Where did EFT come from?

When we stumble across the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the first time it seems to explode into our world and we apply it with gusto to every issue we have and evangelistically promote it to everyone we know. Yet it can be easy to dismiss EFT as just another new age fad that has come and will go. Yet the origins of EFT date back to the early 1970s giving it a strong foundation of nearly 40 years!

Below is a summary of the detailed history of EFT provided by Dr. Patricia Carrington:

“The history of meridian tapping began with Dr. George Goodheart, a leading chiropractor who found he could use acupuncture points beneficially for physical conditions by just “tapping” on them (no needles were needed!)

An Australian psychiatrist, John Diamond, M.D., then took this discovery a step further. He began using verbal affirmations as the patient was stimulating the acupuncture points. This was a major step forward as it introduced a psychological tool into the process. But still the treatment method lacked a cohesive “engine” to drive it forward with real effectiveness. That engine was supplied by Dr. Roger Callahan, an American psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders.

Dr. Callahan’s contribution was immense and has been well documented. Through his interest in acupuncture and his awareness of the use of the value of tapping on acupoints, he made a key discovery upon which all later meridian tapping methods are based. Callahan found that if a person is focusing on a specific fear at the time they tap, that fear can be removed, often permanently. He developed his discovery into a complete system and concluded that there was a correct tapping sequence for every emotional issue, and that this could be determined for each individual through the use of muscle testing. He called these tapping sequences “algorithms” and his treatment later became known as Thought Field Therapy, or TFT.

Dr. Callahan’s work, although brilliant and groundbreaking, was however quite complex and difficult to master because different algorithms were required for each one of the numerous disorders studied.

The next step was the creation of simplified versions of Callahan’s technique. These were known as “single algorithm techniques” (i.e. they did not require diagnosis or muscle testing). My own early method, Acutap, was one of the very first single algorithm methods, predating EFT by about seven years and there may have been others who devised similar adaptations of Callahan’s method.

Then, in the 1990’s, quite independently arrived at and without his knowledge of any former single-algorithm method, one of Roger Callahan’s star pupils, Gary Craig, unveiled a major development of the meridian tapping techniques which he called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Today his single algorithm method, EFT, leads the world in the development and teaching of the meridian tapping approach to healing.

It is interesting to note that the meridian tapping techniques are now moving beyond EFT as highly skilled experts create tapping approaches that are beginning to differ from Official EFT in many respects. This is an exciting development that promises to grow in a spirit of friendly cooperation between all these methods, as they become better known throughout the world.”

So EFT has evolved by standing on the shoulders of giants – and, continues to evolve. Gary Craig always says that, “we are on the ground floor of the healing high rise” so it’s an exciting time to be involved in the field.

What about you? Even if you’re not a practitioner, have you come up with some new approaches, new shortcuts, or new ways of using EFT on yourself? Let me know in the comments.

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