Energy Therapy & EFT
Emotional Freedom Technique - EFT
EFT is a simple and effective form of energetic self-regulation that uses tapping on the acu-points in the body – as in acupuncture or acupressure. When we are stressed or anxious, our energy system is affected: it can become scrambled and chaotic – or as with trauma and shock, it can freeze and numb itself, – and there is a disruption or blockage in the energy system.
Tapping these acu-points helps release the blocked or stagnant energy – or chi – and allows it, (our vitality or life-force) to flow along the meridians (energy pathways). Often after only a short round of tapping remarkable transformations and deep shifts occur that might take much longer with just talk-based therapy. These could be new insights, an emergent clarity of thought or choices, calm and composure, or a resurgence of renewed strength, confidence and intention.
Research has shown that tapping lowers cortisol levels – which helps regulate and reduce stress and depression, and also improves heart rate variability. (HRV) It is also effective with reducing PTSD, dissociative states and phobias – and may help with certain physical symptoms and pain relief. It is not, however, a replacement for medical diagnosis and treatment.
EFT can be practised on the client by the practitioner or alongside, and clients can also be taught to use this tool for themselves. It does not replace the relational dynamic between therapist and client and can be integrated into the client’s therapy, with the usual psychotherapeutic and psychosynthetic ways of working.
‘ . . . purely talk-based forms of therapy, although not without value, are simply not able to engage effectively with the realm in which patterns of emotional distress are encoded – the area of the interface of the psyche and the soma, the body’s energy field.’
Phil Mollon: Psychoanalytical Energy Psychotherapy, 2008.
From a psychodynamic psychotherapist working in an NHS setting with severely traumatised patients:
'EFT suits the work that I do in the NHS very well, as I can blend it easily with EMDR, which is the ‘official’ NHS treatment for trauma recommended in the NICE guidelines. While EMDR is an effective method for treating trauma, it can lead to clients being so immersed in the trauma that they either feel extreme distress, or switch off and dissociate, neither of which allows processing to take place. EFT on the other hand, helps clients process trauma safely, and so it gives me a wonderful additional tool for helping those clients … it’s also a safe and reassuring tool that clients can use themselves for self-soothing and regulation.’
please see my training page for more details about the training I offer.
What is Energy Psychotherapy?
Some of the best therapy is largely non-verbal, where the main task of the therapist is to help people to feel and notice what they feel, and how things move or flow from inside – ie. to re-connect to their sense of being from within. Sometimes talking can be a distraction from what is going on inside – it can be a defense against feeling.
One of the non-verbal ways of noticing what is really going on is by ‘attuning’ to the body’s felt sensations and to the energy system. As this embodied awareness comes into the ’field’ it is often shared by both client and attuned therapist. Roger Callahan called this the thought-field; Rupert Sheldrake names this the morphogenetic field; physicists – such as William Tiller - call it the electromagnetic field; Lynne McTaggart calls it simply The Field. Insights, words, images, body sensations dance between them in this psycho-energetic ‘loop’ of shared awareness and attunement.
Energy psychotherapists may be trained in a variety of EP (energy psychology) modalities and integrate and interweave them. Often muscle testing – or more accurately – energy testing - is used to test reversals – ie. systemic energy disturbances or neurological disorganization – and the EP technique applied seeks to correct that reversal.
There are many EP techniques – too numerous to name – but most of them can be incorporated into talk-based psychotherapy. They work from the premise that energetic disturbance can be corrected at the energetic level – as trauma, shock or phobias are deeply encoded into our energy system.
As with any transpersonal psychology (such as psychosynthesis) or in complementary and energy medicine –– there’s a belief that part of our being that ‘knows’ how to correct and self-regulate itself. Strengthening alignment to that part also strengthens connection with a Higher Source of energy and healing.
There’s been significant scientific evidenced research to show the efficacy of various EP techniques – such as EFT. ACEP – The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.Please see my supervision page for more details about EFT/EP Mentoring and Supervison.
Aside from ongoing supervision, (individual and small groups), and EFT mentoring and practice days, (see my supervision page for details)
If you are interested in training in EFT (now recognised and acknowledged by NICE as an effective therapy-treatment for trauma and other symptoms) then check out courses at www.theeftcentre.com (with EFT Masters Sue Beer and Emma Roberts) - or www.theenergytherapycentre.co.uk - courses facilitated by Ashley Meyer. Their courses are well recommended - and are not exclusively for psychotherapists and counsellors. There is also EFT international or EFTi (formerly AAMET) - where you can find courses and practitioners in your area: www.eftinternational.org.