Rape can have a devastating effect on a person's life. Some of that effect can be easy to identify. It is not uncommon for people to have difficulty in sexual relationships, trusting, feeling an irrational sense of guilt, amidst may other things. How else can it affect a person's life? Can a rape also cause or be part of a snake phobia?
Ruth attended one of my EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) training courses. During one of those events she mentioned her snake phobia. It quickly became evident that somehow in Ruth's mind snakes, and an event in her life where she had been sexually attacked, were linked. Somehow the way the attacker had moved reminded her of a snake.
Trainings rarely provide sufficient time to fully explore an issue as was the case here. However we were able to work with the event she had stated and deal with it to such a point where she felt it no longer affected her. Relating that to her phobia, she found that she felt more relaxed around the idea of snakes and how they moved. However, this was not the full story.
About a year later I revisited Ruth's snake phobia. She kindly volunteered to let me work further on it to see what else might be causing her problem. She also agreed that the session could be recorded so that others could learn more about how to use EFT.
Working with her phobia it quickly became evident that an early life event when she had been hospitalized at two years of age and had had tubes coming from her body was also linked to her snake fear. After clearing this connection using EFT, I asked Ruth to look at a snake. She had a book nearby with pictures in it. Opening the book up Ruth exclaimed, “hmm, unpleasant.” She went on to say, “….. I'm looking at the detail of them yeah? And their heads are a bit phallic really.”
It quickly became evident that when she saw the snake her mind was connecting it to an earlier event in her life when she had been rapped. Ruth had done a lot of work on herself regarding this event, though she still saw the rape itself vividly in her mind. We worked on this event until it faded from her mind and became more difficult to recall. Testing how she felt about snakes at this point gained a very different reaction from Ruth. She actually expressed an interest in reading about them. Within a week of this session Ruth visited a pet shop and was totally calm in the presence of a wriggling, bad tempered snake. In her own words she said, “The pet shop owner got it out of the cage and I was amazed at how pretty her black and white markings were. me off) and I asked how he knew. “He said because she was flicking her forked tongue out frantically.”
From the work that we did to clear Ruth's snake phobia it is very obvious that the earlier rape had been a key event in her life and was causing her fear of snakes. Although the two things were connected for Ruth, other snake phobias might have very different causes.