Trainee Spotlights

Annabelle Heggaton

I am a Family Support Worker – Parenting Connections, Anglicare Kununurra, WA.

Please describe a typical day at work?

I support parents and caregivers of children in the East Kimberley to feel confident and skilled in nurturing their children. This looks different every day! I have an office space but spend half of my time in community. I facilitate new baby groups at the local community centre, I visit parents at home and sit under a tree to yarn about what’s going on for them, I meet with other service providers to work collaboratively with families but mostly I help clients with any issues that arise on the day; filling out forms, providing education, calling Housing, take them to medical or legal appointments; the list goes on. 

What are the most common issues you are dealing with regularly?

The most common issues are a lack of resources for families – often their existence is overwhelmed by homelessness, family & domestic violence, AOD abuse and chronic unsupported trauma.

Since you were trained in EFT, what are the greatest benefits to you personally?

I have a tool that I can use at any time, anywhere to ground myself and soothe any overwhelm that I am experiencing. It helps me to resist engaging with mind-based worry and be present on what is happening right now.

When you utilise EFT in client sessions or in the field, what are the main benefits to you and your clients?

As I have only recently trained, I haven’t used EFT with any clients yet. I am also a yoga teacher and am looking forward to incorporating some tap and breathe into yoga classes.

Since integrating EFT into your profession, how has this assisted you when you are exposed to traumatic situations on a regular basis, either in person or as the recipient of client stories?

It helps me empathise without integrating client stories into my own story. It provides me with a tool for distancing myself and therefore not feel as heavy, or ‘loaded’ with the trauma of someone else’s situation. This translates into a greater sense of wholeness at the end of my working day that allows me to be fully present in my own personal life.

As a participant in our monthly online mentoring sessions, what have you found to be the main benefits?

A sense of community. Shared experience. Accountability in practicing and using EFT.

With an understanding of what is possible as a result of utilising EFT in communities, if you were to hold a dream for your region, how might that look?

For everyone to experience the inner sensation of pain/worry/fear/anxiety/anger being lifted from their being when using EFT, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment. I think this would allow people to feel a sense of hopefulness.

Brenda King

I am a Sexual Assault Counsellor with Anglicare Kununurra in the West Kimberley, WA. I have worked in the region for the past 13 years.

Please describe a typical day at work?

Whilst I have an office base with space for one to one counselling, I mainly work with people out in the community wherever they feel comfortable – under a tree, in the car, at a health centre. I have to find fifty percent of my clients (rather than them come to me), many of whom are transient, homeless, rarely at home, sleep during the day, living with violence, have no childcare. I have many ‘one off’ contacts where people are available to engage when their life is in crisis, and they disconnect when things are going smoothly. I respond to ‘walk ins’.

What are the most common issues you are dealing with regularly?

Nearly 100% of clients have long term or generational trauma and currently experience alcohol abuse, DV, housing issues, financial problems, health issues, mental health issues, poor or no education or qualifications, do not have their own transport, single parenting. The issues are severe and complex with few other services, high turnover rate of staff in other services, chronic lack of staffing in services, poor co-ordination of services and many services working with the one individual or family.

How many clients would you see on an average day? Having EFT in your toolkit, do you feel you have a greater capacity for your work?

I am able to easily see 5 or 6 clients a day during periods of heavy demand and crisis in the community. The technique has increased the capacity to offer counselling as it is easy on me and gives immediate relief to clients experiencing the effects of trauma. Previously I did not have the resilience to see traumatised person after traumatised person during the week.

Since you were trained in EFT, what are the greatest benefits to you personally?

I have something I can offer the client that will benefit them immediately and overcome the cultural barriers of language and race.

When you utilise EFT in client sessions or in the field, what are the main benefits to you and your clients?

I stay present, refreshed and avoid getting caught up in the overwhelming hopelessness of some situations. I also avoid feeling ‘useless’ and frustrated.

As a participant in our monthly online mentoring sessions, what have you found to be the main benefits?

