What Questions Should You Ask When Seeking An EFT Practitioner?

Dear EFT Community,

EFT Master Pat Carrington shares her considerable experience to help clients choose an EFT Practitioner.

EFTUniverse


By Patricia Carrington, PhD, EFT Master

It is not always easy to discover the right person and there are no blanket rules for doing so.  However, if you keep the following points in mind this should make the process easier and more satisfactory for you.

Initial Contact With The EFT Practitioner

You will usually want to speak with or exchange detailed emails with an EFT practitioner you are considering before making an appointment to start working with him or her.  During this initial contact you can find out certain facts about this person’s background, training in EFT (or training in any specialty that your condition requires), fees, and other details of their practice which are essential for you to know.

Actually, the responsibility for finding out as much as you can about any particular EFT practitioner is yours.  There is some “homework” you would be wise to do before contacting the person you have identified as a possible EFT practitioner for you.

One way to start this “homework” is to go to the EFTUniverse practitioner search and look for that therapist by location.  You should also search the site to see if they have written any EFT articles ifor EFTUniverse.  Reading what a practitioner writes about their own EFT work can be a valuable way to get an idea of the style and therapeutic approach of any practitioner. 

Practitioners differ markedly in the way they handle EFT and in the way they handle a people. 

A practitioner suitable for one person is not necessarily the right one for the next person.  By reading descriptions of their own cases or observations you can learn a great deal about a practitioner.  Reading these articles, people can learn a great deal more about us and our personal style of delivering EFT.

If you search for articles by a practitioner, it is important to keep in mind that there are many fine EFT therapist who have never written an article about EFT –– they may not be particularly skilled at writing but be great at helping people, or they may simply not have reported their EFT work anywhere where it would be accessible to you.  What you are doing when you search for such an article is simply finding out whether this valuable source of information is available to you in this case.

Initial Contact With A Practitioner

You will want to speak with or at least exchange emails with an EFT practitioner whom you are considering working with before making an appointment to start with them.  In this first contact you can find out certain facts about their background, training in their field of specialty (if this is relevant for you), training and experience with EFT, fees, and other details of their practice which will be important for you to know.  If the practitioner has a web site, some of these details will be given there, but you will want to make certain special inquiries by phone or e-mail because you will need to know more about them than bare facts alone can supply.

First is the question of professional degrees.  How important are they?  The fact is that these degrees alone, while essential if you have serious emotional problems that require expert clinical attention, cannot tell you whether or not this person will be an effective therapist for you.  It is only YOU who will know this and your decision will be on a “gut level".  If you respond positively to a practitioner during your initial contact with them and feel that they are a person whom you can trust, then you can feel confident in scheduling a trial session with them.

An initial "trial" (paid for) session with a practitioner whom you are seriously considering working with is an excellent means of finding out whether they are right for you.  You are entirely within your rights to let a practitioner know that you want to schedule such a trial session.  You will notice that a number of the EFT trained practitioners offer a free 20 minute exploratory discussion by telephone to help you decide this.  That can be very useful if it is available. However, a number of practitioners do not offer this and this fact does not necessarily make them less competent or useful to you. They may simply be too heavily booked to take that time.  The best plan in the latter case is to schedule a trial paid session with a prospective EFT practitioner and see how that works out.  It is unlikely that even if you decide not to work with that practitioner in the future, that this session will have been wasted.  You may well accomplish something of real value to you during the time spent with that person, particularly since you are working with such a rapid technique as EFT.

What you really want to find out in this session is whether the EFT practitioner is a perceptive, caring person with whom you will feel comfortable sharing your personal problems, and how skilled they are at helping you zero in on core issues.

What To Look For In Terms Of Professional Background

Most qualified EFT practitioners specializing in the field of mental health (but not necessarily in allied health fields) have graduate degrees such as a Ph.D. (usually these are psychologists), LCSW. (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), or M.D. (medical doctor, usually one specializing is psychiatry), or they may hold specialty degrees in marital counseling. drug counseling, or the like that indicate that these people have undergone an internship and supervised training in their fie specialty.

Most such health professionals will be licensed by a recognized professional licensing board and belong to one or more professional associations.  Don't hesitate to inquire about licensing if this happens to be important to you.  The main reasons for inquiring about it is twofold.

First:  To work with a licensed professional is absolutely necessary if you seek insurance reimbursement. Such reimbursement may well be available if the practitioner is licensed in a manner acceptable to your insurance carrier and they offer EFT in the context of some form of ongoing psychotherapy or counseling.  EFT as a sole modality administered outside of regular psychotherapy or counseling is NOT acceptable to most insurance companies.

Second: To work with a licensed practitioner is necessary if you require a practitioner who has special training in working with a specific clinical condition, as for example severe drug dependency or a severe mental illness.  Specialty licensing on the part of the practitioner may be particularly important if you have a serious psychiatric condition because working with someone with professional training in handling that condition can be the only safe way to proceed.  Fortunately, however, there are an increasing number of health professionals who are both trained in working with serious psychiatric conditions and also have extensive training in EFT.  Look for someone who has excellent training in both these areas.

If you are concerned about a practitioner’s licensing or lack of it, however, bear in mind that while professional licensing ensures that the practitioner has completed the requisite training and internships in their particular specialty, it does NOT give you any information about their competency in that field or their expertise in the use of EFT.  Whether or not a practitioner possesses what is sometimes referred to as a "therapeutic touch" is not guaranteed by any professional degree or licensure and may be present in people who do not have such credentials at all.

In this vein it is significant to note that the original founder of EFT, does not have a professional license in the field of mental health (he is trained as a personal performance coach, minister, and engineer) but he has a rare ability to assist people when using EFT, and is a prime example of therapeutic gifts that far exceed any formal training. 

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