is the adoptive mother of Naomi, who came to live with her aged two and
also has an older birth child and has fostered. Naomi is bright,
affectionate and beautiful – and also displays extremely challenging
behaviour associated with her difficult early life and resultant severe
Broadhead, who runs a busy private therapy practice in the North East
England is married to a man who was adopted at five months and her
also married a man who is adopted,
said: “I met with Claire and Naomi in a neutral environment outside the
home, but not in a therapy setting. This was to gain the respect of
we were asking for her help not “treating” her.
explained that I knew of a technique which I believed could help young
children and their families, and that I needed her opinion about the
and how we could introduce it to others in similar
situations. If this was not
to be seen as “just another therapy session” I wanted to generate
some ownership and high self-esteem.
went on to say that it might seem a bit strange and that it involved
and that it did have a scientific basis but that was maybe a bit boring
me!), so I would explain it if she wanted. She declined, having just
school for the day.
was not willing to tap on herself, and this is where EFT really comes
own as it can be carried out by a surrogate. I asked Claire to tap
me. Speaking as if I were Naomi, I made a number of statements while
the meridian points.”
a technique it is said to be very effective for helping with panic,
stress and other negative emotions.
said: “Some of the statements were: “My mum’s mad for
bringing me here and she’s mad for doing this”, “I just want
to go out and be with my friends”, “This is really stupid and I
feel agitated sitting here” and “I am bored”.
still looked uninterested but Claire and I kept tapping away. I then
if I were Naomi) “I am an amazing young girl”, “In fact I am
awesome” and Naomi appeared to enjoy this.
Claire was continuing to tap and ask questions e.g. could she use this
herself? Yes of course. We noted that Claire was tired and had a
anxiety in her stomach so we tapped for this with N watching yet
was delighted when a few seconds later she felt calm and her anxiety
disappeared. She began to ask questions about using the technique with
suggested she worked on her own response to Naomi’s behaviour, such as
“I feel anxious when she does X”. Also she could do some surrogate
tapping for Naomi by saying “Naomi is agitated and restless.”
“Naomi is angry with me.” “Naomi is very angry at her birth
doing this we both noticed a visible shift in Naomi’s state. Claire was
clearly moved but afraid to show her delight. We decided to end the
there on a good note.
Reaction…? I asked Naomi what she thought – could we use the
technique with others? Yes, she thought it was good. Would she have a
go on her
own? Maybe. What about with groups of young people? No, this was not a
but it would be good to use with parents, as a family. (Claire smiled).
went off for a snack as a reward.
of EFT claim it relieves many psychological and physical conditions,
stress disorder, general
says it is a pseudoscience.
said: “I was interested in the idea of EFT and thought it was worth a
for Naomi and me. I had forgotten to warn Lesley that Naomi would most
appear “not bothered” or bored, but I could tell that she was
actually listening and engaging. If not she would have been out the
did not and still do not really understand “tapping” or EFT, but I
could definitely feel sensations when I tapped in certain places – hot
when I tapped under my eye, and tingly when I tapped above my lip, and
feel a change in my body when I tapped between my eyebrows. When Lesley
about Naomi whilst tapping I actually saw Naomi’s body change and she
relaxed, and I felt a huge surge of love for Naomi and wanted to hug
– but I didn’t.
said she had felt very tired before the session, and not at all tired
afterwards. Later on she spoke to me in a way I have not experienced
for a long
time, and I felt connected to her, after months of being “blanked”
and pushed away.
then I cannot honestly say it has dramatically altered Naomi’s
as there are too many complex issues, not to mention hormones, to be
one session aimed at seeing if it would be suitable for a teenager. But
continued to use it on myself at times of great stress about N and it
have a calming effect. And when Naomi is relaxed and snuggles
up to me on the
sofa I have “tapped” on her, saying words to myself, and she has
enjoyed it, and asked me to continue, as it feels good.
would certainly recommend this technique to parents of pre teens who
finding life difficult, and especially with children who have suffered
and neglect at a pre-verbal stage, as the child does not need to do any
therapy. I think it would work best if both parent and child are
engaged in the
process, but it still is beneficial if only the parent is actively
article first appeared in the August 2008 edition of Adoption
bi-monthly magazine of Adoption UK which offers support and advice to