What is EFT "Tapping"?
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.
What is EFT Tapping, How Does it Work and How Do You Tap to Reduce Stress?
In this 15 minute video Dr Peta overview the EFT technique, the way it works and then guides you through a tapping sequence to reduce feelings of stress.
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.
Science and Evidence
EFT has previously been found to be an “evidence-based” practice for anxiety, depression, phobias and PTSD when measured against the standards of the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments. EFT now currently under review with the APA (2022) for its effectiveness for trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (under the APA's current criteria).
For more research on the mechanism of how EFT works, please see
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).
Download The Ultimate Tapping Guide
While EFT or tapping can address a range of complex emotional challenges, the basic protocol is quite straightforward and surprisingly easy to learn.
Download your FREE 25 page Ultimate Tapping Guide now by leading EFT researcher and clinical psychologist, Dr Peta Stapleton.