Emotional Freedom Technique

1. What is EFT?

EFT is an energy psychology that stems from meridian therapies such as Chinese acupuncture. Instead of needles that are used in acupuncture, tapping with fingers on head, face and hand points with set of statements whilst engaging with the distressing memory are the primary process of EFT. EFT may seem like a simple ‘technique’ (as promoted in social media etc.) but quite often it requires experience, creativity and intuition of therapists in delivering it to trauma clients to bring out the best outcome. It requires similar case conceptualisation as in more evidence based therapies such as EMDR and CBT.

2. What do we use it for?

The meta-analysis conducted so far has demonstrated that EFT works in Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Anxiety disorders (mostly phobias and panic attacks). Although, not yet recommended by NICE, the American Psychological Society views it as an evidence supported therapy. Once again, it can be offered and applied to a variety of problems that create emotional issues. However, it best works if there are life events (current or in the past) that remains unresolved emotionally. Similar to EMDR, it works for both adult and childhood traumas that has shaken up one's sense of self  resulting in depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, obsessive behaviours etc. (and not necessarily a PTSD diagnosis). The current covid stressors are one of them. Sometimes, these emotional issues require more practical help and support but EFT works to resolve the emotional impact of these.

3. Can you give me some examples of what types of ‘trauma’ that could be worked upon with EMDR?

Examples of adverse life events include negative childhood experiences (neglect, abuse of emotional, physical or sexual nature), bullying at school or any other situation, bereavement, assaults (sexual, physical), stressful divorce, road traffic accidents, near death experiences, medical catastrophes etc. It isn’t the nature or severity that is most relevant. The way a past event or multiple events are held in present time by the person and the impact it has currently on the person is relevant. Some people are resilient even in the face of major life threatening event/s and for others even a minor event could cause significant after-effects.

4. Am I suitable for this therapy?

Your suitability can be checked once you meet up with the therapist. Motivation and willingness to get better or improve quality of life is a key factor for a good outcome.