Trauma Buster Technique Interview
TANIA: Hi, I’d like to welcome Rehana Webster to my call. Welcome, Rehana!
REHANA: Thank you Tania.
TANIA: Now, you’re going to be talking about something really interesting today, the Trauma Buster Technique.
REHANA: That’s correct.
TANIA: Before I get to that, people will just have to wait until we get into the meat of that really. You’re an EFT master, so the EFT emotional freedom technique how did you get into that?
REHANA: Well, you can actually blame Dr. David Lake and Steve Wells. They said I should be doing this since I’m an NLP master and I do weird stuff. Why shouldn’t I be doing the tapping as well? That’s how I got into it Tania.
TANIA: That sounds interesting. When you were first introduced to EFT what’d you think about it?
REHANA: Like everything else I like to try it on myself. I made a long list of traumas that I had. I went through each and every one of them. I took about ten days and I was amazed at the difference between the before and the after of doing the technique. I was quite convinced that it was a really good pattern interrupt. I went ahead and went over it with David and Steve. I went over to see Gary at the workshop and then the masters training.
TANIA: All right, now you have a very interesting background with EFT and the work that you’ve done. I know pre-this recording you were talking about work you’ve done in the prison service. I get the feel that you’ve got kind of a fascinating background to what you do. Maybe you could tell us a little bit more about that?
REHANA: Sure, love to share this. I’ve got a short contract with the New Zealand Probation Department. The manager to that particular department used to be a family therapist in his other life. I had talked to him about this therapy and he was really interested. He suggested that we get some of the probationary people on to this technique.
These are people that have had all kinds of other therapy before. They’d been to psychologists. They’d been to psychiatrists. They’d been on medications. They’d been through counselors and so forth and not had any relief. I got these people with their permission and I taught them how to do the tapping and EFT. We would meet once a week or even daily sometimes to do the tapping. What I found was with these people it was amazing the change. They were in charge of their own therapy and they could actually feel the difference. You didn’t have to actualize or rationalize anything.
TANIA: You’re talking probationary people? Are these people who’d been in prison or are in the prison service? What are these people?
REHANA: They’d been in prison and then they’re out. They’re reporting in on a regular basis because then they are on probation. They’re out in the community so they report either once a week or once every day. They are having an eye kept on them. They were just perfect for this experiment.
Also, I was invited by ASEP to come and do a talk one year. I can’t remember which year. I used this particular setup from Daytell to talk about from. It was advantageous for me to gather information about these people and how they felt, how they recovered, and so forth.
TANIA: The interesting point you made in there, very interesting point is they didn’t have to try and be different. They didn’t have to analyze anything. They were just different.
REHANA: Yes, exactly. Just going back to these people, the fact is they couldn’t analyze. When and what I noticed most was each and every single one of these had been traumatized at some point. Mostly with these people it was childhood trauma, them talking about either a sexual trauma, mental trauma, physical trauma, or emotional trauma. What they would do is either do drugs to get away from the trauma which they could never get away from, or drink. Then they would do burglaries to get the money to do the drugs and so forth and back in the jail system. All they were trying to do is get away from the symptoms of the post-traumatic stress.
TANIA: You’ve used EFT with that particular issue then?
TANIA: Since then you’ve gone on and developed your own approach?
TANIA: You’ve developed your own approach to work around certain issues you’ve found in that kind of cliental. Tell us a little bit more about why you developed the Trauma Buster Technique.
REHANA: Well, it actually started to develop within the prison system because what I noticed was the majority of the people in the prison system were highly kinesthetic. Right?
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: So, they weren’t so much visual or auditory, but really kinesthetic. Real feelers and they needed a therapy that they could do and get detached from these feelings that they were stuck in. They couldn’t get out.
It all started with this one person who came to see me. He’d been in prison several times, in and out, in and out. Never resolved any traumas. It had been horrendous sexual trauma for this man and he was in his forties. Nothing has helped him, ever. I thought well, that’s like a challenge. NRP would help him, but NRP is too complicated for people to do themselves. Right? I taught him the tapping technique and then we used the movie technique. Watching himself. Watching the movie. Cartooning the movie, plus tapping. It had amazing results. He was so amazed himself because he could immediately feel the disconnect from the feelings, the panicky feelings and the angry feelings he had whenever he thought about this particular incident.
