Week 9: Healing the Mother Wound

Many of the emotional traumas stored within us come from events or incidents involving our parents. As our primary caretakers and our first biological bond, they have a profound effect on us. Many of us carry wounds from our childhood related to these all-important figures. This week, we explore healing the “mother wound.” You can apply what you learn here to healing traumas associated with your mother, another female relative, or any women with whom you have an issue.

An unresolved mother wound can be hidden behind a wide range of physical and psychological ailments. Though you may not be able to draw a causal link between your fibromyalgia/CFS and stored trauma relating to your mother, you only increase your chances of reducing your pain and fatigue by clearing the upset that produces tension, depletes your energy, and negatively impacts how you look at the world and yourself.

You were a lovable baby, and you needed and deserved to be treasured and loved. You expected that your needs, physical and emotional, would be taken care of by your mother.

Unfortunately, for many of us, that did not happen. The very person we most needed care from might have neglected or even abused us. The association of need and abuse can set up permanent conflicts in the psyche, which later show up as self-harm, self-neglect, or physical symptoms. As an adult, you might find yourself trapped between the valid desire to get your needs met, and the expectation that you’ll be harmed by your loved ones. Needs can become all tangled up with the danger of harm. Unless you resolve your mother wound, you can carry these emotional conflicts around with you your whole life, placing great strain on your body which responds with symptoms in its efforts to balance and heal.

The Role of EFT in Healing the Mother Wound


As with any emotional trauma, EFT can heal your mother wound by systematically clearing each incident or event that is part of that wound. In some cases, clearing the most emotionally charged one or ones will simultaneously clear the rest. However it happens for you, tapping away each incident may result in a reduction or even a complete elimination of your pain and fatigue, as many people have experienced with EFT. Last week we talked about how when trauma goes untreated, it saps your energy. EFT provides a shortcut for clearing trauma and thus freeing the energy that you so desperately need if you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

EFT can also help you with the forgiveness that fully healing your mother wound may require. As EFT expert Gunilla Brattberg, MD, says, “Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice.” Remember, forgiveness and reconciliation with yourself as well as others free energy that was formerly bound to anger and bitterness. We often uncover these feelings when we begin to explore the mother wound. With EFT, we can tap away the pain, discomfort, and woundedness. Clearing those wounds also opens up the possibility of replacing our experiences with healthy new ones.

This Week’s EFT Success Story


This week, we have a case history from the EFTuniverse.com archives. EFT practitioner Clay LaPorte tells of success with one of his clients with fibromyalgia:

When Barbara came to me for help she was in her late fifties and had been suffering with fibromyalgia for the past six years. Her pain intensity on the day of her session was only a 3 because she said the weather was in her favor (the right amount of humidity and air pressure). Maybe so, maybe not, but right then I decided to skip working on the fibromyalgia pain and go strictly for one of her core issues. Even though she had several easily definable ones that I could have worked on, I went with the earliest one, as we are taught in EFT.

From the age of five, whatever Barbara did, it was not good enough for her mother. This is still true today. Barbara feels she is not good enough, no matter what she does. Even though I skipped working on the fibromyalgia symptoms, I did address the symptoms she was experiencing by just thinking about working on the “mom” issue. These were a tight throat, weak shaky hands, and weak shaky legs. With several rounds of EFT, these decreased and finally ceased by the end of the session.

We worked on one specific incident when her mother told Barbara that she had done something terrible to Barbara’s teddy bear collection. Here’s what happened: They lived out in the country with very few neighbors. At age five, Barbara did not have any friends that came to her house. So her collection of teddy bears became her beloved friends. One day, a woman came to visit her mother and brought her young daughter with her. Since Barbara never had friends come over, she did not understand the concept of sharing toys. When she refused to share, her mother decided to teach her a lesson. After their company left, she took Barbara aside and told her she had bagged up all her bears, took them outside, and set them on fire in their burn barrel. To Barbara, he mother had just “killed” her only friends. This had to be devastating to a five-year-old. Then, after letting Barbara suffer for a few minutes, her mother told her she hadn’t really burned her bears, and hoped that she had learned her lesson well.

We addressed all the aspects of this event, jumped around to a few other mom issues, and finally ended the session. But before we did, I followed the EFT advice to always, always test the results. About halfway through the session, I had Barbara say this statement out loud and asked how true it sounded: “My mother has never loved me the way I needed and wanted her to.”

