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Articles & Ideas


Is Your Chosen EFT Practitioner Really Helping You?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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 Practitioners vary widely in their skills and training. Thus it is important to assess the depth of these skills so that you are getting the most out of your EFT sessions. For this purpose, EFT Master Patricia Carrington, PhD gives you very useful guidelines.

Hugs, Gary

By Patricia Carrington, PhD EFT Master


Previously, I discussed the process of finding an EFT practitioner who has sufficient skills to help you with your issue.  Now let's look at whether the EFT practitioner whom you have finally located is actually the right one for you.  Are they really going to help you where you need help most?

I am going to suggest some questions you can ask yourself about any practitioner with whom you are working.  You will not want to continue to schedule sessions with an EFT practitioner whom you are uncertain of just because you selected them initially –– your first session or two with the practitioner of your choice should therefore be an evaluative one on both sides.  You will be deciding whether this person is the right practitioner for you and they will be deciding if they can be of help to you or whether referral to another practitioner might be more useful.

Here are some of the attributes you should look for in an EFT practitioner:

The practitioner listens carefully

You should feel that the practitioner is carefully attending to what you say and picking up on it to ask further questions, that they are not merely repeating rote questions.

A competent EFT practitioner will sometimes ask you questions that surprise you because they aren't the ones you might have asked yourself.  Asking astute questions leads to EFT statements that can effectively target your issues.  Aside from finding out about your problem in general, a good EFT practitioner will want to know how long you have had this difficulty, when it first appeared in your life, and what were the circumstances in your life at the time it first emerged as a problem.  There is a great difference in the way EFT should be used to address problems that have emerged only very recently and those with a long-standing history.  The latter usually take considerably more time to handle with EFT and you should allow for this in plans.

The practitioner sheds new light on how to approach your problem with EFT

The right practitioner should add considerably to your own ability to target your issues with EFT.  One of the main reasons you have consulted a practitioner rather than continuing to work with EFT alone is to gather another perspective on how to how deal with your problem.  You want to know that the practitioner is helping you uncover many aspects of this problem that you might have missed working by yourself.  These may be feelings about a situation which you could not recognize in yourself and which now need to be tapped on, or memories of other situations in your life which may have laid the groundwork for your present problem, or other details of your issue not readily apparent to you.  All of these need to be tapped on and neutralized before you can fully resolve an issue.  You want your EFT practitioner to help you explore the origins of your problem as well as the immediate manifestations of it.

The practitioner helps you formulate powerful targeted EFT statements

The wording of the statements in your set-up phrase and reminder phrases is helpful in the success of EFT.  You want to have your EFT Practitioner skillfully help you formulate the statements you will use with your issues.  If you watch Gary Craig's tapes (whether his beginner’s tapes or the most advanced and recent of his tapes) you will notice the expertise with which he handles the actual wording of the EFT phrases and how this affects the impact of EFT.  Much of the Art Of Delivery, as Gary refers to the high level EFT skills, comes from the creative use of wording.

Also, if the practitioner uses my EFT Choices Method as one of the approaches that he or she offers (most practitioners will do so because of its usefulness in installing positive goals) the exact formulation of your intended outcome –– where you would like to be with this issue –– is extremely important.  You should notice whether the EFT practitioner is useful to you in their suggestions for the wording of the EFT statements and whether they are sufficiently flexible to allow you to keep modifying the wording as you proceed with a particular problem.  Developing and modifying EFT phrases is one of the essential ingredients of EFT.  Your EFT practitioner is there to help you with this, so if they are simply allowing you to use too general phrases they are not giving you full service.

The practitioner helps you test to see whether you have fully cleared your issue

The practitioner’s job is to be certain that you have fully dealt with your issue on all levels so that he or she should be helping you to test constantly.  I myself test a client’s reactions after each round of EFT.  I may have the client rerun the disturbing scene in their mind (I call this “rewinding the videotape in your mind and then replaying it”), or I may role-play with them so that they can re-experience the scene, or have them engage in an actual real-life test of the issue if possible.  Your practitioner should be helping you to continually assess your progress as you go along.

The practitioner is skillful in helping you get “unstuck” when you are “stuck” during EFT

How the practitioner helps you handle being stuck (not coming down any further in your intensity level) is an important consideration.  How your practitioner helps you get going again is very important.  Handling the blocks that inevitably occur during EFT is particularly hard for a person to do for themselves and is one of the major reasons people consult EFT practitioners.  Your practitioner should be creative in helping you handle being stuck.  I recently heard a report of a practitioner who just kept telling the client to “go home and keep tapping” when they experienced difficulty with a particular issue.  This is not the correct way to handle such a problem because it adds nothing to what you could have figured out yourself doing EFT at home.  You need to be given specific targeted strategies to handle the blocks which will inevitably occur as you continue to work with EFT.

The practitioner assigns homework to do between sessions

Although some practitioners assign homework regularly and others do so only occasionally, your practitioner should be giving you at least some constructive suggestions on what to do between sessions to help the EFT process along.  This homework can consist of tapping on specific phrases at stated intervals, or some other intervention.  I give my clients EFT Reminder Cards in addition to use at home after each session, an extremely helpful device (this is described in detail in my EFT Choices Manual). 

The practitioner protects you from experiencing unnecessary emotional pain during EFT 

Memories of traumatic incidents from the past, or other distressing issues, may cause undue emotional distress during EFT if not handled correctly.  It is the task of your EFT practitioner to mitigate such emotional pain and to see that the EFT process is gentle for you and stays on an uneven keel.  Your practitioner should be prepared to use Gary Craig’s Tearless Trauma Technique, his “sneaking up on the issue gradually” technique, and other effective means of easing any sharp distress that might potentially occur during your EFT sessions.  The aim of EFT is not to have you re-experience pains of the past but to heal them. 

You somehow know that the practitioner cares about you

Your intuitive impression that your EFT practitioner is a genuinely caring person who is truly interested in helping you, and who has the right healing touch for you, is essential.   The kinds of challenges the practitioner gives you must be useful for you.  Some clients require a more confrontive approach, others need a more gentle, soothing approach, and others a more conceptual approach, etc.  You must be the judge of whether your practitioner fits your own needs and your personality.

In all, you can expect to know after the first or second session with a practitioner whether they are capable of shedding new light on your problem and if they bring new vitality into your work with EFT.  My advice is to follow your intuition when making the decision whether to stay with this practitioner or not.  If you do this keeping in mind the practitioner attributes I have listed above, you should know clearly whether they are the right person for you to work with.

Patricia Carrington, PhD EFT Master


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