April 28, 2020

How EFT Can Be Used to Heal Residential School Trauma

The legacy of Residential Schools is that many students suffered severe mental, emotional and physical abuse (and I would add spiritual abuse) but were not able to discuss or process their distress with people they could trust. In order to cope, suppression of feelings became the mechanism that had them able to mentally and emotionally survive ongoing distressing experiences as best they could. Emotional suppression became a way of life for many, who as adults turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate and mask the unresolved fear, anger and grief within. These lingering and buried emotions are often escorted by deep shame and guilt, accompanied by a loss of self-worth, self-identity and self-appreciation. Traditional talk therapy is often not enough to help residential school survivors and their subsequently traumatized family members address the intense emotions that have been buried, often for years and decades. Talking about a past event can activate intense emotions resurface without the mechanisms to effectively downgrade the distress, emotional overwhelm and physical discomfort leaving the individual to come away with re-ignited fears and unsettling feelings. Emotional Freedom Technique, used by a skilled practitioner, works to release intense unresolved emotions surrounding traumatic experiences without confronting the memories head on and causing severe emotional abreactions and re-traumatizing the individual. Emotional memories can be dealt with in a way that keeps the client feeling safe and reassures them that they will not be highjacked by the very emotions they have been striving to suppress. A methodical, step by step approach named “Tearless Trauma Technique” is an adaptation of EFT tapping designed to heal and resolve both single events and repeated traumatic experiences. EFT also works as a self-help tool that individuals can learn and use on a daily basis to manage ongoing stressors, upset, grief and loss. Tapping on acupressure points is proven to mitigate fears, anxiety and depression so that an individual can return to their true nature of inner harmony, right relationships and spiritual connection.