James Pelham is a professional pianist who was previously in a state of near panic with performance anxiety. He told us he had never played as well in public as he could play on his own. James had come to an EFT workshop with a friend but he remained sceptical. This anxiety, he said, was so deep rooted that nothing could possibly help. Indeed years of therapy had only served to make it worse.
Well lets have a go, I said. Don’t know if EFT can help but if you are willing to try it, so am I. James came out to join me in front of the group with a pained expression as if we were just wasting our time.
Me: When does the anxiety start? What sets it off?
James: When the conductor motions for me to walk out its like something grips my guts and twists.
Me: As you are sitting here talking about that how intense is it for you now?
James: Its an 8 but when it happens its way off the scale
Me: Ok, lets tap… “Even though something grips my guts and twists when the conductor motions to me, I do accept myself” we say that three times and then repeat elements as we tap around the face and body points
Me: Take a breath and think about that again what is it like now
James: Its less grippy. Its more like a washing machine churning.
So we tap for ‘churning washing machine in my guts’ until he feels calm. Then I ask what it is about the situation that gives him a problem. He tells me that he is convinced that a critic in the audience will judge him.
After the tapping session and to the delight of the group, James woke up the sleepy Craiglands Hotel Steinway with a thorough Beethoven workout in front of an audience of our group, several of the staff and everyone in the bar. People stood in awe. Its not every day you hear such quality of playing. James was oblivious to us and completely at one with the music. The applause was loud and spontaneous and his face lit up.
“I’d like to let you know how I got on at the concert which we tapped for at the workshop. It was an astounding success! I felt very little nerves in the run up to the concert, to be honest I had some, but they were only around a 1 intensity, and I’ve since realised there are a couple of aspects we didn’t cover in the tapping. And, would you believe it, there was an academic in the audience! A festival adjudicator no less – someone I didn’t know. I found out before the concert, but didn’t even think of it once during, and only remembered afterwards! The pieces all went very well – the best for me was my solo – someone shouted out “Wow” at the end, which has not happened to me before! And the applause was especially rapturous.”
“The 1 intensity nerves I felt before the concert didn’t affect my playing at all, I was totally engaged in the music, not the opinion of the audience (a big change for me.) And, evidently, I greatly enjoyed the day. So, if I wasn’t convinced of EFT’s efficacity before, I certainly am now!