getting EFT into the hands of first responders wI was invited by the DBHRT, the Disaster Behavior Health Response Team of New Hampshire, to give a presentation about how to use EFT in shelters.
As a DBHRT Team Leader, I am grateful that EFT is now available to Behavior Health Volunteers in the state of New Hampshire and beyond.
Since the training was only 3.5 hours, I had to focus on an effective and easy to learn way to teach tapping to providers who had heard of, but didn't have experience with tapping.
To accomplish this, I decided to focus on three main teaching points:
EFT for self care for providers
EFT for Shelters
EFT for Schools.
These are, with the exception of working with the Military, the main areas where DBHRT gets called most frequently.
The approach we took was:
- Teach and practice the basic recipe without the finger points or gamut, so that it coule easily be learned and memorized in an effective way.
- Demonstrate and practice the constricted breathing technique. The intention here was to
a) Show how stress shows up in the body of almost anybody
b) Demonstrate how EFT is effective even if people just follow the demonstration without any knowledge or background in EFT
c) Bring measurable results without tuning into emotional aspects of trauma - which is important in a collective stress situation, such as schools or shelters
d) Teach an effective way to work with children or adults that can be repeated as needed and be fun
e) Teach a tool where emotional work can be prepared, as this technique takes the edge of emotional intensity
After the effectiveness of the general tapping with a very basic set up statement " Even though I have this constricted breathing, I completely accept myself" Was taught and practiced by the attendees, we went on to learn the
Chasing the Pain technique
The intention for this workshop was to make sure, that we can effectively help in groups and emergency situations, without doing therapy or deep trauma work.
By refocussing the intention on the body, we allow trauma victims to release the intensity without having to tune into the emotional cause of it.
We can monitor success in releasing energy blocks by focussing on the physical location, releasing it, and then observing shifts in intensity and location. By doing several rounds of tapping, we can bring great physical and emotional benefits, without having victims tune into the emotional component of the trauma.
Next, the Personal Peace Procedure tool was introduced and practiced. Participants filled out at least 5 issues that they wanted to release, with the added intensity measure "SUDS (Subjective Unit Of Distress Scale"). They learned how to release the intensity of the issues they wrote down, and also practiced in pairs on how to release it.
The combination of the basic recipe, the constricted breathing technique and the chasing the pain technique was then demonstrated and practiced for self care, Shelters and school aged kids.
For shelters, we brainstormed the different emotions that victims go through, divided into age groups.
We found that, even though there are some age specific issues that each group had, there were also some general, effective issues that could be safely addressed with any group. These were:
- Overwhelm (Even though I am completely overwhelmed right now, I choose to be surprisingly OK with that)
- Fear of what's next
- Concern for family and friends
We realized that these feelings could be safely addressed by a DBHRT volunteer, without the need to analyze each member's specific situation.
Finally, we talked about specific ways to help children with EFT.
Reframing of the basic "I deeply and completely accept myself" Was necessary, to make it age appropriate.
Some of the ways to do this were:
Even though I am so upset right now, I know my parents love me
- I know I am a great kid
- I know that I am a great baseball player
- My friends think I'm cool
Or for older kids: Even though am really upset right now, I know that I can do this
- I know I am a cool dude
- It's OK, anybody would feel this way.
We introduced the "monkey tap" for younger children, which means "banging" on the chest/collar bone points like a monkey, or tapping simultaneously on the top of the head and under the arm. "monkey noises" or small sounds like "poc poc poc" can be made with each tap, to help the children have fun while they de-stress.
The "SUDS" can be measured by comparing the intensity to the size of animals (Elephants vs kitty cats), or simply by stretching out the arms for the highest intensity and bringing the hands closer together as the intensity decreases.
There is much more to learn to do this work effectively to help people in shelters and schools, as well as the military, but bringing the work back to the four basic teachings:
- Basic short recipe
- Constricted Breathing Technique
- Personal Peace Procedure
- Chasing the pain Technique
Is a solid and effective foundation even for beginners of EFT.