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Importance of feedback

Do not throw away all work & performance related feedback, just because it feels uncomfortable.

It’s said that one should take feedback from people who love and cherish us. Now, our loved ones may often see only the good stuff, which is great, because we all need people who cheer us in our lives. However, they may not be very objective when it comes to our shortcomings. If you’ve seen the movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the movie, Florence wants to resume singing and her long time companion encourages her despite knowing how terrible she is at singing, ending with funny yet disastrous consequences.

When critical feedback comes from people in our work or social settings, we may want to discard it without realising that it can be a great opportunity, albeit uncomfortable one, to grow.

I’m not talking about rude or disrespectful comments , moral judgments and other forms of destructive comments that people make under the garb of feedback.

I’m talking about constructive feedback which may bring up defensiveness in you and make you uncomfortable, but ‘can be’ really helpful in your growth.

In order to discern whether the feedback will serve you or not, try this:

1. Untie the feedback from your self worth. The feedback is about your work, not you. If there’s a mistake that’s been pointed out, it’s about your work, not about you. In REBT we use the term ‘self-downing’ for putting our whole self down instead of looking at the behaviour that may need a change.

2. Distinguish realistic feedback from unrealistic feedback. It’s not your job to fulfill everyone’s unrealistic expectations, camouflaged as feedback. It’s one thing to try to do better, it’s quite another to start people pleasing by fulfilling unrealistic expectations of others.

3. Discern if the feedback is going to help you grow or is it putting unnecessary pressure on you, which in the long run isn’t really helpful.

4. Is the feedback kind or unkind? Discard unkind feedback, especially the ones that feels like an attack, and only take the feedback that is kind and constructive in nature.

5. In all this, tapping on defensiveness, hurt and anger will help. Once all these feelings subside, you’ll be able to separate gold from garbage (feedback).

We must remember that we can only do our best based on what we know in a given moment, and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Perfection is an illusion. What really helps is doing our best and making an effort, learning from imperfections and building our strengths. Constructive and compassionate feedback from others can be very helpful to become aware of our blind spots.

EFT Research ( Part 1)

⭐️EFT Research ( Part 1)

🖌Title: EFT in the Treatment of Unhealthy Eating Behaviours and Related Psychological Constructs in Adolescents: A Randomised Controlled Pilot Trial.

This study was designed to see the impact of EFT group treatment program, a six-week program upon eating behaviours, self-esteem, compassion, and psychological symptoms in a group of forty-four students.

These students were randomly assigned to the EFT or the waitlist control group.
Results at the follow-up, and these findings support that EFT is really effective.
✔️Improved eating habits
✔️self-esteem improved
✔️Compassion increased

EFT, also know as tapping, can really help in encouraging healthy eating behaviours in adolescents and in adults, and there are several studies which also talk about how EFT helps with when it comes to anxiety, school performance etc.

📚Published in “The Journal of Science and Healing” in 2016

You can also watch a video on this

https://youtu.be/aewAqpgXzFA

Benefits of Practice Sessions in Training

Answering a question that I’m often asked.

How are practise sessions conducted in the EFT training course and how do they help?

1) The practise sessions are not role plays but require students to work with others in the group on real issues. Although smaller issues are taken up, a lot of attendees have told me that it transformed certain areas of their lives.

2) These sessions aren’t recorded and they are held in breakout rooms (online training). In these rooms you can practise the EFT skills that you learn on that day.

©️www.emofreetherapy.com

3) In each class whatever you learn on that day can be practised in these practise sessions. These sessions are usually in dyads or triads. For example, if you’ve learnt the basic recipe and how to be specific, the concept of shifting aspects etc, you’ll be practising that with the participants.

4) The practise sessions in most classes follow the demo. You’ll be shown how to handle a real life problem in a demo session in a step by step manner.

5) With each class you’ll learn a new set of concepts and skills to deliver more effective sessions. It’s like Maslow’s hierarchy – unless you know the basics and then the foundational skills, you cannot deliver effective eft sessions or practise EFT skilfully on yourself.

6) You’ll get personalised and compassionate feedback after each practise session by me and/or my experienced student(s).

These practise sessions are best for trying EFT and making mistakes. In real life situations where you work with clients, you won’t get many opportunities to really learn from your mistakes, as your client may not give you a direct feedback. These sessions are also help to assess and understand your strengths and limitations.

