Image of ripples on water.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a safe complementary therapy. Although (as with any therapy or medication) there are no absolute guarantees of success, EFT has helped many people to free themselves from emotional distress including deeply-entrenched phobias such as insects, heights, claustrophobia etc., trauma (energy therapies have been used to help post-disaster victims in Kosovo, Rwanda, the Congo, South Africa and New Orleans, as well as soldiers returning from Viet Nam, Iraq and other war zones). Many people have used EFT to address physical pain. Others have experienced improvements in a wide range of sporting activities including golf, athletics, tennis and football.

At Actuality Counselling, I offer EFT as a therapy in its own right and also as a technique which complements counselling and coaching.

The theory behind EFT is that negative emotions are caused by a disruption to the body's energy system and that, in order to remove the negative responses, this disruption must be addressed.

The basic EFT technique involves focusing on a disturbing memory or emotion while simultaneously tapping on a series of 13 specific points on the (these points are a subset of the meridian points used in acupuncture).

The meridian points are linked to a series of threadlike channels inside blood and lymphatic vessels. These channels have been compared to fiber-optic channels and it has been suggested that they may carry an extremely high density of information far beyond the limited, one-way signals of the nervous system or the diffusive information carried by hormones in the blood stream.

Image of girl tapping on eyebrow meridian point. Image of girl tapping on cheek meridian point. Image of girl tapping on underarm meridian point.

The amygdala is the part of the brain where we store our emotions; it is also acts as our "fear centre" and is responsible for the "fight or flight" response which is activated when we perceive danger (whether real or imagined). When our experiences are emotionally-charged (i.e. traumatic), they may not be fully processed and, as a result, when similar events occur, other memories are triggered as though they are happening in the present.

When we practise EFT and focus on an uncomfortable emotion or memory, the amygdala is re-activated. However, by tapping on the meridian points, we calm the amygdala and facilitate an "unlearning" of the emotions associated with the trauma, enabling us to return to normal functioning. The simultaneous pairing of the physical activity (tapping) and mental activation appears to therapeutically alter the learned response and reduce hyperarousal. This strategy has been shown to extinguish a range of maladaptive conditioned responses such as phobias.

Scientific investigation of EFT and other energy therapies continues to gather momentum, and the technique has been trialled in the NHS.

You can hear more about the science behind EFT in this interview with David Feinstein and in the videos on the right.

Image of hands doing EFT tapping.

At EFT Universe you can find useful information about EFT and read how therapists, doctors, nurses and other mental health professionals use it to treat many conditions. You can also can hear the experiences of people who have used EFT in "Try it on Everything", a trailer for which can be seen on the right.

ARTICLE: Energy Psychology: Snake Oil or Designer Tool for Neural Change?

One man's introduction to, and exploration of, energy therapies (including EFT).

Psychotherapy Networker

Read the full article.

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e-mail:actualitycounselling@gmail.com

"EFT has helped many people to free themselves from deeply-entrenched phobias, emotional distress and physical pain."

The following video provides a brief introduction to EFT.

In this excerpt from one of Nick Ortner's EFT workshops in California, he introduces EFT.

ARTICLE: Breakthroughs in Energy Psychology: A New Way to Heal the Body and Mind

How new findings in the field of energy psychology, specifically about EFT, are taking our search for holistic solutions to an exciting new level.

The Huffington Post

Read the full article.

In the following video, Robert Schwarz explains the background to EFT and how it has been used successfully to help people address trauma issues.

In the following excerpts from the documentary "Try It On Everything", you can see what happened when a group of people met for an intensive weekend EFT workshop.

This excerpt from one of Nick Ortner's EFT workshops, illustrates how we can acknowledge our feelings in the present moment and incorporate them in subsequent rounds of tapping, gradually reducing the distress caused by previous experiences.