by Sarah Haté (France)

‘The cause of ALL negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system’

Gary Craig

Imagine that you are coaching a client and each time you start talking about her limiting beliefs or the things that are holding her back, she begins talking about her fears, related to some childhood memory that has come back to haunt her. You are not a psychologist, you are not an expert in childhood trauma, yet you really want to help her get over this, as you both know it’s what’s stopping her from moving forwards.

This is where the technique EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique) comes into my coaching practice. I trained to be a performance coach with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) skills, and despite the fact that NLP is a wonderful tool to help get over past trauma, it is sometimes not enough. And here is the reason why: whenever we experience a traumatic event (it could be a single event or something that is repeated), our body registers it somewhere, together with the emotions that we felt at that particular moment in time.

As the majority of us are extremely resilient, even if we don’t admit it, we can often tend to ‘just get on with life’… until life decides to remind us of a particular traumatic event, in the form of a limiting belief, lack of self-esteem, self-confidence and/or self-love, for example. Depending on what we experienced and on our individual capacity to heal, a normal coaching session can be enough to accept this, process this and move forwards.

In my experience as a coach, there are times when more traditional coaching methods simply don’t work for deeply embedded trauma because the obstacle pops up further down the path the client is on. Such methods are great for shining the light on the problem and pulling off various layers to get to the heart of the matter, but can leave us frustrated as coaches, like we have not been able to get to the stage of complete closure.

I would like to share with you the benefits of introducing EFT into our coaching practice, talk about the origins and how it works, and what it takes for you to become an EFT practitioner.

The Origins of EFT

EFT was founded back in 1991 by Gary Craig, a student of Roger Callahan. Just to give you a bit of background, Callahan was one of the founders of energy psychology, which can be described as ‘acupuncture without needles’, and is a combination of exposure therapy and meridian point stimulation. For those of you who don’t know what exposure therapy is, it involves exposing the patient/client to the source of anxiety or its context, without the intention to cause any danger.

As I have already stated, traumatic events trapped in our mind/body can have a negative impact on our life, and it is believed that energy psychology techniques can help us release these events more rapidly than if we simply talk about them. The process of tapping on meridian points is intended to send signals to the brain, to help it to regulate any physical and emotional reactions affecting health and well-being. The physical stimulation of acupoints is thought to create electrical and chemical signals in the brain that are thought to help normalise cortisol levels and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, thus reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress, among other issues.

Source: iCN Issue 32  (Coaching Tools, Techniques & Models for Coaching); pages 


Sarah Haté is a trainer, public speaker and certified professional life coach. She has a passion for giving her clients the space they need to reconnect with themselves and rediscover their authentic self, in order to transform their lives. She is the creator of a private, online community, Harnessing Your Potential, to empower coaches, therapists, teachers and small-business owners to heal their past and reach their full potential.

Sarah created So Free Coaching, to offer one-to-one sessions, group sessions and workshops. As she lives in the south of France, her clients are both French and English-speaking. She trained in Performance Coaching with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) with Simply Changing Limited, and is also a qualified EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and IET (Integrated Energy Therapy) practitioner. During lockdown, she recorded several guided meditations to help her clients who were struggling with negative emotions, needing to calm their mind and get grounded. They can be accessed on her YouTube channel (see link below).


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