Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) “Tapping” Therapy
Gary Craig, PhD, developed EFT (“Tapping”) in the 1990’s, based on the work of Dr. Richard Callahan. It involves tapping with one’s fingertips on specific meridian endpoints while bringing to mind the pain or distress one wishes to clear. In practice, this means combining your thoughts about the problem you want to work on with a statement of self-acceptance, while tapping with moderate pressure on specific points on your face and torso with your fingertips. EFT calms the brain’s amygdala (fear centre of the brain—site of all emotional memories) in relation to the particular issue being worked on, allowing reconsolidation of painful memories quickly. Research shows EFT is significantly more efficient at reducing trauma, depression and anxiety than CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or talk therapy. EFT addresses the emotional component of the problem, releasing stress and trauma from the body, and unblocking the body’s natural healing capacity. It has been called “needleless acupuncture,” because it works via the same meridian system.
EFT Avoids Retraumatization/Triggering
Frequently, people do not want to go back and revisit past events, bringing up the pain associated with them. There is good reason for this: people can be re-traumatized/triggered by delving into past painful events. It is not helpful to dig into trauma unless you have the resources to resolve it (e.g. professional trauma therapy). Tapping continuously on the sequence of meridian endpoints while processing painful memories helps bring people from overwhelm back into the window of tolerance quickly even if they do become triggered.
To avoid triggering when working with clients on traumatic/difficult/painful memories, I use indirect tapping techniques. I ask the client to quickly identify an issue/memory/painful feeling related to the subject, and without thinking about it directly, rate its intensity on a SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress) scale from 0 to 10. I instruct the client to actively not think about the issue directly–the mind may dart there, but to not dwell there. Tapping proceeds, with the conscious mind focusing on the act of tapping and the SUDS rating, while the event is processed on the subconscious level. Clients do not need to wade into the deep waters of pain and distress to clear the distress—that, in fact, would be counter-productive. For moderate levels of distress, words and images may be used from the start, but with greater levels of distress, no words are necessary. Trauma is lodged in the body, and must be cleared from the body before words and images are helpful.
Sometimes clients do not have clear memories about what happened, or they feel shut down around the issues. Here again, it is not necessary to say anything—or even know what was going on inside oneself at the time or currently—in order to clear the trauma trapped in one’s body. As the trauma clears, people typically will put words to some aspects of the issue, but it’s what’s happening at a cellular level—the stuck emotions and bodily sensations—that we’re working on. The stories are often in service of this, but we don’t need to know the story to deal with the trauma. Clients will sometimes be able to recall more details after tapping, but without distress, as they’ve already cleared the trauma energy.
Preparing for a Session
What to Expect
In the first session, we will review together the Client Information Form you sent ahead. You will have the opportunity to sign the Informed Consent Form if you have not sent that ahead. If you are new to tapping, we will briefly review the tapping points. I will invite you to identify the specific issue or incident to tap on, and rate its intensity using the SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress) scale, from 0 to 10. I will guide you through a set-up statement and tapping on this issue, mainly using the words you have used to describe the problem. Your words, paired with tapping, are more effective in calming the amygdala—the fear centre of the brain, as they represent the way your brain has processed the information. I will check in with you periodically on the current intensity of the issue, and to gather other information to inform the tapping. In addition to the basic tapping protocol, I may guide you through other EFT and energy psychology processes, such as Mindfulness Based Inner RePatterning (MBIR), the Colour of Pain, the Movie Technique, use of additional acupressure points, and the Negative Affect Releasing Technique (NART) in order to efficiently affect change. While additional issues or aspects are likely to arise during tapping, and we may spend some time on these, we will mainly focus on the original issue with the goal of clearing this issue. In a typical one hour session, we will typically spend about 50 minutes tapping. EFT’s rapid results require tapping on a specific issue, either voiced on not voiced. Sessions are focused because of this.
Five minutes before the end of the session, we will evaluate progress on the specific issue identified at the start of the session, and chart a path forward, setting another appointment to continue work on related or other issues if desired. Payment for the session is completed at this point. (After the first session, payment by e-transfer is to be done before the session.)
I offer EFT sessions in my home just south of Victoria Park in Kitchener, via Zoom, or in some cases, at my client’s location.
To book an appointment, email email@example.com or call/text 226-792-8200.
Rates and Insurance
A one hour therapy session is charged at $125 CDN. This rate applies to both in-person sessions and via video-conference. Sessions are invoiced at the end of the session and payment is due that day. All rates include GST.
If further supports are needed such as letter writing or formal reports, and this support takes more than 15 minutes, the cost of the service will be discussed in advance. Such supports are charged at the hourly rate of $125 CDN and include GST.