Let yourself shine

Inspired by today’s EFT session

What holds us back? Why do we hold back from shining? Why do we feel we’re unworthy? Why are we uncomfortable with visibility in our respective fields? How does that impact our relationship with money and opportunities that come our way?

Think back to the times when you were told that you should be subdued or that you shouldn’t show off. What about the times you observed that being visible, letting yourself shine and take the spotlight was seen as flashy or something that you shouldn’t do?

In our culture we are taught to be subdued, more so if you are a woman, to hold back, to dim our brightness and to be invisible.

Haven’t we heard these messages from our parents, caregivers, teachers, relatives, media etc while growing up that it’s not okay to be visible? No one tells us we’re unworthy, but these shaming and outdated messages end up making us feel unworthy and undeserving of great things in life.
These cultural messages, these limiting beliefs and non-expansive ideas hold us back.

What if we could let go of these limiting beliefs – these restrictive ideas- that stop us from shining, from realising that just by being born we are truly worthy and invaluable beings?

A lot of my work with clients is on recognising these limiting patterns and ideas, and releasing and transforming them. In order to do so, we dig deeper and take a look at the programming that comes from our childhood, the incidents that shaped these beliefs, and start processing them.

For a garden to flourish you need to take out the weeds. In order to take out the weeds you need to pull them out with the roots, and not just trim them. Similarly, in order to recognise our worthiness, we need to uproot the limiting ideas and let go of old conditioning, and we can do that with EFT.

We’re worthy to shine.
We’re worthy to share our creativity with the world.
We’re worthy to speak up when needed.
We’re worthy to say no
We’re invaluable and infinitely magnificent.

EFT as an assistive approach for MHPs

How can EFT help you in your practise if you are a mental health professional?EFT can be used as an individual as well as an assistive tool to help your clients with emotional and psychosomatic issues.

Here are just a few ways in which EFT can help your clients. I’m highlighting the most common benefits of using EFT with your clients and introducing it into your therapy practise.

1. Clients often get dysregulated while talking about their issues or processing their issues in the sessions. EFT helps in regulating your client’s nervous system during a therapy session. Tapping helps by sending deactivating signals to the limbic brain and that in turn calms the mind and body. Imagine how much more your clients will be able to process, if they were able to get back into a regulated state easily and gently during a session! It also helps them self-regulate in between sessions.

2. Handling difficult persistent negative feelings is easier with EFT. You can creatively combine any modality that you use with EFT to help your clients cope with and manage their difficult feelings, in the session as well as on their own in between sessions.

3. EFT can help in unearthing and transforming limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs keep clients stuck in negative patterns and EFT utulizes a unique method to change these unhelpful beliefs – the unhelpful conclusions the clients have arrived at about themselves, the world and others.

4. Anxiety and stress are two of the most common presenting issues that clients bring to the table in our profession. EFT helps in easing the symptoms of GAD ( Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Clients can also learn the basics of EFT and apply it on themselves while they’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety such as heaviness in chest, increased heart rate, sweating etc. EFT is very effective for social anxiety as well.

5. Most clients have had some form of trauma in their lives. A specific technique in EFT is used for disarming troubling, stressful and traumatic memories and reducing the emotional charge associated with them. This is turn helps in improving their quality of life. There are many emotional and physical consequences of trauma, and working on adverse childhood experiences with EFT has proven to be very beneficial.

6. Goal setting & improving performance is another area where EFT can help either by itself or along with CBT and REBT.

7. Stress management is another area where EFT is very effective. I’ve conducted a lot of stress management classes, and tapping helps in reducing stress rather quickly. Research in EFT shows that tapping can reduce cortisol by approx 43% in a one hour tapping session.

8. EFT can complement the top-down approaches that most mental health professionals practise. EFT is a bottom-up approach which also incorporates cognitive shift and exposure. Since the body component is involved, EFT can help in decreasing body based anxiety and processing stored trauma responses in the body.

9. Talk therapies can sometimes be very overwhelming. I remember being very overwhelmed after a few of my talk therapy sessions. It felt like opening a tap and not closing it before the session ended. EFT can help in closing the tap by the end of each session. It has containment techniques than can effectively lessen the client’s overwhelm by the end of the session.

10. EFT can also help in positively resourcing a client at the start of the session.

EFT is a trauma informed approach and with increasing research backing its effectiveness, it’s time more MHPs considered learning and applying EFT. Since MHPs already have a solid background in psychology, in my opinion, they can master EFT skills easily.

