How does tapping EFT & TFT work?

Emotional Freedom Technique In my practice I have found EFT to be a powerful tool that interrupts and distracts the client from becoming overwhelmed whilst they explore emotional problems, and then, subsequently, it facilitates the appropriate mental state for the desensitisation of the presenting symptom and the lessening of the fear response from the amygdala part of the brain.

Subjects are able to remain emotionally calm whilst revisiting old painful memories, this empowers them to see problems from new perspectives and then vent old (out of date) repressed feelings – when used in this context I find it a valuable tool for use in therapy, but not necessarily a therapy in it’s own right.

What is EFT?

No one really knows how it works, much like it is hard to explain how acupuncture works, yet it seems to work well for some people. I feel uncomfortable talking about energy meridians because as an engineer I need more proof and more tangible evidence, however, our unconscious nervous system does send electrical systems around our body and we can measure the fact that our bodies does emit electromagnetic signals. Personally, when I hear people blindly talking about energy blockages and stuck meridians I switch off, especially when related to tapping – there are outrageous claims made all over the Internet about how EFT cures this and that – for sure it has a place in the therapists toolbox, however, if I am honest, I don’t feel it is a tool that stands alone.

Having said all that…… Over the years I have discovered that it is a wonderful distraction technique that allows the client to remain calm during therapy or times of extreme anxiety, which allows that individual to explore, in depth, the very issues that they have been avoiding due to emotional stress.

  • It elegantly interrupts moments of anxiety
  • It refocuses your attention allowing you to calm down
  • It forces you to calmly explore the situation
  • It allows you to see things from new perspectives
  • It allows us to uncover hidden or repressed emotions – that can then be dealt with.

Tapping, the Unconscious Nervous System & the Amygdala

There is undoubtedly a huge link between the UNS and a part of the brain called the amygdala that allocates a certain emotional charge to any event you experience. In my experience when you are tapping it seems to stall the unconscious nervous system by collapsing the parasympatheric system and the sympathetic system, and whilst you are “stalled” it is possible to retrain your amygdala to lessen any inappropriate emotional responses. This is especially effective for those who suffer from anxiety or OCD.

Tapping caveats please read

I rarely use this technique on it’s own and I often question some of the outrageous claims that I see on some peoples web sites about EFT being able to fix any emotional problem. Indeed, if you read the main EFT website at www.emofree.com it seems to make the claim that EFT always delivers great results with almost any ailment – Quite a sweeping statement!!

Over the years Tapping has become an important tool to me, however, these days I use it in an adapted and specialised manner. This really allows me to explore deep seated issues and outdated self beliefs in great depth, whilst allowing the client to remain more calm than they might expect. This facilitates the ability for us to examine new points of view and uncover important realisations about the context of past experiences and their effect on how we currently feel. As memories become seen in a new light, the emotions attached to old thoughts and experiences can gently be released.

When used in this fashion I find it to be a very powerful tool in my psychological tool kit.