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  • lkmerton

Why EFT and TAT are the modalities I use myself, and teach to others.

The field of psychotherapy has broken wide open in the last twenty years or so. Most of us have heard of Freud, Jung, and B F Skinner; we might also know about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and even experienced breakthroughs with CBT.

What has really changed, though, is the whole focus of therapy. It's no longer an hour on a couch with a therapist saying soothingly, "And how did that make you feel"?

Biopsychosocial - that is the word used to describe the contemporary, holistic way of looking at healing, in which biology (things like diet and exercise), psychology (especially a greater acknowledgement of trauma), and our social lives all play a part in our wellbeing.

The reason that the biopsychosocial model of therapy has become much more prevalent in treatment is simple - it's because there is loads of science supporting its effectiveness. EMDR and biofeedback training work.

Still, when I first heard of these treatments, they seemed so remote, and the learning curve before feeling any benefits seemed daunting. Plus, at that time 20 years or so ago, the idea of therapy itself seemed an all-or-nothing, top-down process, expensive, remote and embarrassing.

My 2023 self, by way of contrast, will happily and publicly meridian-tap myself out of a funk while I'm walking the dog. (That's because I tapped myself out of embarrassment.)

EFT is that easy. It's the workhorse of energy therapies, the marriage of CBT and acupressure. From the first time that I used it on myself to help with an upsetting situation, and felt immediately relieved of the distress, EFT has been my favourite emotional first-aid. I find that it also helps me to think. I can break down an issue into more manageable bits, and even just doing that helps me find solutions beyond just tapping away the feelings.

After the first EFT certification class that I did in 2003, I went on to study different levels of the technique, plus many others (WHEE, Emotrance, Healing Touch etc). When I was first introduced to TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) during a therapy session I was receiving, however, I knew that I had found the complement modality to EFT that I had sought - I had been looking for a calmer, quieter, more contemplative way to heal my issues and those of my clients.

TAT involves only one pose, not an active tapping. Like EFT, it's a forgiving technique, but unlike EFT, there are no verbal scripts to generate, just a gentle following along in one's mind of various ways to look at a problem. TAT can therefore go deeper, in my experience, and can be more global as well, instructing the nervous system to release and feel safe on a physical, emotional and even spiritual level. EFT can do those things too, but it's less easy sometimes to do by oneself.

Sometimes, if a client gets stuck, I'll put some EFT into a TAT session in order to reveal and heal the block.

Both modalities are easy, both are effective, both leave clients (or me!) feeling at ease. Some issues take longer to sort out than others - many sessions, with homework - but at least when a session starts, I know that I will be leaving a client (or myself!) in a good state until next time. And if things come up in between sessions, we know what to do.

One of the best things about therapy in recent times is the normalisation of it. Which is a good thing - because our world is so stressful, and a lot of us feel lost and uncertain. I feel thankful for EFT and TAT every single day, for their graceful support in my life.

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