Emotional Freedom Techniques
EFT is an incredibly effective tool that can be described as emotional acupuncture. It works on the basis that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system, and that rebalancing this results in the individual being ‘free’ from the troubling emotion.
We use our fingers instead of needles to rebalance the energy by tapping on certain points around the body, whilst bringing to mind the troubling memory or emotion. In this way the disruption is cleared and the issue no longer has the emotional ‘pull’ it once used to, leaving the person emotionally free.
It is a wonderful and powerful tool that can be used to clear a myriad of issues including phobias, general anxiety and traumatic memories, to name just a few. It has to be tried to be believed, and it is always a pleasure to introduce this technique to adults and children.
Therapeutically EFT is invaluable in ‘clearing the ground’ and often has very fast and long standing effects, no matter how long the issue being worked on has been around. During the session the child is taught how to do EFT in a fun way so that they’ll always have this skill at their disposal, whenever it’s needed in the future.
It is also very useful in helping ease pain and other symptoms experienced by children who are ill. And because children can use EFT on themselves, it puts a level of control back in their hands that wouldn’t be there otherwise.
Teaching EFT to a child can truly change their lives, and allow them a way of handling challenging situations and getting over obstacles without having to carry emotional baggage any further than absolutely necessary. Gaining this skill early on is truly a gift for any child.
Where does EFT come from?
It originated in the USA by a psychologist called Roger Callaghan who initially noticed that tapping on a client helped with their emotional state. From there he developed a sequential tapping procedure that he called TAT (Thought Field Therapy) with different sequences for different problems.
EFT is a simplified version developed later by Gary Craig, also in the United States. He realised that by tapping on all the points instead of specifically prescribed ones, complicated diagnoses and specific sequences were unnecessary.
What are meridian lines/points?
The idea of energy flowing through the body has its origin in Chinese medicine. Meridians are channels in the body along which energy flows and the points that we tap on in EFT are the points where those lines come up closest to the surface of the skin. Therapies like EFT and acupuncture aim at clearing any disruptions or blockages along these lines. The aim is a help restore the natural, smooth flow of energy along all channels.
Why do you tap all the points if only some meridian lines are involved?
The older TFT system included particular tapping points and complicated diagnoses for each presenting problem. Gary Craig revolutionised the system by realising you could simply tap on all of the points, whatever the problem presented, in order to achieve the results. The ‘general overhaul’ approach of tapping on all of the points (there are only about ten in total), instead of a just a few, was therefore adopted
Is EFT related to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)?
No, but the types of issues that can be addressed and the effects are similar. EMDR uses eye movements to desensitise troubling emotions, whereas EFT relies on tapping points around the body to achieve the same goal.
Is it used much on children?
Yes, increasingly so. It can be used to deal with problems originating in in the past, but clearing issues on the spot (as they occur) means not carrying them over into adulthood. Ultimately this results in happier and healthier children and adults.
Is it safe?
Yes, absolutely. The tapping is very gentle, in easily accessible points on the body and a check is always made in advance that none of the areas are sore or problematic before beginning.
Do you have to ‘believe’ in it for it to be effective?
Absolutely not! In fact it can be fun if there is some scepticism, positive surprise is a wonderful thing! EFT can be done quite mechanically and still be very effective. The important part, however, is to genuinely tune into the emotion/aspect being dealt with, as the state has to be accessed in order to be cleared. If this is particularly traumatic however, there are ways ‘sneaking up on the problem’ and tapping around the edges of it to decrease any anxiety, before addressing it more fully.
Do the effects last?
Once something has been cleared with EFT, normally it’s gone for good. Different ‘aspects’ of a problem may still emerge however, and these will need to tapped on and cleared as they come up. But if done consistently, the whole issue can be collapsed bit by bit until nothing remains to maintain it. And those effects are lasting.
Of course new things in life will come up that ‘disrupt’ us, but tapping away past experiences and then on any new ones as they crop up, mean that an individual’s calm and peace of mind are much harder to disrupt than before. And that is the nature of emotional freedom, a great state to be in!
Can I learn EFT with my child?
Yes absolutely! We encourage parents to learn the system also, not least because it can help alleviate some of their own frustrations and anxieties surrounding the problem presented to the therapist. This in turn can benefit the whole family, as the child works on their issue.