Right away I knew I was on to something. I fine-tuned this technique and developed it further and further. Now that I’ve been to Pakistan and worked with people speaking a different language I have fine-tuned it even further. It’s not dependent on language. It’s not dependent on culture or anything. It’s just a technique, the tapping in sequence with a few steps. It will definitely disconnect people from any symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
TANIA: All right. If we just clarify to people who are listening EFT is typically by tapping on the carotid point on the hand and setting up the problem there. Saying even though I have this problem I completely, totally, love and approve of myself. Saying that three times and then tapping through a sequence that quite often starts on the eye brow to the underarm position. You’re technique is different. Maybe you could talk me through how to do your approach?
REHANA: Okay. Keep it really simple Tania. I ask the person to think of a trauma. Think of a time when they’ve been traumatized and to think about it they have certain feelings. The feelings could be of anger, hyperventilation, something in the body that they can judge they’re not comfortable with. It could be a faster heartbeat. I make them really focus on how the body is feeling. Then I ask how does it feel from zero to ten? Could you give it a number? Sometimes they can and sometimes they cannot. It doesn’t matter, but it’s noticing how they’re feeling in the body.
Then, I get them to narrow down the trauma because we don’t want aspects of the trauma that’s coming in at this point. We just want the peak of the trauma. I ask them what’s the worst part of the trauma. There would be one point that you felt the worst. We narrow it down to the worst part. Then I say to them that this trauma is a chapter in your book of traumas. We put the worst chapter – we’re just going to work with this chapter.
This chapter has a beginning and an ending. We agree that there’s a beginning and an ending. It could only be five seconds or it could be twenty-five seconds, but try to keep it really short and concise. I ask them have they got it. They can either share it with me or not share it with me. Then we test it to see where they feel it in the body. Then we do the tapping after that. Do you have a trauma that you can work with?
TANIA: Oh, yes. I will give you my trauma. I do have a trauma, yes.
REHANA: If you don’t wish to share it that’s fine as long as you’ve got the worst part of the trauma. Yes?
TANIA: Uh, huh. Yes.
REHANA: Okay. It’s got a beginning and an ending?
TANIA: That particular piece has, yes. It’s a moment in time.
REHANA: Yes, that’s all we need. The worst moment in time. Okay?
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: Then, I want you to notice how you feel when you think about that moment in time.
TANIA: I have a feeling I would say in my stomach.
REHANA: Great. Okay, fine just notice it. Then all I want you to do now is go over it in your head so we’ve got the trauma localized. Go over it in your head and just notice what you see, what you hear, and what you feel. Anything else you can remember about this little moment in time.
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: Okay. Now, what we’re going to do is we’re going to tap. The tapping with this begins at the crown point.
TANIA: Yes, so the top of the head, crown point. All right, yeah.
REHANA: So, we’ll do the crown, the beginning of the eyebrows, side of eye, under eye, under nose, under lip, collar bone, under arm, and then last of all, the carotid chop.
TANIA: Uh, huh. All right.
REHANA: Okay? We’ll just go around and we’ll do this trauma. We’ll run the trauma three times. Okay?
REHANA: So, thinking about the trauma and tapping about five times on each point. Starting now.
TANIA: All right, I’m tapping on the top of the head point.
REHANA: Okay and then changing as you go along. Just thinking about the story and what you saw, what you heard, what you thought, anybody else around, anything else going on. Basically, what you saw, what you heard, what you thought. As you go through the story run the story about three times tapping continuously. Let me know when you’re done.
TANIA: Yes, you have to focus don’t you really?
REHANA: Yes, you have to focus on the story, right?
TANIA: Uh, huh. So, I’m going to be silent and focused.
REHANA: Are you done with that particular sequence?
TANIA: Yeah, I’ll speed up a bit. When I tap, when I get into an event, I actually slow down because I get into the kinesthetic of that, the feeling of it.
TANIA: Yeah, I’ve been round. You say go around three times? I just kind of did one round there because it’s kind of on the talk, yeah?
REHANA: I just used three as the magic number because sometimes it might only take one round. Sometimes it takes five rounds, but it’s just repeating the story. Now, I’ll ask my client to just focus on the story and what’s different in the mind body connection.
TANIA: I would say I’m not feeling the feeling in my stomach.
