Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

This photo is a representation only.  It is not an actual client.
Today’s guest blogger is Janet Howard, a therapist at Hope House.

I have been a therapist at Hope House for eight years. About three years ago I discovered the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). In EFT, we use our fingertips and tap on specific meridian points to realign the body’s natural energy centers. This allows the memory to be healed, and the body’s energy to be realigned.

I know it sounds fantastic and something right out of a sci-fi movie, but believe me, if done correctly, healing from painful memories occurs in a matter of minutes.

Free from the emotional pain of the memory, the client can then reorganize their thought processes and move on with their life. Such was the case with Patty*. The first time I met Patty, she appeared to be afraid of taking up too much space. She sat in an almost fetal position.

She avoided eye contact and spoke so softly that I could barely hear her. She fidgeted with her fingers. Her fingernails were so short from biting them that they had scabs. Her eyes were lifeless. Her complexion was pasty, probably due to her latest overdose of medications.

She had been in psychological services since pre-adolescence, and had experienced domestic violence her whole life. Her hospitalizations for suicidal attempts were a normal part of her life. She practiced every type of self destructive behaviors I had ever known. Although she had spent years in therapy, she had never found lasting relief from her painful memories, or self destructive behaviors. She wanted to try EFT.

Over the following months we journeyed through her past and present, putting away old misery, pain, and fear-based ideas. Patty learned new healthy coping skills, and practiced EFT daily. She worked very hard to change, and save, her life.

Several months ago, as Patty sat in my office, we discussed how much she had changed her life. She had confidence and self love. She sat up straight, and had direct eye contact. Her eyes were clear and bright - full of promise and hope. She spoke with assurance and calm certainty. She could face life head on without fear.

She had outgrown her need for therapy in her life. She was enrolled in college, lived in her own apartment, and had a supportive group of friends. She had a future. She had a life.

*names have been changed


  1. Hope House helped me get my life back, but janet howard helped me get myself back.She worked with me for a long time on my addiction and all my emotional stuff.she was right there to help me battle my demons and I kicked their butts!! Thanks Hope House and especially thank you Janet for helping me save my own life J.N.
    p.s.Washington ROCKS!!!! Love you!!

  2. J.N., thank you SO much for your comment. Hearing happy endings like yours make everything we do worthwhile!

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  4. I don't get headaches often but when I do get it, it's really bad. So I decided to give EFT a try. It worked! I can stop taking paracetamol :-).

  5. Liza, that's wonderful news that EFT has helped you stop taking medication! So glad that you discovered this technique.

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  7. Thanks for your comment, Michael.