Back in June 2009, Betty Moore-Hafter and I began asking, “What makes EFT, EFT?” At this time, there were no agreed-upon training guidelines being used in the United States, and we felt the need to recognize how we consistently rely on essential, tried-and-true or core considerations that form the bedrock of a skillfully guided tapping session. These “Core EFT Principles” represent the skillful application of the simple and effective system that Gary Craig developed, based on the discoveries of Roger Callahan. As time went on and the efficacy of EFT became more and more widely known, Gary encouraged feedback, welcomed personal discoveries and incorporated many of these into the process. We offer that although EFT continues to be shared in many unique ways, there are Core EFT Principles that can be loosely named and even crystallized in an open-ended way that honors the individual approaches, refinements and innovations of each person – the unique Art of Delivery that represents the highly individualized nature of sharing EFT.
While there are many questions as to which of these principles may or may not belong to EFT exclusively, taken together they represent to us the core of a skillfully explored EFT session. In early 2009, when it became clear that EFT was going through the beginnings of a critically important administrative transition, Betty and I felt the need to attempt to delineate the principles that form the systematic, strategic underpinnings of our EFT Practices.
We contacted Gary with our list of principles as we understood them, because we felt that it was important that he outline his definition of EFT in his own words. At the time he did not see the need, but several months later he asked for our input on his own EFT principles document. We spent many hours discussing the history of EFT and how certain key principles were discovered or refined. The outcome of these talks largely became Gary’s Timeless Principles of EFT document published on his blog as a work in progress at the time. We contributed to this document and continue to develop the ideas that are presented below. Keep in mind, our ideas are not necessarily Gary's - and Gary's assertions are not necessarily ours.
In light of EFT's release into the public domain (December 2009), we feel it more important than ever that core common ground EFT principles be discussed, in an effort to answer the question, “What is EFT?” and to help maintain the consistency and integrity of the process. In delineating these principles, we also acknowledge that there is as much diversity as there is unity around agreeing on them. While our document differs structurally from Gary's, we believe that the core considerations illustrated below stay true to his sizable pioneering contributions to the meridian tapping process as well as the history of EFT.
The list below incorporates many of our perspectives and interpretations - as well as expertise from others - around the considerations needed for an optimal EFT session. In fact, we believe many seasoned practitioners will find key elements of their work reflected here. We hope our creative presentation reveals the common ground from which your Art of Delivery surely expands.
Since we wrote this list in 2009, we became members of EFT International and have been offering trainings and mentoring on behalf of the association. We were heartened to discover that EFTi (formerly AAMET) was already utilizing all these core considerations in their training guidelines. Not surprisingly, our list has had near-universal agreement among venerable trainers and practitioners.
Core EFT Principles: One Tree, Many Branches
Core EFT Principles are about skillful EFT - the Art of Delivery that takes the mechanical tapping process to a more exploratory level. Below we articulate guidelines intended to illustrate the systematic underpinnings of what is shared as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) by EFT professionals worldwide. We see this as a "living document" and welcome discussion and feedback. Consider leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.
Core EFT Principles include (but are not limited to):
Recognizing the importance of engaging specific acupressure meridian endpoints while intentionally and vocally*:
- Acknowledging/tuning in to the energy of the problem, negative feeling, thought, challenge or uncomfortable body sensation
- Reaching to affirm (in some form) that you “deeply and completely love and accept yourself” even though you have this negative emotion, problem, challenge, etc.
- Continuing to focus upon specific negative feelings, thoughts or energies as needed to allow resolution of emotional intensity (while simultaneously recognizing the importance of allowing positive reframes to play a major role)
- Repeating variations of the process as needed to completely resolve negative emotional intensity where possible
*These processes are generally known as the Setup and the Sequence
Valuing and demonstrating (in all of your EFT activities) the importance of:
- Listening deeply to your client
- Developing and trusting intuition
- Getting out of your own way (i.e. through me, not by me)
- Trusting the process
- Developing rapport (see below)
- Recognizing that your client (even if the client is you) is always doing the best they can
- Allowing your client to express themselves in whatever way they need
- Developing the ability to appreciate each clients creative coping skills, which helps them appreciate it in themselves, thus allowing the self-acceptance aspect of EFT to become possible
- Setting a healing intention (including preframing a positive vision or goal)
- Taking Intensity Levels
- Using client language and perspective in the Setup and the Sequence
- Identifying and effectively handling aspects as well as shifting aspects
- Identifying and articulating simple vs. complex issues
- Identifying and skillfully addressing the complexities of resistance and/or psychological reversal
- Recognizing global vs. specific issues
- Valuing being specific wherever possible
- Asking skillful questions for the purposes of revealing information about the location, character and amount of negative emotional intensity
- Understanding the role of potentially limiting beliefs (i.e. writings on the wall)
- Asking skillful questions for the purpose of discovering and addressing core issues
- Recognizing and following healing doorways that potentially lead to core issues
But wait, there's more...
