Common steps and sub-activities

EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique]

I am deeply indebted to Tamzin Freeman for the following extremely helpful and comprehensive description of EFT.  Tamzin  is an acupuncturist, kinesiologist and EFT practitioner, registered with the British Acupuncture Council. She practices in West London. Contact Tamzin Freeman: 020 7370 4693 tamzin@tamzinfreeman.co.uk 

What is EFT?

EFT is described by its inventor, Gary Craig, as a "psychological form of acupuncture" – one mentally focuses on the physical symptom, or emotional upset, whilst tapping on acupuncture points. It works on both physical and emotional problems.

Some simply call it tapping, because acupuncture points on the head, chest and fingers are “tapped”, whilst tuning into an unpleasant memory; this causes physical symptom, or the emotional upset (eg. fear, anxiety anger, sadness etc) to subside - it is very tangible. 

How does it work?

EFT is deceptively simple in its application.  The process disguises the many different concepts and modalities it incorporates.  It includes Roger Callahan PhD, clinical psychologist’s TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and Francine Shapiro’s EMDR (Eye movement de-sensitisation and reprocessing).  It has elements of NLP - using the best of Bandler, Grinder and Ericksonian work; whilst having the compassion and depth of A Course in Miracles.

What do I use it for in my practice?

To achieve results with both physical and emotional symptoms. Gary Craig the founder, says “try it on everything, physical or emotional!”

Through my EFT practice, I consistently see the inter-connectedness of physical symptoms and our emotions. For example, tummy pain might be the issue, but we EFT on the anxiety around the new job, and the tummy pain clears. EFT is highly effective for pain.

If we could irradiate all the memory of all the events we wish had never happened in our life, we'd be healthier and be less limited in what we believe is possible for us - and hence in what we can achieve in our lives.

EFT is a tool to eliminate the negative emotions of bad experiences - hence its name Emotional Freedom Technique.

It is also effective for fears: of public speaking, of flying, social phobia and other phobias.

It is widely used for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has been much tested during its evolution to erase the terrible memories of war veterans.  Equally it can be used for any horrible traumas: motor accidents, abuse, bullying or feeling violated in any way.

Our anxieties from our past tend to play out in our futures - over-eating, smoking, drinking, even over-working can be driven behaviours trying to calm the inner anxiety, generally buried in our past.  EFT offers a choice to clear the anxieties, and hence release our driven behaviour.

Our beliefs of what is possible for us enable or limit our goals.  EFT can go back to the experiences that created those beliefs, and neutralise their influence, so we are able to achieve the goals that have eluded us.  It can be used in sports performance, financial goals, and any personal achievement goals.

What happens in an EFT session?

The focus will be the physical or emotional problem you want resolution from eg. this headache, or anger over my job, etc.

You will be asked questions about the event or the pain. You may then be asked what was going on at the time it started, or when you first experienced this kind of pain, or this kind of anger.

For EFT to be the most effective, it is key to tap on specific events. It is likely you will be asked for a list of “bothersome” specific events, probably from earlier in your life, say 5-25 years.

One specific event will be tapped on in each tapping round. You will be seated, and you will say out loud, “even though I have this … eg. pain, I deeply and completely accept myself,” whilst tapping on specific points of the head and hands. You will experience the pain or the emotional intensity melt away between the tapping rounds.

One issue can take 1-3 sessions to clear. You will notice a difference from one session, which might last 1-2 hours.  One big advantage of the method is that once taught the patient can self-administer.

Results and references

Use in your daily life on specific symptoms eg. pain, and personal goals eg. weight loss, financial goals – all highly measurable – and witness the results first hand!  However, if scientific research is important to you, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology summarise papers which give evidenced research of positive results of EFT. 

This includes:

  • Church, D., De Asis, M., & Brooks, A. J. (2012). Brief group intervention using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for depression in college students:  A  randomized controlled trial.  Depression Research & Treatment, 2012.
  • Church, D., Hawk, C, Brooks, A., Toukolehto, O., Wren, M., Dinter, I., Stein, P. (2012).  Psychological trauma symptom improvement in veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A randomized controlled trial.  Accepted for publication by the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
  • Church, D., Piña, O., Reategui, C., & Brooks, A. (2011). Single session reduction of the intensity of traumatic memories in abused adolescents after EFT: A  randomized controlled pilot study.  Traumatology. doi:10.1177/1534765611426788
  • Hartung, J. & Stein, P.  (2012).  Telephone delivery of EFT (emotional freedom techniques) remediates PTSD symptoms in veterans.  Energy Psychology Journal, 4(1), 33-40.
  • Llewellyn-Edwards, T., & Llewellyn-Edwards, M. (2012, Spring). The effect of EFT (emotional freedom techniques) on soccer performance.  Fidelity: Journal for the National Council of Psychotherapy, 47, 14–19.
  • Stapleton, P., Sheldon, T., & Porter, B. (2012).  Clinical benefits of emotional freedom techniques on food cravings at 12-months follow-up: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology Journal, 4(1), 13-24.
  • Church, D., Yount, G. & Brooks, A. (2011).   The Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial.   Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, in press.
  • Hodge, P.  (2011).  A Pilot Study of the Effects of Emotional Freedom Techniques in Psoriasis. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research & Treatment, 3(2).
  • Jones, S., Thornton, J., & Andrews, H.  (2011).   Efficacy of EFT in Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, Treatment, 3(1).
  • Palmer-Hoffman, J., & Brooks, A.  (2011).  Psychological Symptom Change after Group Application of Emotional Freedom Techniques.  Energy Psychology: Theory, Research,& Treatment, 3(1), 57-72.
  • Salas, M., Brooks, A., & Rowe, J.  (2011).  The Immediate Effect of a Brief Energy Psychology Intervention (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on Specific Phobias: A Pilot Study.  Explore, 7, 155-161.
  • Stein, P., & Brooks, A.  Efficacy of EFT Provided by Coaches vs. Licensed Therapists in Veterans with PTSD.  (2011).  Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3(1).
  • Temple, G., & Mollon, P.  (2011).  Reducing Anxiety in Dental Patients using EFT: A Pilot Study. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research & Treatment, 3(2).
  • Baker, A. H.  (2010).  Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Reduces Intense Fears: A Partial Replication and Extension of Wells et al. (2003).  Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, (2010), (2)2.
  • Burk, L. (2010).  Single Session EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for Stress-Related Symptoms After Motor Vehicle Accidents.  Energy Psychology: Theory, Research & Treatment, 2(2), 65-72.
  • Church, D.  (2010b).  The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans Using EFT: A Pilot Protocol.  Traumatology, 15(1), 45-55.

More information

The official EFT website of the founder, with tutorials, background information, and “gold standard” training run by his daughter, Tina Craig. This is the best source of pure EFT – there are many mutations of the original version – some less effective than others. This is the best source to start with. 

 

Observations

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