Tools and Inspiration for Empowered Living

EFT Background

Combining words and actions to effect change has roots in psychologist Roger Callahan's series of protocols described in 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 inspiration, Callahan 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 re-experiencing these traumatic events. Somatic intervention, specifically meridian therapy used by Traditional Chinese Medicine acupressure/acupuncture practitioners for centuries, calms negative energies in the body manifesting as the Fight, Flight, and Freeze response. 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 stressed meridians and body systems. By combining exposure therapy with meridian tapping, Dr. Callahan protected his client from the distressing emotions triggered when she reviewed her water phobia 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. Science tells us chance favours the prepared mind, and it is not surprising that Dr. Callahan had been studying meridian therapies before combining this somatic intervention with the familiar Exposure Therapy technique. His client’s breakthrough happened as a result of putting these modalities together. To learn more about Roger Callahan’s legacy, visit www.rogercallahan.com. 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, who, after studying TFT’s algorithmic approach with Dr. Callahan, experimented with simplifying the several algorithms Dr. Callahan used in his TFT practice with specific phobias and conditions. After several experiments, Craig came up with one all-purpose algorithm or set of tapping points. The storytelling/scene watching/pain awareness aspect of the practice (Exposure Therapy) remain vital to the tapping process and the simplification of the tapping protocol empowered many more users. Craig called his all-purpose algorithm and story telling/watching process Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) because application of these tools to specific emotional challenges resulted in emotional relief. To test his theory of EFT’s universal application, Craig began holding workshops for various helping professionals – therapists, naturopaths, teachers, 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 as well as its efficacy. Because of its ease of use and inexpensive training programs, EFT 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, married EFT team Alina Frank and Craig Wiener (www.efttappingtraining.com), who also teach Matrix Reimprinting courses, and Dawson Church, researcher, writer, EFT workshop facilitator, and go-to person for the most up-to-date clinical-trial studies documenting EFT’s effectiveness. 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. Canadian EFT Master Trainer of Trainers Nancy Forrester, is the CEO of the National EFT Training Institute (www.neftti.com); Ms Forrester, combining her therapist's experience with her MBA business acumen, offers introductory and certification training sessions accredited and certified by the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Therapies (AAMET), a not-for-profit organization devoted to teaching EFT best-practice techniques and research in Britain and throughout the world.  Visit the information rich AAMET site at  www.aamet.org to learn more and download their free EFT Manual.

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, a clinical psychologist, has written many evidence-based papers on the effectiveness of energy therapies that utilize the body’s energy systems to facilitate emotional and physical relief. Learn more about books, study materials, and scientific papers for both energy medicine and energy psychology at www.innersource.net/innersource/.