Tools and Inspiration for Empowered Aging

EFT Background

Combining words and actions to effect change began with psychologist Roger Callahan and a series of protocols he called Thought Field Therapy (TFT). EFT legend has it that one of Dr. Callahan’s clients had been seeking relief from a water phobia for years. In a moment of genius, Callahan, a clinical psychologist, combined exposure therapy (telling the story of the most troubling aspects of her water fears) with a somatic intervention (tapping on specific meridian points on the body). 

Exposure therapy has been widely used in therapeutic settings but carries the risk of triggering clients who have suffered trauma by revisiting emotionally or physically painful events. Somatic intervention, specifically meridian therapy used by Traditional Chinese Medicine acupressure/acupuncture practitioners for centuries, smoothes negative (blocked, frozen, sedated, or backward running) energies in the body. Think of a hissing, attacked cat suddenly finding safe haven in a puddle of sunlight and you will successfully imagine the soothing effects of tapping on compromised meridians. By combining exposure therapy with meridian tapping, Dr. Callahan protected his client from the distressing emotions triggered when she reviewed her phobic feelings and allowed her to release the negative energies trapped in her body. 

This widely circulated story has a very happy ending; Dr. Callahan knew he was on to something when his client was able to dangle her feet in his pool soon after their first somatic-intervention session. He subsequently developed a series of algorithms (specific tapping sequences to deal with a variety of phobias and emotional challenges) which he uses in TFT. Science tells us chance favours the prepared mind. Dr. Callahan had been studying meridian therapies before combining this somatic intervention with the familiar Exposure Therapy technique. His and his client’s breakthrough happened as a result of his putting these modalities together and soon afterward Dr. Callahan began to teach his approach to others. To learn more about Roger Callahan’s special genius, the water-phobia story, and his Thought Field Therapy Training programs, please visit the Callahan www.rogercallahan.com. Sadly, this pioneer in Energy Psychology died November 4, 2013, but his work continues through TFT training programs and through the many TFT practitioners he has trained.

Gary Craig is an engineer, entrepreneur, human potential guru, and ordained minister. After studying TFT’s algorithmic approach with Dr. Callahan, Craig experimented with simplifying the several algorithms Dr. Callahan used in his TFT practice with specific phobias and conditions and came up with one all-purpose algorithm or set of tapping points. The storytelling/scene watching/pain awareness aspect of the practice (Exposure Therapy) remained and remains the same. Craig called his all-purpose algorithm Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT because application of this tool to a specific situation very frequently results in immediate emotional relief. To test his theory of EFT’s universal application, Craig began holding workshops for various professionals in the health care field – therapists, naturopaths, nurses, chiropractors, physicians and the like, as well as sufferers of phobias, chronic illness, and trauma. During these workshops, recorded and available through Craig’s website, www.emofree.com, Emotional Freedom Techniques sessions demonstrated EFT’s simplicity and efficacy. Because of its ease of use and inexpensive training programs, EFT’s use has spread rapidly around the world.

Many practitioners have been influential in EFT’s continuing evolution, including Dr. Patricia Carrington, creator of “The Choices Method” EFT ( www.masteringeft.com), brother and sister team Nick and Jessica Ortner (www.thetappingsolution.com), who continue to spread the use of EFT through their Tapping World Summit internet events, and Dawson Church, researcher, writer, EFT workshop facilitator, and go-to person for the most up-to-date clinical-trial studies documenting EFT’s efficacy. Church's www.eftuniverse.com, publishes science-based as well as anecdotal evidence supporting EFT’s value in the treatment of physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma. Another EFT trainer, Nancy Forrester  of www.neftti.com, is both a therapist and an MBA who has added EFT to her toolbox.  Forrester currently offers training sessions through the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Therapies (AAMET), an organization devoted to training and practioner best-practice information:  www.aamet.org.

Donna Eden and David Feinstein, a husband-and-wife team well respected in energy healing circles, are an essential facet of EFT’s continuing evolution. Together, they teach the relationship between energy medicine, Eden’s specialty, and energy psychology, Feinstein’s. Feinstein is a clinical psychologist. He has written many evidence-based papers on the effectiveness of energy therapies that utilize the body’s energy systems to facilitate emotional and physical healing. You can learn more about books, study materials, and scientific papers for both energy medicine and energy psychology at the Eden/Feinstein website www.innersource.net/innersource/