EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and is one of a number of energy-based psychological or psychotherapeutic methods based on the regulation and harmonization of the human energy system while we are focused on a certain ordinarily disturbing thought.
Its founder Gary Craig, previously a civil engineer, has been dedicated for many years to helping people live happier lives. He learned the basics of this method from his teacher Dr. Roger Callahan.
In 1980 Dr. Roger Callahan, a dedicated psychologist, after many years of relentless empirical and intuitive searching for more effective ways to relieve his clients of their problems, made an incredible discovery which will forever change the nature of psychology and physical and mental therapy.
A Leap in Perception
This discovery is such a quantum jump in our perception of the nature of mental and physical illness that some professionals cannot yet embrace it because of their inability to let go of previous conceptions.
Until recently, I was one of those who could not embrace it. Around 15 years ago I first saw Dr. Callahan?s Love Pain video where he demonstrated his healing technique in which through a tapping procedure people overcame the pain they felt upon of the loss of loved ones.
I observed that truly the people seemed to feel better. But I put the video on the shelf for 15 years, even though I have been working with people?s problems daily all these years.
My training is as a chemical engineer. After two years of working for Uniroyal Chemical, I decided that I would prefer to work with people rather than machines and chemicals. I have dedicated the last 35 years of my life to researching and employing techniques for enhancing human harmony on all levels; physical, emotional, mental, social, professional and spiritual. I have then shared these techniques with others through books, lectures and seminars.
Because of my training as an engineer I feel the need to understand the mechanisms behind whatever I do. They have to fit into my perception of reality as a human being. I could not understand what I saw on that first video. Additionally, I need to try out whatever I do on myself first.
I often thought of trying out the Love Pain video on others, but felt that I would look foolish and so I left it on the shelf. About a year ago, a dear friend of mine said that she would be interested in taking a course in energy psychology at a university. I immediately recalled that old video and we watched it together.
A New World of Possibilities
From that day, I have been employing it on myself and hundreds of others in seminars and counseling sessions. A whole new world of possibilities has opened up to me. I am so deeply grateful to Dr. Callahan and his student Gary Craig for bringing this new information to the public.
Before EFT, I often felt discouraged when working with people because even though I was offering a combination of the best (in my perception) of what existed, I was not satisfied with the results. (In our seminars and personal appointments we use Active Listening, Psychoanalysis, Cognitive therapy, Journaling, Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Childhood regressions, Gestalt Dialoguing, Body Centered Psychology, Rebirthing, Catharsis work, spiritual healing and various teachings. Some of our seminars meet once a week for six years.)
I still feel that all of the above are beneficial, but none of them compares with TFT or EFT for actually liberating a person from his or her problem.
I am so happy that I now have a tool that I know will work, and that is so simple that it can be taught to others.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Callahan actually went through an economic crisis some years after his discovery because he actually cured his patients in one or two sessions and did not have to see them over and over. Neither would people say, “look this is something which previously would have taken 20 visits, so please let me pay you accordingly.” Additionally, it is probable that many of those problems would not have been cured at all with other methods.
This indicates the effectiveness of this system.
How does it work ?
For a more detailed analysis of how this discovery was made you can refer to Dr. Callahan?s site (http://www.tftrx.com) or Gary Craig?s site (http://www.emofree.com) where you can order their books and videos.
I will give my own interpretation or “unifying theory” of why this works in a later chapter.
In 1980, Dr. Callahan had a patient, Mary, (they have both appeared on national TV a number of times to tell this story) who had an extreme fear of water. She could not even watch it on TV and was afraid when it rained. They had been working on this problem for a year and had come to the point of getting Mary to Dr. Callahanãs home to sit far from the pool and analyze what she was feeling and how she could overcome this.
According to Dr. Callahan, their only accomplishment was that Mary discovered that she could withstand much more pain than she knew.
