Caroline Sakai, PhD, relates the powerful transformation of the village elder who witnessed the slaughter of his wife and children, and endured near decapitation himself, during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Written by a practicing TFT therapist who deals with clients that have addictions and co-morbidity issues dealing with past traumas that compound their progress:
…treated a client for a 50 year past molestation by a parent utilizing a complex trauma algorithm [a simpler version of the protocol taught on this site]. Client who arrived with a somewhat aggressive and commanding presence and demeanor could barely whisper thank you, thank you upon completion. Just as I was starting to walk him back to the checkout area I asked him to tell me again in a couple of words how he felt. He replied slowly, “I feel clean, I have been washed.” That night I thanked God for him allowing me to play a part in lifting this horrible burden that another human-being has had to carry for so many years.
In November 2016, Mona and Rudolf Kauffman travelled to South Sudan to train groups in TFT for trauma relief. This photo was taken in Juba, South Sudan, during a meeting with a group of refugee women tapping for trauma relief.
“It was a very beautiful encounter and a meeting of the hearts.” Mona & Rudolf Kaufmann
Rwandans Teach the World to Heal
People in Rwanda are helping one another heal using a form of energy psychology called Thought Field Therapy (TFT). TFT is the original form of energy psychology and the original tapping therapy. It was developed in the early 1980s by psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan. It has continued to be refined and updated through the years. It is the first energy psychology technique to be recognized by the National Registry of Evidenced-based Practices and Procedures (NREEP) as being evidence-based.
Rwandan community leaders, professionals and para-professionals have treated at least 20,000 members of their communities for symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In most cases, the PTSD has been directly or indirectly the result of atrocities com- mitted during the 1994 genocide in which between 800,000 and one million persons were killed in a matter of ten weeks.
Suspicious at first, former subjects in a research project have reported that they thought the professionals were “evil” and “from Satan” when they were asked to think about what happened to them and/or their families during the 1994 genocide and then tap on themselves in a particular way. They said things like, “At first we took it as an opportunity to hang out.” Then they thought the professionals “were crazy” and this could not possibly work. Some of these same skeptics later became TFT facilitators, helping their neighbors to heal using TFT.
Many of the survivors of the Rwandan genocide have suffered from PTSD in the more than twenty years since this tragedy. People suffering PTSD often experience flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories, anger, rage, hypervigilance, shame, anxiety, depression and sometimes even suicide. Overwhelmed, they feel there is no way out. They often turn to alcohol and drugs. Individuals and families, and often entire communities and countries, can be devastated.
Small groups of professionals from the non-profit organization the Thought Field Therapy Foundation* have made seven trips to Rwanda, beginning in 2005, teaching community leaders to heal themselves and then to train others in their communities to heal themselves using TFT. Continue reading “Rwandans Teach the World to Heal”
Energy Therapy Acupoint Tapping: The Best PTSD Treatment?
Vets may quickly find themselves free of PTSD with this new treatment method
PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, is akin to choking. When food gets stuck during the process of swallowing we call it choking. When the emotions that are raised by an intensely negative experience do not get digested by the mind’s usual means (talking about it, dreaming about it, coming to a way of understanding it that makes it digestible) the negative emotions continue to emerge as quickness to anger, anxiety, marriage problems, flashbacks and other means for a very long time after the triggering incident.
Fortunately, while ptsd symptoms can be long-lasting, new energy psychology treatments can be short to administer and thorough in the relief they bring. Attempts therefore are currently underway to establish these treatment methods as standard procedures for treatment of military-induced ptsd. Still, far too many veteran treatment facilities do not yet use these new techniques.
Acupoint Stimulation: The Tapping Cure
The most intensively researched of the new energy therapies is the group of treatment methods referred to as acupoint stimulation, also known as tapping treatments. Interestingly, the techniques, though usually administered by a mental health professional, can also be self-administered as in this teaching video.
Psychologist David Feinstein PhD conducted an excellent broad metastudy of this research reviewing 3000 studies of tapping techniques. Published in the Review of General Psychology (August 12, 2012), this excellent article focused on the 50 or so studies that met Dr. Feinstein’s criteria for presenting clinical outcomes and having undergone peer review.
Dr. Feinstein concluded that EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)* and other similar protocols for tapping with fingers on acupoint points successfully released the emotional pain associated with traumatic memories, and did so faster and more comprehensively than most traditional treatment methods:
These studies have consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Investigations in more than a dozen countries by independent research teams have all produced similar results.
Use of tapping techniques in Europe
From Norway, Mats Uldal wrote in response to initial publishing of this blogpost:
In Norway we have been treating more than 10000 people in my clinic the last 16 years. I have developed a direction of TFT called Simplified TFT with advanced questioning techniques (AQT) and I can wholeheartedly say these techniques work.
I have been doing traumawork on Kosovo war survivers, Katrina survivers in New Orleans, human trafficking survivrs in Moldavia, and violence and poverty survivers in Uganda all as part of a large-scale 2012 study. If you want the best for your clients, free yourself from your sceptisism and try for yourself. When you start using it, tapping proves itself…
The Bottom Line
Energy psychotherapies are to traditional psychotherapy as the alternative physical therapies like acupuncture are to medical treatment. We do not really know how or why they work, but the potency of their healing impacts are clearly evident.
I have written this posting in hopes that all who work with people who have suffered trauma from disasters, including vets and prisoners of war, or who suffer with chronic feelings of anxiety, anger or other negative emotions, will take these new energy psychology healing methods seriously.
*EFT is an offshoot of TFT
The most recent research in TFT, by R. Howard Robson, Phyll M. Robson, Roger Ludwig, Celestin Mitabu and Caitlin Phillips, has been published in “Science Publications“. Below is the abstract. For the full research paper, click here.
Effectiveness of Thought Field Therapy Provided by Newly Instructed Community Workers to a Traumatized Population in Uganda: A Randomized Trial
Abstract: Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a promising treatment for posttraumatic stress in a resource poor environment. This study further explores the benefits of this treatment in a rural population in Uganda, which had suffered from the psychological consequences of previous violent conflict. Thirty-six local community workers received a two-day training in TFT trauma intervention and treated 256 volunteers with symptoms suggestive of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who had been randomly allocated to a treatment or waitlist (control) group. Assessment was by the Posttraumatic Checklist for Civilians (PCL-C). One week after treatment, the treated group scores had improved significantly from 58 to 26.1. The waitlist group scores did improve without treatment, from 61.2 to 47, although significantly less than the treatment group, but improved markedly to 26.4 following treatment. There was some evidence of persisting benefit 19 months later. This study supports the value of TFT as a rapid, efficient and effective therapy, empowering traumatized communities to treat themselves, although repeated treatment may still be needed.