What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?
Emotional Freedom Technique is a brief and effective method for reducing intense emotional memories. The benefits associated with EFT include:
- It may help release negative or blocked emotions and negative thinking.
- You may feel calmer and be able to think more clearly about your problems.
- EFT may also assist with reducing food cravings and can thus assist in weight loss.
- Whilst using EFT, some find that the pain and discomfort associated with some medical conditions is alleviated.
- EFT appears to be safe when administered by a therapist or life coach, or self-administered.
How Does EFT Work?
EFT is claimed to work in much the same way as acupressure or acupuncture but without the discomfort of needles, because it is a simple and gentle tapping procedure.
Points on the head and upper body are stimulated by tapping on them whilst focusing on a specific issue, thus it is often called “psychological acupuncture”. This might seem strange but people naturally touch or massage these points on the body to self-soothe.
The results of EFT may be explained by some well-established theories, including: Conditioning (Pavlov); Counter-conditioning (Wolpe); Behaviour Therapy (Skinner); Cognitive Theory (Ellis, Beck); Client-Centred Theory (Maslow, Rogers); Exposure Therapy; Thought Field Therapy (Callahan); Physics (Einstein) – energy affects matter.
There are three essential ingredients of Clinical EFT: exposure, cognitive shift, and acupressure.
When the established protocols drawn from exposure and cognitive therapies are paired with acupressure, their effects appear to be enhanced.
It is not important to believe in acupuncture or explanations of how EFT works.
Is there good evidence that this technique works?
EFT has been successfully applied to treat a wide range of emotional problems and issues, including anxiety, fears, phobias, trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief, anger, guilt, etc.
It has also been applied to enhance performance and improve relationships. In relationships, EFT can help us by reducing the emotional upsets towards our partner, many of which have their origins in our past. Using EFT, couples can overcome many of the barriers to friendship and closeness.
The American Psychological Association specifies standards by which psychological therapies can be evaluated, and reviews of studies on EFT have shown that Clinical EFT meets the minimum criteria. The literature now demonstrates sufficient clinical benefit from EFT to include this technique as a safe adjunct to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other accepted therapies.
If you are interested in finding out more about EFT and whether it might be suitable for you, I would love to work with you.
Author: Mia Olsson, BA Psych (Hons), Dip Nurs, AMAPS.
Registered Psychologist Mia Olsson has had a broad interdisciplinary role in the health industry for over thirty years, including hospital-based nurse training, and an Honours Degree majoring in Psychology. She enjoys assisting clients with depressive disorders, anxiety, acute and chronic complex trauma, and health related issues.
Please note: Mia only consults under private health. If you have a Mental Health Care Plan please talk to the clinic about a seeing a psychologist who works under Medicare.
To make an appointment with Psychologist Mia Olsson, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.
- Church, D. (2013). Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions. Psychology, 4, 645-654. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.48092
- Feinstein, D. (2012). Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology, 16, 364-380. doi:10.1037/a0028602
- Feinstein, D. (in press). Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology.
Note: Whilst EFT has achieved excellent results with some physical and emotional conditions the technique should not be seen as a substitute for appropriate medical care and should always be used in conjunction with medical consultation and intervention for such conditions.