I don’t think I will ever outgrow Harry Potter; the world created by J.K. Rowling made my childhood so magical that it continues to charm me even today. Throughout my years as a therapist, I have often borrowed metaphors and instances from the Harry Potter series because there are so many themes out there that attribute to making the world a better place…Today, I will attempt to explain how Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is useful as a therapeutic tool by borrowing references from Harry Potter…
How many times have you felt that the world you inhabit is a scary place? Sometimes, you are presented with a streak of horrible days that just seem to get from bad to worse. Have you ever had a day where it was difficult for you to find even one reason to smile? Have you ever had a day when your spirits were totally dashed to the ground, and you were left feeling completely crumpled?
If your answer to any of the above questions is a ‘yes’, it means you are familiar with the existence of DEMENTORS in your space. According to the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk the earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them…Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy feeling will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soulless and evil. You will be left nothing but the worst experience of your life.”
Anxiety and Depression are a lot like dementors. They do not define you. They are not who you are, but they attack you and take over your ability to be who you are. They completely suck the life out of you and make you lose sight of things that make you happy. They validate all your negative beliefs, leaving you feeling empty, completely depleted of all energies…
However, one crucial lesson that we learn from the book is that dementors can be defeated. All we need to do is conjure a Patronus charm. The Patronus charm conjures a magical guardian that is a projection of all of one’s most positive feelings. Usually, the guardian that is produced by this charm takes the shape of an animal with which it shares the deepest affinity. According to the books, it is very difficult to master this spell, and one does not need to be a genius to understand why…It’s very difficult to see a ray of light when you are immersed in a world of darkness. The light at the other end of the tunnel is petrifying…You were once a part of it until everything was shattered. You know what it feels like to lose everything that once caused you bliss, and now you have been hurt so bad that you are actually at peace with your pain.
Here, is where therapy helps – no matter how good a therapist is, they still cannot make your problems disappear. However, they can help you manage depression or anxiety by empowering you with coping skills. And just like everyone’s patronus is a different animal, everyone has his or her own coping strategies that work, and together with your therapist, you can discover and develop a wide range of coping skills to help you overcome your dementors.
When you are overwhelmed by anxious or depressing thoughts, your ability to reason and making use of your creative intelligence shuts down. The disturbing emotions spread through your entire body, spreading like a cold fog, taking away your light and resources as they travel…The first step of EFT involves identifying and describing that particular feeling. So, instead of immersing yourself in work and getting busy, like Harry, you must face those Dementors and fight them in a very specific and focused manner. You could try tracking the feeling or emotion in your body, or just focus on it to ascertain where it is coming from…Once you’ve named your emotion, questioned it into revealing its exact nature, through EFT, you can start breaking it down into a less formidable form. EFT works beautifully like Harry’s patronus charm for fighting your inner dementors.
Certain people or events we encounter are nothing but triggers – like boggarts who take the shape of whatever it is that we fear the most. EFT works like a charm in making those triggers disappear. Imagine being able to laugh at the very thing that you feared the most? Yes, it is possible. EFT makes it possible. It’s like your Boggart-Banishing charm…everything just becomes Riddikulus!
Using EFT often feels like using a Pensieve – an object used to review memories – though unlike the basin used by Harry Potter, EFT practitioners adopt various techniques to help stimulate the mind to review previous memories. Memories can be difficult to review, but EFT makes it easier, and there is usually something to learn from them and there are definitely connections to be made.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows traces Harry’s preoccupation with finding the remaining horcruxes and destroying them to reduce Lord Voldemort’s power. A Horcrux is a dark, magical object used to attain immortality and requires one to commit the supreme act of evil to rip one’s soul apart. Thinking along these lines, when you experience something that makes you feel bad, a part of your soul splits (not literally, but in your mind) and EFT helps you heal and integrate this part, and helps you feel whole again.
A key takeaway from the Harry Potter series is the true power of love – when, in the end, it is revealed that a part of Voldemort’s soul had been living in Harry, I was shocked the first time I read it. But then I realized, it wasn’t really that surprising…Don’t our ultimate enemies imprison part of us? And isn’t it true that only through love and forgiveness they can be set free? EFT helps you have the ultimate victory by releasing those parts of you that are stuck in other people and things.
I don’t know a better way to manage your energy than EFT. If you’ve never experienced EFT, book a session because if you are feeling a bit shattered, just tapping on issues is an excellent way of putting yourself back together. I conduct EFT sessions face-to-face as well as online!