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TAT Trainer Velma Alford shares her transformative experience of using TAT with her 11-year-old daughter to heal a traumatic event. A transcript of this story is below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Hi. This is Velma Alford. I live in St. Francisville, LA. I am a certified Professional and also a certified TAT Trainer. The story I’m about to share with you is very tender still in my heart.

On August 6 this year, 2008, my 11-year-old daughter and I and my 1-year-old grandson took a trip on what we call Girls Day Out. We were school shopping in a sporting goods store in our capitol city.

My daughter was pushing my grandson in his stroller.

We checked out and while walking to the end of the checkout lane, my daughter with the stroller walked ahead of me.

For a split second, I was distracted by bags in hand, and getting keys out, etc.

My daughter had stopped just ahead of me. There was a lady who was standing in front of the stroller, looking my daughter in her face, pointing her finger at her, fussing at her in an angry tone and presence.

For a split second, I was totally confused…I looked at the lady wondering what she was doing. I thought that maybe she was someone my daughter knew who was playing with her. That didn’t at all match the resonance of where this lady was coming from. I looked at my daughter and her face was one of shock and fright.

The light bulb went on and I realized, Oh my gosh, this woman is fussing like this at my daughter. What in the world is this about? I stepped between my daughter and that woman’s finger, leaning over the stroller.

I said to her, “Ma’am, don’t talk to my daughter like that. What happened?” The lady, still not acknowledge me at all, did not even look at me once. She was totally present with only my daughter, and repeated…”didn’t you see me? Who do you think you are running into me like that? Don’t you know I spent the last 17 days in the hospital with my back? Didn’t you see me? She repeated her questions and insinuations over and over and over.

As she talked, I continued to say to her, “ma’am, it was an accident, she did not intend to bump into you.” And my daughter said to her again, “I’m sorry. It was an accident.”

At this point, the woman was not backing off and I said to my daughter, “…, you did nothing wrong love. Accidents happen. You apologized. Its over. Let’s go.”

The woman began to walk away and kept talking. She added, “She don’t know….. you could be taking care of me for the rest of my life.”

As we walked out toward the exit, another woman and female teen were standing there saying “that was wrong.” The woman said, “if she would have talked to my daughter like that, I would have hit her with my fist.”

I motioned to my daughter to keep walking.

Then I doubted how I handled the situation. And honestly, I was experiencing an inner struggle of handling this with warlike force vs a more Lightful way. I wondered what everyone else thought of me and how I handled that situation. I was judging myself. I saw where the first lady had walked to and told my daughter to stay put, and I began to walk towards her. Then I hesitated and walked back to my daughter. We walked a few more steps. I told her again, stay here, and I walked again toward the first lady. Then I stopped and walked back to my daughter and said, “let’s go home.”

There are so many pieces of this experience/trauma that I want to share with you from a TAT perspective.

This is how a childhood trauma begins and if not healed, turns into possibly a life of blame and shame and judgment and hatred for oneself or others.

In the first split second when I was initially confused about what was happening and how to handle it, I, hesitated, I was frozen in time. This not knowing possibly originated from my mother not doing anything about the abuse that was happening to me as a child. Standing up for your child…protecting your child from harm …. I had not been taught how to do that thus creating the hesitation and uncertainty. Thank God, the knowing came in that instant and the courage to do that propelled me forward into action on behalf of my daughter. And I promise you, I could hear the words, “be totally present now”. My intention of being part of a healing process in this world as opposed to being part of the shadow chaos, spoke to me loudly. I could have gone off on that woman, but I was able to be present with who I intend to be.

There were people all over that area of the store. Cashiers, managers, customers. No one did anything. No one came to help. No one did anything. Everyone stayed out of it. Everyone only observed. Time stood still. As Tapas teaches us, when a trauma happens, our body says “No” or “Stop” to this. We may remember colors, smells, sounds, who was around, etc. I felt that. It was like only the 4 of us existed and the rest of the world was “out there”. In that instant, I understood how beliefs are born such as…no one cares about me, I don’t matter, people seem to abuse me and no one does anything to stop it, I cant do anything to stop it, and “those people”.

When we walked to my car, my daughter leaned over putting the baby in the car seat and said, “momma, I don’t want to be mean or anything, but that’s why I don’t like black people.” My heart ached, my gut twisted. I knew, knew, knew that this was a divine experience for she and I and that lady too. One that included self-respect, self-esteem, entitlement, lack of respect, abusing children, adults who don’t know how to properly handle situations, adults standing by while abuse is going on, prejudice, hatred, blame, shame, embarrassment and judgement. I knew that this was a life changing TAT moment.

