The birth of EFT
EFT was given birth in the U.S. by Gary Craig, in the early 90's. Gary is Stanford graduate engineer, who initially followed a career in insurance sales and, as he many times claimed, he was successful and managed to have a high income.
Gary started very early in his life to research self-improvement and personal development methods and finally turned his professional activities solely on that direction, presenting seminars and offering "personal performance coaching".
While trying to educate himself and continuously searching for better methods and techniques for personal development, he got trained (back in 1991) in Dr. Roger Callahan's Thought Field Therapy or TFT. TFT was to become the father of EFT and also of numerous other methods in the field that we call today "energy psychology".
Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist having practicing for over 40 years, devoted his life in finding ways to heal people from unreal fears, phobias, trauma, stress disorders, etc. Probably he had a strong motive to do this as he had been suffering himself from problems like these since his childhood ([Hartmann, 2003]).
There is a small legend regarding the birth of TFT before 25 years and it goes like this ([Craig, 2004] and [Gallo,1999]): Dr. Callahan had a patient named Mary, who suffered from a severe water phobia--she couldn't even take a bath without a heavy distress and she couldn't get out on the street under rain conditions. He had been working on her case for 18 months, having tried many different therapeutic approaches such as client-centered therapy, rational-emotive therapy, systematic desensitization, hypnosis and other therapies, but she continued having nightmares and being afraid that the water might kill her.
During one of their private sessions, Dr Callahan guided Mary through tapping with her fingers on the point where the stomach meridian begins, under the eye. Mary, surprisingly, got instant relief from the phobia. In order to be sure, Callahan guided her to the house swimming pool, where Mary not only failed to demonstrate any sign of phobia, but she almost went for a dive in (which of course never took place, as Mary didn't know how to swim).
This event drove Callahan in the early 80's to develop TFT, a set of "algorithms" for tapping on specific acupuncture points, with each specific algorithm being appropriate for specific ailments and dysfunctions. Even the same points could be used in a different order, thus creating many different algorithms.
Callahan was teaching these algorithms, along with "diagnosing" techniques and some other staff that he had created or taken from others.
So, Gary Craig took his TFT training in 1991 and then tried to apply the method on his clients. During the next five years he was trying to simplify the method and he finally found that (according to his own statements) the sequence of tapping the points is really of very low importance!
In 1995, Gary assembled and released his first training video set, titled
The EFT Course and the mighty famous guide for the general public,
The EFT Manual. Σο, τhat's how the EFT started its international career.
Ιν 1998, Gary released the next fundamental video training set, titled
Steps Towards Becoming the Ultimate Therapist. This is were you can see additional techniques and wonderful refinements of EFT principles and techniques in action (mostly taken from Gary's own live seminars).
You may guessed that Gary has not been the only "smart guy" in this story! There have also been other creditable professionals that took the TFT training and then tried to simplify it or further evolve it and one of the most successful is Fred Gallo ([Gallo,1999]. There is however a noticeable difference with the "others": the fact that Gary's method is by far the simplest and and the same time no less effective that the rest of them.
The EFT evolution to this day
Having a praiseworthy attitude, Gary Craig made freely available to the whole world, through his web site
emofree.com, tons of information on EFT, including the comprehensive and easy to read
EFT Manual ([Craig, 2004]) and a huge repository of actual cases where EFT has been or can be applied.
Gary Craig is still very much involved in the development of EFT, by enriching the
emofree.com site and helping spread the word all over the planet. A few other people have also contributed to and continue to help its development, such as Dr. Patricia Garrington, Dr. Alex Lees, Dr. Carol Look, etc.
EFT already counts more than ten years of publicity and spread out. It's impressive to think that it took so little time for a radical therapy and self-improvement method to get into the hearts of thousands of people and create so much excitement, without any scientific study having disproved its effectiveness.
The limited negative criticism has been focusing on the explanations given by Gary Craig regarding the underlying mechanisms of the method, although he always tells that these explanations should never be taken as hard facts, until scientifically proven.
Some scientific research is going on these days on EFT (and probably much more in the near future) and its effectiveness has already been demonstrated in controlled studies.
It is with great joy that we see a lot of new books being written on EFT and the other methods of energy psychology, that many professionals all over the world are taking in into their practice, that numerous conversations on it are taking place on the Web and publications on it find their place on newspapers and magazines, and also that tenths of seminars are taking place all over the planet.
EFT's Basic Recipe has been simplified, new techniques have been incorporated such as Patricia Carrington's Choices and Gary Craig's Borrowing Benefits, success stories are being published very often on the WWW, even TV networks (in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere) have presented EFT in action.
The future of EFT
It is really hard to imagine the future of EFT, considering its fast and surprising international spread within only a few years.
By taking into account our own experience in EFT and watching it grow all these years, we have come to believe that, under the current Gary's policy for free use and availability of information, EFT can easily and very soon become a dominant method for the fast resolution of mental, emotional and psychosomatic issues. We may even find it in schools, as a method for discharging youth hostility and nervousness!
There is still, of course, the "problem" of scientific verification and explanation of EFT. That's something that lots of creditable professionals all over the world are spending their time, so we think that it's only a matter of time for EFT to be fully explained and documented.
We cannot predict when (and if) EFT is going to be totally accepted, even after scientific verification, because the academic community is usually very strict (and that is no impeachment) with radical evolutions coming from "non traditional" sources ...