The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) :
Releasing Emotions, Beliefs, Sensations and Physical Symptoms Rapidly
What is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or” tapping”) is one of the most well-known of the Energy Psychology approaches and sometimes called the “acupressure for emotions”. It is a rapid, self-administered effective technique based on the concept of sequentially tapping or massaging a series of acupressure points. EFT can be used to release feelings, beliefs, sensations, and physical symptoms.
EFT was inaugurated by Gary Craig (see his comprehensive website at emofree.com) based on information he had gleaned from Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig has made this technique copyright free, so you can use it for yourself and others!
According to Gary Craig, “EFT is a universal healing tool that can provide impressive results for physical, emotional, and performance issues. EFT operates on the premise that no matter what part of your life needs improvement, there are unresolved emotional issues in the way. Even for physical issues, chronic pain, or diagnosed conditions, it is common knowledge that any kind of emotional stress can impede the natural healing potential of the human body. “
How does EFT work?
Clients focus their attention on whatever thoughts, feelings, beliefs or sensations that accompany their emotional distress or physical symptoms, while they are using their fingertips to sequentially tap on a series of acupressure points.
Or alternatively, they focus on the positive thoughts, feelings, beliefs or sensations that they wish to reinforce while tapping these points.
EFT stimulates the meridians by tapping on them, balancing them and allowing the body’s energy to flow freely through the meridian system.
What can EFT be used for?
Stress and anxiety Depression, grief, mourning, loss
Anger, frustration, irritability
Phobias and other fears
Limited belief patterns; self-sabotaging patterns
Performance issues at work or in sports
Pain and other physical symptoms
Reinforcing positive emotions, feelings, beliefs and sensations
“Installing” positive behaviors
Solidifying peak performance
My Healing History with EFT
I was introduced to the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in the late 1990s in a weekend workshop with Gary Craig as part of my continuing education as a psychologist. I saw the technique demonstrated and observing it with my more scientific background, I had to admit I was really skeptical.
I had a long history of working with trauma and this technique looked “flaky” and it purported to work very rapidly and could be self-administered. I thought this was some sort of New Age snake oil.
I was so put off, I decided to forego the breakout practice groups, and went to the bathroom while people gathered for the practice session. While I was in the bathroom stall, a little inner voice tempted me to try it. I was in the privacy of the stall, so I thought,” Why not?”
I decided to go for the biggest and most unresolved issue that I had at the time- leftover trauma from having been rendered nearly dead due to a murder attempt. I was trying to protect my girlfriend from her boyfriend and he went after me instead.
I had worked diligently on these trauma memories with all sorts of other approaches. So I focused on what memories still had a charge, did the EFT tapping procedure and within a minutes, I felt better.
After 10 minutes in the bathroom stall, I found myself crying with relief and laughing with joy. There was a palpable feeling of whole body release. I left the bathroom, joined a practice group, told them about my experience and found that for the first time in years, I could talk about the incident without shame or pain.
After that, I was a believer! I took several workshops and began to teach this procedure to as many clients as I could, all over the world with great effects.
How do I know EFT works?
Treatment results have been shown to be enduring and relatively rapid. There are currently over 60 research studies. EFT is now considered by psychologists to have met the criterion for evidence based therapeutic approaches, which in simple terms means that enough positive research has been conducted to warrant its use by professionals.
Is it safe?
EFT has a long history of being safe to use, even for laypersons.However, if you are working with deeper levels of trauma, chronic emotional or health issues, it is recommended that you seek the support of someone trained in the technique. When used for everyday negative emotions, dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes, phobias, health concerns and mildly charged memories, it seems to have a great track record of being safe. It can also be used to install new adaptational positive feelings, beliefs and sensations. It can be self-administered many times during the day.
Who can benefit from these techniques?
Young children to the elderly can benefit.
