Emotional Freedom Technique and Thought Field Therapy Tapping are energy modalities I use to complement the therapeutic process. They both work on the meridian system (like acupuncture and acupressure) with a set of specific meridian points or acupoints. The meridian system is a concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine and describes an energy system in our body through which the life force “Qi” flows. Imbalances or blockages in the flow of energy can lead to different forms of dis-ease. Tapping on these meridian points or acupoints can restore the balance of energy and resolve physical and emotional ailments.
The two tapping modalities are very similar in application but different in focus and procedure. TFT can be described as the grandfather of EFT, developed in the early 1980s by American clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Dr Roger Callahan. He mostly worked with clients experiencing post-traumatic stress, severe anxiety, depression and anger. Callahan, originally a pioneering cognitive therapist, was not satisfied with the effects that conventional psychotherapies had on his clients and was seeking ways to improve both his own and his clients’ experience. He explored Traditional Chinese Medicine and Kinesiology both informing the development of specific TFT algorithms for each condition he was presented with. Consequently, there is a vast variety of TFT algorithms.
Gary Craig studied under Callahan in the early 1990s, developing EFT and published his version of tapping in 1995. EFT is an easy, safe and non-invasive technique that can be learned and self-applied by adults and children alike. It consists of a simple recipe and can be used anywhere and anytime as an ongoing therapeutic support or for self-regulation purposes. I do, however, recommend one learns EFT through a qualified therapist first before using it on oneself. I like to teach EFT to my clients as a tool they can take home for self-application. When I am presented with complex and chronic conditions, I like to incorporate TFT. When using TFT, I tap on my clients during the session so they can concentrate on their internal world.
Since EFT and TFT tapping draws from the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and works with “Qi”, it is generally not accepted in the Western therapy model. When the American Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) added TFT to their national registry in 2016, they experienced a backlash as the concept of a meridian system and the idea of a life force are generally not accepted by Western Medicine. TFT was added to the SAMHSA registry nonetheless, as there is evidence for its efficacy and is used successfully by professionals all over the world (please refer to Tapping Publications). I am an experienced counselor and therapist and have found another layer of depth in my work by adding tapping to my toolbox.