Recently I have been curious about the effectiveness of tapping techniques that claim to literally evaporate peoples problems with a few words and taps in the right spots. I imagine how attractive this would seem to the many who seek instant cures of their emotional woes as an alternative to psychotherapy.
EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique claims to be a universal healing tool for better emotional health and can even be learnt and practiced for free.
I must admit, I have tried it out and all I felt was a bit silly to be tapping and speaking and then expecting to feel different. Even revisiting it lately with an upsetting experience I failed to gain any relief despite my desire that it would make me feel better about the situation. However, hundreds of positive online testimonials would say otherwise.
EFT or Psychotherapy, which works?
I am not here to either discredit or negate the possibility of an instantaneous release of a negative belief pattern or problematic emotional cluster, it sounds wonderful, I just worry about the utility of the way in which this is done. I fail to to see how it can be lastingly effective in remedying the constellation of beliefs, thoughts, feelings, responses and ways of acting and reacting to others that inevitably cluster around traumatic events or negative beliefs about self.
I can certainly see the attractiveness of an instant magic cure. We live in a world where we expect if not demand instant gratification so it is not a mystery why these therapies are so attractive to people. And if they work then they are also good value, but they also can be seen to rob people of very important characteristics that real psychotherapy offers.
The relationship that heals
So many of the problems that people seek to relieve themselves of with magic instant cures were created in the context of a relationship. Known as the relationship that heals, psychotherapy helps people not only overcome negative beliefs but understand who they are in relationship to others and improves an individuals capacity to have healthy relationships with those around them. The psychotherapist provides a model of a good relationship capable of withstanding the person and their problems in the moment and over time, something that cannot be experienced in a quick fix self tapping session.
None of us are perfect, none of us, and facing that can be hard for some. Someone with existing personality issues to think they are a better person after tapping away their concerns may miss an entire life lesson to be learnt. To many people read books and self help courses and think they are working on themselves. Then they sadly continue to do the same things they always did believing they are in the right because they have 'worked on themselves'. It is a slow road to personal growth for those who try and travel the journey alone. Certain things can only be taught by someone who has traveled the road already and holds us accountable to our path. Tapping teaches us nothing about who we are, how we operate in the world and how to truly be a better person. The insight that can be gained when we open our self to truly learning who we are and the flow on effect this has for others in our life is a reward in itself.
Working on our flaws and acknowledging our strengths is a commitment that, in and of itself, creates change and healing across many areas of a person’s life and relationships. As a wise person once said, ‘nothing good ever comes easily’, and this is so true when it comes to personal growth and betterment.
I have recently watched a friend transform over the time she has been in therapy. Her health issues have improved, she no longer gives her energy away to others who just take, she seems more solid and content, grounded and directed. She reminded me of the importance and significance of what I do, and that although it takes time and I would love to magically cure a lot of my clients, pain and struggle is there for a reason. Life wants us to learn, no one really helped us as a child to walk and talk, we did this because within we have a natural drive for growth. Quick fixes feed our impatience and desire to ‘be there’ already but like a fast food meal they fail to truly satisfy and nourish us. Nothing can replace the true and deep transformation that can occur when a person really commits to doing their own work and stops wishing it would magically disappear.