Project LIGHT: Australia From Trauma To Hope

The Tapping Solution Foundation has supported the ongoing efforts of Dr. Lori Leyden and Project Light by providing training resources, outreach and funding. Dr. Leyden’s innovative and heart-centered “Create Global Healing” organization introduced Tapping in Rwanda to help bring hope and healing to the survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. Now, Dr. Leyden is working in Australia to bring the same relief to Indigenous and Refugee Youth.

Here is an update from Dr. Leyden about their continual work, now in Australia:

“Project LIGHT: Australia – From Trauma to Hope:

The expansion of Project LIGHT continues to bring miracles beyond my imagination! Our intention for Project LIGHT: Australia is to work with Indigenous and Refugee Youth and those who support them. In May, we were honored and deeply privileged to spend 4 days in Robinvale with an amazing group of Aborigine Elders and young adults. These wise women have suffered egregious traumas effecting many generations of Aborigine people because of government policies that took their land, their children, and perpetuated violence against them. Many are living with the loss of their adolescent children to suicide (highest suicide rate in the world) and drug addiction, and experience domestic violence, cancer, chronic pain, depression, anxiety as well as other debilitating life circumstances.

Using the EFT for Trauma protocol I developed in Newtown and Rwanda, we were able to lift significant traumas allowing these Elders and young people to feel a renewed sense hope and deep commitment to personal and community healing.

We also had the honor of leading an EFT for Trauma workshop for 50 staff members of Foundation House, an impressive organization working with refugee youth and families.

As promised, I returned to Australia again at the end of October to conduct various workshops, including an Advanced Trauma Relief and Resiliency training for EFT/Tapping Professionals, to begin building EFT/Tapping trauma healing capacity in the country.

We’re also building relationships with individuals and organizations such as the Asylum Seekers Resource Center, Foundation House, Melbourne City Mission and Igniting Change to offer collaborative trauma healing training for professionals serving those with the greatest need for emotional healing in Australia. Plans are already underway for more trainings in May 2018!

One of the greatest privileges I experienced was being invited to participate in the Return to Country: Mungo Man events. What an honor to meet First Nation dignitaries as well as Jim Bowler who discovered the 43,000 year-old Mungo Man bones and worked tirelessly for over forty years to return them to sacred ground. We deeply hope that these events have created a momentum of reconciliation and healing for all Australians.”

-Lori Leyden, PhD, MBA


Because of your support for The Tapping Solution Foundation, we are able to provide communities worldwide, including in Rwanda and Australia, with the healing effects of EFT Tapping. Thank you!

Turning Bullies Into Enlightened Leaders

Bullies are made, not born, and yet, many of us, quite understandably, struggle to feel compassion for them. What then happens is that bullies lose their voice, often even their right to speak, except when they’re behaving like bullies.

So what happens when we go out of our way to give bullies a voice – and then, a chance to heal from the pain that is causing them to behave like bullies? It was the question The Tapping Solution Foundation got an opportunity to answer when we first began working with Shyla.

During her last year in middle school, Shyla had suddenly turned into a dark, brooding teenager. Now in high school, her grades had been on a downward spiral, and nearly every week she was being sent to the principal’s office for bullying.

Prone to rage-fueled outbursts, Shyla had become a source of disruption and frustration for teachers and administrators alike. Unfortunately, the ongoing negative attention she was getting – in the form of school detention, reprimands, and more – only seemed to worsen her attitude, behavior, and performance.

What few at her school initially realized was that Shyla’s transformation had taken place soon after a shooting had taken place at her former school. Forced to remain still and quiet in the dark for five agonizingly long hours of city-wide lockdown, Shyla, then a middle schooler, had huddled alone under a desk listening for gunshots while helicopters flew overhead and sirens blared nearby.

Although she had survived that day, all these years later Shyla was being haunted by the trauma of that experience. To make matters worse, Shyla’s family life was unpredictable. Whether at home or school, Shyla felt she had nowhere to turn for support and guidance.

