Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Emotional Freedom Techniques, Energy psychology, Mind and body therapies, Acupressure, Thought Field Therapy, Social work


This thesis explores social workers' experiences with their use of Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) with their clients. These techniques, which are also known as tapping, involve tapping one's own fingers in a specific sequence on specific points on the body while tuning into undesired feelings in an effort to eliminate feelings of distress. For this study, I conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve clinical social workers. The study participants had been practicing either EFT or TFT for an average of eight years, with three years being the least amount of time that a participant had been using tapping, and 18 years being the longest amount of time that a clinician had been using it. All of the participants strongly believed that tapping works very well and very quickly. They said that tapping works particularly well for anxiety, trauma and phobias. Some also believed that tapping is effective for treating physical pain. The participants explained that EFT and TFT are effective only when applied to a client's emotional reaction to specific situations. Most of the participants expressed that TFT and EFT are ineffective either when the client is not ready to change or when the therapist lacks skill, rather than when they are applied for specific issues. This study brings attention to tapping so that social workers can stay informed about this technique. Practicing social workers should be aware that other practitioners in the field experience great success with it, so that they can decide to learn about it if they choose.




iii, 60 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 52-55)