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Articles & Ideas


EFT is effective despite language barriers

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

EFT, in its simplest form boils down to (1) tune into the issue and then (2) balance the meridians by tapping on them. While creative wording can be very helpful in sophisticated cases, there are many circumstances where the simple form works beautifully ... even when language is a problem. This is clearly displayed in this article by Sobeida Salomon.

Hugs, Gary

By Sobeida Salomon, Ph.D.

Dear Gary:

Many thanks for making EFT available to everyone.  I am a psychotherapist and a user of EFT with my clients.  Recently, I had the opportunity to apply the technique successfully despite a language barrier. As it turns out, just maintaining the client’s focus on her distress feelings while tapping on the points achieved the desired result. I wanted to share this experience with everyone, since it suggests EFT can be effective in cases when language and cultural barriers are present.

While we were renting a rural home in France, my spouse and I became friends with the property owner, “Marie”.  She spoke some Spanish and few words of English.  We managed to communicate with her because we could understand and speak some French, but we are fluent in English and Spanish.  

One day, Marie was very concerned and visibly stressed.  Her daughter, who was 26, moved back into her house.  She was engaged to get married at the end of the month and was under a severe depression after her fiancée broke the engagement of six years.  I explained to Marie that I was a psychotherapist and that I knew of a new technique that could help her daughter overcome her grief.

Her daughter was eager to try anything that could alleviate the emotional pain she felt.  Since we had a limited verbal interaction, I could not ask for a number to measure the distress level, but observing her inconsolable crying, it could have been 9 on a scale of 0 to 10.  With her approval, I tapped on her through all the EFT points.  We did several rounds of tapping, without any particular phrase because I felt that the use of affirmations or reminder phrases was irrelevant at that time.

GC COMMENT: Yes, it is VERY likely that the affirmations and reminder phrases were unnecessary. This is because the client, under these circumstances is clearly tuned into the problem.

After each subsequent round, she looked better, visibly showing more control over her emotions. Due to the language barrier, I could not get to the root of the problem, as I would have done under different circumstances, but the technique indeed brought her back to the present time.  She stopped crying, her body looked more relaxed, and her eyes looked different, brighter.

I attempted to explain the theory behind EFT to Marie, who was very eager to learn about it. I gave her a diagram with the different points, and promised to mail her some information in French.

This case has motivated me to make EFT available to Spanish-speaking immigrants, who cannot read in their own language or afford a psychotherapist, but are open to any new development that can help them manage the traumatic experience they usually face when living behind all that is dear and familiar to them in search of a better future.

I sincerely hope that by reporting this experience I can motivate other EFT practitioners to do their best to help others, regardless of the language they speak.  The truth is that there are no barriers for what you can accomplish with EFT!  

Sobeida Salomon, Ph.D.


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.