Fortunately, one administrator at her current school looked into Shyla’s history. After realizing that Shyla had been caught in that shooting, the school reached out to The Tapping Solution Foundation, which is increasingly being recognized for the success of its trauma relief programs in schools nationwide.

Soon after sitting down with Shyla, it was clear to Lori Leyden, Director of The Tapping Solution Foundation that Shyla was suffering from untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) incurred during the school shooting.

After explaining how tapping accesses the amygdala in the brain and then lowers cortisol levels in the body, Lori asked how her body feels when she’s overcome by rage. Shyla described a burning sensation in her stomach, and an inability to think before acting out her rage.

Hoping to motivate her to do trauma-healing work, Lori asked Shyla what her goal was. Kids who are labeled as “bullies” are often punished, but rarely asked what they want or how they feel, so giving Shyla a voice in the process was critical. “I want to improve my grades so I can transfer to the school I want to go to,” Shyla replied without hesitation.

While many of her teachers saw Shyla as an out of control problem student, it was clear that Shyla had done extensive independent research about attending this one specific school. In order to attend that school, however, she had to maintain a higher grade point average and receive positive reviews from teachers.

With that long-term goal clearly in mind, Lori then asked Shyla to focus on a petty annoyance she’d recently experienced. Before diving into trauma healing work, it’s important to experience some kind of results from tapping, as those initial results make people more invested in the process.

Shyla’s petty annoyance had happened a few days earlier, when her sister had borrowed Shyla’s favorite shirt without asking. Using that event as a starting point, Lori led Shyla through a few rounds of tapping. Within just a few minutes, Shyla could recall the event without feeling any irritation. She also shared that her body felt more relaxed.

Over a period of several weeks, Lori had weekly tapping sessions with Shyla, focusing on clearing the emotional intensity of her memories of the school shooting. When the focus turned to Shyla’s bullying behavior, it became clear that she, like many kids, had only begun bullying others after being continually bullied by a small group of students at her current school.

Her bullying was a coping strategy, a way to appear tough so that she herself would no longer be harassed.

There had been one especially traumatic day when a student had called her fat, and then ripped her shirt and pushed her into a nearby crowd to be publicly mocked. Just recalling that day, Shyla could feel rage burning in her stomach before racing up into her head. With that memory fresh in her mind, it took just two rounds of tapping to get Shyla’s rage from a 10 out of 10 down to a 2.

After releasing the emotional charge from these events and others, Shyla once again became a different kid. This time, however, the transformation was a reflection of her positive mental and emotional well-being. The next time she was bullied, instead of lashing out in rage, she stayed calm. She also reported the bullying to school administrators.

Her goal of getting into the other school was so important to her that, for the first time ever, Shyla was willing to risk being called a “tattle tale.”

Since then, Shyla has become a leader at her school. Teachers and administrators alike now see her as an example of the transformation they want to see in other students.

Once she’d used tapping to heal from the trauma of the school shooting she’d survived, Shyla no longer needed to use bullying behavior to defend herself. Instead, she can rely on positive forms of leadership to move her life and school community forward.

By giving Shyla a chance to heal and reclaim her voice, Shyla could see that she didn’t have to be victim to others’ bullying. Nor did she need to use bullying behaviors to protect herself. What a difference!

I’m thrilled to share that The Tapping Solution Foundation is doing this kind of work at a growing number of schools around the country, helping students, teachers and administrators to heal from trauma, and to support them all in fostering a positive environment for learning and social/emotional development. Just imagine what could happen if all children everywhere had easy access to the kind of healing that Shyla and her school community received.

Download Your Free Tapping Quickstart Guide for Educators:

Turning Adult Trauma Into Healing For Childhood Wounds

How do you tell parents that their elementary school child was just shot to death at school? That was the challenge facing Dan, one of first responders at the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that tragically took the lives of twenty children and six adults on December 14, 2012. Although trained to deliver this kind of news, Dan’s memories of that day had haunted him in the years since.

