Thought Field Therapy

Written by: Nora Baladerian, Ph.D., LMFT

You may have heard of Thought Field Therapy or its derivative EFT. But how do these Energy Psychology or Energy‐based therapies work in the real life of a licensed therapist? I have been a practitioner and teacher of Thought Field Therapy since 2000. I have found its usefulness to be essential
as I work with clients. My primary focus is on survivors of sexual assault or other traumas, anxiety and depression. TFT allows clients to actually feel better within the session.

TFT uses a combination of psychotherapy and energy meridian stimulation (tapping) on the meridian points used in acupuncture and
acupressure. While in the past acupressure was used ony for physical maladies, it has been discovered that TFT merdian point stimulation releases negative emotions such as trauma, sadness, grief, anger and rage among others. The theory and foundations of TFT are complex, but the actual application appears quite simple. Of course one needs to understand the foundations, but for the patient, application is relatively easy.

Dr. Roger Callahan is the psychologist who discovered TFT. He says any theory must be in line with reality. Thus the patient must experience the desired effect if the theory is correct. After administration of the therapy, the patient must feel that the prior feeling is no longer present. After using this therapeutic technique, I invite my patients to try to recover the feeling they had prior to TFT. They cannot. Why? The energy of that feeling has been released from the body.

Patients are asked to measure how intense their level of distress is on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being worst. While focusing on the feeling of distress, the therapy is administered. At the end of the first administration of the appropriate algorithm, they are asked to re‐rate their level of distress. Treatment continues until the patient is at a 1. Often the patient sighs, yawns, or looks up with surprise saying they feel much better now, and asks how long it will last. At this question, the therapist knows that relief has been achieved. When the patient wants to know how long this improved feeling state will last, I explain that negative thought energies have been dissolved and cannot be retrieved. This is a mind‐ body energy therapy, and the negative emotions prior to the memory have been dissolved. The memory is intact.

Here are the six main reasons I use TFT: 1) it works; 2) it works fast; 3) the effects last; 4) there are no negative side effects; 5) the process does not cause pain or discomfort; 6) the patient leaves feeling much better than when they came in for therapy.
Anyone can learn TFT. I conduct training programs six times per year and offer ongoing peer consultation sessions to enhance and reinforce the skills of TFT practitioners.

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Dr. Nora J. Baladerian, Ph.D., LMFT, has maintained a private practice since 1979 in the West L.A. area. She specializes in treating trauma, depression, and anxiety as these effect individuals, couples and families, including those who are monolingual (Spanish) and individuals with developmental disabilities. She is the Director of the Disability and Abuse Project. You may contact her at: or 310.473.6768