You'll believe it when you tap it!

Tapping into your Potential

by Michael Mallows


What is the Emotional Freedom Technique?

EFT is one of various so called energy therapies.  As with any ‘new’ idea, model, theory or technique that introduces a paradigm shift, there will always be patients, clients, experts who are set in their ways or practitioners who, for whatever reason, contemptuously dismiss the notion and ridicule the person who has wholeheartedly embraced ‘the new kid on the block.’

EFT was the main theme of the very first issue of Nurturing Potential and rather than repeat all the material that was incorporated in that issue, including my own article I'd Built Myself A Prison, you may access them all from

Much has changed and there have been many new developments since those earlier articles were published, so while they are still valid, it is nevertheless useful to describe how my own use of the technique has improved or been modified.

EFT practitioners can be found all over the world.  Many of them were or are ‘mainstream’ doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, scientists, renowned authors, etc. I cannot highly enough recommend Masha Bennett, who is a manifestly competent EFT expert, a great trainer – compassionate, funny, and caring. I have learnt so much from her over the years and I am proud to call her a friend.

There are also many trainers and workshops for those who might want to be qualified or prefer shared learning. YouTube has an abundance of videos, which can be sorted by category and topic, so you can home in on whatever issue concerns you. 

Some people are skeptical, anxious or downright dismissive initially, not least because there is still much to learn and understand about the underlying principles of EFT.  Hopefully, as EFT’s high success rate grows, more people will be encouraged to 'give it a go’ and reap the benefits.  Medical practitioners employing EFT can now be found in every corner of the country and world. 

The tapping technique combined with positive affirmations, which are spoken out loud, seem, if not ubiquitous, certainly almost a given. The one I’ve heard more than any other is usually combined with a clockwise finger-tip massaging of the heart – tapping quite firmly (not like a butterfly kiss).

 “I truly and deeply love and appreciate myself” I tend to have a rehearsal; four or five deep breaths, then repeat two or three

I use this with delegates on my Teen Talk workshops for adoptive parents.

I’ve also introduced it to teachers on Clean and Crafty Classroom workshops and used it with teenagers who lack self esteem, and ditto for the adults in their lives. 

If you have downloaded the free manuals and been tapping yourself with any useful results, I’d encourage you to contact an EFT practitioner at least once. 

Tapping can be done with one or both hands, on either side of the body, and you can switch sides if you feel moved to do so. You can use just the index and middle finger or all the fingers, which increases the likelihood that you will; tap gently yet firmly - and mindfully 

Tap Firmly

Firmly yet gently i.e. No Bruises!

If you choose to use both hands, tap with a slight pause between one hand and the other

It has been suggested that watches and glasses could, both mechanically and electromagnetically, interfere with EFT, so, it might be prudent to take them off before tapping.

I’ll do it My Way!

I have kept the description somewhat vague for two reasons:

Firstly because I believe the best EFT practitioners will develop their own style, bringing their unique approach as they develop and enhance their current skills and talents for the benefit of the people with whom they live and work. 

Secondly I want to share some of my approach to EFT with individuals, which is somewhat different to most other approaches I’ve been observed and taught – but no less effective.

I mention this because I think innovation and flexibility add something to the mix. 

I adapt everything I do to resonate with the clients’ energy, starting with building rapport, which will either have happened on the phone, or if some one has attended one of my workshops, which might include EFT, but I do not teach EFT.

My one-to-one sessions are (up to) two hours. 

I ask my clients,

What would you like to have happen?”
CL ”I’d like you to help me with my anger and panic attacks.”

What kind of panic attacks?
CL “They drive me crazy, I can hardly breathe!”

And they drive you crazy and you can hardly breathe.

CL “Yes, that’s exactly right.”

And when you can hardly breathe, what happens just before you can hardly breathe?
CL “I feel tense and my heart starts beating 19 to the dozen, and I feel the tension building”

And when panic attacks drive you crazy, and you can hardly breathe, and your heart starts beating 19 to the dozen, and the tension is building, then what happens?

CL “I feel as if I’m being crushed and my chest hurts.”

And when you feel as if you are being crushed and your chest hurts what would you like to have happen?

CL “I’d like to relax breath deeply, stay calm and get on with things.”

And you’d like to relax breath deeply, stay calm and get on with things.

CL “Can you help me?”

If we work together and what we do works for you, how might you think, feel and act differently?”

CL “I’ll feel calmer, less angry and anxious, less reactive, more motivated, more in control!

If we work together, we’ll work out some development tasks for you to do between sessions, which are where the real work happens; back in your own domain, or wherever you tend to get most anxious, most angry, most panicky, most in danger of being crushed and driven crazy and your heart is beating 19 to the dozen and the tension is building. …..What are you experiencing right now?

CL “It’s strange, because as you went through the list, I started to feel calmer, and all that stuff seemed further away!  ”Your voice is very calming.”

Thank you. And when my voice is calming, and all that stuff seemed further away and you started to feel calmer, whereabout is calmer?

CL {pointing to stomach} “In my belly, it felt less tense, easier to breath, and my heart isn’t racing like it usually does.”

On a scale of one to ten, how anxious do you feel right now?
CL “About six”

OK I want to spend a few minutes making sure that you know how to breath deeply, slowly and mindfully. Stand up, please. OK, take a deep breath. [Almost nobody does this well, lamentably, so almost nobody gets enough oxygen into their lungs, which, as you’re probably aware] can have an instant impact on almost every cell in our body. I spend ten minutes or so coaching almost every person I work with, be it one to one or in groups. And throughout the session I will call for deep breath pauses every so often.   

After three or four deep breathes I asked what number on the 1-10 scale now.

CL “It’s about 6.5, but I sort of feel as if I can move more easily and my heart’s not on my case”

OK I want to. Elicit from you what I call a ‘Core Identity Statement’ It will begin with, ‘I’m CL and I’m ….[and what follows must not be, I’m a fe/male, I’m a nurse, I’m a police person, it needs to an honest, authentic statement about the very essence of you.]

It takes some people a while to ‘get it’ (so to speak), and what I’m looking. Listening and feeling for from the client is congruence; good eye contact, calm breathing, relaxed posture and at ease with themself. [The statement could be as simple as; ‘I care’ I’m kind’ ‘I matter’]

The core identity statement becomes the second half of what we’ll tap on.

The first half will be (one of) the myriad limiting beliefs and bedrock assumptions that we’ve all been trammeled with on our journeys through life.

I tend to incorporate the Drivers
[1] from Transactional Analysis [TA]

So the tapping will be on the face, over the heart, under the armpit, between the knuckles and on the fleshy part of the hands.
As the tapping proceeded – and I tap on the same meridian points as the client, and also say their words with them – always reminding them to breathe between taps.

After this, we’ll determine the developmental task to be addressed between the sessions.
If they have not completed the task, that’s OK because, after all, their pattern is not necessarily going to be dissolve straight away, exploring what got in the way is useful, and I’m always mindful of the ecology of their lives

[1] These are (in no particular order): Try Hard,  Be Strong,  Be Perfect,  Hurry Up. Please Others