Lisa Heitmann, LCSW
Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping, is a trauma processing therapy that is based on acupuncture. Different from EMDR tapping, EFT uses a series of tapping points which are located at the endpoints of the same energy meridians that are used in acupuncture for healing. By tapping on these points, it allows any fixed negative thoughts, feelings or beliefs to dissipate, to the point where they no longer bother you. EFT can be very helpful as a tool to reduce strong feelings in the moment, and I often teach it as a self calming tool.
EMDR is a trauma processing therapy, developed by Francine Shapiro in
the 1980's, and now used extensively for helping people rapidly resolve traumatic memories. EMDR uses eye movements, or tapping, to engage the brain in bilateral communication (between both sides of the brain, left and right). These movements are directed by the therapist, while the client is thinking about their upsetting memories and /or feelings. This bilateral activation helps your brain synthesize and integrate the memories, and that in turn takes away the intensity of the memory. This allows other, more adaptive and resilient truths to emerge. EMDR has been very successful in reducing the intensity of traumatic memories so that they are no longer a problem. It has also proved useful for helping to decrease overwhelming feelings, such as anger, anxiety, fear, shame and guilt.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) teaches clients how to use mindfulness techniques to track small internal shifts in their body that both signal (and trigger) emotional distress, and to be able to use that awareness to support and calm one's self. SP works on a body level, and so is very connected to your emotional system, and can reach that emotional part of us that words cannot. SP can be extremely helpful when the original experience is not in our awareness. The habitual postures and movements (body memories) that SP helps us become aware of are important clues to identifying and healing the old experiences that shape the beliefs that often unknowingly drive our behaviors in the here and now.