For the treatment of depression, anxiety, and grief
This is not a substitute for therapy. Please see a therapist if you need help managing your mood or anxiety or help with grief.
The Emotional Freedom Technique(EFT) is amazingly useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety and grief. It may also be helpful in managing unstable moods. EFT combines psychotherapeutic tools with Asian Medicine, using the energetic meridians of the body. In combining these two modalities into one, we are able to let go of stuck energy, relieving the body of discomfort. Sometimes it even helps relieve pain!
Sometimes as energy moves, it can feel worse before it feels better. A classic example is if you’re feeling sad. As you start the EFT, you may find that you feel even more sad and you have to stop to cry. When you’re done crying, you can return to the EFT and you will then, likely, be able to let the energy of the sadness go.
Below I will walk you through the steps of doing EFT.
- Rate your negative moods on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is no negative mood and 10 is severely negative mood. You could have a list of several here.
- Some people find it helpful to imagine a metaphorical fruit or vegetable which could encapsulate all their negative feelings, holding the feelings for you.
- You will create a phrase that addresses your current stressor and relates it to your oldest stressor or trauma. Here is the structure for the phrase:
Even though ________________(current stressors), and I feel _________________ (these are the feelings listed in #1). This reminds me of _________________ (oldest remembered stressor or trauma), which made me feel ________________ (feelings felt at that time. Ideally this event goes all the way back to your childhood.)
- Next you will tap or rub the karate spot with the four fingers of the other hand. The Karate Spot goes along the outside of your palm. While doing this, you will say the phrase in #3, three times out loud. It is possible to shorten the phrase with images, the second and third times through.
- Tap the top of your head with four fingers. Imagine that you part your hair and you will be tapping at the back of the part. While tapping you will say out loud, “I am ________(feelings in #1).
- Tap the third eye spot with 2-3 fingers, saying “I feel __________(feelings in #1)”.
- Tap the end of the eyebrow with 2-3 fingers, saying “I feel _______ (feelings in #1)”.
- Tap under the eye with 3 fingers, saying “I feel _________ (feelings in #1)”.
- Tap under the nose with 3 fingers, saying “I feel _________ (feelings in #1)”.
- Tap under the lip with 3 fingers, saying “I feel _________ (feelings in #1)”.
- Tap under your collar bone closer to your shoulder with 3 fingers, saying “I feel _________ (feelings in #1)”.
- Tap under your armpit, about four inches below your pit, near your bra strap if you wear one. Feel around for a place that feels more tender. This will tell you that it is the right spot. Tap or rub with 3 fingers, saying “I feel _________ (feelings in #1)”.
- Relax and take 3-4 deep relaxing breaths.
- Check in with #1 and see if your feelings have reduced.
- Repeat bulleted points. If the feelings have reduced a little, change to “I feel ___________ (feelings in #1) but they’re getting better, my body is healing itself.” That phrase could vary in a number of ways as long as it validates the body for healing itself.
- Continue repeating these until your negative feelings are gone.
- If you run through all the points three times and there is no change, the phrase isn’t working. You’ll need to restructure the phrase in #3. You’ll have to ask yourself what is really bothering me? What am I really feeling? Or you may need to ask yourself, “Was there an earlier stress or trauma?” “What is the earliest thing I can remember that was really upsetting for me?”
- If you still can’t make it work for you, I would suggest seeking a psychotherapist who can teach it to you in person.