- Recognizing and articulating the Apex Effect
- Building bridges of belief
- Skillfully encouraging clients to notice their progress
- Confidently exploring course corrections "when EFT isn't working"
- Developing awareness of "not going where you don’t belong"
- Recognizing and effectively exploring tail-enders
- Learning when and how to reach for options, strategies, applications and refinements (9-Gamut, The Personal Peace Procedure, shortcuts, continuous tapping, touch and breathe, imagining tapping etc.), where appropriate
- Developing and following gentle and effective strategies for Chasing the Pain
- Finding your own relationship to Borrowing Benefits
- Minimizing pain by gently and systematically approaching intense feelings, events or memories by skillful application of Sneaking Up, Tearless Trauma, Movie and Tell the Story Techniques
- Taking appropriate opportunities to allow humor
- Testing appropriately, repeatedly and effectively
- Facilitating bringing intensity levels as low as they will go where appropriate
- Recognizing, understanding and communicating the Generalization Effect
- Checking in with your client
- Cultivating awareness of Surrogate Tapping
- Developing skills for working with visual, auditory, metaphorical and/or body-centered awareness of emotional intensity
- Becoming skilled at artful and effective positive reframing during the tapping process
- Understanding the role of persistence
- Skillfully demonstrating the Basic Recipe and EFT Shortcuts when appropriate
- Coming to your own unique understanding of the Discovery Statement
- Exploring the role hydration may play before, during and after a session
- Actively expanding and refining your personal Art of Delivery (i.e. staying updated with the latest EFT scholarship, coming to your own conclusions, pursuing independent study etc.)
- Cultivating awareness, understanding and appropriate application of a myriad of advanced sequences, strategies, applications and/or related methodologies
We're not done yet...
- Learning the vocabulary and skills behind the Core EFT Principles and systematically applying them as the backbone of your EFT sessions
- Acknowledging and understanding the relationship between Core EFT Principles and your personal Art of Delivery
- Knowing the difference between doing EFT mechanically and The Art of Delivery
- Coming to your own refinements around Core EFT Principles
- Actively doing your own work
- Taking complete responsibility for your use of EFT and for your emotional and physical well being during the EFT process and encouraging others to do so
- Exploring your relationship to the spiritual and/or scientific dimensions of this work, when appropriate
- Experiencing the value of feedback (i.e. supervision, mentoring, users groups, “EFT buddies”, trading sessions etc.)
- Developing a consistent, passionate and compassionate practice of "Trying EFT On Everything"
We hope you will find this list quite comprehensive --- however incomplete. We welcome feedback and discussion. Feel free to post comments below. They may not appear immediately.
Very special thanks to fellow EFTers Lynne Shaner and Carna Zacharias-Miller for ongoing encouragement, editing and support and to Gillian Wightman for her wisdom, input and language around developing rapport.
Melinda Utal-Martinez says
What a wonderful living list! Those items that are my specific areas of some weakness as a practitioner seem to vibrate and call attention to themselves. How the heck did you do that? : )
Sue Burness says
During the past year I have been culling the EFT resources that I use and refer clients to. This is one of the few left on my “list”. Thank you for all you do to present EFT in a way that does the Art justice!
Myrette El-Sokkari says
I just found this site a few days ago. I am so happy I did. It is clear, easy to navigate, and the core values summarized is wonderful to have and the first time I see them in writing and so well listed. Thank you.
I am making this site one of my EFT references and I am sending you my best thank you energy for your effort and intention.
Lory Rosenberg says
What a wonderful creation this website is, and packed with information and sharing, it exudes such a good high level energy. Truly an artful delivery in and of itself. Much appreciation for your intent and the work you are doing.
Natalie Hill says
This is an awesome and comprehensive list of Core EFT Principles. And I especially appreciate the PDF format you’ve made available. Good work!
Gitta Wolf says
Thank you so much for doing this work – since Gary’s retirement I have really missed having one good central space to refer back to on the web. Am very pleased I found you! 🙂
I just found your website, and I’m very grateful for all this work you are doing. Thanks for creating this space, best wishes
Anna Olson says
Hi: I just wanted to say thanks for continuing in Gary Craig’s footsteps with an EFT newsletter. I’m saving all the ones you send out. I often sit at the computer and tap while reading a story, putting my issues in. I’ve been doing EFT for close to two years and I think the newsletters from Gary – and now you – have helped to keep me inspired and sticking with it.
