Emotional Freedom Technique

What is EFT?

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a brief self-applied stress reduction technique using elements of cognitive therapy, with physical stimulation of acupuncture points.

It is often referred to as ‘Tapping’ as it uses a two finger tapping process on known acupuncture points.

EFT can address a range of issues by simply focusing on the issue you would like to address with an acceptance statement, along with a simple two finger tapping technique. 

Effectiveness has been established for phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, pain and more. 

How does EFT work ?

The mechanisms behind EFT include deactivation of the amygdala (stress centre in the brain) and hippocampus (memory centre), as well as recent research into vagal nerve improvement.

EFT has also been shown to significantly lower cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. 

Research on gene expression indicates EFT has has the ability to down regulate genes associated with the stress response, and up-regulate or improve immune functioning.

Dr Kate has studied mainly in Australia, with Dr Peta Stapleton, who has done many of the trials to make sure that EFT is evidenced – based.

This is her list of meta analysis reviews of all the studies to date, plus her book ‘ The Science Behind Tapping’ gives more details with illustrative examples.

Growth and Acceptance

  • As of 2020: 18 randomised control trials, 50+ randomised control trials, 50+ pre-post outcome studies, 50+ trials in non-English journals
  • 2014–2016: 2 meta-analyses show energy psychology effective for depression and anxiety 
  • 2017: Meta-analysis shows EFT effective for PTSD
  • 2019: Meta analysis shows tapping on the acupressure points is an active ingredient in the process (changes not due to the therapeutic relationship, other factors such as deep breathing etc)
  • 2018-2019: Two studies on DNA changes after EFT First fMRI study on EFT published
  • 2019: Blue Knot Foundation for (trauma) includes EFT in PTSD clinical guidelines in Australia
  • 2020: EFT approved under the National Insurance Disability Scheme NDIS) for therapy in Australia 2020: Australian Psychological Society features EFT during National Psychology Week as emerging approach for pain
  • 2020: APA journal (USA) published EFT cortisol replication study
  • 2020: A major review of psychological treatments for PTSD – Energy psychology (combined somatic/cognitive therapies) was the 2nd most effective at reducing PTSD symptoms at the end of treatment to waitlist (after EMDR which was found to be most effective). Further, energy psychology had the greatest cost savings over no treatment, followed by EMDR, trauma-focused CBT and then other treatments
  • 2021: APA approved EFT to be reviewed for trauma and PTSD and inclusion on the evidence based psychological treatments list (Dr Peta is leading this).

If you would like to find out if EFT is the right therapy for you, Dr Kate is happy to arrange a 10-minute phone conversation with you.  Please telephone reception to arrange. 





Dr Kate Shapland

Physician (Integrated Medicine)