When I find myself off in the weeds or feeling bad, EFT is always there to help me weather personal challenges, and live life as authentically as I possibly can. It enables me to get back on the horse when I fall, to stretch more comfortably, and to approach all of my goals more effortlessly.
I use it to help other people too: When you acknowledge hurts, fears, worries and negative self-talk or limiting thinking, a lot can change –allergies can mysteriously vanish, chronic pain/conditions can dissipate and with naturally improved self-esteem as a result of this work – imagine what kind of life you could live?
My training and experience includes hundreds of hours of private sessions and group work since 2006. You can read more about my personal journey with EFT below, and here's my mini-cv:
- Assessor, EFTInternational.org Training and Accreditation Board, and Advisor to the Executive Board, 2017-present
- Director, EFTInternational.org Training and Accreditation Board 2014-2017
- Master Trainer of Trainers and Mentor (EFT International) 2010-present
- Personal and Professional EFT Practice 2006-present, EmotionalEngine.com LLC
- Private Tutor and Learning Specialist, 1998-present
- Teacher/ Curriculum Advisor, Exploration Summer Programs, 1991-96
- Graduate, Hampshire College, B.A. 1994
As an EFT International Accredited, Certified EFT Trainer (of Trainers), I am experienced mentoring students and practitioners at all skills levels, and I also bring more than 18 years of experience as a private tutor and learning specialist to my 1-on-1 session work. I teach EFT workshops all over the US, mentor students internationally, and continue a full practice of private, 1-to-1 clients.
My Tapping Story
In early 2005. I was working as a learning strategies trainer in New York City, a job where I was traveling from home to home, giving private lessons, tutoring and helping people create technology solutions for themselves.
I did well professionally, but I was pretty unhappy, and I felt as if I was really spinning my wheels. I sensed I was carrying a ton of stress around with me – and I had some good reasons – but I knew I wanted to let go of it, somehow. TMJ (a painful jaw condition) tormented me daily - so much that I used to wake with headaches, and my wrists always hurt from what I thought was simply working on the computer too much. It seemed I was constantly sick in some form or another, always on antibiotics and deeply unsatisfied with my personal relationships.
I learned of EFT almost casually after contacting a hypnotherapist I found online. Before we got around to doing any hypnotherapy, she introduced me to EFT and explained that she had just learned it and wanted to try it on me. I agreed, and, to my surprise and delight, after only five minutes of tapping, several years of “carpal tunnel” pain literally melted away (and did not return for over two years)!
The experience blew me away. EFT eased my physical symptoms, and it also removed the sting from deeper, more troubling PTSD issues and traumatic memories that slowly — and safely — emerged during the tapping. Had I actually found a cure for the many terrible feelings I had been carrying around with me for so long? Could I really step-out of bad relationship habits, or from believing that I 'wasn't good enough' as I am?
Because of EFT, I experienced the clear connection between my feelings and my physical symptoms during this process — and a way to finally do something about it. I also began to see that conclusions I had come to about myself that I was bad, that I was wrong – weren't true at all. And this was all because I had learned to hold space for myself, with EFT...
What is EFT Tapping?
I've been practicing EFT (for myself and to help others) for over 14 years, and I believe tapping helps us hold space for ourselves in new ways – ways that allow the energy of difficult thoughts, feelings, or symptoms to naturally shift.
When we allow ourselves to have what we are having (e.g. the stress of negative thoughts, "bad" feelings, memories or symptoms we've been avoiding or pushing away), we can feel better, often in a matter of minutes. In other words, tapping is a somatic (body-centered) and systematic approach we can use to experience the benefits of being present – to ourselves.
Everyone has had negative or painful experiences, and each of us deals with these in our own way. Some of us self-medicate (with food, alcohol, drugs or shopping, for example) others externalize (scream, abuse, blame, etc.) and still many more internalize the pain in the form of self-blame, anxiety, physical symptoms or negative thinking. Sometimes it's a combination of all of these. In essence, we humans can get in the habit of pushing away or trying to bury difficult thoughts and emotions.
When we are stressed out and feeling poorly – even at a so-called low level – our bodies are in a state of discomfort or even high alert. This sense of being under threat can continue for hours, days, weeks or months, depending upon our unique orientation to life. We might be quite used to this, or simply accept it as a part of living – even as we struggle under the weight of it – physically, emotionally, in our relationships...
This pressure can seem to come from outside of us, but consider that it actually comes from within us - from our own negative thoughts, unexpressed feelings, or as a response to the early troubling experiences we still carry.
When our stress responses have been triggered, we find ourselves in a state of fight, flight, freeze or flop. Our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol - powerful stress hormones designed to help us take action for safety and survival. Sometimes this response is appropriate (jumping out of the way of a speeding car, for example), and sometimes it isn't (e.g. inability to express ourselves clearly, screaming at loved one, stuffing down our pain, reaching for the bottle, etc.)
Healing is Possible
EFT can reliably calm our outsized stress responses – like fear, frustration or chronic anxiety – in the moment it is happening, allowing us to think more clearly and restoring our choice-making ability.
In skilled hands, EFT can further be used to address and disarm what gets triggered that is often at the root of our stress – those bad things that happened, our negative thoughts about them, our unfortunate conclusions about ourselves – so our nervous systems can safely relax. We're likely just trying to protect ourselves – consciously or unconsciously – from bad things happening again...
In short, when we allow ourselves to gently have our pain – to no longer push it away – healing is possible. When we tap and allow what's most present for us, a trail can open up back to the early times in life when we developed our strategies and protective coping skills. By being present to the feelings, images, or memories that arise while we tap – we create the space for our discomfort (or "stress") to naturally change or evolve. In this way, tapping brings relief...
Do you think your issues might be stress-related? If you sense you're stuck in a cycle of stress or struggle, a program of personal EFT sessions can help. How often do you really give yourself the opportunity to be present to yourself or notice what's going on under the surface of your current situation?
If you're new to EFT/Tapping, I've co-written a free introductory manual (available from EFT International). Download it here to get started exploring how tapping can help you.
Are you interested in the science behind EFT or the research that's been done? There are 35+ Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs, the gold-standard for research) involving EFT and EFT-related modalities. Head over to EFT International to explore the research archive.
Finally, if you've heard about EFT, experienced it, or sense that it might be the right tool to help you better assist your clients, consider an EFT training course. Together we practice the ins and outs of tapping with other students in a fun, engaging and cooperative group environment – a fantastic way to learn this life-long skill.