Wonderful articles — every time. I am feasting upon them.
Mark Whitehouse says
Excellent post, thank you. 😮
Puja Kanth Alfred says
Congratulations for this well put together website with amazing information.
I’m looking forward to sharing and learning from this group of EFT’ers.
I truly appreciate the efforts that you have put into skillfully expressing the EFT core principles.
I do believe that developing rapport with clients is one of the most important aspects of successful EFT therapy. Giving the clients their own space to cope and exist with their own religious, cultural or personal values is certainly significant. ‘Art of delivery’ is equally important in EFT application.
Thanks for this wonderful resource,
Cynthia C. Doll says
Hello, you Dear ones, I honour you for these good news and for your spirit. You can be certain that your commitment is highly valued and appreciated for the best of all concerned. I send you my best wishes from Germany. I will hopefully make contact soon because I would love to share my experience with an article too. Cynthia
Jane Besmehn says
Dear Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna,
Thank you for taking on this project. Like many others, I was concerned about the potential loss of the resources on Gary’s website. Your website, from design to content, certainly demonstrates the standard of excellence that Gary set. I am looking forward to reading the articles and contributing when I have something to say.
love and blessings to you all,
Dear Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna,
Thank you so much for the great articles and congratulations on this fabulous site. All is well and flowing.
Many blessings to all.
Louise Woods says
What a fantastic article and amazing website. Thank you so much for bringing us this wonderful new resource. It is so valuable to be able to refer to articles and resources like this – especially for newcomers to EFT. We all gain from sharing our experiences in this way. Wishing you continued growth.
Love & blessings,
Kathy Atkinson says
Awesome job! The Core EFT Principles article is such a valuable resource for seasoned EFT’s and newbies. Thanks for all the time and energy you put into this information.
Sejual Shah says
Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna,
Thank you for giving the EFT Community a new hearth to share its ever developing knowledge so we can continue to learn from each other.
Over the years I have learnt so much from the original EFT website. I’m looking forward to savouring a similar diet of thoughtful and growing edge information on EFT that is skillfully in touch with the above core principles.
Love and appreciation for your efforts,
Marianne Martin says
Wonderful website that will no doubt be a great help to many, many people out there! The exploration of the human experience and power never stops, and your dedication to the art of EFT is part of this crucial evolution. Thank you!
Excellent Core EFT Principles! Thanks all people who work hard and share with us! I am working from Argentina and keep with news from here and Gary’s newsletters.
a big Hug!!
Hi– congratulations on this site– it’s beautiful and manages to bring together many of the diverse components of EFT. All the best, Cynthia
Nancy Nicholas says
Thank you for this beautiful website and the Core EFT Principles! I know your timing with this is perfect. With Gary’s retirement, and EFT becoming more well-known and accepted, this is just the site we need.
I appreciate all the long hours and hard work that went into this. EFT changed my life and I love sharing it with others. Carna, I appreciate you help along my journey to wholeness. May all of you be blessed as this site continues to grow. I’m thankful to each of you.
Love and Blessings,
Thanks for compiling this comprehensive list. Your efforts and desire to see EFT’ers move forward with integrity and consistency are much appreciated. This article is thought-provoking and a good reminder of all that’s involved in working artfully and skillfully with EFT.
Many blessings, Val
I am so pleased to see this site. As a newcommer with the DVD’s, I was beginning to feel a little lost with Gary’s impending retirement.
Now I sense this will be a worthy replacement resource in the same spirit as Gary’s original site, keeping us all on the same road. PS – A wonderful summary of the Core Principles.
Susan Eller says
Dear Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna
Thank you all for this wonderful site. You are all greatly appreciated. It is a beautiful site created with lots of heartfelt thought and intention.
I agree. This site is a wonderful gift to the EFT community.
Till Schilling says
Dear Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna,
What a wonderful gift to the EFT community.
You have put together a site that embodies what EFT stands for. Thank you so much for the effort you’re putting into this.
Please know that you have my 100% support on any and all of the planned projects that you have.
With most sincere blessings
Paul Zelizer says
Betty, Jade, Lynne and Carna,
I am deeply grateful to you for offering this beautiful gathering place for the EFT community. What a gift!
And thank you for so clearly articulating the core principles of EFT. I love what you have come up with and look forward to helping to get the word out both about this site and the principles.
