Emotional Freedom Technique (often referred to as Tapping) is a self-soothing tool that engages the body, mind, and heart. The Basic Recipe is the foundational structure of EFT and it has three parts: tapping on acupuncture points, giving voice to our experience, and holding ourselves with acceptance.
I learned EFT (or tapping) as part of my hypnotherapy training at HCH Institute in Lafayette. The highly structured process seemed so different from the intuitive and spacious client-centered hypnotherapy I was studying. I initially thought EFT was contrived and repetitive. I didn’t think I would ever use it in my work.
Then I began my internship at the HCH Clinic and clients came in asking for EFT sessions. A woman hoping to overcome her fear of swimming in the bay. A woman ready to step out of her frozen feelings around sexual trauma. People wanting tools to work with their anxiety and panic attacks on their own. I humbly began to see the power of this unconventional modality.
Over time, I began to use it regularly on my own tendency toward obsessive thinking and self-criticism. Seven years later, I now teach EFT to folks in addiction treatment. It is my go-to process for clients struggling with cravings, overwhelming fear, critical thoughts, self-hatred, and physical symptoms of anxiety. I have come to deeply respect and love EFT because it helps soothe and regulate the nervous system.
The clear structure and repetition creates a natural container.
Tapping on acupuncture points gives us a clear sense of the boundary of our own body. We can feel the edges of the physical container that holds your experience.
Having a structured (yet personal) set of statements to give voice to our experience allows us to take hold of and own our experience through our voice.
Offering ourselves statements such as “I am doing the best I can”, “I am choosing to care for myself in this moment,” or “I don’t have to figure it all out right now” strengthens the pathways of compassion within us. With each kind word we are building a receptive space within which to hold ourselves.
Through this process we can drop into deep connection with ourselves. We can feel our tender hearts. We can create the space (and build the confidence) to honestly face our sadness and anger, our loss, our longing, and our insecurity along the path toward a joyful and satisfying life.
EFT helps us to remember our capacity to hold the fullness of our experience within the brilliant container of our bodies, minds and hearts.