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Emotional Freedom Technique - (EFT)

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 Emotional Freedom Technique - (EFT)

Inexcess as a recovery organisation are always keen to identify self-help tools that are both useful and practical in the pursuit of helping both our readers and audience towards the path of discovery. The technique chosen this week is that of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

More specifically (EFT) has been identified as one of those approaches that can be learnt within a very short time. Its application is thought to ‘combine stimulation of acupressure points with affirmations and can reduce cravings as well as help to achieve more.’ Most certainly it is worthy of some investigation.

EFT has been described as a fantastic approach that is going from strength to strength it is being used globally to treat a whole host of disorders ranging from depression to more serious heath issues.

The technique is indeed therapeutic and was devised around the 1990’s by Gary Craig from the USA, based on the works carried out by Dr Roger Callahan on Thought Field Therapy.

EFT is also considered to be an emotional form of acupuncture without the use of needles. It is understood that those carrying out the practice, tap with their fingertips to stimulate particular meridian points on a patients body, and more specifically, while the patients body is ‘tuned in’ to the condition.

Marsha Bennett initially trained in EFT, whilst a drug worker in HM Prison Styal. She explains that she became more confident in the programme as to its effectiveness, so much so and having experienced some amazing outcomes with regards to the treatment in relation to anxiety and depression and also reduction in cravings. Eventually she went on to train both staff and inmates the techniques.

Bennett goes on to confirm some of the startling evidence. One of her prisoners uses the procedure in the relief from anger, anxiety, aches and pains that are normally related to substance withdrawal.

Furthermore, it is understood that EFT assisted another patient in the break-up of her relationship.

Essentially the effects from EFT have been compared to the overall effects of EMDR, a process of Eye Movement and Desensitisation Reprocessing. This approach has also been recommended by the National Institute For Clinical Excellence (NICE) in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Qualitative and quantative evidence is available, there is evidence that existing studies claiming the benefits of EFT include: addictive cravings, anxiety, back pain, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and PTSD.

Moreover, Nikki an occupational therapist from mental health argues, “I’ve used EFT successfully with my own physical symptoms – notably dizziness, aches and pains, cramp in my foot, and tiredness.”

Fundamentally and additionally EFT embraces some of the more conventional psychological approaches, an example of this would be ‘identifying and acknowledging the problem or issues, developing self-acceptance and self-esteem and reframing negative thinking patterns.’

Finally, the said practitioners also need skills in order to assist some of the more difficult clients. Being able to identify what are the more complex emotions and triggers. At this point the use of the 1-10 Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD). This estimates the level of intensity in terms of ‘negative emotion, thought or physical sensation.’

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