Jules Vandermaat is a certified social worker and therapist with 30 years of experience, specializing in working with women who have experienced sexual trauma. After establishing an already successful career in therapy, Jules was introduced to tapping and Emotional Freedom Techniques through a presentation by Louise Haye and Nick Ortner on social media. Initially Jules explored tapping on her own and was self-taught in the beginning. Later, she learned of Dr. Peta Stapleton, a fellow Australian, and trained with her on evidence-based EFT.
Helping Women with PTSD
Before her introduction to EFT, Jules worked with women who had experienced trauma using talk therapy and other conventional means of treatment. Through her experience, though, she came to see that for many of her clients, these conventional techniques were not enough. Nothing was working and they required a different approach to help them work through the trauma. She found that her clients were eager to try something different because many had been re-traumatized by the talk therapy experiences they had had before – reliving the trauma but never moving through it. EFT was a tool they were eager to receive. It allowed people to feel safe so that they could do the other work necessary for healing.
Healing from Trauma
When you experience trauma, it is critical that you find someone certified to help you process and work through your experience. There is hope! And working with a licensed professional is the first step.
Jules and Joan, both practitioners and proponents of EFT, believe that the best part of EFT is that it doesn’t require people to talk about their traumatic experiences to have beneficial results. When working with clients with PTSD, tapping provides significant benefits:
- It is quick, lasting, and gentle
- People feel in control of the process
- It is a tool that patients can take with them
When it comes to PTSD, talk therapy is often simply not enough. Jules has found that EFT has a special role to help people who can’t speak as a result of their trauma. Their bodys become high-jacked by the trauma, affecting the speech regions of the brain, and they find themselves physiologically incapable of talking about what happened to them. The body isn’t ready to speak, and forcing them to do so through talk therapy is not only unproductive but harmful.
“The body is talking loudly but nothing is coming out of their mouth,” explains Jules. To combat this control the trauma has on the body, certain techniques are necessary to manage the body’s response. In Jules’ many years of experience working with women who have experienced sexual trauma, she has found that many clients are baffled by their own inability to speak. They are high functioning individuals who feel silly about their inability to verbalize their trauma. Psycho-education around how trauma affects the body and brain is an important first step to reassure them and explain what is physiologically happening to them. EFT then provides a pathway toward treatment and release that circumnavigates the need to speak.
Jules and Joan encourage young therapists to learn more about EFT training, particularly for trauma, to better prepare themselves for helping people. If you have been the victim of sexual trauma or suffer from PTSD, please seek out a certified professional to help you.
To get in touch with Jules, visit her website www.tappingwithjules.com. She does in-person and long-distance consulting.
To hear more about using EFT to deal with trauma, listen to Joan’s conversation with Jules on her latest podcast here. If you are interested in exploring tapping as a way to move through trauma, check out my online course on PTSD and Trauma Relief with EFT. For a full list of my online course offerings, click here.