There’s no deadline for recovery

“There is no deadline for recovery” were my client’s exact words in a session. She described how safe she felt during our psychotherapy & EFT sessions. She was able to be open up about her feelings and patterns, and she didn’t feel pushed to change. She felt she wasn’t given a deadline to heal!

Unfortunately a lot of people never experience safe connections with their caregivers while growing up. Because of early childhood trauma and neglect they develop a faulty neuroception wherein their ability to detect safety and danger get mixed up. As a result of this, they may feel safe in risky situations and threatened in totally safe situations.

To develop the ability to detect safety in safe situations and caution in threatening situations requires a therapeutic alliance where they can experience safety and acceptance without the fear of being told off or abandoned by their therapist. If a client starts sensing that their therapist will disown them if they don’t meet the preset goals, they will lose that opportunity to develop a healthy neuroception.

It’s only through a safe therapeutic alliance that the damaging effects of past unsafe relationships can be repaired and clients can begin to heal, grow and seek healthy connections in their lives.

Being trauma informed is not a one time pill that can be taken by attending a single or multiple courses. It requires reflection on our part as therapists after every single session to see whether the client felt safe in the session or not.

For example, do they feel safe enough to bring up their issues with you as a therapist? Do they feel they’re being heard in the sessions?

And most importantly, how do you handle critical feedback from your clients?

Rupture is a part of any relationship and repair is only possible if the rupture is acknowledged.

I made so many mistakes as a rookie therapist when I started out, but I made it a point to keep learning from those mistakes and honing my skills. Becoming a trauma informed practitioner is a life long process and your client is your best teacher.

Research in EFT has come a long way

EFT RESEARCH

When I started practicing EFT back in 2004, I faced criticism for using EFT in counselling sessions. Back then EFT was seen mostly as a meridian therapy and the emphasis on it being a combination of exposure, cognitive shift techniques (Cognitive therapies) and acupressure was lacking. Although as a psychologist I was well aware of the exposure techniques and other related techniques along with acupressure being in play, it took a long time for EFT to move towards becoming an evidence-based treatment approach.

I’m happy to report that EFT has a strong research backing now.

From 2012, when Dr David Feinstein’s article was published in APA’s Journal (American Psychological Association), Review of General Psychology, to 2022 where Dr. Peta Stapleton (a Clinical & Health Psychologist in Australia) has been tasked by APA division 12 taskforce with conducting a “systematic review on the effectiveness of EFT for trauma and PTSD”, EFT has come a long way.

According to Dr Peta Stapleton, “EFT has already met the American Psychological Association (APA) standards as an “efficacious” treatment for phobias, anxiety, depression, and PTSD in previous years.” See Church, D. (2013) in references

If you look up the research section on www.eftinternational.org, you’ll find 43 RCT studies (RCT being the gold standard in clinical research), 54 pilot studies, 10 meta-analyses, 26 research reviews, and many more case studies and papers available.

A brief note on how EFT works

EFT is a combination of Bottom up (Somatic) and Top down (Cognitive) approaches. When you bring to your mind a troubling thought, feeling, belief, physical issue, belief, memory (Exposure), you end up activating a part of your emotional brain (amygdala). While you’re exposed to the troubling memory, for example, and tap on certain acupressure points on the face and body, it sends deactivating signals to your brain which in turn calms your mind and body, bringing down the emotional intensity of the issue. With repetition, this new information (the emotional intensity for the issue decreasing) is stored in your hippocampus and the troubling memory no longer bothers you.

References:
Church, D. (2013) Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions
https://lnkd.in/gx3WDPYp

Feinstein, D. (2012) Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy, https://lnkd.in/gQXy_a5p

EFT certification

The following are the EFTi Certification requirements to become an Accredited Certified EFT practitioner.

1️⃣ Attend the EFT Level 1 and 2 course provided by an EFTi Trainer. You’ll receive a certificate of attendance certificate by EFTi.

After this you can choose to take up the certification package.

Sign up for the certification package with the trainer. (I have a short questionnaire for screening candidates who are eligible to become certified EFT practitioners.)

2️⃣ Join EFTi as a student member. Fees to be paid to EFTi = £12 (This is a discounted cost for students from India) Discount code will be provided by Trainer.

3️⃣ Pass the online multiple-choice Practitioner Exam via the EFT International website. Fee to be paid to EFTi = £7 ( after student discount)

4️⃣ Receive a minimum of 6 hours supervision/mentoring with Trainer. ( Part of certification package)

5️⃣ Submit a minimum of 4 case studies: 3 Client Case Studies (on separate individuals) and 1 Personal Case Study to Trainer for review and feedback.