She never stopped feeling intense fear. One day she was suffering intensely because of her presence near the water and she also mentioned that her abdominal area was hurting her. (A natural reaction when we feel fear). That was a crucial moment in history, because Dr. Callahan remembered that there was an acupuncture point for the stomach meridian just on the cheekbone and he asked her to tap there.
She tapped only a few times and looked up and said, “it?s gone”. Dr. Callahan had no idea what she meant and what was happening. Not only was her stomach pain gone but also her fear. She got up and approached the pool with no fear whatsoever.
Today her fear is still gone!
What could not be accomplished by a year of weekly psychotherapy meetings with one of the most accomplished psychologists in the country was achieved in less that 30 seconds by tapping on the cheek bone.
Dr. Callahan did not know how to interpret and integrate what had happened. It took him a number of years and dedicated research to gradually create the most powerful therapeutic tool known.
For details of that process you can refer to his books, cassettes, videos and courses.
S0 what is this system?
It is simple.
1. We focus on the thought (stimulus, emotion or physical phenomenon) which brings forth the unpleasant emotional or physical problem such as fear, hurt, anger, guilt or some physical pain.
2. We measure how intense our feeling or pain is from 0 – 10. This is called the SUD (Subjective Units of Disturbance). Zero means no disturbance at all. Ten means we are feeling the maximum intensity we can imagine. (Considering our present frame of reference.)
3. Then we tap on certain acupuncture points on the face, chest and hands. (There are also other aspects to this procedure we will explain later.) Tapping on the acupuncture points initiates the flow of energy through the energy channels or meridians, thus correcting the disturbance in the energy field associated with that problem.
4. Then we again check our SUD or intensity of feeling. If it has not gone to 1 or zero then we tap on these points again.
5. We keep doing this tapping, checking how we feel, until the problem disappears.
That is basically all there is to it. Employing it, however, requires more detailed knowledge of what to do. This will be covered in this book.
The concept is that when we are focused on the particular thought which bothers us, then the particular disturbed energy pattern (“perturbation” according to Dr Callahan or “disruption in the body?s energy system” according to Gary Graig) associated with this thought is present and predominant in our body?s energy system. This creates our emotional and physical state.
Gary?s explanation is: “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body?s energy system.”
When we tap on these acupuncture points, we are affecting and releasing the flow in that field and thus removing the blockages and disturbances which were creating the emotion and/or physical problem.
Sometimes this correction is only temporary, but usually it is permanent.
EFT or TFT ?
If Dr. Callahan is the founder, why are we studying his student?s, Gary Craig?s, system and not Dr. Callahan?s?
They are basically the same system. The differences are slight.
1. Dr. Callahan believes that it is essential to tap on certain points in a specific order which are determined by his diagnostic testing approach using arm strength testing or “Voice Technology” (Both are beyond the scope of this book).
2. Gary Craig has found that he can get the same results by tapping on 12 specific points while focusing on the disturbing thought or physical problem. This way is much simpler and does not require that you to be tested.
100 % Overhaul
Gary?s system, which is a general (100%) overhaul of the energy system, also automatically corrects for possible Psychological Reversal – a type of inner resistance (electrical and psychological) towards improvement, whether it exists or not. Otherwise we would have to test for this, something that is difficult for those untrained in the field.
In the case that there actually was no inner resistance, correcting for it does not create it. Thus there is no reason not to do it. It takes less time to correct it than check for it.
Lastly, Dr. Callahan has ceased using affirmations with his tapping procedure, while they still play an important role in Gary?s general overhaul.
I have great respect and gratitude for Dr. Callahan and believe that professionals working with serious psychological problems would definitely benefit from his techniques. I am, however, basically working with people with average psychological problems and those seeking self-improvement. Therefore, I have chosen to work with Emotional Freedom Techniques, a simpler adaptation of Dr. Callahan?s Thought Field Therapy, because others can learn and apply to themselves.
Having said this, let us now move on to how to employ EFT.
(For a more detailed theory of why and how this works see chapter on a Unifying Theory)