The other day, I was explaining to a new client that we would be doing 'clinical' EFT, rather than the shoot-from-the-hip variety or the palliative kind - which actually we might also use sometimes as an add-on, because it's definitely helpful for alleviating symptoms. My client had a funny reaction, though, to the word, "clinical", and I realized the word conjured up images of hospitals and aloof doctors looking at charts. Oh! That's not what I had in mind for her to imagine. I wanted her to feel comfortable that the intervention we were going to be using is a sound and studied one.
So, I explained that clinical EFT is a formalized kind. We follow very specific guidelines that govern this form of EFT. We use different protocols for different needs. For trauma, we use Tearless Trauma, which has a lot of containment. We use the Movie Technique for topics too delicate to speak of. We use the finger points when the client is very emotional. We use Tell the Story for most everything else. It is the most widely used form of clinical EFT and, because it has guidelines - standards of use - it can be and has been studied, so its efficacy has been measured.
The funny thing is that clinical EFT is really less scary than the winging-it variety. It has been developed to be effective and to keep clients inside the 'window of tolerance' - the zone in which it is safest to work without worry of re-traumatization. The last thing you want to happen when working with a client is for them to get triggered and they are unlikely to get triggered if you are following clinical protocols.
So, when you decide you want to try EFT - which you definitely should - always ask your practitioner what kind of EFT they use. If they look at you blankly, with that deer-in-the-headlights look, you might want to look for a different practitioner. All EFT is not clinical EFT and though it is generally a very safe and incredibly effective intervention no matter how it is performed, you are of course better off with someone trained professionally following guidelines developed specifically for safety as well as effectiveness.