With much love to you all!
Sarah Holland says
Thank you so much for setting up this wonderful site when it is so needed by the EFT community, and what a great article to start with! I look forward to seeing the site grow.
Rosemary Manning says
I am so proud and grateful to be an EFT practitioner right now! I am inspired by all of your hard work to help move EFT through this time in its development. Thank you for working together to make this website a reality and a resource for everyone.
Pamela Bruner says
Thank you for this lovely site! Your list of the Core EFT Principles acts as a reminder of what to do in order to do our best for our clients.
Just reading the list puts me in the state of being more prepared mentally for working with someone – I highly recommend that practitioners read it every day!
What a terrific start to what appears that it will become an invaluable resource. I look forward to the contributions that this site will make to the tapping community.
Rue Hass says
I love this site! It makes my heart feel open and singing! Thank you Betty and Jade for holding the center so gracefully, and for creating a “place” where surely EFT tapping can expand its spirit.
Your Core Principle list is inspiring and grounding and allowing and inviting. And, there is something I want to add to it, for me: a little more about the blessing of the phrase “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
No matter what our spirituality, I think this phrase is the key to our becoming fully and completely our sacred human-ness. It doesn’t matter if we are Christian, Buddhist, a student of the Course in Miracles, a Mindfulness meditator, someone just curious about spirituality, or even an atheist.
I think all of us are reaching toward a powerful personal understanding of this generative inner focus of “deeply and completely accepting myself,” —really, not just as an automatic phrase we say in EFT.
When I first learned EFT I thought it would be too mechanical for me, that it wouldn’t allow enough room for adventure and creativity. But when I saw Gary demonstrate his art fearlessly (sometimes riskily…) onstage with volunteers, I realized that EFT could be a wonderful tool for co-creativity, imagination, curiosity, joy, laughter and blessing. All the elements of spirit.
As a practice, EFT offered me a structure that was simple and easy to teach. I could bring to it everything I have learned and learned about, and synthesize it all into an elegant, graceful, generative energy field for inviting a person to return to the wholeness and goodness at their center.
Being able to say, without hesitation and yes-buts, “I deeply and completely accept myself,” is about us learning to bloom from the center of the goodness that we already are, our birth-right, our sacred human-ness.
Even though it has developed a reputation for “one-minute-wonder-ism,” I believe that EFT, used consciously from our hearts, can help us to re-shape ourselves and each other at the deepest level of identity so that our true spiritual energy can flow free.
From Anne Lamott, wonderful: “To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now. And now is all we have, and love is who we are.”
Kipp Matalucci says
The website is indeed beautiful. I appreciate the effort that went into it, and I am most impressed by the thorough delineation of the EFT. It could not have been easy for two people to come up with such a clear explication of its principles. It is clearly not a “five-minute-in-homeroom- project,” that I call students’ projects, that were clearly done without any thought, creativity or effort in, well, five minutes during homeroom.
Jade Barbee says
Gill – Wow – Thank you so much for your feedback. Your words have helped take the teaching aspect of the document to a new level. I was unsure how, but you have illustrated the need for sharing some of the “how” and “why” behind rapport in a way that feels truly vital. Everything you’ve said about rapport and the necessary skills should be sung from the highest mountain. It makes me think we may all have an EFT: Art of Delivery manual on our hands and much more good work ahead.
*Recognizing that your client (even if the client is you) is always doing the best they can
*Allowing your client to express themselves in whatever way they need
*Developing the ability to appreciate each clients creative coping skills, which helps them appreciate it in themselves, thus allowing the self-acceptance aspect of EFT to become possible
Gill, I don’t know what to say – can I hug you? What you’ve awakened makes some of these principles seem so much less “core” – I’m almost starting to feel bad for their self-esteem!
Thank you for helping this “living document” get to it’s feet.
Gillian Wightman says
Thank you for the first ‘sneek’ peek of your beautiful website, which I am sure will be a valuable resource for the EFT community.
These core principles are truly excellent but what comes to my mind as I read them is a core principle I feel I really learnt from you both. Your client or yourself, despite perhaps showing signs of resistance or psychological reversal, is always doing the best they can. When we hold that principle to be true,, despite all appearances, then it is much easier to maintain that all necessary rapport. A safe healing environment in which the client is allowed to express themselves in whatever way they need to is the most necessary part of the healing process. For me, the ability to appreciate each clients creative coping skills has allows me to help them appreciate that it themselves, thus allowing the self acceptance aspect of EFT to become possible.
Keep up the good work.