Conventional over-prescribed and ineffective medicines are on the way out. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), alongside other non-medicinal, non-invasive treatments, are becoming increasingly vital and popular treatment alternatives.
Working as an Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner is a rewarding career centered on interpersonal connection, emotional improvement, and greater wellness for yourself and others.
What is Emotional Freedom Technique Therapy?
EFT is a form of alternative medicine introduced in the late 1990s through Gary Craig’s “Emotional Freedom Technique Handbook”. It involves the use of the fingertips and touching sensations, called tapping, to stimulate specific acupuncture meridians. These are small, specific pressure points on the face, hands, and upper body which the practitioner works on to release energy blocks such as:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Unnatural Cravings
Craig drew inspiration from an earlier work by psychologist Dr Roger Callahan. The latter is known for developing a therapy called Thought Field Therapy (TFT) in the 1980s. TFT involved tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on specific issues or emotions. Callahan believed that tapping on these points could help to rebalance the body's energy system and alleviate emotional distress.
Craig, a former student of Callahan, further refined and simplified the techniques of TFT. He developed EFT as a more accessible and user-friendly approach. Craig's intention was to create a method that anyone could learn and apply to themselves without needing extensive training or specialised knowledge.
One of the fundamental principles behind EFT is the concept of disruptions in the body's energy system. According to EFT theory, emotional and psychological issues arise from imbalances or disruptions in this energy system. By tapping on specific acupressure points, EFT aims to address these disruptions and restore balance to the energy system, thus alleviating emotional distress.
Craig introduced the concept of the "Basic Recipe" in EFT, which involves a sequence of tapping on specific acupressure points while repeating statements that acknowledge and address the emotional issue at hand. The Basic Recipe became the foundation for EFT practice, making it accessible to a wider audience.
Over the years, EFT has gained popularity and recognition as a therapeutic tool for emotional healing. Its simplicity and effectiveness have attracted a broad range of practitioners, from mental health professionals to alternative therapists. EFT has been further developed and adapted for various applications, including addressing phobias, trauma, stress, pain management and personal growth.
As EFT continues to evolve, research studies and clinical trials have provided empirical evidence supporting its efficacy and benefits. This ongoing exploration contributes to the growing acceptance and integration of EFT within the field of psychology and holistic health.
Today, EFT remains a widely practiced and recognised technique for emotional healing and self-help. Its origins in the work of Dr Roger Callahan and the subsequent contributions of Gary Craig have paved the way for its development into a valuable tool for individuals seeking emotional wellbeing and personal growth.
Understanding the Benefits of EFT
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has gained recognition as an effective modality for promoting emotional wellbeing and personal growth. By understanding the benefits associated with EFT, individuals can gain insight into its potential to improve their lives.
EFT is a form of energy psychology that combines elements of acupressure and cognitive therapy. It involves tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on emotional distress or negative thoughts. This gentle tapping process aims to restore balance to the body's energy system and alleviate emotional issues.
One of the key benefits of EFT is its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. By tapping on the body's energy meridians, EFT helps release emotional blockages and promote a sense of calm. It can be particularly useful for managing phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and general anxiety disorders.
Moreover, EFT has shown promising results in addressing a wide range of issues, including depression, chronic pain, weight management and relationship problems. By targeting specific emotions and beliefs, individuals can work through underlying issues and experience positive shifts in their lives.
Another significant benefit of EFT is its accessibility. It can be easily learned and practised by individuals on their own, providing a valuable self-help tool. Additionally, EFT can complement other therapeutic approaches, enhancing their effectiveness and promoting holistic healing.
Essential Skills for EFT Practitioners
Becoming a successful EFT practitioner requires more than just knowledge of the technique. It demands a set of essential skills and qualities that contribute to effective client sessions and positive outcomes. Here are some key skills for aspiring EFT practitioners to develop:
Active listening is the foundation of effective client sessions. It involves fully engaging with clients, giving them undivided attention and demonstrating empathy. By listening attentively, EFT practitioners can understand clients' concerns, identify underlying emotions and provide appropriate guidance.
This characteristic gives you the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It allows EFT practitioners to establish a supportive and compassionate environment. Empathy fosters trust, encourages clients to open up and promotes the healing process.
Intuition plays a vital role in EFT practice. It involves tuning into subtle cues and insights that guide the practitioner during sessions. Cultivating intuition helps EFT practitioners identify core issues, adapt techniques to individual clients and facilitate deeper emotional release.
Clear and effective communication is crucial for conveying concepts, instructions and feedback to clients. EFT practitioners should be able to explain the technique in a simple and understandable manner, ensuring clients feel comfortable and informed throughout the process.
Additionally, ongoing personal development and self-care are essential for EFT practitioners. Engaging in regular self-reflection, participating in supervision or peer support groups and maintaining a healthy work-life balance contribute to their professional growth and wellbeing.
By cultivating these skills and qualities, aspiring EFT practitioners can enhance their effectiveness, establish meaningful connections with clients and facilitate positive change in their clients' lives.
Navigating EFT Training Programs
A good EFT practitioner bears both innate and acquired healing skills. As well as being naturally patient, empathetic, compassionate and a good listener, they have earned their professional qualifications from a reputable school that offers accredited EFT training programs.
Embarking on the journey to become an EFT practitioner involves selecting the right training program that aligns with one's goals and aspirations. Navigating the available options can be overwhelming, so here are some key considerations to help individuals make informed decisions:
Accreditation and Reputation: Look for EFT training programs that are accredited by reputable organisations or have a strong reputation in the field. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain standards of quality and professionalism.