REHANA: Has it gone somewhere?
TANIA: No, it’s just not there. There’s no sense of it being there.
TANIA: Yeah, I just feel different. It does feel different. Yeah, very much it does feel different.
REHANA: It usually does. Noticing that there’s a difference and we didn’t rate it to begin with, but you had a feeling in your tummy.
REHANA: Now it’s not there. That’s an indication that there’s been some disconnect. Right?
TANIA: Oh, absolutely.
REHANA: Now, what I’d like for you to do is imagine that you’re watching a black and white movie. Right?
REHANA: The black and white movie is up towards the top of the wall or the ceiling. Actually your eyes are looking up, right?
REHANA: Then I want you to see yourself in the movie. You’re going to play the movie while you’re tapping. You’re going to see yourself.
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: You’re going to be disassociated. You’re going to watch yourself in the movie. You’re the star, okay?
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: Run it three times if you can, or just once. Watching yourself in the black and white movie tapping your head.
TANIA: All right, yeah. I’m doing that. I’m tapping on those points. I’m looking at that.
REHANA: Watching yourself, watching your reaction, watching what’s happening, watching what you’re looking at or what you’re listening to, the expression on your face.
REHANA: Okay. We’ll just test it again. Right?
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: The procedure is pretty quick. Just go back to the real story and run it in your mind. Notice how you feel.
TANIA: Hmm. [Laughing] Interesting, I kind of feel a warmth in myself.
REHANA: Oh, you do?
TANIA: Yeah, I kind of feel a warmth feeling.
REHANA: Well, good.
TANIA: Which is reasonably pleasant. It’s kind of a pleasant warmth feeling.
REHANA: So, you’re quite relaxed then?
TANIA: Oh, yes.
REHANA: Okay. That’s a sign of relaxation. Now, we’ll do the next bit. The next bit is reversing the black and white movie. Imagine you have a remote and you can reverse it. You know how things happen in reverse?
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: You know movements are funny if there are any? It goes from the end to the beginning.
TANIA: All right.
REHANA: Right? Again, tapping as you go reversing it, watching the movie reverse up there on the screen black and white movie. Go ahead and tap.
TANIA: Okay, I’m tapping.
REHANA: Just watching everything go back to the beginning and nothing’s happened.
REHANA: Now you run the real story. Go back to the real story noticing how you feel.
TANIA: I actually find it difficult to get to the real what happened, even though it was a spit second. I’m finding people can’t see me here, but when I’m thinking of – my eyes are blinking.
REHANA: They do disorganization on how the memory is stored in your brain. Messing with how stuff is stored in your head and how the neurotransmitters run out into your body and deliver how to act. You don’t know how to do that anymore so it’s just distorted.
TANIA: Oh, okay.
REHANA: So there’s another bit now. You can see how quickly you can get through trauma. Now I want you to think of your favorite cartoon character. Do you have or did you have a favorite cartoon character Tania? Do you have one now?
TANIA: Mmm, I’m thinking of a favorite cartoon character. Yeah, I think I’ve got one. I think I’ll do a character from long ago called Felix the Cat, because it’s the only one that comes to mind.
REHANA: Okay, let’s do Felix. The movie up there is going to become a cartoon. Everything is going to be cartoon. You’re going to be cartoon. Anybody else around you is going to be cartoon. It’s going to be cartoon land and it’s going to be in Technicolor. Right?
TANIA: All right.
REHANA: So, now we’ll just do the short technique. We’ll put some music to it. You know cartoons always have music. Don’t they?
REHANA: That kind of boppy rock and roll type or something so that you can feel like tapping your feet. Do you have anything in mind?
TANIA: Yeah, yeah I can put some music to it.
REHANA: I’ll predict it. I like Benny Hill. I love the theme song of Benny Hill. When you’re recording people just go, “Oops.” Nobody really loved that music. All right, so it’s got to be upbeat. In your mind now I want you to watch this cartoon and it’s going to be about you. It’s going to be you and whoever else is there. The music is going to be playing and it’s going to go from beginning to end while you’re tapping.
TANIA: All right. I’ve done that.
REHANA: Now go back and test. Just notice where this memory is and how do you react to it.
TANIA: I’m actually smiling here. There’s a smile from ear to ear.
