TFT and driving,
my personal story
Last year when I had the pleasure and honour to meet Joanne Callahan in London, I was asked how I can help TFT and its foundation. My response then was: ‘I don’t know yet, but when the right time comes I will. When something inspires me, I become quite creative’. Only 6 days later, on the way to the driving test with my pupil, another driver crashed into the back of our car. I had 22 minutes to the time of the test, a traumatised young driver, all the collision details, and another 3 miles to get there.
A CCTV Camera
The CCTV camera on board of my car recorded everything. When I viewed the video footage, I realised what my camera had recorded, and how important this film is. I realised I needed to show the world what TFT can do. Having a car crash and driving test so close together, and being able to overcome the trauma in such short time has never been seen before. That was the beginning of the idea for the documentary ‘Driving without fears’. The film should be available for public viewing in the very near future. My TFT journey first began back in 2007, when I met Guy Marriott. I was very fascinated by what he did, and read an article written by him, called ‘A Different Drummer’. It’s about TFT, what it did and how effective it was. I looked into TFT very briefly then, but at the time didn’t realise what potential it had for me and my business. Now I know that there are no coincidences in life, it’s all working in synchronistic order, all meant to be. My life at that time was a rollercoaster of emotions; I was getting divorced after 22 years of marriage. I had numerous plans for my life and an own business to run. The car, which in my business of teaching people to drive, is an essential tool, was constantly breaking down on me…No working car, no business. Customers might go elsewhere. Things were just getting from bad to worse. Was I heading for a breakdown too? On personal level I had no one to turn to for help and assistance. Most medical doctors believe in pill popping to help people with life’s problems, but I did not want to take that path. The world as I knew it had collapsed.
Ready for changes
That was November 2008, the recession had begun. I walked into a book shop, straight into a book: Paul McKenna’s ‘I can make you rich’. One part of the book dealt with fears. I realised I had a fear of not earning money. Even though on a rational level I knew how to work my finances well, deep down in the subconscious I was afraid. I was left with a wound I didn’t know I had. In my twenties and my very first recession, our home was almost repossessed. So every time I had a lesson cancellation, I would be anxious, angry and fearful. I followed the steps in Paul’s book and felt better: my fear and anxiety went away. So I set out to test it further. I took the book in the car with me to try it out with my pupils going to the test. “After all fear is fear so this should work too”, I thought. It did. I recognised the tapping to be TFT from my brief encounter the year before. After a little research I found there was also something called EFT, but I also realised this to be a ‘borrowed’ idea rather than the real thing. I became a TFT Algorithm therapist in March of 2009. Ever since then I have been helping people with lots of different emotional issues. Clients with phobias, fears, and driving anxieties started to appear. Go to top of Page
Everybody can make a change
I would like to share with you the stories of people from all different walks of life, different levels of education and intellect, having different types of problems. All they had in common was that I was there, teaching them to drive and wanted to help them achieve whatever was necessary to live better and more fulfilling lives. The following cases are of people who were helped by me, because I could see they needed help and they were happy that someone cared. Names have been changed to protect identity of my clients. The reasons that hold many people back from achieving happy lives is as numerous as there are people. I think the fundamental core is fear and anxiety borne out of their lives experience and the environmental conditioning they have received, as well as their natural levels of ability or inability in dealing with what life has thrown at them. That very old ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. One of my very first TFT clients worked in a print shop. He was anxious about many things in his life and as trivial as it may seem to some, suffered with nerves and diarrhoea on every workday, all because he worried his print machine would stop working, he would be blamed and lose his job. He had a family to support. We did basic fear algorithm for his driving ‘mock test’ fear. Amazingly all his work related anxiety disappeared too, with just one tapping session. I only learned about his work anxiety issues after they had been eliminated. Go to top of Page
Let’s talk about Jane
Jane was a young woman in her 30’s, who 10 years prior was involved in a collision with a car, riding a motorcycle. A few years later, when she had the courage to take up car driving lessons, all seemed fine until reading Richard Hammonds book about his high speed crash. She’s read a paragraph that described his recovery and very painful stomach injections. The very same ones she had been given many years prior. At that point her driving lessons had become impossible, the more anxious she had become, the more annoyed her instructor got. She developed driving phobia. When she came to take her first driving lesson with me, she could not sit in the driving seat. In panic, her face was white and her palms were sweating. It only took one tapping session, and she overcame the initial fear, which then was followed with 1.5h driving lesson. Whilst teaching her to drive, I uncovered other self-esteem issues, which we had to deal with on subsequent lessons. TFT combined with driver training had given her chance to achieve one of her dreams – driving, as well as help her overcome other emotional issues that were not driving related. Being a TFT therapist is about helping everyone on day to day issues, so they can move on and deal with things in a rational instead of an emotionally negative way.