When Dan first sat down with Lori Leyden, Director of The Tapping Solution Foundation, they began tapping on the trauma of that day. Dan was suffering from a mental replay loop he couldn’t stop – images from the school that day, as well as the looks on parents’ faces when he delivered the tragic news about their children.

After a few rounds of tapping through those traumatic memories, Dan recalled a pivotal moment from his early childhood. It was the day when his mother had sat him down to tell him that his brother had been killed in a car accident. He’d never forgotten the look on his mother’s face that day. It was the same look he’d seen on the Sandy Hook parents’ faces.

While tapping, Dan realized that he’d made a promise to himself very early in life – that he would do anything, including abandoning himself and his emotions, to avoid seeing the look he’d seen on his mother’s face on anyone else, ever. As a result, when he’d seen that same look on the Sandy Hook parents’ faces, it had re-ignited the trauma of his brother’s young death.

As Dan continued tapping through these traumatic memories, he realized that the anger he’d been holding in since his brother’s death had been limiting his ability to feel joy. All these years, his energy had been consumed by keeping that anger inside, and as a result, he’d experienced ongoing challenges in his marriage, and in his relationships at work.

Once Dan had tapped through his anger, he no longer felt burdened by repressed emotions. He soon began to open up to the idea of feeling more love and connection with his wife, and with the children who had been lost during the Sandy Hook shootings.

Even as adults few things limit us more than unresolved childhood trauma. When those deep wounds are finally healed, the transformation that happens is profound and sweeping. Relationships improve, careers take off, and most importantly, people’s sense of their own value and worth returns. As was the case for Dan, daily life becomes an entirely new experience, and in all the right ways. J

So often, though, people get stuck before they take that critical first step – reaching out for help in releasing trauma. If you or a loved one is struggling to seek support in overcoming a childhood (or adulthood) trauma, here’s a short tapping script that may prove helpful:

First, take 3 deep breaths and notice how much resistance you feel around seeking out support in overcoming the trauma you or a loved one survived. Give that resistance a number on a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the highest intensity resistance you can imagine.

We’ll begin by tapping three times on the Karate Chop point:

KC: Even though I don’t want to face what happened, it’s just too terrifying, I accept how I feel.

KC: Even though I can’t seek out support to overcome this trauma, I just can’t face it, the pain is too great, I accept how I feel.

KC: Even though I can’t face this, it’s too excruciating and I really can’t look at it too closely, I accept how I feel.

Eyebrow: I just can’t face this
Side of Eye: It’s too much
Under Eye: I can’t look at this
Under Nose: I need to push it away
Under Mouth: This is too terrifying for me to look at
Collarbone: So many emotions I can’t face
Under Arm: This trauma is bigger than me
Top of Head: I just can’t face it

Eyebrow: There’s so much tied to this trauma
Side of Eye: I feel paralyzed when I think of it
Under Eye: I just want to push it away
Under Nose: But pushing it away isn’t working
Under Mouth: I can’t seem to get rid of it
Collarbone: I know I can’t release it on my own
Under Arm: But I’m so scared to seek out support
Top of Head: I’m so scared what will happen if I face this

Eyebrow:  I know I need to, though
Side of Eye: I know I can’t do this on my own
Under Eye: I know I need help
Under Nose: I want help
Under Mouth: But it’s so scary to seek it out
Collarbone: Maybe that’s okay
Under Arm: Maybe it’s normal to be afraid
Top of Head: Maybe I can seek out support anyway

Eyebrow: Maybe I can face what happened
Side of Eye: And my first step can be to seek out support
Under Eye: It’s okay that part of me is resisting this
Under Nose: I can still seek out support
Under Mouth: I can seek out support for overcoming what happened
Collarbone: I can allow myself that opportunity to let go of this
Under Arm: I don’t have to let this fear stop me
Top of Head: Allowing myself to feel safe in seeking out support now

Take a deep breath and check in with your resistance to seeking out support from overcoming trauma now. Where is it on a scale of 0 – 10 now? Continue tapping, if you like.