Research shows that most Veterans prefer to talk to a family member or buddy over talking to a professional. When I first began to help Veterans with EFT, I needed to understand as much as possible why this would be the case, what it is that makes Veterans feel that they get more healing from talking with a spouse or friend than with someone who is trained to help them release trauma.
There is much to be said about this, and it will be material for many posts and the book I am writing. However, I think that, besides the natural trust bonus that family and friends have over a professional, an important factor is that those close to us take the time to listen with compassion.
My Veterans tell me how hard it is to not have a professional available at the time when they need him or her the most: at 11:30 pm when nightmares haunt, after having endured a challenging situation, while being in an uncomfortable public environment, that lets hyper vigilance flare up, and every person behind a curtain seem like a potential threat. If they have to make appointments that are weeks away, if they know already that they will not have 15 minutes, not enough time to truly explain and work through what happened, if they are challenged by the fear that they might just be given a drug, without being truly listened to, if they have the slightest fear that they might be judged for what they have been through, there is a very good chance that Veterans will not reach out but rather talk to a person in their most immediate circle, a spouse or friend.
Families can offer comfort and time, availability and trust, and non judgmental listening, while they are doing whatever they can to help their loved one heal and relax.
EFT in the hands of a compassionate spouse or friend is a magical tool to support the healing process in amazing, astounding ways. It is my hope that all military families in the future will be trained to use EFT effectively as a self help tool for themselves and their soldiers.