Many people have difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, and negative feelings that affect their relationships, productivity, or self-esteem. The emotional freedom technique (EFT) is a type of therapy that helps the individual to reduce the stress and anxiety. An emotional freedom technique practitioner taps the patient on specific areas of the body which are the same points used for acupuncture.
People may be plagued with feelings of abandonment or fear based on a negative experience. These negative feelings can become damaging to the person’s self-esteem and cause problems in relationships. Emotional freedom technique therapy can be used to reduce the negative emotions and limit their effect on the person’s life. Emotional freedom technique practitioners believe that the negative emotions are caused by energy that is trapped in the acupuncture points and can be released by stimulation.
The EFT practitioner helps the individual to change the thinking patterns that can be the underlying cause of the anxiety or negative emotions. While the emotional freedom technique practitioner is tapping the key points of the body, the practitioner is guiding the patients to accept the thoughts and feelings and not letting the thoughts decrease their self-worth.
Points of the body that are tapped by the emotional freedom technique practitioner include the top of the head, the inside end of the eyebrows, beside the eyes, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collar bone, under the arms about four inches below the armpits, and inside the wrists. EFT practitioners tap these points five to seven times. This is to approximate the time it takes for the client to complete a respiration.
At the beginning of the session, the counselor may ask the client to think about a bothersome feeling or negative thought that has been causing problems. The therapist will ask the person to rate how intense the feeling is. After the emotional freedom technique practitioner is done with the tapping sequence and positive affirmations, the practitioner will have the client rate the intensity of the feeling again to see if the session was successful. The session should cause the feeling to either be gone completely or significantly reduced.
During the tapping sequence, the EFT practitioners have the clients repeat affirmations that acknowledge the feelings but reinforce the thought that these negative feelings do not change the person’s self-worth. For example, the counselor may have the person repeat the phrase: “Even though I have this feeling, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Clients may be encouraged to continue to practice the tapping technique and positive self-affirmations. The emotional freedom technique practitioner can give the clients some positive self-affirmations that are customized to help the clients with their particular needs. The EFT practitioner teaches the clients how to use EFT to overcome their stress, anxiety, or other problems between counseling sessions.