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Depression Case Study

Case Example:

Forrest Samnik, a licensed clinical social worker, reports this treatment of a 63-year-old man who presented with symptoms of depression (excerpted from longer report posted at www.EFTUniverse.com):

Looking all of his 63 years, the client presented with depression marked by low energy, inability to concentrate, insomnia (would wake up feeling fearful, with cold sweats, and unable to return to sleep), and depressed mood. He stated, "I feel like I'm starting all over and I don't know if I have the energy or time, at my age, to see this slump in the economy through." He reported being easily agitated and short tempered along with the other symptoms listed above. He indicated that he's happily married and enjoys his grandchildren, but has no interest in other activities outside his business. A recent medical examination had found no physical problems that could account for his depression.

After the intake, he was asked to identify how his body was telling him he was depressed. He described, "A heaviness, like a weight on my chest." The initial round of tapping paired his concerns about his business having slowed down with a feeling of heaviness in his chest. He rated this as an 8 on a 0-10 "subjective units of distress" scale.

Tapping was done simultaneously with stating phrases such as "All this pressure and weight on my chest." At one point, the client stopped the process and said, "Yes! I have all this pressure to meet payroll and pay the health insurance." At that point he reported that the SUD scale had increased to a 10 with a racing heart as well as the chest pressure. He stated that "The responsibility is crushing." Tapping on phrases such as the following reduced the SUD to 4: "This crushing responsibility"; "I'm responsible for a lot of people and it's crushing me"; "My heart is racing from all this responsibility"; "I don't know how I'm going to pay all these people"; "They're counting on me"; "This overwhelming responsibility; How am I going to do it with no business coming in?" He rated it as a 4 because his chest felt lighter and his heart was no longer racing.

Asked if he had ever experienced this kind of crushing responsibility before in his life, his eyes grew large and he said, "When my parents sent me to military school in the 4th grade!" He said he could see himself on a Greyhound bus heading home from military school. Asked to look at that little boy and describe what he was experiencing, he started to cry and said, "He's so scared. He's on his way back home on a break and he's afraid he won't get off at the right stop and he won't be able to get home." The SUD for this memory was 10.

Over the course of four sessions, a variety of issues, both historical (including having been bullied), and current, were identified, rated, and tapped on, generally bringing the SUD to 0 on each. Also receiving focus for the tapping rounds were fears and limiting beliefs that were identified during the work.

By the fourth session, he reported being completely free of feelings of depression, stating that his energy was back, he was sleeping through the night, and he had scheduled two business meetings that culminated into fairly large contracts. He said it was like once he let the fear go he got clarity as to what he needed to do to get new business.

Sample Depression Treatment Outcome Studies:

Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 9(5), 40-44. Full Article.

Church, D., De Asis, M. A., & Brooks, A. J. (2012). Brief group intervention using Emotional Freedom Techniques for depression in college students: A randomized controlled trial. Depression Research and Treatment, 2012, 1-7. Abstract.

Stapleton, P., Church, D., Sheldon, T., Porter, B., & Carlopio, C. (2013). Depression symptoms improve after successful weight loss with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A randomized controlled trial. ISRN Psychiatry. Abstract.