Exploring the Emotional Feeling Technique of Tapping

Medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are some of the most popular treatment modalities available for those living with mental illness. However, some individuals are interested in finding complementary treatments to help them further manage symptoms, heal, or recover. Here, we’ll explore one of those additional treatments called EFT. 
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Emotional Feeling Technique (EFT) refer to a range of alternative treatments for mental illnesses. One of the more popular EFTs is Tapping, a therapy in which the patients go through a series of tapping sequences on specific parts of the body.

In the 1970s, doctors were exploring how applying pressure to acupoints could relieve stress in their patients. Two of the most notable professionals involved with popularizing EFT Tapping are Dr. Roger Callhan and psychotherapist Gary Craig. 

Today, EFT Tapping is used to treat a variety of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, phobias, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How the Emotional Feeling Technique Works

The Chinese practice of acupuncture implies that energy in the body travels to and from nine specific points called meridian points. Thin needles are placed in different spots along the pathways to aid in the flow of energy.

EFT builds on this philosophy by tapping on those different spots. In addition to the physical benefit of stimulating the nervous system, the patient repeats short phrases that aim to resolve emotional stress.

In an EFT Tapping session, the 5 core steps are:

1. Identify the patient’s concern

Individuals share something that is concerning. It could be an intrusive thought or a distressing emotion like panic. 

2. Patient rates their distress level

If zero is the baseline and ten is the most intense form of distress, patients rate the level of distress when thinking about the concerns they identified. 

3. Patient creates a setup statement

The first part of the statement is about acknowledging that the concern is there, and the second part focuses on accepting the concern instead of resisting it. For example, “Even though I am so angry at myself, I can fully accept myself.”

4. The tapping sequence is performed

While repeating the setup statement created, the patient taps 5-7 times on the most relevant meridian point on the body. The practitioner could guide the patient in where to tap, or the patient could be self-administering this treatment.

5. Tapping continues until resolution

This process is repeated on different meridians until the patient’s distress level decreases. 

How Effective is EFT?

The foundational research on EFT is promising and indicates that it has a certain level of efficacy.

This study demonstrates how EFT is an evidence-based treatment that can be used to treat depression, anxiety, phobias, and PTSD.

This study discusses EFT Tapping’s effective use in primary care settings for both psychological and medical diagnoses. 

And this study shows how effective EFT Tapping can be for decreasing anxiety. 

While more research is being conducted, we can conclude from the existing research that EFT Tapping can be an effective treatment option for some individuals. 

Treatments Offered at Eli’s Place

EFT Tapping is just one of the many treatment modalities that may be offered at Eli’s Place. In our mission to help young adults recover from mental illness, we will be providing evidence-based, scientifically proven treatment options.

Eli’s Place will be a rural, residential treatment program for young adults with serious mental illness. To learn more about our mission and our proven-effective model click here.

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