wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

Guest post – EFT

This week I have the pleasure of introducing Lizzie Carver to weallmadhere! Lizzie is an Emotional Freedom Technique therapist and all round awesome lady. She has written a guest post (below) on the basics of the technique.

To say that I was sceptical when I first heard about EFT is an understatement, (cynicism is a huge part of my personality). I don’t consider myself to be a very spiritual person, so anything that even remotely touches on energy forces etc, is a big NO. But on the other hand I’m always interested to learn about mental health treatments, because different things work for different people.

Lizzie has been a supporter of my blog for a while. Her positive attitude and general outlook on life is a breath of fresh air. So when she kindly offered to give me a session via Skype I couldn’t resist!

I like the basic principles of EFT and I was genuinely intrigued by the techniques. Is it for me? Well I’ve only been practising it for the last 24 hours, so I’ll report back in a week or so.

And now over to Lizzie…

EFT the basics

It sometimes seems to me that Emotional Freedom Technique is a bit like Marmite… people either rave about it – or think it sounds ridiculous!  I used to fall into the latter group, to be honest, at least until a good friend suggested we attend a day’s workshop run by Karl Dawson, an EFT Master Practitioner (and the creator of Matrix Re-imprinting – more about that later).

So what is this Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as EFT or “tapping”)?  The idea is that our life force energy flows around the body via a network of invisible channels called meridians – the same concept that underpins Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.  When we experience pain or trauma, whether that is physical or mental in origin, the energy can become blocked or stuck and may cause discomfort, dysfunction or even disease as a result.  Rather than using needles to release the energy, we simply tap lightly on areas of the head and body that correlate to the end points of various meridians, following a simple, easy to remember sequence. (Did I mention that some people think this is ridiculous?  And that I was once one of them)? Back to the workshop with Karl…  As well as teaching us the tapping process, he did a number of demos and, each time, we were encouraged to “tap along”. I was very impressed by what I saw, but somewhat distracted by an increasingly strong urge to cry and an insistent memory of a really painful episode from my teenage years.  Late in the afternoon, when Karl asked if everyone was OK, I stuck up my hand to admit that I was NOT and he was kind enough to work directly with the distress I was feeling by leading me in the tapping routine and talking me through it, offering reassurance and also some re-framing by reminding me that I had survived the episode and that it had all been OK in the end.  This process took just a few minutes but I felt a lot better immediately.

However, the big surprise dawned on me during the days that followed.  Although it was a dark, cold time of year, I felt as though a darkness had lifted from me. My world quite literally looked lighter and brighter, somehow. So now I don’t think that EFT is at all ridiculous, although I quite understand that other people may need to try it for themselves before they can see what it may be able to offer them!  And, having gone on to train with Karl, I now teach it to clients as a self-help tool for them to manage anxiety or distress, as well as working therapeutically with them around their specific issues.

I use it in my own life, too – earlier this year, it helped me manage a long-held fear of flying when I needed to take a flight to Scotland for a family funeral. (I hadn’t flown for about twenty years, following a deeply embarrassing meltdown on the way out to a holiday that I didn’t much enjoy, because I was too busy dreading flying home. Can you relate?)

And that Matrix Re-imprinting thing? It’s a way of using EFT to take the pain out of old painful memories and begin to change the beliefs that may have been set up alongside those memories.  So, that day when the teacher told you that you were stupid, and you believed it? We can work with that.  Or if you have (as I did) a whole series of memories that led you to believe that the world is not a safe place – we can work with that, too.

One thing I should make clear – I firmly believe that we are all a “work in progress” and that we keep on learning and growing until our last day, so I’m not in the business of peddling instant miracles. But I equally firmly believe in the value of tapping when I feel worried, angry, fearful or sad – whether that’s because of something that happened twenty minutes or twenty years ago.  It makes me feel better.  And I can’t say more than that, except thanks so much to Claire for the chance to share my passion for EFT with you.

Author bio

As an energy therapist, Lizzie Carver helps frazzled souls shift unhelpful patterns and boost energy levels so they may step forward into a brighter future of self-acceptance.

She’s been spotlighted in the Guardian’s Life & Style section and in 2012 was approached by Birdworld to develop a bespoke phobia programme for its less enthusiastic supporters.  She also contributes to the online magazine, Silent Voices.

To discover how to restore balance and ease, visit Lizzie’s online home over at http://www.lizzie-carver.co.uk/

Categories: Anxiety

2 replies

  1. I have no personal experience of EFT, other than that I recently wrote and performed a stand up comedy routine in front of 70 people (but enough about me!). I was anxious from the first second after I put my hand up and said “I’ll do that” but when talking to someone who had done the same course and performance 12 months ago, she told me that on the night there was an EFT practitioner there and he did the tapping thing on her( as she put it) and she went from being a gibbering wreck to floating onto the stage and doing her routine perfectly.
    My default system is also cynicism, but it’s gradually being worn down by taking in my own and other’s experience of different techniques and thinking “what have I got to lose by being open minded?”

  2. I am in awe of your courage in talking to that many people, Morgan!! I would find that really, really difficult to do.
    Your story is a neat illustration of how helpful EFT can be “in the moment” – it can be a great self-help tool for managing any strong emotion and I teach it to virtually every one of my clients.
    I like your question “what have I got to lose by being open minded?” as it’s really quite profound. Since anxiety and panic are your body/mind’s way of trying to keep you safe (albeit more than a little OTT), I find that people can often be too tightly defended and tense to open their fist, let alone their mind. Allowing the possibility of change means hope, and hope might end in disappointment – so it can seem much safer not to try. Cynicism is a really effective defence against disappointment, but it may also shut out possibility and hope so I’m glad it is gently eroding. 🙂

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