What’s Clinical EFT?

Clinical EFT is an evidence-based clinical and self-help modality combining cognitive, somatic and exposure therapy elements with the manual stimulation of acupuncture points. It has been described as “an emotional acupuncture without needles” because it is based on the same theory of Chinese acupuncture according to which our body has a map of meridians running throughout the body that carry energy through our system. The principle behind EFT is that mind and body are intrinsically interconnected and are part of the same system.  The “acupoints” are based on the face, hands and torso; by “tapping” on them, the unpleasant emotions associated with triggers, memories, thoughts or behaviours are decreased or released.

From a neuroscience perspective, this evidence-based technique appears to decrease stress and foster cognitive shifts by sending a calming signal to the amygdala, the stress centre of our brain. The tapping has been shown to deactivate the “threat response” that is triggered as a reaction to a stimulus perceived as unsafe and decreases the production of cortisol. This process appears to change the neural pathways, release individuals from their stressors and enable them to have a cognitive shift and make different choices. This allows the nervous system to feel safe again and to make the necessary physiological changes in our body to stop having that unpleasant reaction. Research also shows this technique produces quicker and more long-lasting results than talking therapy. These results have been documented using fMRI and neuroimaging equipment (please get in touch with me for links to these studies).

The success and beauty of EFT is that it brings together the ancient tradition of Chinese Medicine, the healing practices of the East and the modern principles and research of psychology and neuroscience. EFT has proved to help with a wide range of conditions, such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Feelings of Isolation and Detachment
  • Phobias, i.e. claustrophobia, agoraphobia, fear of spiders, snakes, etc.
  • Sleeping Problems
  • Traumatic Memories and Events
  • PTSD
  • Dependency Issues, i.e. alcohol, food, gambling, nicotine, etc.
  • Chronic Pain

Important: unlike other therapies where the client is asked to relive the trauma, with EFT, this is avoided by putting in place strategies that allow the client to remain distanced throughout the work so that the risk of re-traumatisation is wholly removed.

Do you use other modalities?

Having trained as an Advanced Clinical EFT Practitioner (Level 3), I use advanced modalities not included in the EFT Practitioner Levels 1 and 2. These include Parts Work, Inner Child Work, Trauma Work and Matrix Reimprinting. (Link to Matrix Reimprinting below)

Having also been certified as a Personal Development Life Coach and NLP Practitioner and having studied Brief Solution Focused Therapy, I also use those when appropriate.

Is it “technique” or “techniques”?

I’ve decided to add this because, unfortunately, most people, including the press, use an incorrect name. The “T” in EFT stands for “Techniques”, plural because there are many different techniques that an Accredited and Certified EFT Practitioner uses during their sessions. The clients would not necessarily realise it when working with a practitioner, as the process may appear seamless. Still, a good practitioner can use different techniques for different circumstances. This is why ensuring that the practitioner you have chosen to work with has been through a thorough accreditation process is essential.

What is Matrix Reimprinting?

Matrix Reimprinting is a powerful and gentle Meridian Tapping Therapy which evolved from EFT. It was created by Karl Dawson, whom I trained with, in 2006. It has proven to be effective in healing emotional and physical issues, especially releasing the effects of past trauma and stress from the subconscious mind.  While EFT removes the emotional intensity from a memory or a past event, when we use Matrix Reimprinting, we can go into memory and transform it by changing the meaning and damaging belief that we have attached to it, affecting us throughout our lives. In this way, we can attract new and more resourceful experiences by resolving past trauma.

It appears to have helped with the same conditions as Clinical EFT.

What is the difference between Clinical EFT and “tapping”?

Clinical EFT is the methodology that has been researched and scrutinised in randomised control and meta-analysis trials and is the one that is proven to be effective.  Usually, people think about “tapping” their minds to watch videos on YouTube or TikTok. Still, most of them do not follow the Clinical EFT protocol, and, as a consequence, the results they can reach are far weaker than those achieved when working with an accredited practitioner.

“Because EFT involves the visible phenomenon of tapping with the fingertips on 13 acupressure points, and because people often experience relief quickly after tapping, it’s easy to suppose that it’s all there is to EFT.

Forty-eight distinct techniques comprise EFT, and the acupoint tapping routine is just one. Professionally trained Certified EFT practitioners will use dozens of different methods, and when a particular technique is not producing results, they switch to another.

The rich collection of 48 techniques included in Clinical EFT can address a much larger variety of issues than the simple tapping routine that most people learn initially.” Click here to see the reference.

The standards of experience, knowledge, and facilitating skills vary significantly, so finding a practitioner who has undergone a rigorous accreditation process is essential. EFT International was created to maintain and promote standards of excellence in EFT.

If I have experienced trauma, would I run the risk of being re-traumatised?

The answer is no. Unlike other therapies where the client is asked to relive the trauma, both with the advanced EFT modalities and Matrix Reimprinting, this is avoided by putting in place strategies that allow the client to remain distanced throughout the work so that the risk of re-traumatisation is wholly removed. I am a trauma-informed practitioner, and safety is paramount in my work. It is my absolute priority each time I work with a client. This is why going slowly is advised when a client has had an adverse experience, and I would not even start to delve into it unless I agree with my client that they are willing and ready to book enough sessions to do that.

Can you work with dependent drinkers?

Yes, I can, and I have supported people who have a physical alcohol dependence as long as they understand that I am not a medical professional and I am not affiliated with a drug or alcohol service; they are willing to contact either or both for medical intervention and reduction purposes. I’d encourage you to book a consultation session with me to discuss this further. (link to book consult)

How is what you do different from sober coaching?

Coaching is a process by which a coach supports their client in identifying an area they want to improve, helps them define clear, specific, and time-bound goals, recognises their obstacles, and guides them through a process to help them achieve them. The whole process is cognitive-based and focused on the here and now.

I incorporate coaching into my work to clarify the desired outcomes that my clients intend to achieve, and I use them throughout my sessions to track their progress. During the sessions, though, I use EFT as it bypasses the cognitive part by reaching the subconscious to address the underlying emotional issues that contribute to addictive behaviours and disrupt the patterns that sustain them.

I specialise in alcohol and substance misuse, and my past, present and continuous training includes specialised knowledge about the use and misuse of drugs and alcohol, the effect that they have on mental and physical health, well as the impact that substance abuse has on the family members of the person misusing.

How many sessions will it take?

When a client asks me these questions, I often follow by saying, “How long is a piece of string?” Giving you any guarantees for the work that I do would be unethical on my part. The reason I cannot tell you how many sessions you will need to stop drinking (or moderating) successfully is that I don’t know you, your history, how ingrained your habit is and what it is connected to. What I can tell you is that I have had clients who have successfully stopped drinking within six sessions and sometimes less. And I have had others who have needed more. Most clients I work with experience remarkable shifts during the first couple of sessions. EFT has been proven to be faster and more effective than talking therapy., Still, it’s not a magic wand, and if you have experienced severe and repeated trauma during your life, a longer and slower process will be needed.

Can EFT help with cravings?

Yes, it can. EFT is effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of cravings. By tapping on specific points, individuals can disrupt the neural pathways associated with addictive cravings. This helps weaken the conditioned response and diminishes the power of cravings over time, ultimately breaking the cycle of either emotional or physical dependence.