A therapy cloaked in pseudo-science > There is talk nowadays about emotionally focused therapy. But what is EFT and is it yet another therapy fad?
Basically this therapy, which is ‘included within the field of Energy Psychology, proposes that emotions themselves have an innately adaptive potential that, if activated, can change problematic emotional states or unwanted self-experiences. Emotions themselves do not inhibit the therapeutic process, but people’s incapability to manage emotions and use them well is seen as the problem’.
So let us hear what the EFT practitioners say …. ‘the technique works by releasing blockages within the energy system which are the source of emotional intensity and discomfort. Treatment involves the use of fingertips rather than needles to tap on the end points of energy meridians* that are situated just beneath the surface of the skin. Tapping is non-invasive and works on the ethos of making change as simple and as pain free as possible’.
None the wiser? So when we read further that ‘it is at the heart of the re-joining of the old and new paradigms’ the snake-oil salesman alarm bells start ringing. We know there will be howls of anguish from the brown bread, knit your own sandal brigade, but we are always wary when such New Age language is used to describe a therapy..
But to be constructive, EFT was originally developed for couples and is claimed to be effective for solving relationship conflicts. Participants are encouraged to express their experiences and emotions in a non-judgmental and secure environment.
By witnessing the release of feelings and anxieties of one partner, the other is able to gain new insight and perception into the validity and emotional state that their own actions and experiences have on the relationship as a whole. Without criticism or consequences, the partners are permitted to voice their deepest concerns and conflicts in order to address them and move beyond to develop more productive and collaborative behaviours.
It all sounds convincing, but as EFT can require up to 20 paid sessions to work, the resulting financial strain is likely to cancel out emotional gains!
So, yes, we are biased and we recommend you play safe by keeping to mainstream complementary therapies that have a proven track record and are recommended by the Government. Tonic hopes to hear from you soon …
Footnote: * Most psychotherapies are best regarded as forms of emotion suppression therapy (EST). In contrast, emotion focused therapy (EFT) seeks to resolve unpleasant emotions by working with them. It regards many unpleasant emotions as sources of useful information. * Medical research into energy meridians is scarce and many medics refuse to acknowledge their existence.