Bankers have feelings too
Job description: Suzan an Investment Banker. On a personal level: intelligent, confident and caring. That particular morning she was working on legal paperwork that arrived the day before. This was an issue relating to her partner, although very upsetting, it had to take its legal process to resolve…so we should allow it to… if we can put our emotions aside. Lack of sleep and floods of tears in the car were not a very good learning environment. Yet again I used the power of TFT to get rid of her anxiety, return to rational thinking and carry on with learning to drive in a normal way. Go to top of Page
Not an exception
Another of my clients, a female solicitor in her thirties came to me because she was fed up with being patronised, felt that at her “age” it was too late to learn to drive, and needed all the help she could get. Amanda never had a driving fear but the inability to understand and perceive what’s happening “out there”, especially with her husband driving his Porsche fast at times, made her an anxious passenger. We discovered that by using TFT and honing on the driving skills, her learning was making fast progress. She was also afraid of driving downhill, which made it impossible to really drive around here, a place called Belvedere, with a very good all-around views from a top of a big hill. Basic anxiety algorithm fixed that and there’s a possibility that she’ll not be afraid of going skiing any longer too. Fear of learning for your A-Levels could hold you back A young lady doing her A-level exams and learning to drive at the same time, did not have any learning phobias that were driving related, but did have a fear of biology exams she was studying for, going down steep hills, and dogs. Seeing dogs go near her was petrifying. She was living in constant anxiety about her exams, even picking up books from the library to learn that particular subject was making her feel uneasy. Yet again TFT got rid of that and allowed her to study in peace. Her dog fear was far deeper though, and she was absolutely petrified of even the smallest of chiwawa. Her fear was “installed” in her from the earliest childhood; her mother had been telling her that she should stay away from dogs as they will bite her. The problem with this kind of behaviour in a country full of dogs makes life very difficult, especially because dogs can sense your fear and even the kindest of dogs will bark and growl at the person that is afraid. I knew that I did not have the time to get rid all of her fear but to reduce it to the level that will stop her from screaming and running from any dog that goes near her.
No reason to be afraid
Many people are afraid of driving fast. Sometimes the reason is PTSD, but very often there are reasons not related to driving. Even though TFT will be very fast at alleviating their fear, the long absence from fast driving and perhaps inability to plan and anticipate the surrounding environment, demands therapy as well as driver education to build confidence and advanced driving skills. John, man in his early 50ies was hit on the head with a flower vase, because his girlfriend’s teenage son decided to end an argument with his mother in that way. The man developed a phobia of fast speeds within hours of the incident. His job demanded driving on the busiest of UK motorways. One 2-hour session was enough to get rid of his driving phobia, but it’s imperative that the driving confidence and skill of the person reaches much higher level than the one they had started with in order to prevent any further potential driving problems.
After emotional abuse
One of the local dog walkers approached me with a 7 year old fast roads driving phobia. Mary had lived in an abusive relationship for a long while. Day after a drinking session and with a hangover, this lady was driving on a local dual carriageway with a speed limit of 50m/h. Within minutes of getting on that road, the cars around her started to flash pass her, making her feel very anxious on verge of panic. She managed to leave the road via the first exit. From then on, she could not face driving above 40m/h and only on single carriageways. Some journeys that she needed to make had to take all day, instead of 2h. Yet again, TFT worked within the first hour to remove the phobia and panic. Then it was necessary to build her confidence using TFT and driver coaching.
Sometimes TFT alone might not be enough
One of more interesting cases of “fast road phobia” I came across after a TFT conference in London. This particular person is a TFT Dx therapist, and few other high level practitioners had attempted to remove her 20 year old fear, without success. With a phobia of this kind it’s difficult to prove whether the cure had worked without driving. Also, if someone has not experienced a fast type of road and its conditions in 20 years, it will be impossible to expect any level of competence or ability, even when the fears have been reduced or eradicated. It may even be dangerous to get rid of the fear but not train in the latest driving techniques, as well as an evaluation of the driving skills necessary to cope in the new environment. On day one, Jennifer was even anxious being driven by me on a motorway. So we had started with therapy and driving in slower sections of dual carriageway. We were progressing onto busy intersections of one of the busiest motorways in Europe, the M25 on day two. Towards the end of that day, I was the passenger being driven by now, my ex client. TFT and driver coaching have worked its magic. Again.
Never passing an exam
There was a young man who found learning very difficult, although David did not have any learning difficulties that were ever diagnosed. Once, as a very young boy, his father came home drunk to wake the boy up with the knife to his throat. In his childhood, being bullied and undermined by his father left him with a scar of not being able to concentrate, He always felt that he wouldn’t be able to learn anything and that he was too stupid. His work was suffering as he could not pass his basic exams to receive a permanent work contract. In learning to drive, the requirement for a driving test is passing the theory test first. He was unable to study and to learn for that too, so I asked him to bring his laptop with his study materials. When he was getting anxious, angry and irritated, I used TFT with him to remove his emotional troubles. He went on to pass his theory test first time, and when he passed his driving test, also first time, he broke down crying. He was 26 years old and those were the only exams he’d ever passed in his life thus far. Later I was told that David passed his work exam too, giving him a proper contract with much better salary.