Curriculum Content: Examine the curriculum of the training program to ensure it covers the fundamental principles and techniques of EFT. It should include both theoretical knowledge and practical application, providing a comprehensive understanding of the modality.
Practical Experience: Immersion in real-life application of EFT is invaluable in developing proficiency as an EFT practitioner. Seek programs that offer opportunities for supervised practice sessions, case studies or practical assessments to gain hands-on experience and build confidence.
Mentorship and Support: Mentorship from experienced EFT practitioners can greatly enhance the learning process. Look for programs that provide mentorship or guidance throughout the training, allowing for personalised feedback and support.
Considering these factors, individuals can choose a training program that meets their specific needs and supports their journey toward becoming a skilled and confident EFT practitioner.
What Qualifications Do I Need?
To become a certified EFT practitioner in Australia, you have to obtain the necessary qualifications from a certification program that is recognised by EFT International and other professional EFT bodies.
Level 1 EFT is an introductory course that covers the history of EFT and different tapping points. This qualification limits your practice of EFT to family members and friends. Undertaking the Level 2 Practitioner EFT Practitioner Certification program provides you with advanced qualifications for practising the modality in a professional capacity. Here, you’re going to learn different aspects of energy healing, counselling, and psychology in-depth, as well as fundamental business applications for running your private practice.
Natural Therapy Pages offers a wide selection of accredited EFT schools and learning institutions in Australia such as:
- Embrace Empowerment
- Emotional Freedom Solutions Australia
- Annie O’ Grady
- Australian Institute of Self Development
- Health and Harmony Colleges
Students are trained by experienced EFT practitioners whose knowledge and expertise allow them to immerse themselves in experiential learning.
Moreover, you’ll find schools like Health and Harmony Colleges offering distance education to students who require more flexible study hours. Taking an online EFT course allows you to study at your own pace and earn your qualification on the date you’ve set.
What are the Career Outcomes of EFT Training?
Graduates of an accredited EFT training program go on and work in various healthcare environments and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to treat a wide range of health issues. Others set up their private practice, which provides their clients with a safe and nurturing environment to facilitate their healing.
As a certified EFT practitioner, you are also eligible to gain membership in EFT International, which maintains high standards of performance in the Australian and international EFT communities.
Building a successful EFT practice involves more than just mastering the technique. It requires strategic planning, effective marketing, and a commitment to professionalism.
Here are some essential strategies to consider:
Marketing and Branding
Develop a clear brand identity that reflects your values and approach as an EFT practitioner. Create a professional website, establish a presence on social media platforms and consider utilising online directories to increase visibility and attract potential clients.
Networking with Healthcare Professionals
Collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists, counselors or holistic practitioners. Building a network of referrals can help expand your client base and establish credibility within the industry.
Setting Competitive Pricing
Research the market and set competitive pricing for your EFT services. Consider factors such as your level of experience, geographic location, and the value you provide to clients. Offering introductory packages or discounts for initial sessions can also attract new clients.
Creating a Supportive Environment
Ensure your practice environment is welcoming, safe and supportive. Create a space that promotes relaxation and privacy, and establish clear boundaries and ethical guidelines for client interactions. Strive to maintain a high level of professionalism and confidentiality.
Key Findings from Clinical Trials and Studies on EFT's Efficacy
Numerous clinical trials and studies have been conducted to explore the effectiveness and benefits of EFT in various populations and for a range of conditions. Here's a summary of some key findings from these studies.
Anxiety and Stress Reduction:
- A randomiaed controlled trial published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease examined the effects of EFT on anxiety symptoms. The study found that participants who received EFT experienced a significant reduction in anxiety levels compared to the control group.
- Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology evaluated the impact of EFT on stress reduction in healthcare providers. The results demonstrated that EFT significantly reduced self-reported stress levels and improved overall well-being in the participants.
Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
- Research conducted at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Vermont investigated the efficacy of EFT in treating veterans diagnosed with PTSD. The study showed a significant reduction in symptoms of PTSD, including nightmares, intrusive thoughts and hyperarousal, following EFT treatment.
- A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease examined the effectiveness of EFT in addressing trauma-related symptoms. The analysis indicated that EFT was associated with significant reductions in PTSD symptoms, anxiety, depression and overall psychological distress.
Phobias and Specific Emotional Issues:
- A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology explored the effectiveness of EFT in treating specific phobias. The results demonstrated that EFT led to a significant reduction in phobic symptoms and avoidance behaviours, suggesting its potential as an effective treatment option for phobias.
- In a randomised controlled trial published in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, EFT was evaluated for its impact on food cravings and weight management. The study revealed that participants who received EFT experienced a significant decrease in food cravings and improved self-regulation compared to the control group.
Physical Pain and Chronic Conditions:
- A pilot study published in the Journal of Pain Management and Therapy examined the effects of EFT on chronic pain in fibromyalgia patients. The findings indicated that EFT led to a reduction in pain severity, anxiety and depression, suggesting its potential as an adjunctive therapy for chronic pain management.
- Research published in Energy Psychology investigated the impact of EFT on patients with tension headaches. The study showed that EFT resulted in a significant reduction in headache frequency and intensity, as well as associated psychological symptoms.
The path to becoming an EFT practitioner may not be straight, but investing time and effort in honing your skills will lead to a rewarding career that’s pivotal to the health and wellness of others.
Originally published on Jul 21, 2020