The History of EFT
In brief: In 1980 Dr. Roger Callahan (1925 to 2013) was working with a patient, Mary, for an intense water phobia. She suffered from frequent headaches and terrifying nightmares, both of which were related to her fear of water. To seek help, she had been going from therapist to therapist for years….with no material improvement. Dr. Callahan tried to help her by conventional means for a year and a half. He didn’t make much headway either.
Dr Callahan had been studying the body’s energy system and decided, out of curiosity, to tap with his fingertips under Mary’s eyes (an end point of the stomach meridian), since she had been complaining of stomach discomfort. To his astonishment, she announced immediately that her phobia was gone and she raced down to a nearby swimming pool and began throwing water in her face. No fear. No headaches. It all went away….including the nightmares. And it has never returned. She is totally free of her water phobia. This incident lead to what is called The Discovery Statement:
“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”
What Mary experienced that day is often referred to as a one-minute-wonder, and is considered rare. Usually EFT works in a more gradual way, particularly with chronic problems like Mary’s. It does however produce astounding results, and has success where many other things have failed.
When experiencing EFT for the first time people are often amazed at how they suddenly feel more hopeful, more relaxed, or can see another way around the problem that never occurred to them before. It is thanks to Dr Callahan and Mary’s one-minute-wonder that we have this fantastic tool today. Dr. Callahan has since refined and expanded his findings to a series of related routines. They encompass nearly every area of emotional improvement imaginable….from phobias to panic disorders to sports performance. And, along the way, he has also applied these techniques to physical problems and addictive cravings with notable success.
EFT evolved from Roger Callahan’s tapping, referred to as ‘Thought Field Therapy’ and is based on all these procedures. There are many different styles of tapping now, but they are derived from the original procedure outlined by Gary Craig. Gary was a Stanford- trained engineer, who reduced years of diligent research and endless trial and error to a practical system.