Death on the road, the collateral damage…
When we think of victims in road deaths we should never forget how many people suffer emotional damage as a result. It’s not just about the one that drove the vehicle that injured or killed the person, the family and friends of both sides may become damaged too. Time may not heal all the wounds. A lady in her late twenties started learning to drive with me. She told me she was not afraid to learn or drive, but that she had nasty memories, which always make her feel deeply unhappy, especially around Christmas and her younger brothers’ birthday. He was killed a decade before, when he was only 15. His decision to cross a busy dual carriageway had not been a very wise one. It was not the first time either, but this time his luck had ran out. The entire family was devastated. My pupil was very sceptical about TFT at first, but after only one tapping session it had such effect on her that she no longer has any negative emotions associated with the passing of her brother. She is now learning about TFT and is trying to help all her friends with their emotional issues. Life has to go on: removing those emotional blockages allows us to continue without the unnecessary and continues pain.
…and the young lives that are ruined
This last story still has not had its final conclusion as of yet. This young man is a very kind and sensitive individual, high achiever with very good grades at school. He has a supportive and caring family. Alan only had his driving licence for one year when an accident happened. Driving his fathers car only on occasion had given him very little experience. Furthermore, the country he lived in has very poor standards of competence, allowing people to take their driving test only after 30h of practical driver education. Where it could be enough for someone with existing skills, for most people starting from scratch, it’s half or even less of what is really necessary to be competent and safe on the road. Sometimes people think that they are born with driving skills and they acquire more common sense as they get older. It’s rarely the case for the former one and not always the case for the latter. One late evening, this 19 year old was driving back home from his factory, where he had a part time job. His parents bought him a car the week before. He was approaching a bend, not going fast, but when a car came up from the opposite side, blinding him with its high beam lights, he hit something. It was a man on a bicycle, wearing dark clothing, on a bike without any lights. He was as dark as the road and the night that surrounded them and was not wearing a helmet. The young driver went to the cyclist for aid. The man was then taken to hospital by ambulance. The following day the 36 year old died from the sustained injuries, leaving a wife and a young son behind. The young car driver was emotionally destroyed. Could not eat or sleep. His grand father was always next to him, on a suicide watch. No longer did he want to go to University to continue his education, nor did he want to live. This young man is a relative of one my students. She had tried the effectiveness of TFT for herself, and felt the need to help him. I gave her all the resources that were necessary to alleviate his emotional trauma and pain. Although we could have used Skype, she wanted to be there in person. When she first saw her nephew, he was very thin, with sunken eyes that looked blank. The grey expression of his face resembled a shadow of someone she once knew. Not having the experience, or any in-depth knowledge of TFT she followed the steps I had given her. His SUD was 10 to start with. She described that within 15 minutes he begun to change: “as if a black and white sketch was being filled in with colour”. Within 30 minutes, the young man had a faint smile on his face and the colour has returned to his sunken cheeks. He started to interact with people around him. In the next 30 minutes he was fast asleep. The following morning he woke up angry at everyone and everything. They have used TFT twice again to balance his emotional state. The positive outcome was immediate as it is with most TFT cases. Even when someone has only known TFT very briefly, they can try to help themselves or their loved ones with very positive results. In the few weeks that followed, the young man started to study law at his university. He reclaimed his life. No one can change what has happened, but regardless who was at fault, life has to go on. With TFT it was possible to achieve immediately. The only other options given to him, were prescriptions drugs offered to him by a doctor. He refused to take any. The one thing that Alan was not able to do was to get in a car to drive again. This is where this story will continue. When he’s able to come to visit his aunt, he will come to see me, to get back behind the wheel of a car again.
The WHO Statistics
The death on the roads amounts to staggering numbers worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, 3500 people die on roads every day. What about those injured, and all families and friends left behind? What about the witnesses that have been affected by the trauma of what they saw? None of these people were prepared for these events. Not many will be offered any effective help with their emotional problems, followed from those incidents. Many will have lives put on hold for years due to resulting trauma. How many are out there no one knows for nobody keeps those kinds of statistics. I don’t think enough people know about the power of TFT. I hope I will be adding another step to show many, how easy and effective it is to use, so they will use it for themselves and anyone else that maybe in need of help. Whether it is to diminish the effects of road rage incident, past trauma losing a family member or a friend, or the very tragic events of being involved in fatal collision. TFT should become the tool to achieve those positive outcomes. Like an emotional aspirin available in every medicine cabinet in every home. Always there whenever you need it. No one should suffer from any fears, phobias or anxieties in any part of life. Go to top of Page
by Monica D'Agate