I took a deep breath and started the car. As we drove, I explained to my daughter that we were going to do TAT for what we all just went through. That the healing would benefit her, me, and the lady too. I would hold the pose and ask her questions, all she had to do was tell me what she felt or thought. I know TAT will work without that, but my guidance on behalf of my daughter was to see/hear/feel what she was creating in her head, what could her story be years from now if we did not heal this now?

Step 1 was everything that happened in the store just now with that lady…and I allowed her to tell me how she felt….scared, shocked, angry, confused, embarrassed. In the tone she spoke, I repeated it while in the pose.

Step 2 everything was over, we were out of the store, she is okay….she didn’t agree with that statement and kept talking about being so angry at that lady. She didn’t understand why “that lady was so mean to her”. I repeated word for word what she was saying in the pose. When I felt a shift, I would ask her another question. My questions were in line with the steps, i.e. “origins”, I asked out loud, I wonder why that happened? I wonder what made that lady do that? And then she would answer that question. She moved thru shock and disbelief, and embarrassment. The “parts”, we discussed what in the world the lady got out of all of that, and what she got out of it, what all of her thoughts were about it all, she even expressed anger at God for letting someone do something like that to a child, she cried.

My intent thru each step was to keep her talking thru the steps. From my perspective, it felt like we were inside of the energy of TAT. Its hard to explain.

We got to the Forgiveness steps, and she was not ready for that. She “wanted that lady to go to jail for scaring a child like that; she wanted to sue her and tell the judge that she was mean”. She let out all of her ideas about how this could be handled from her perspective. I was honored to see how child like beliefs are formed and I was doubly honored to have been present and active in the healing of this with her.

My inner child identified with everything she was going thru, everything she was expressing. So I know that this part of me was healed also. Giving that hurt child a voice! How powerful and empowering.

We talked more. She had a conversation with the lady too. I could feel her shifting as she talked. This process lasted all the way home which is about 50 minutes or so. When we pulled up to our home, she said, “okay, momma, I’m ready now. I forgive her.”

I was thrilled for her, for the lady, for me, for everyone! I was very proud of her for being present, honest and non judgemental for where she was in this, for feeling her feelings honestly, for expressing her thoughts honestly. For being truthful about what she thought and felt so that the seeds of hatred and bitterness that could have been planted were not nurtured. But her self esteem, empowerment, compassion, and her safety were nurtured. I knew that thru this experience, a pattern would not be repeated. I had taught my daughter how to take up for herself, for a child, and to do it with dignity, certainty and respect for everyone.

Had the situation warranted more drastic attention, she would have been taught that too. However, in this case, she learned a lot and so did I.

Again, thank you Tapas for this technique. Thank you for taking that nap that day. I feel like so much, so many generations of abuse of all kinds, hatred to so many has been healed thru this experience and with the healing power of TAT.

P.S. I find it ironic that this all happened at a store named “Academy”.

Velma Alford, TAT Professional and Trainer (click here for Velma's contact and practice information)

On a beautiful summer day, over 50 people were together at the Boston Practicing Presence workshop, where we felt and witnessed the birth of a dream-come-true for many.

We divided into small groups to do TAT on what keeps up from being present with our family, and one group ended up doing TAT on prejudices they had experienced, both from the perspective of being the hater and the hated. They later shared what happened with the large group.

Hearing their beautiful stories of healing resonated so deeply with the rest of us that we decided to do TAT as a large group on that subject. We did TAT on behalf of our ancestors and their being attacked by and attacking other groups, being fearful of another group, trying to hide from another group, and having to run away from or leave a country because of another group. We put it all in the “TAT Pot” and for the first two steps we said “everything that contributed to our resonating, identifying, and connecting with this happened” and then “it happened, it’s over, and we no longer resonate, identify, or connect with this.” We did the full nine steps, and prejudice fell away.

An occasional breeze blew through the room as generations of deeply embedded fears, hatreds, and negativity lightly and gracefully dispersed. It was so simple with TAT. People talked about “being raised to hate various groups of people” and that that’s how it was in their family. Others gave voice to feeling fearful and isolated from everyone who wasn’t “one of their people”. One person shared, “I don’t know how I forgave them (a group who had harmed her ancestors), but I did.”

The profound, resonant compassion in the room and our deepened connections with each other echoed in our hearts and included our ancestors and families. My appreciation to everyone who attended for their honesty and courage in sharing such personal healing.

We recorded the healing session and it’s available for you on our home page to listen to and follow along with if you’d like. Just click here***, and you’ll join us in this highly transformative process.



To learn more about how to resolve issues such as these with TAT, we recommend you take a workshop with Tapas or a certified TAT Trainer***, or purchase the TAT Workshop 2000 (available in a variety of formats).



To share your TAT story, click here.***