6️⃣ Provide an in-person OR audio OR video demonstration of an EFT session, and discuss this session with Trainer.

7️⃣ Complete a minimum of 50 EFT sessions (or “practice hours”) working with at least 20 different individuals. Each EFT session must be a minimum of 45 minutes in length.

8️⃣ Complete any additional, discretionary requirements as outlined by Trainer. There may be additional case study requirements and book readings.

Please note
❌ EFTi trainers don’t ask you to first become practitioners with their own organisations before applying for EFTi certification. EFTi certification doesn’t require this.

EFT certification in India

I’ve been associated with EFT international (EFTi) for a long time now. Recently I received my MTOT ( EFT Master Trainer of Trainers) status with EFTi.

In the recent years, I’ve realised that a lot of people in India are not aware of the fact that you can get an internationally recognised EFT certification within India.

Let me tell you a little more about it.

EFT International, previously known as AAMET, was founded in 1999, by Dr Tam Llewellyn-Edwards, who was one of the 29 founding masters (a recognition given by the founder of EFT, Gary Craig), and is the only EFT organisation in the world that is registered as a voluntary organisation, meaning it has a charitable status.

It is run ethically by a board of members and volunteers, and benefits both the members and the public. Two of the original founding masters (awarded by Gary Craig) and earliest members amongst the trustees are Judy Byrne and Jacqui Crooks.

If you haven’t heard about EFT ( Emotional Freedom Techqniues) commonly known as tapping, you can find out more by going to my website. EFT has a solid research backing and the research is steadily growing in favour of EFT being an evidence based practise.

When I first came across EFT, I wasn’t sure about its efficacy. Now that I’ve practised it for 16+ years, I can vouch for its effectiveness, its gentleness and trauma informed approach in helping people resolve emotional issues.

I had the good fortune to have received the EFT course certificates by Gary Craig ( Founder of EFT). After that I went on to further train myself in EFT with EFT international.

I’ve been running internationally accredited EFT workshops in India ( both in-person and online) for the past 5 years and doing 1-1 sessions with clients for 16 years.

If you’re interested in getting an international certification in EFT with an organisation that has a clearly defined syllabus and list of competencies, you can contact me.

The certification process with EFTi requires 3 simple steps, all of which can be accomplished by taking mentoring sessions with me after your EFT L1 & 2 workshop.
You’ll need to take an EFT theory exam, finish 50 hours of practise sessions with friends/family/volunteers and submit case studies. Once you finish these EFTi requirements, you’ll become a certified EFT practitioner with EFT International.

I’m looking forward to having more certified EFT practitioners and trainers in India who can deliver skilful sessions and trainings in English and other regional languages within India.

Why is Mentoring important in EFT?

Why is supervision/ mentoring important in EFT?

If you are a psychology student, you already know about the importance of supervision. You know that a supervisor/mentor is needed to provide guidance and support, discuss difficult cases, encourage self-reflection, help you understand scope of practise & ethical code of conduct, provide constructive feedback to help you become better in your chosen area of specialisation, help you identify your areas of strength and limitations and a lot more.

EFT is the same. Once you finish your EFT course ( workshop) and desire to become a professional EFT practitioner, you’ll need guidance from experienced mentors for the same reasons as listed above.

The certification process is also like a mini internship where you get to practise EFT with friends/family/volunteers before you start working with clients professionally. In this process, you’ll need encouragement, support and constructive feedback. Students who apply for certification process and mentoring, have higher chances of delivering effective EFT sessions which in turn increases the success rate of EFT than those who don’t go for certification.

EFT may look very simple but like Ann Adams says, EFT is simple, people are complex.

Learning to customise EFT application according to the client’s issues is where the skill comes in. How to use the various techniques in EFT and when to use them is an important part of this skill set. EFT is a client-centric process.
It’s not just tapping on some points and saying some words randomly. That would be akin to applying CBT by just listening to 10 hours of lecture or reading a book.

Acquiring knowledge is different from having skills and expertise. Attending a lecture on how to practise EFT is different from sitting down with a client and applying EFT.

What you need in EFT, just like any other modality, is practise and guidance. Mentoring is the best way to achieve that.

All of us, practitioners and trainers, are required to have 6 hours of minimum mentoring hours every year along with 30 hours of CPD to maintain our membership with EFT International. This, in my opinion, is a very good practise to stay current with EFT and keep refining our skills.
Contact me to know more.