren Thing."


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Author's Bio:

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nancy brings to the Energy Psychotherapy session, not only the miracle of Meridian Tapping, but a solid background in mental health and school counseling. She has attained the highest possible certification possible in the EFT community - then called EFT Master, now called EFT Honors Certification, and has been utilizing and teaching Meridian Tapping since 1997. With a Master's Degree in Education, Nancy brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to her highly experiential sessions and workshops.  Nancy is also a certified Trainer in Tapas Acupressure Technique, and Comprehensive Chakra Therapy, as well as an ACEP Diplomat.

www.nancygnecco.com         ngnecco@gwi.net


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