What is EFT?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a safe, non-invasive, gentle way to release emotional charge from trauma, resolve imbalances, and reconnect with our inner capacities and wisdom. Developed in the early 1990s, it has been used successfully by hundreds of thousands around the world to resolve a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional issues, including trauma and abuse. The technique involves actively rebalancing the body’s energetic flow while focusing on a problem or discomfort. This act of gently bringing together an inner disturbance with a body-level experience of comfort and connection facilitates a healing from the separation between the sense of self and the body experience. As this separation diminishes, body and mind resynchronize, and wholeness is restored.
EFT is considered a form of energy psychology (or energy medicine). These approaches use the body’s bioelectric system, the same system used by medical technologies such as EKGs and pacemakers, to stimulate healing. In EFT, this body system is stimulated primarily by tapping on the energy meridians used for centuries in acupuncture and acupressure — hence the oft-heard description of EFT as “emotional acupressure.”
Below are a list of techniques developed by Gary Craig (EFT founder) commonly referred to in EFT videos, literature and trainings. All of these can be helpful to apply toward trauma recovery work and are taught during our Introductory Training, “The Map: EFT for Trauma & Abuse.” Skilled application of these techniques is also deepened during our follow up training to The Map, “EFT for Trauma & Abuse Practicum Training.”
Timing, technique and understanding of trauma are also essential components to successfully resolving traumatic events. In particular, our trainings emphasize connection as a primary agent for trauma recovery, and EFT as one of our primary tools to offer relief of experiences and symptoms. The relief of PTSD symptoms allows the nervous system to return to a relaxed state, allowing presence, thus connection to occur. This is how we begin to reduce one of the primary components that keeps trauma alive, isolation.
* Touch and Breathe (TAB) involves gently touching each EFT point in turn and holding it long enough to take a full breath. TAB can be used as alternative to tapping, before sleep, or simply to calm body and mind.
* Borrowing Benefits is an easy way to learn EFT while simultaneously working on a personal issue. Begin by identifying what one wants to work on, writing it down if possible. This can be shared or kept private. When someone else is tapping, even if it is not for the same issue, repeat the same phrases they are saying. Gary Craig’s training DVDs can be helpful opportunities for borrowed benefits when tapping alone.
* The Tearless Trauma Technique is a tool for lowering the intensity of an incident or issue without delving into any of its details. Working this way, distress often can be minimized or even eliminated entirely. This tool is used when first approaching high-intensity issues, especially right before working through the details with the Movie Technique.
* The Movie Technique is used to work through a specific incident, first by reducing the intensity of the incident as a whole and then by stepping through the incident frame by frame, stopping to tap down the intensity of any emotionally charged frame.
* The Personal Peace Procedure offers a systematic approach for identifying and clearing unresolved issues. This procedure begins with a list of issues that have personal charge. EFT can be used to “tap down” any of these issues, one at a time. Some recommend tapping on three issues per day until the list is complete, or new issues arise. this is Gary Craig’s suggested pathway toward personal peace.
Where can I find more information about EFT?
A varied and growing collection of resources are available for learning EFT. Many of these materials were created to be used by everyone: no previous training or experience in psychology is required to learn EFT or to use it for basic events. Except for the training DVDs (which are described below), all resources discussed here are free.
We do recommend, however, that when using EFT for trauma, to first gain an understanding of trauma and the recovery process before working with others, and to begin the recovery process with qualified and/or trained support if using EFT as a client. Support is an integral component to trauma recovery. At The EFT Training Center for Trauma and Abuse, we believe that isolation is a key aspect to trauma staying “stuck” in the nervous system, the emotional body, the cognitive processes, and the energy system. Therefore, we teach that connection with others in compassionate, understanding and loving ways, is a key agent in the healing process.
People often go to the internet or search engines to look for more information about EFT, and find themselves overwhelmed. Who has the best information? Why are there so many “one minute wonders” (stories of those who receive instant “healing”/success from one EFT session). One might ask, is this EFT for real? These are valid and understandable questions, some of which we seek to address in our trainings. For example, we do not promote “one minute wonders” in our trainings for trauma and abuse recovery, even though every once in a while they may happen for a traumatic event.
The website that has the most archives, and the most information directly from Gary Craig’s work (the founder of EFT), is the EFT World Center website (www.emofree.com).
Here are some of the many resources offered:
* Short, introductory videos are available for viewing on the home page and many other pages.
* EFT Get Started Package offers these materials (www.emofree.com/downloadeftmanual.asp):
* EFT Free Manual introduces EFT and teaches the core technique, the Basic Recipe.
* EFT Newsletter is emailed 2-3 times per week. It includes news of EFT opportunities and events as well as links to stories written by both EFT users and practitioners.
* Free Support Messages contain information especially helpful for beginners.
* FAQ offers simple explanations to questions many people have when learning EFT (look under Resources menu item).
* Tutorial page is the best place to find instructions for the standard EFT techniques recommended in the section “How can I do EFT on my own?” (www.emofree.com/tutorial.htm).
* Using EFT for Trauma and PTSD provides links to more than 100 articles and testimonials. (Look under Resources menu, EFT at Work, All Emotional Issues.)
* Research (under Resources menu item) presents the latest studies on EFT’s effectiveness.
* Transcripts of sample EFT sessions provide good samples of one way to use EFT (www.emofree.com/trans.htm).
* Forums can be a good place to connect with both fellow EFT users and practitioners. About a dozen forums are available, including one on Trauma/PTSD (www.emofree.com/forum_landing.htm).
* EFT Search Engine searches both instructional materials and the huge collection of personal stories submitted by EFT users and practitioners. This makes it a quick and easy way to learn more about a particular issue (such as PTSD) or a specific tool (such as Borrowing Benefits).
* DVDs can be purchased for a fee. (Look for link to Training DVDs on the home page.) Each DVD package includes 10 or more hours of instruction and demonstration. For beginners, we recommend …
* The EFT Course (sometimes called The EFT Basic Course) clearly and systematically teaches the Basic Recipe and demonstrates using EFT in different situations and for a wide range of issues. It’s the best tool we know of for learning EFT on your own.
* Borrowing Benefits consists of interesting and often entertaining EFT sessions to learn from and tap along with.
* From EFT to the Palace of Possibilities contains several well-produced DVDs of an enjoyable workshop with Gary Craig. In addition to introducing EFT and techniques like Tearless Trauma, Gary covers using EFT for personal fulfillment and success.
* Specialty Series 1 & 2 contains presentations by different practitioners on a range of topics, including “Using EFT for Trauma and PTSD” and “Sexual Trauma.” Click on “View Details” to see the topics and presenters for each series.
EFT’s founder, Gary Craig, has encouraged us all to experiment with different approaches to using EFT, including combining it with other techniques. By searching for “EFT” on www.google.com (or your favorite search engine), you can find many links to other sources of information about EFT, some offering different tapping routines or alternate explanations of how and why EFT works. Searching for “EFT PTSD” is a good way to find links relating specifically to using EFT for PTSD.
A growing source of free videos is www.youtube.com. Try searching for “EFT” or “EFT PTSD” and check out the videos that catch your interest.