The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be a very effective tool for relaxation and stress reduction. EFT combines elements of cognitive therapy and acupressure to help clients release negative emotions and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
Like other relaxation techniques, EFT can help to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and breathing, and promote better sleep. EFT can also help clients manage anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues that may be contributing to their distress.
Teaching clients how to use EFT and other relaxation techniques can be a valuable part of any practice, as it can help clients feel more comfortable and receptive to treatment. A relaxed client is more likely to engage with the therapist and follow through with treatment recommendations, which can lead to better outcomes.
A More Rapid Change in Assessment Levels
Research has shown that in a majority of clients working with a trained professional using EFT, the SUDS levels can decrease rapidly with a focused intervention in just one session. This rapid reduction in distress can make a positive impact on the lives of clients, leading to a greater sense of emotional well-being and improved functioning in their daily lives.
The SUDS scale is often used in EFT to measure the intensity of emotional distress or pain. The scale ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no distress or pain and 10 indicating the highest intensity of distress or pain. During an EFT session, the client is asked to rate their level of distress or pain on the SUDS scale. The therapist then guides the client through a series of tapping exercises, while focusing on the emotional distress or negative belief.
Pain can have both physical and emotional components, and EFT can be effective in addressing both types of pain.
In cases where the pain is purely physical, EFT may not be able to eliminate the pain completely, but it can help to reduce the intensity of the pain. This can be especially helpful for people who are using medication daily to manage their pain, as it can allow them to reduce their reliance on medication and improve their overall quality of life.
In cases where the pain is related to an emotional situation or trauma, EFT can be very effective in addressing the underlying emotional issues and resolving the pain permanently. By working with a trained professional to uncover the emotional root of the pain, individuals can gain a better understanding of how their emotions are contributing to their physical symptoms, and can work to release those emotions and reduce or eliminate the pain.
In cases where the pain is a combination of physical and emotional factors, EFT can be used to address both aspects of the pain. By tapping on the specific physical location of the pain while also addressing the emotional component, individuals can experience significant relief from their pain and improve their overall quality of life.
It’s important to note that while EFT can be an effective approach for addressing pain, it’s not a substitute for medical treatment. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to address any underlying physical conditions that may be contributing to the pain, and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both the physical and emotional components of the pain.
EFT can be very effective in addressing negative cognitions and phobias, including the need to be perfect, fear of medical treatment, and other similar issues. By tapping on specific points on the body while focusing on the negative cognition or phobia, individuals can often reduce or eliminate the intensity of these thoughts and feelings.
In cases where the source of the negative cognition or phobia is not readily apparent, EFT can be a valuable tool for uncovering and addressing the underlying trauma or emotional issues that may be contributing to these thoughts and feelings. By tapping on the specific issue and allowing the subconscious mind to reveal the source of the problem, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the root cause of their negative cognitions or phobias, and work to release those underlying emotional issues.
Upsetting events and trauma are a common part of life. Everyone experiences loss, anger, disappointment and other upsetting emotions. Those are normal. Our global society encourages people to suppress their emotions because to do otherwise is often construed as a sign of weakness. But suppression results in stress placed on the body and long-term stress can lead to a wide variety of physical manifestations in the body. The goal is to allow the person the opportunity to acknowledge and then release the emotions they have been holding onto, sometimes for decades. Helping clients to release some or all of the stress related to upsetting events results in a relaxed body and a more positive emotional state.
Example: Ahmed is an immigrant from a country which has been at war for many years. He came to the U.S. when he was 18 to attend college, but he is finding life challenging. He has been having explosive angry outbursts and has been arrested a couple of times. He can’t identify why he is having these outbursts, but he wants to stop them before he hurts someone else. He has reported many traumatic experiences and you have helped him face those by using TF-CBT, but the relief from the explosive anger he was looking for hasn’t appeared. For some of his trauma experiences, the TF-CBT seems to have intensified the trauma instead of reducing it. EFT is a very effective way to gently reduce the intensity of feelings from traumatic events. The client does not have to approach an event head-on, but from a more indirect approach.
While the scenarios described above are different and require different approaches, they highlight that many clients don’t always respond to commonly accepted techniques and need a different approach. The Emotional Freedom Technique, also called Tapping, Thought Field Therapy, or Energy Psychology, is a technique which can be combined with theories you currently use to allow client to remove blocks preventing them from making progress. By incorporating EFT into your practice, you can offer clients a holistic approach that addresses both the emotional and physical aspects of their distress.
Increase Feelings of Wellness
EFT can be used not only to reduce negative emotions and distress but also to promote positive emotions and a sense of well-being. By tapping on specific meridian points while focusing on positive affirmations or visualizations, clients can increase their feelings of joy, achievement, and happiness. EFT can also be integrated with movement practices such as yoga or dance to promote a mind-body connection and enhance overall well-being. This approach can be especially beneficial for clients who struggle with anxiety or depression, as it can help them connect with their bodies and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.