How To Know When You Need an EFT Tapping Practitioner

With all the EFT tapping self-help resources out there, do you really need to work with a practitioner? Here are some things to consider.

By: Christine McDevitt, MS, OTR/L

If you do an online search for Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT tapping), you’ll find many options for free and paid resources to help you tap on your own. These range from apps to books to videos, and they address a wide variety of issues for which EFT can be effective.

Given the availability of do-it-yourself options, some people wonder why they would ever need to work with a certified EFT tapping practitioner. There is one main question to ask yourself when deciding which route to take: What are you trying to accomplish by using EFT tapping?

Balancing scales to make a decision between self-help EFT resources and working with a certified EFT tapping practitioner.
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Your goal can help determine your approach to using EFT.

When choosing between a do-it-yourself option and working with a practitioner, think about why you want to use tapping in the first place.

Here are five common reasons why people use tapping and ways that your goal might affect your decision about working with a practitioner.

1. Food cravings are interfering with losing weight or maintaining a healthy diet.

Image by Hans Schwarzkopf from Pixabay

Goal: I want to be able to resist eating the food when I get a craving.

Tapping when a craving first starts is a great way to help you break the pattern of giving into it.

While a script isn’t necessary for tapping on a craving to be effective, an app, tapping script, or video can be useful especially if you feel like you don’t know what to say when you tap.

Goal: I want to be free of the cravings altogether.

An app, tapping scripts, or tapping videos can help address the surface layers of the cravings. These layers might include the nature of the cravings themselves or emotions that drive them.

If you find yourself still having the same pattern after you’ve been working on your own, though, there may be issues around the origin of the cravings that aren’t being addressed.

Working with a certified EFT tapping practitioner is a more efficient solution to longer-term change. A skilled practitioner can help you safely access and move through those deeper issues and teach you how to come up with more effective tapping phrases for your specific needs.

2. Feeling anxious in certain situations or when thinking about certain things

Goal: I want to calm down quickly when I feel anxious.

For this type of goal, videos or a tapping app can work well especially if you don’t know anything about how to tap on your own. You don’t have to invest too much thought or energy. You can just follow along and focus on one specific thought or feeling in the moment. For a quick fix, tapping along with a guided script can be a helpful tool.

Goal: I want to be able to be in these situations or think about these things and not feel anxious.

If you’re tapping on your own (with or without an app or videos) and things aren’t changing for the better over time, you’re not getting to the root of the problem. The pattern is still stuck in your nervous system.

Scripted tapping tends to address superficial levels of an issue. It can be hard to get to the deeper layers on your own, and this is where the roots of the issue are. If you do get to the roots, it can be tricky to know how to proceed once you’re there.

Working with a practitioner is a more efficient and effective solution to finding and dismantling the specific pieces keeping the pattern in place. Dismantling the pattern is key for long-term results.

3. Struggling with pain or other physical symptoms despite doing what doctors recommend

Goal: I want relief now.

Some people find tapping on their own (with or without an app or videos) to be helpful for short-term symptom relief. If there is an emotional piece contributing to the symptoms you have, tapping might help reduce the stress in the body that can make your symptoms worse.

However, if you’ve been working on your own for a while without any relief at all, there may be more subtle underlying contributing factors that you’re missing.

EFT works best when the tapping is tailored to your specific circumstances. Apps and videos don’t have this capacity. Working with a practitioner can help you tweak the way you’re tapping so your technique can be more effective when tapping on your own.

Goal: I want to explore if past events or circumstances might be connected to my current physical symptoms.

You may be able to use an app or tapping videos to help you explore these connections, but exercise caution here.

If the events or circumstances involve trauma or abuse, it’s never recommended to address these issues without a certified practitioner or a mental health professional to help you safely navigate the terrain. Doing so without proper guidance can lead to feeling retraumatized and may make you feel worse.

4. Procrastination is affecting productivity.

Goal: I want a boost of motivation to put me in the right frame of mind before tackling a project or starting my day.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up or a way to get into a better mindset, tapping along to a script or meditation focused on a positive thought or intention can be a great help.

Goal: I want to break this procrastination habit for good.

Beating procrastination means dealing with resistance. Motivational tapping meditations and videos aren’t a great long-term solution for this.

Photo by on Unsplash

Resistance is subtle and doesn’t go away easily. If you’re a chronic procrastinator and really want long-term change, you’re going to need more than a daily pick-me-up to get to the root of the issue.

Tapping on the same thing in the same way with similar words every day won’t change the connections in the brain that keep a procrastination pattern stuck. A skilled, certified EFT tapping practitioner knows how to help you change those connections so you can put a new pattern in place.

5. Traumatic memories are impacting overall well-being.

Goal: I want these memories to stop affecting me. I don’t want to keep thinking about what happened.

There is no easy solution for this type of problem. While research has shown that EFT is effective for helping people with trauma and PTSD, it’s always recommended to work with a certified practitioner when dealing with traumatic memories.

Also, make sure to check with your mental health provider before using EFT to make sure it’s appropriate for you, especially if you have other serious mental health concerns.

Use your goal as a guidepost.

Scripts, videos, and apps have their place when using tapping for short-term symptom relief, stress reduction, or a boost of motivation. They’re also helpful when you’re just getting started with tapping on your own and don’t feel confident knowing what to say when you tap.

If you’re using these self-help resources and find yourself always tapping on the same issues, though, you’re not getting the full benefit that EFT can provide.

Working with a skilled, certified clinical EFT tapping practitioner can help you get through the deeper issues, teach you how to tap on your own more effectively, and move you over the hump so you can start gaining traction toward your goals.