In my work as a psychotherapist I tend to use EFT with clients over a period of several sessions, for example in the context of healing trauma, dealing with long-standing anxiety issues or resolving internal conflict and self-sabotage. For me, EFT is a wonderful psychotherapeutic and personal development tool that allows us to make some deep and profound changes, however we must not forget the potential value of this approach as an “emergency first aid” in a wide range of situations. Many of my students and colleagues report numerous cases of how they have used EFT in a crisis, and I would like to describe a few of these examples to illustrate it.
Children’s health emergencies
Alena Zaporozcenko, a psychologist and Hellinger’s family constellation specialist in Latvia www.familyconstellations.lv , is a good friend who organises my workshops in Riga. She tells many a story of how she used EFT in crises situations, often with children. One example involved her own son Artem. The family has flown on holiday to the United Arab Emirates, but when the plane landed in Dubai it transpired that their visas were issued incorrectly and were therefore invalid. Following many gruelling hours at Dubai airport, Alena, her husband and Artem were made to get on a plane to go back to Riga. The whole family were very distressed, but little Artem, who was 7 at the time, especially so. During the flight he began feeling unwell, he became very pale, listless, his breathing became laboured and his skin began turning bluish. The doctor present on the plane who examined the boy was alarmed at his condition and advised to make an emergency landing for Arem to be taken to hospital urgently. The crew began preparations for emergency landing when Alena remembered the skills she had and gently began tapping on her son’s EFT acupressure points. After a couple of minutes of tapping, Artem vomited – following which his skin regained normal tone, he felt better and fell into a peaceful sleep – no emergency landing was necessary.
On another occasion, travelling on a sleeper train, Alena was sharing a compartment with a mother and her young daughter. During the night the girl had difficulty breathing and the mother explained that she had asthma. Alena suggested that she could try something that may help, and with mother’s permission tapped on the girl’s EFT points. After a short while the girl started crying, saying that she missed her dad, who was left behind as she and her mum went on this trip, so they incorporated these words with the tapping. Within minutes, the girl calmed down, her breathing improved and she slept peacefully through the night.
Another Latvian colleague, we shall call her S., told a story of a rather personal nature (giving permission to describe it in this article). The crisis struck when she and her boyfriend were in bed together – I will leave the full details to your imagination but, to sum up the problem, in the midst of love-making S. realised that she dislocated her jaw. In pain and not able to speak properly, she attempted to use gestures to explain what was happening to her boyfriend (who was rather put out by the sudden halt to their love-making and initially not very sympathetic). By the time she was able to make him understand the situation she was quite frustrated and angry with his lack of empathy, as well as in considerable pain. From her past experiences of dislocating her jaw (which happened in very different circumstances, I should perhaps add), S. knew that medical intervention was necessary to correct the problem. Whilst travelling in a taxi to the local Accident & Emergency department, S. remembered her EFT skills and started tapping on the physical discomfort as well as the emotional upset about the situation. After a few minutes of tapping she was surprised to find that the jaw clicked back into place! No medical help was necessary after all.
Dr Mike Smith, a psychotherapist and award-winning psychiatric nurse in the UK, regularly works with children and young people who self-harm, both face-to-face and over the phone, and reports that they find EFT a wonderful coping strategy that helps to reduce and often stop the urge to self-injure in the moment. Another self-harm specialist, a counsellor and supervisor George Brooks, www.resolve.moonfruit.com has recently published a great article in the journal of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, on the applications of EFT with young people who self-harm (BACP Children and Young People journal, June 2012). Of course EFT is useful not only for reducing the likelihood of self-harming incidents but is also invaluable for dealing with underlying emotional issues, helping to achieve a long-term resolution to these distressing problems.
Cravings for alcohol and drugs
When I worked with drug and alcohol users within the UK criminal justice system and other settings I saw time and time again how a few minutes of EFT application relieved even the strongest cravings for the addictive substance, as well as easing withdrawal symptoms. This helped to significantly reduce the risk of relapse, as the recovering addicts were able to manage their cravings even in trigger-laden situations which would have previously almost invariably lead to a lapse. As in the case of self harm, EFT is also an excellent intervention to help address the deeper issues underlying the addiction.
End of Part 1. Go to Part 2
Important note: Regardless of how helpful EFT may have been in the above examples, please use your common sense and get qualified medical assistance in emergency situations. EFT is a supportive tool and NOT a replacement for proper medical treatment.
Masha Bennett is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner. She is also a Registered Neurolinguistic Psychotherapist. She combines her private therapy and training practice with work as a psychological therapist in the UK National Health Service, and has taught EFT to professionals and general public in the UK, Greece, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and other countries. www.practicalhappiness.co.uk
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on December 15, 2012.