One of my clients, I’ll call her Katie, told me that in stressful situations she was often seized by a powerful stress response. She became paralysed by anxiety, losing her ability to think and act like an adult. Katie said: “It’s as if I stop being a capable adult and become a terrified child.”
Now in her 40s, she had experienced this anxiety response for as long as she could remember.
Using the Identity Healing process I invited Katie to imagine that younger self, the one gripped by anxiety.
The 6 year old girl she imagined was struggling to meet the demands of critical and intimidating parents.
We tapped for Katie’s younger self working through layers of anxiety and fear to relieve the distress of that younger self.
Towards the end of this tapping Katie noticed, that while her younger self looked calm now, below the surface she was full of terror. It took a few minutes of continuous tapping to soothe this strong and painful emotional state of the younger Katie.
Finally that younger self was calm and soothed.
Katie sent her love, acceptance, courage and all the other resources that younger self needed at that time but did not have. When her younger self had received those gifts from Katie, I invited her to bring that younger self back into her adult self. In a few moments that younger self, before so alone and afraid, was safe and comforted.
After this process, which took about 40 minutes, Katie felt exhausted, relieved and lighter.
I asked her to remember the situations that used to cause her anxiety response, she wasn’t able to connect with those feelings. She thought it should be there, could remember what it was like, but wasn’t able to feel it.
Over the next couple of weeks Katie noticed that she no longer had the panic response. In situations that would have sent her into anxiety and stress, she was able to respond to the situation as an adult. She responded with an adult’s ability to think clearly, rather than as a terrified child.
She found this surprising. The ‘terrified child’ response had been her way of responding to stressful situations for more than 40 years.
Not to have this response was, in her words: “life changing”.
The next step
- Does the story of your wounded younger selves make sense to you?
- Do you recognise yourself in this article?
- Do you want to heal those wounds?
If the answer to those questions is yes, the Identity Healing process may be just what you need.
If you resonated with what I have written you already know that some parts of you have been hurting for a very long time.
However long it has been and however badly it has hurt it is possible to heal those wounded parts of yourself.
It is deep work, but it can be done.