EFT Overview: How to Prepare Video
EFT Protocol Handout
Important to EFT's Success: Addressing Psychological Reversal
One of the main gifts from Thought Field Therapy and EFT is the concept of how the energy field, when it is “off” or “not in flow” affects healing of all kinds and in particular, the effectiveness of EFT.
Our bodies are electromagnetic in nature and there is a directional flow to the energy in the meridians and the right sort of electrical charge that is needed for healing to happen. When there is what is called a psychological reversal in the energy field, it means that the electrical energy in the body is actually flowing in a reversed direction. The electrical potentials involved in this phenomenon can actually be measured by a volt meter.
The simplest visualization of a psychological reversal is to imagine when you put batteries in your appliances at home and you place the batteries in the wrong way. The appliance just won’t work. The same happens with the human energy field. Interventions of all kinds either don’t work or the results don’t endure when your electrical system and energy field are reversed.
Psychological reversal also refers to adverse healing effects when underlying self-sabotaging thoughts and beliefs are present. Sometimes, your conscious mind is at odds with your unconscious mind.
Take for example, the woman who desperately wishes to have a committed relationship, but at an unconscious level, resists the notion of giving up any of her independent life and/or may have issues related to how safe she actually feels if committed. So the conscious mind and the unconscious mind are working at cross purposes. This can affect the flow of energy in the bio-energy systems of the body, causing a psychological reversal and preventing EFT from working at all or providing enduring effects.
How do you know if you have a PR?
While many clinicians have various ways of assessing reversals and there are numerous articles written on the web about this, my own preference is to just assume that there might be a reversal, and to just tap the PR healing reversal points at the beginning and at the end of the tapping. It takes less than a minute to do so.
What causes PR?
It is normal and common to have PR’s. Some folks are chronically reversed and you can see this manifested in their lives. They generally report, “Nothing seems to work. I have tried everything. My whole life seems so difficult all the time.” Perhaps the reversal started as the bio-energy field’s reaction to some trauma and that PR led to even more life challenges which led to an even deeper level of PR.
Other people’s energy fields tend to reverse only around certain very charged specific issues. So trauma can certainly cause a PR, and then the PR seems to set the direction of that person’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors in the “wrong direction”, making healing even more difficult.
Other causes of PR include:
Chronic negative thoughts, feelings, sensations, behaviors
Environmental Toxins/ Allergies/High Level of Substance Sensitivity
Secondary Gains from Behaviors (conscious or unconscious investment in certain otherwise painful emotions, behaviors, thoughts or feelings)
How do you repair PR?
It only takes less than a minute to rectify the PR. There are 2 acupressure point locations, each of which can be used to clear these PR’s. They are the Sore Spot points or the Karate Chop points. Please refer to the video.
EFT Psychological Reversal Video
Can I learn to do EFT tapping on myself?
Yes, watch the video below for a demonstration.
EFT Demo Video
How do I know if I need a professionally trained EFT facilitator?
There are many free resources online, including articles, videos and case examples. For many issues, you can self-administer the technique. However, under certain conditions you may want to seek a professional who is seasoned in the used of EFT. Most common examples of when to pull in a professional would include:
You have tried EFT with no success
The issues that you want to address involve deep emotions or emotional trauma or very charged memories
You are uncertain how to creatively address the various aspects of what you wish to address and need trained professional to help you get to the bottom of the issue and to address all of the issue’s various feelings, beliefs, memories or behaviors (called in the EFT lingo, various “aspects.”)
You have a friend or family member who needs help and you feel you are not objective or qualified to work with them
How much does it cost to learn? It’s free!
I have included the Protocol in this Handout and there is a video which includes my version of EFT. However, you can learn the original version of EFT with Gary Craig at www.emofree.com. Start at the Home Page, and click on Gold Standard EFT. Read the material and then watch the video for a demonstration. The demo website is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wG2FA4vfLQ
The official Gary Craig website is: www.emofree.com
Other useful website:
Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology http://www.energypsych.org/