EFT Research: EFT for Chronic Pain

Watch a short video on this. 

Effects of EFT on the reduction of Chronic Pain in Adults, a pilot study

This was published in the Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment journal, and this study examined the effects of EFT on pain reduction in 50 adults and these adults were enrolled in a three-day EFT workshop. 

There were two scales that were used. One was the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) and the other one was Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) and these were used to measure the pain. 

The findings were that there were reductions on each of the PCS item which is the Pain Catastrophizing Scale items scores such as rumination, magnification and helplessness. There was a reduction on these items and even on the total PCS score. 

And, on MPI which is the Multidimensional Pain Inventory, improvements in pain severity, interference, life control, affective distress and dysfunctional composite were noticed. A six months follow-up was done and the reductions held over that period of time on PCS scale and only on one item of the MPI, which was the life control item.

The findings were that EFT helps in reducing pain intensity and it also helps the participants’ ability to live life with their pain. The reductions in pain were observed at a one-month interval. In the follow-up which was done after a month, there were reductions in pain but that didn’t hold on a long-term basis. 

However, the findings reported that that there was an increased sense of control and ability to cope with the pain. Obviously since this was only a three days’ workshop and although after that, in the follow-up, there were reductions on several items on the PCS and one item of the MPI but the reduction in pain did not hold in the long term. 

The reason for this is that you need to be persistent when it comes to EFT and when it comes to pain, which means we need to continue applying EFT. The benefit, like this study shows, is that there is an increased sense of control – you have an increased sense of agency, you don’t feel helpless, you are not always ruminating or magnifying the symptoms and at the same time you have an increased ability to manage the pain. 

However, in order for you to keep the severity of the pain less, you also need to work on the emotional contributors of the pain. For example, When did the pain start etc? And you can check out my YouTube series on EFT for Physical Issues

Full paper: https://energypsychologyjournal.org/effects-emotional-freedom-techniques-eft-reduction-chronic-pain-adults-pilot-study/

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Self-care for Mental Health Professionals

As a psychotherapist how do you self regulate?

How do you keep yourself from getting burnt out?

When there are personal issues, because you’re human and you will have them, how do you balance personal and professional life?

If you’re triggered in a session, feel biased towards your client, have a sudden personal triggering memory pop up, feel agitated, suddenly feel unwell etc, how do you handle it mid-session?

Although we already have coping skills and knowledge about self regulation as psychotherapists, it’s really important to have quick tools that can help us self-regulate prior to, during and after a session as well as have a tapping self-care routine to prevent burnout. This form of regular self-care in turn helps your client. How?

By you being able to hold a safe space for clients during sessions. Being trauma informed means being able to hold a safe space for our clients and in order to do that we need to feel safe in our bodies too as therapists, especially if we are working with clients with trauma history. And I believe mostly all clients have some form of trauma background.

Self-regulation also helps in your interactions with your client outside of sessions, for example, scheduling appointments, answering emails, handling conflicts with clients – all this requires you to be in a grounded and calm space.

Another essential aspect of therapy is to have empathy. However, consistently working with clients while being present and empathetic does take a toll on our minds and bodies, especially if we’re not careful and don’t engage in regular self-care practices. We need a form of self care that requires less time, is somatic and helps in processing feelings safely without analysis paralysis.

Let’s say you’ve just been triggered right before a client session due to a personal issue, what will you do? One of the quickest ways is to just tap for a few minutes. It helps in calming you instantly and is even helpful during a session.

Consider learning foundational skills in EFT for quick reduction in stress and emotional distress.

While mechanical EFT ( which can be learnt just be reading a manual or attending a brief course) is helpful, for effective EFT application a solid base in foundational skills and experiential learning is necessary, otherwise you will not find significant improvements after EFT.

EFT is a research based somatic-cognitive tool. Since trauma enters through the body and emotions are felt in the body, the best way for trauma and emotions to be processed is through the body and that’s where EFT comes in.

For a short video on this, click on the link below

https://youtu.be/eiJ_XXQ29io

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