As part of a postgraduate research project, a study has been conducted aiming to investigate the use of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) as a self-care tool by trauma therapists. Professionals working with trauma are subject to deleterious effects such as compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation and burnout. EFT is an innovative therapeutic and self-help tool, combining the use of acupressure point stimulation with mental focus on, and verbalisation of, the distressing issue. Empirical research supports the efficacy of EFT for a range of conditions including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Thematic Analysis was used to analyse the data collected from semi-structured interviews with 8 experienced trauma therapists who are also EFT practitioners. The main findings of the study were: (a) EFT may act as an ‘inoculation’ agent, protecting the therapist from the effects of client’s traumatic material during sessions; (b) EFT is a useful stress management and emotional regulation tool for therapists in their personal and work life; (c) the use of EFT may contribute to enhancing levels of compassion satisfaction in therapists.
To enquire about reducing the risk of vicarious traumatisation, compassion fatigue and burnout in your organisation, or about training in Emotional Freedom Techniques for your staff, contact Masha Bennett

Bennett, M. (2016). A thematic analysis of the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) as a self-care tool by trauma therapists. MSc Dissertation / Submitted as part of MSc Therapeutic Practice in Psychological Trauma. University of Chester

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