Emotional Freedom Techniques for Trauma Recovery
Experiencing trauma can cause a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioral issues that may become persistent. The effects of trauma on the brain are still being studied, but many experts in the field hypothesize that traumatic experiences interfere with the “fight or flight” response that originates in the amygdala region of the brain. Trauma locks the fight or flight response in the “on” position so that the person remains in an anxious state of arousal and continues to re-experience the event. Certain forms of therapy designed specifically to treat the effects of trauma attempt to bring the mind and body back to equilibrium.
What Is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques, a form of psychotherapy that combines elements of traditional western therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with alternative therapies, such as Thought Field Therapy (TFT), and eastern methods, such as acupressure. EFT is based on the concept of “meridian points” of energy that exist within the human body. Proponents claim that tapping on these meridian points can release energy blockages that are responsible for negative emotions.
Skepticism Surrounding EFT
The meridian points in EFT are derived from the Chinese practice of acupressure. This method of treating a wide variety of ailments has been in existence for hundreds of years, and many people attest to its effectiveness. However, the existence of “meridian points” or any other types of energy fields within the body has not been established clinically by western medicine.
EFT has claimed some successes in treating patients, but it is likely that the traditional psychoanalytical components of EFT, such as CBT, are responsible for the successes. EFT has received a significant amount of criticism from the psychiatric community. A number of articles have been written in scholarly journals disputing the scientific basis of the treatment and describing the entire method as pseudoscience. A Delphi poll of psychologists found that most consider EFT to have been discredited.
Finding Effective Treatment for Trauma
Despite EFT practitioners’ claims of negative emotions being linked to meridian points in the body, understanding of medicine and psychology dictates that negative emotions and other long-lasting effects of experiencing trauma are located in the mind and not in energy planes in the body. Patients should be skeptical of novel, untested treatment methods that claim miraculous results from pseudoscientific methods.
In recent years, the U.S. military has obtained a tremendous amount of experience treating trauma. Trauma treatment experts from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and Walter Reed Army Hospital now recommend a “holistic” approach to treating trauma that incorporates psychological counseling, such as CBT, with other more issue specific methods of treatment used to address related issues, such as substance abuse treatment, anger management and stress reduction.
If you are looking for effective treatment for trauma, we can help. Call our toll-free helpline today. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find the best treatment options for your specific situation.