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: So it really changes the way the memory is stored. One last step is reversing the cartoon. Reversing the cartoon and tapping as you go. The music is playing too.
TANIA: Uh, huh.
REHANA: Let me know when you are done.
TANIA: Uh, huh. I’m done with that.
REHANA: Test it again. Test it to see where the memory is. How do you feel? Are there any feelings left?
TANIA: I’m blinking a lot. When I try to think about the memory there’s a lot of blinking going on.
REHANA: Okay, so you can’t access it. It’s not coming into your consciousness. It’s being slid away.
TANIA: Yeah, the moment I think to access it there’s all this blinking that’s going on and nothing happening.
REHANA: That’s wonderful. That’s what we want, right?
REHANA: There’s a couple more steps, but we don’t need them right? These are the major steps and the couple more just depends on the trauma and so forth. It’s simple, easy to learn, and easy to teach. Everybody can do it. You can do it in groups or you can do it individually. I just use this diagram in my sessions. Sometimes I do a wrap up where I say I have this problem. I’ve moved on and I’m fine now, however I find that even that is not necessary because it’s all changed. There’s been a conflict of shift. People can’t access it. They go, “Oh, it wasn’t important” or they come up with their own explanations.
TANIA: All right. That is a very neat little technique and I know you’ve been taking it to some very interesting places. Maybe you can tell us where you’ve been taking this technique and what kind of response you’ve had to it?
REHANA: The first place I took it to was to Pershore. That’s in Pakistan, right by the Afghanistan border. There’s NGO (Nongovernment Organization) and they deal with kids. They rescue kids off the streets and these kids have drug addictions. The reason why they have drug addictions is, first they are orphans and they have to sell their bodies to survive.
TANIA: All right I’m assuming that those young children, the traumatized young boys that you’ve been working with for the most part, don’t really necessarily have a great understanding of English? Would that be true?
REHANA: That’s right. They don’t have any understanding of English, but all the people at the institute were either, doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists. All western trained. They were really keen to learn. It’s not a problem there. They just did the translation and made it really easy.
TANIA: Umm, because I think when you’re working with people who are not necessarily understanding your language you do have to keep it very simple for them.
REHANA: Yes, exactly. That’s right. Yeah.
TANIA: This sounds like a fantastic model for doing that. You’re obviously getting some great results.
REHANA: Yes, we did. The next place that I worked at was another NGO, and that’s for incest and sexual assault. They’ve got several offices in different cities. Again, I taught all –mostly psychologists working there, I taught all of them, plus doctors. They used it on their own traumas. You know there’s assault traumas, bomb attacks, drone attacks, home invasions, and sexual assault. They were amazed at the way they could let go of these traumas, and they’d been through heaps of sexual assaults. They were amazed at how they could let go of these traumas and they’d been through heaps of lesson therapies and such. They adopted the model and they’re using it with their own case loads and so forth. It’s been really good to [inaudible 1:54] as well.
TANIA: All right. Now, that sounds fascinating work their Rehana. I think for the people listening in maybe they would be interested in finding out more about this kind of innovation that you’ve developed. Where would people go to if they wanted to find out more about this?
REHANA: Well, they’d come to me Tania. [Laughing]
REHANA: I have a website. Its www.traumabustertechnique.com and it just gives you a little bit about the technique, if they want courses or workshops to contact me. I’m willing to travel and give the workshops. It’s quite simple. It’s a one day workshop, whether you have EFT behind you or not, because it’s so simple. It’s practical and hands on. I ask people to bring their traumas with them so they can start working on them right away. They get a certificate of attendance. I ask them to do some case studies for me, and then do a session with me. I give them another certificate so that they can say they are a practitioner in this particular technique, so not a trainer, just a practitioner at that point.
TANIA: Where predominantly are you running these training courses at the moment?
REHANA: At the moment, in Australia, because of course that’s where I’m at. On Saturday I just had a workshop. I had twenty-four people here in Perth and very happy with the training. This is where I’m at. I’m in Perth. I’ll be giving them on the East coast as well, so, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne because these are the main population centers.
TANIA: All right, but as you said you’re willing to travel. With that I say thank you very much for joining me on this call and I will finish there if that’s okay with you?
REHANA: Thank you so much Tania for having me on this call.
TANIA: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you. Bye, bye.
REHANA: Bye, bye.