Here is where I believe the turning point, and core issue, came into play in the session. I say this because Barbara started sobbing. Obviously, she was at a 10. I immediately started tapping on all her hand points to pull her out of it. This took only about 30 seconds to do.

I retested the statement at the end of the session and she was fine. During the entire session, we never once worked on the fibromyalgia or its pain.

About a week later, Barbara called me and asked how long it takes for EFT to start working. My first thought was, “Oh no, it didn’t work at all.” So I asked what she meant by “start working.” She explained that the next morning after our session, all of her fibromyalgia pain was gone, or maybe at a rating of 1, and has not returned. She was sleeping better, was able to work more, her nose was less runny, and her IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) was mostly gone.

What Barbara wanted to know was if this rapid cessation of physical symptoms was “normal.” EFT had done it again! I told her everything was normal and to remember to tap at the first sign of any pain, which might return as the days went by, and not wait until the pain became intense.

Even if you don’t have as dramatic a response to EFT as Barbara did, keep tapping. It is also “normal” for it to take a while to clear all the emotional trees in your forest.

Using EFT to Heal the Mother Wound


Think back to your childhood and recall any negative incidents involving your mother (or other female relative or any woman). Choose one that has a moderate level of emotional intensity for you, no more than a 7. It’s best to work on moderately triggering incidents first, before tacking the biggest ones.

What was your memory? Write it down on a piece of paper.

Before you start tapping, take a moment to assess your feelings as you remember this event. Use the 0 to 10 (0 = no discomfort and 10 = extreme discomfort) SUD scale. How strong is your emotional reaction to the memory right now? Give it a number, and write down that number.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 or 10

Also, identify a place in your body where you feel that emotion most strongly. It might be your forehead, your shoulders, or your heart. Write down the location in your body of this strong emotion.

So far, so good! Here’s your Setup Statement:


“Even though (name the problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Say this three times while tapping on the Karate Chop point on the side of your hand.


Now look at the illustration showing EFT’s 12 acupoints, and tap lightly 7 to 10 times with two fingertips on each point. While tapping, focus on the problem.


A Second Helping of EFT


Now let’s do EFT again, but with a slightly different Setup Statement. Most people experience a reduction in the intensity of the problem, so we’ll modify the Setup Statement accordingly.

“Even though I still have some strong feelings about (the problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Say this three times while tapping on the side of your hand.


Now tap lightly 7 to 10 times with two fingertips on each point. While tapping, stay focused on your problem.


A Final Round of EFT


You might still have some remaining SUD intensity, so for good measure, let’s try EFT again.

“Even though I still have some remaining feelings about (name the problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Say this three times while tapping on the side of your hand.


Now tap lightly 7 to 10 times with two fingertips on each point. While tapping, stay focused on your problem.


Measuring Your Results


Think about the problem again. Using the same scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no emotional intensity, and 10 being the highest possible, write down the number below that represents your number:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 or 10

Congratulations! Your level of emotional intensity just went down by ___percent. (Divide your second number by your first number, then multiply your answer x 100.)

Healing Mother Issues as They Arise


Now you have the tool to address traumas related to your mother wound (or to any other female) as they come up in your life. Tap away each upset having to do with your mother, another female relative, or any other woman, using the instructions above.

As usual, before you go to sleep each night, think about any upsetting incidents that occurred during the day, and tap them away. When you wake up, tap through the points three or four times before you even start your day. This will help balance your energy, and give you more resilience to face the day ahead.


  • Mom Hit Sister
  • Core Belief: No-one will love me unless I improve.


BONUS Tap Along Audio 7

Jeanne is an interfaith chaplain who works with dying people in hospice. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2008 but lost her energy much earlier, after a traumatic birth experience in 1983. The symptoms have been getting worse for the past few months, and she can barely keep her eyes open in the afternoon. In this session she works on releasing her old stuck angry emotions.

Core Belief: I have worth only through serving others.

Childhood Event: Classroom at church. Mom saying you have to be good, and be obedient.

Adult Emotions: Shaking loose her stuck old emotions and letting them flow. Letting herself get furiously angry. At mom, the church, herself, bullies at work.

Breakthrough: I am smart, wise, strong, compassionate and powerful.

Bonus Tap Along Audio 7

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Healing the Mother Wound

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This Week’s Assignments



  • Do EFT whenever an upset related to your mother, another female relative, or any other woman arises, using the instructions above.
  • Do EFT for 10 minutes when you wake up, and before you go to sleep.

Further Resources

Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change
by Stephanie Marohn

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