I am a hypnotherapy and NLP trainer's trainer and also happen to be a teacher of meridian therapies.
As such I have spent a great deal of time researching the cause and effect relationships in MT treatments, such as EFT, with a tremendous variety of professionals and laypeople, in trainings, public demonstrations, with clients and of course, with my own personal experiences.
Of course I have met my good share of those who seek to debunk EFT as well by now.
The first question that always arises:
Is EFT hypnosis?
No, EFT is not hypnosis but:
"The application of EFT in and of itself and in the absence of any further deepening techniques leads to a light trance state and even more so if a therapist does the actual tapping; it can thereby be used as an easy kinaesthetic trance induction which doubles as a treatment at the same time.
In a typical hypnosis session, EFT can be used at any point to help soothe and alleviate emotions arising, or to gentle away any blockages you might run into; and of course, it can be used as a profound deepener at any stage of an induction."
Next - why did the gentleman who wrote the original post had such a bad experience at the hands of the "enthusiastic practitioner" if EFT works at the physiological level?
In my experience, the effectiveness of EFT is directly proportional to the *ability of the practitioner to create an environment whereby the client will feel safe to contact their negative emotions*.
EFT does not work when it is not targeted correctly - no emotions to clear, no clearing. Very simple. A lack of rapport from the practitioner with a client who is not given to allowing themselves easy access to emotionally charged memories or states will preclude the technique from working.
There is even a portion of the population - overwhelmingly men - who are so deeply disassociated from their own emotional processes that they can't access emotions at all. I have worked with a large number of these simply because I am at the end of a chain of referrals and it represents some fascinating challenges that require high levels of skill and the ability to really respond to the idiosyncratic manifestations of an individual client to make the treatment work.
I would estimate the occurrence of this at about 5-8% of the population.
Now, to the "tapping in the wrong places" piece of debunking evidence.
*Any* hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner worth their training certificate should be able to use languaging, trance, anchoring and of course state interrupts by *any* means - ringing bells or blowing whistles or tapping here, there, or anywhere and get some form of result at the end of the session.
That is neither here nor there.
The physiological and behavioural feedback and changes that can be created with EFT and TFT are unique, indisputable and just astonishing.
Literally, I am not kidding. They are nothing at all like post hypnotic suggestions, faith healing, Reiki or even NLP interventions - they are instant, incredibly powerful and when you're in the room, you jolly well *know* on all levels that something extraordinary has occurred, just from looking at the client and observing them before, during and after, and never mind the actual behavioural evidence in the form of cessation of all manner of problems and limitations.
I have experienced this personally and have facilitated it too many times to be able to recall how many times in person; I have watched newbie practitioners facilitate such changes and self helpers too.
In the general personal development scene, there are three types of people with regards to the Meridian Therapies -
those who believe we're all completely crazy (that's the ones who haven't either seen for themselves or experienced for themselves just what an extraordinary thing these "energy shifts" are and how they re-route someone's neurology in an instant);
those who have seen it but haven't experienced it for themselves and are still trying to work out if it's placebo, hypnosis or what it possibly could be;
and then there are those like myself who have experienced it for themselves and there is then no question that it isn't like anything else available anywhere and we really are talking breakthrough paradigm here.
Lastly, why doesn't a beginner get the same results as I and my experienced colleagues do?
EFT is a protocol that has been designed to be usable in self help by just anyone at all. The basic EFT protocol is *not* what is used by an experienced practitioner - they will use usually various short cut techniques, all kinds of intuitive variants, TFT approaches to find idiosyncratic sequences and orders of treatment points; they will know from experience where and what to say and do to firstly find the relevant part of the energy system to treat (a memory, a belief, an old anchor, etc, etc) and then where and how to tap to treat that.
Judging the energy therapies field by EFT is a bit like saying a hamburger is haute cuisine and expecting a beginner, no matter how talented they may be, who is scraping a tune step by step on his violin to sound like a professional musician is nonsensical.
The fascinating thing is that even with being the most basic of simple "one size fits all" protocols, EFT does work for a resounding number of people who try this by themselves at home, in front of their computer screens for the first time and are astonished to notice that "something has happened".
To me, EFT and the other current MTs like TFT, BSFF and so forth, are just a step stone or a sign post to a whole new and unexplored set of dimensions in mind/body connections and a really fine teacher to understand more about people in general.
My advice is - don't try and "debunk" EFT. Investigate EFT properly. I promise you, you will be most surprised at what you will find and where it will lead you - personally as well as professionally.
Author, "Adventures In EFT"