The many nuances of EFT become clearer with each mentoring session and the technique becomes a part of me.

With an understanding of what is possible as a result of utilising EFT in communities, if you were to hold a dream for your region, how might that look?

EFT is used throughout services, workers stay longer and are happier and kinder to themselves and each other, clients feed off the hope presented and use EFT in their own lives to turn the destructive tide of hopelessness and abuse, which comes from trauma.

Kate Zimmer

I am a VCAL Curriculum Coordinator and teacher with Hester Hornbrook Academy based in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria.

Please describe a typical day at work?

My typical day (when not in lockdown from Corona Virus) is in a classroom teaching at risk youth. This can include responding to crisis situations depending what is happening for our young people at the time.

What are the most common issues you are dealing with regularly?

Trauma – childhood, intergenerational or circumstance
Drug and Alcohol
Justice system
Homelessness
Dis-engagment from education and society
Moderate to Severe mental health

How many clients would you see on an average day? Having EFT in your toolkit, do you feel you have a greater capacity for your work?

On an average day I would  see 8-10 students. EFT really helps with my own ability to be calm, present, make quick decisions, problem solve and leave the day without an emotional attachment to what happened throughout the day.

Since you were trained in EFT, what are the greatest benefits to you personally?

A ‘go to’ tool to help calm me in the moment. A tool to help me process and then release current situations or old memories.

When you utilise EFT in client sessions or in the field, what are the main benefits to you and your clients?

My staff and students say it helps to calm them, to bring them back to be present, to better concentrate and more able to get on with the task at hand practically, rather than being stuck in the emotion that can continue to escalate.

Since integrating EFT into your profession, how has this assisted you when you are exposed to traumatic situations on a regular basis, either in person or as the recipient of client stories?

It has helped me to release the clients stories or to release my emotional attachment or emotional response to a traumatic situation.

As a participant in our monthly online mentoring sessions, what have you found to be the main benefits?

I listen to the recordings as I cant make the time allocation due to my teaching commitments. I find the recordings a good reminder of how to practice the technique properly.

With an understanding of what is possible as a result of utilising EFT in communities, if you were to hold a dream for your region, how might that look?

The dream is becomming a reality. In 2021 HHA will be training our youth workers and managers in EFT to better support our young people as they go through crisis or are going through major dis-engagement and un-productive lengths of time with their education.

Sarah-Jane Stratton

I am a Clinical Psychologist – Senior Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinician at Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service, Kununurra, WA.

Please describe a typical day at work?

Variety – outpatient appointments based at clinic, home/community visits, travel to remote communities to deliver outreach services, responding to crisis in community and when young people have presented to hospital.

What are the most common issues you are dealing with regularly?

Mental health and behavioural difficulties arising from complex/developmental trauma, situational crisis in context of drug and alcohol use.

How many clients would you see on an average day? Having EFT in your toolkit, do you feel you have a greater capacity for your work?

On an average day I would see 4 clients and feel I have a greater capacity for work utilising tapping.

Since you were trained in EFT, what are the greatest benefits to you personally?

Use of EFT on myself to help ground me when I feel overwhelmed, to help motivate me when I feel hopeless and to help me access my reflective capacity more fully to think through problems.

When you utilise EFT in client sessions or in the field, what are the main benefits to you and your clients?

For my clients – an experience of achieving some regulation over their physiology and a sense of feeling grounded, and for me a deeper connection with my clients.

As a participant in our monthly online mentoring sessions, what have you found to be the main benefits?

Having opportunities to get direct feedback on my EFT practice so that I can enhance my technique.

With an understanding of what is possible as a result of utilising EFT in communities, if you were to hold a dream for your region, how might that look?

Every single person to be able to have this technique as an option in times of stress, for it to be as known and frequently taught as “take 3 deep breaths” and for every person working in a field where they interact with others to have EFT as a mandatory start to their working day, much like a morning meeting or getting a cup of coffee 🙂