As a member in good standing of EFT International (EFTi), I commit to upholding the EFTi code of conduct and ethics. EFT International is committed to advancing and upholding the highest standards for education, training, professional development and promotion of the skillful, creative and ethical application of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for global public benefit. Any concerns about a possible breach of conduct or ethics can be brought to my attention directly, and/or reported to EFTi’s Ethics Liaison here. As a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), I adhere to CRPO Code of Ethics. Any concerns about a possible breach of conduct or ethics can be brought to my attention directly, and/or reported to the CRPO here.
Restorative Justice Facilitation
I have facilitated Restorative Justice processes in schools, courts and the community since 2000. Time after time, I see distrust, hurt and anger at the beginning of the facilitation, and a great burden lifted off people’s shoulder at the end, an hour or two later. Careful preparation is key to restorative outcomes. Each side meets separately with a facilitator before coming together. This allows participants to say what they need, and understand how the process works. Strong feelings can find voice in the process, but facilitators ensure safety and respect.
Community Conferencing: brings together those affected by an offence to discuss what happened, who was affected and how, and discern who needs to do what to make things as right as possible.
Peace Circles: whether used for community building, reconnecting to our deepest values, or for addressing harm, allow each person to speak their truth while all listen.
Contact me to discuss your situation and explore what might work for you.
My Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR)-based trainings range from 2 hours to 2 days. I target trainings for different populations: social workers and case managers, restorative justice organizations, community groups, congregations, medical clinics, or camp counselors, for example. Sample trauma trainings:
- Dealing With Challenging Clients: Why Don’t They Just Get Over It?
- An Experiential Workshop for Implementing Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) (2 days)
- What About Trauma? (2 days)
- Targeted for program managers, program volunteers, others working with trauma survivors
- Becoming Trauma-Informed: Understanding “Buttons” (3 hours) Targeted for community organizations, including congregations or other faith-based groups. Ever had your buttons pushed? Or got blind-sided when you accidentally stepped on someone else’s button? This workshop helps us understand how “buttons” get installed; and offers tools for deescalating “poked buttons” or uninstalling “buttons”. Trauma-informed organizations are safer and wiser, better equipped to create harmony in all types of relationships. In this session, we will explore the prevalence of trauma, how it affects our body, brain and meaning making, and steps towards we can take to reduce trauma triggers and support healing. Following the workshop, participants will be better able to take steps towards being a more trauma-informed organization. They will be able to shift from asking, “What is wrong with them?” to the trauma-savvy question, “What happened, and how can we come together?” They will better understand how buttons get installed, take away tools for deescalating “poked” buttons, and learn about the tools/processes available for uninstalling buttons.
$1500 – $2000/day/trainer, for up to 25 participants
$500 for a 2 – 3 hour training. Number of participants is negotiable.
Contact me to discuss your needs.
Restorative Justice Trainings
- Trauma-Informed Restorative Justice (2 days): Through experiential exercises, lecture format, and case studies:
- Explore the impact of trauma on the body, brain, meaning making, and unmet needs
- Learn tools for calming the body and brain following trauma
- Examine the Breaking Cycles of Violence—Building Resilience model, and apply to RJ cases
- Apply a model for trauma informed care to your RJ practice
- Enhance trauma-informed listening skills
- Explore vicarious trauma and self-care check-in tools
- Community Conferencing (2 days): Learn to co-facilitate Community Conferences–where the key stakeholders affected by a crime come together to explore what happened, and agree on who needs to do what to make things as right as possible.
- Peace Circles (3 days) Experience the power of Circle, rooted in values, where every voice is equal. Learn and practice being a Circle Keeper.
$1500 – $2000/day/trainer for up to 25 participants.
$500 for a 2 – 3 hour training for up to 25 participants.
Contact me to discuss your needs.
AVP (Alternatives to Violence) Workshops
Held in prisons, schools, and the community worldwide, AVP workshops empower individuals to find creative ways to handle conflict and achieve satisfying relationships. Each training is 18 hours total.
- Level 1: Basic: introduces Transforming Power
- Level 2: Advanced: focuses on the consensus process—participants choose a topic to focus on in depth
- Level 3: Training for Facilitators: allows participants to practice facilitating workshop sessions
For information on AVP-International, visit avp.international
Worldwide, AVP is traditionally facilitated by volunteer facilitators who have completed all three levels of AVP and have apprenticed extensively as facilitators before recommendation to Qualified Facilitator status.
Trainings can be adapted to fit your needs at an affordable price. Up to 25 participants. Contact me to explore possibilities.