It really did start like this, but most people find it hard to believe. For 2 minutes, Mary tapped below her eye. Then poof! The raging life-long fear of water that plagued her was gone! Just like that, totally gone! This was the same woman who couldn’t take showers without getting stressed, big time, who was terrified when it rained, who avoided driving on the Pacific Coast Highway because she was horrified by the very sight of the ocean.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That all happened before Gary Craig, the inventor of EFT ever heard about what Mary’s psychologist, Roger Callahan, was doing. And it was Callahan who later told Gary all about Mary and her water phobia.
Gary Craig, a Stanford engineering graduate, never actually entered the engineering field. Not uncommon, really. A lot of people are drawn to careers outside their college major. Instead he found a place for himself in the world of insurance and investments. Later, he hosted self-help seminars called “How to drive you own bus.” He enjoyed helping people realize their full potential. Then he was ready for a new challenge altogether, and since he was drawn to helping people with emotional problems, he investigated psychology and related fields. Yet he felt dissatisfied by clients’ lack of progress. They could be in therapy for years and seemingly get no relief. Surely there had to be a better way!
Then he heard about Dr. Roger Callahan, the clinical psychologist in southern California who had developed something called Thought Field Therapy, also known as TFT. Roger was getting unbelievable results with his patients. He had originally trained as a traditional clinical psychologist but had grown discontent with the slow progress his patients made. Always open to new ideas, he had investigated several alternative therapies including acupuncture, hoping to find a key to faster relief for troubled people.
Then one day a regular client named Mary, the one mentioned above, came for yet another appointment at his home office. He’d been treating her for over a year but making next to no progress. ( Imagine how frustrating that would be.) This particular day they sat out back with the swimming pool in sight. Her awareness of the water began to upset her. Roger had been studying energy meridians associated with acupuncture, so when Mary remarked that she felt sick in her stomach whenever she saw or thought about water, Roger decided to try something new and off the wall. He knew the stomach meridian began under the eye, so he asked her to tap under her eye while she focused on her fear. After two minutes of tapping, she looked startled and said, “It’s gone.”
“What’s gone,” he asked.
“The awful feeling in my stomach,” she said.
Roger seriously doubted if anything meaningful had actually happened. But he was the one who felt real alarm when Mary jumped up and ran toward the pool. Would she do something crazy? But no, when he called out a warning, she grinned and assured him that although her fear seemed to be gone, she wasn’t about to do anything dangerous since she couldn’t swim. She stopped at the edge of the pool, bent down, and splashed her face with water.
Time would prove Mary’s fear of water was gone for good. This experience started Dr. Callahan on his quest to discover the principles that became his ground-breaking technique, Thought Field Therapy.
Gary Craig was as skeptical as anybody when he first heard Callahan’s stories and explanations. But he was also intrigued. What if it really was possible? This tapping on meridians bore no relation to traditional counseling and current therapeutic practices. It sounded strange, almost
silly. The idea that serious emotional problems could be relieved, sometimes in a minutes, simply by tapping parts of the body while thinking about the problem made no sense. Callahan claimed the tapping balanced disrupted energy associated with whatever negative thought a person focused on. He was getting amazing results again and again with many different people for a variety of issues.
Eventually, Craig paid Dr. Callahan ten thousand dollars to study with him. Then later paid him $100,000 to learn a closely guarded secret technique for diagnosing people’s problems over the phone by analyzing their voice quality. However, as time passed, and after much experimentation, Gary discovered it was not necessary to diagnose a specific problem and match it to a specific tapping protocol. Instead, he distilled the many possible tapping points down to a few, then used this one simple series over and over to treat any negative issue a person presented. This is Gary Craig’s gift to the world which he named Emotional Freedom Techniques. (EFT)
As amazing as the procedure proved to be, Gary was in for another surprise. Over time, as he tapped with clients to relieve emotional distress, their physical aches, pains, and other ailments began to disappear. He tried addressing the physical complaints directly with EFT and found success this way as well.
Read more about issues EFT can relieve here.