Emotional Freedom Therapy
Emotional Freedom Technique
If you can tap on a surface with your fingers, you can do the emotional freedom technique (EFT), or emotional freedom therapy. EFT is a way to reduce psychological and physical pain, and it allows the body to self-heal. The basis of emotional freedom therapy is that our emotional problems result from disruptions in our body’s energy system. By clearing the energy disturbance, emotional (and possibly physical) upset is released.
The energy disturbances are dissipated when points along our energy meridians are tapped with a practitioner’s, or our own, fingers. (Meridians are the energy pathways through the human body that have long been a part of traditional Eastern medicine.) The amount of tapping necessary depends on the intensity of the energy disruption. Some problems resolve in a few moments or minutes; others may need more than one “tapping” session.
Emotional freedom therapy does not eliminate emotion, only an overabundance of it. For example, it can reduce a person’s fear of snakes without taking away a person’s natural and normal caution about them. It can decrease someone’s fear of flying, but he or she may still feel a normal amount of nervousness that often accompanies traveling.
What Emotional Freedom Therapy is Useful For
- emotional traumas, including PTSD
- emotions related to addiction treatment (i.e., smoking, drinking)
- emotional issues related to weight loss
- disturbing feelings such as anger, or depressed mood
- increasing self-esteem and energy (letting go of negative beliefs)
- performance fears, and phobias
- physical health problems such as asthma or headaches
The success rate for emotional freedom therapy is high. About 80% of people have a reduction in distress using this method. The results are generally long lasting, and flare-ups can be addressed with more EFT. Therapy is short-term because this technique works quickly (2 to 8 weeks, average) unless the problems are severe. Some practitioners have EFT as part of their therapy tool box, while others specialize in it.
The emotional freedom therapy treatment method was created in the 1990s by Gary Craig. He has a degree from Stanford in engineering and is not a trained psychologist or psychotherapist. Craig does, however, have a passion for personal healing. There are many websites, videos, and books available that teach people how to use tapping during daily life.
To treat intense issues, people should seek out an EFT professional. There is one basic tapping routine that practitioners use to treat physical, and emotional problems. However, there are many variations on this routine that skilled treatment providers utilize. EFT also requires mental focus and therapists help keep their client’s mind on task.
The Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology provides certification for EFT practitioners. There is training for licensed mental health professionals, and certified or uncertified alternative and “helper” health professionals. Licensed psychotherapists are not required to be certified in emotional freedom therapy to use it, but if they claim to be an EFT expert you might ask to see a certificate, or ask about their treatment experience.