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Articles & Ideas


The Pros and Cons of EFT Telephone Therapy

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Using EFT over the phone has been very popular (and effective) over the years. Patricia Carrington is very experienced with this procedure and outlines many of its features.

Hugs, Gary

by Patricia Carrington PhD, EFT Master

I receive a number of emails each week requesting referrals to EFT practitioners in the writer’s vicinity or bemoaning the fact that they live in some remote area where there is no EFT therapist for them.  These prevalent inquiries are an indication that the belief that EFT counseling or therapy must be conducted in person to be effective is still very common -- and this despite the fact that the large majority of EFT practitioners are finding telephone EFT to be an extremely valuable modality.

In fact I recently made a count of the EFT Practitioners on Gary Craig’s practitioner list who say that they do EFT by  telephone (as well as in person) and discovered that 87% of the practitioners listed thereindicated that they supply this service.  This is a very high percentage and agrees closely with the figures I derived from the practitioner listings on the EFT Certificate of Completion practitioner list (which of course overlaps Gary's list considerably so the two cannot really be considered separately).  What's more, a careful perusal of the listings showed that these high percentages do not differ for practitioners in North America compared to the 32 other countries listed.  It seems probable that the majority of EFT practitioners in the world now offer telephone therapy.  Why is this so?

The answer is that these practitioners have found that telephone sessions are every bit as effective as in-person sessions, and in certain instances may be even more effective -- I'll speak about this in a moment but first let me turn to the few identified disadvantages that they have.

Limitations Of EFT Telephone Sessions 

There are several reasons why EFT telephone sessions may not be useful in certain instances:

  • Some people dislike talking over the phone, or cannot for some reason (e.g. speech problems, hearing impairment, physical weakness or infirmity etc.)
  • Some issues are particularly difficult to treat over the phone (e.g. ADD or ADHD, certain types of depression, and the like).  Even practitioners who work over the telephone for most issues, may insist upon seeing the client in person for others.
  • Some conditions involve a physical risk are best treated in person.  Clients prone to seizures or who have some other physical condition which might be exacerbated temporarily by strong emotions during therapy should probably work in the actual presence of an experienced EFT therapist.
  • Children under the age of 14 and teenagers between the ages of 14 and 20 may require the physical presence of an EFT therapist who can establish rapid rapport and inspire confidence when seen in person, but cannot do so readily over the phone. 
  • Most insurance carriers will not cover any kind of herapy or counseling sessions conducted over the telephone, even if they are with licensed practitioners.  NOTE:  When considering the lack of insurance coverage, notice that the course of EFT is often much briefer than that of conventional talk therapy thereby saving money in the long run.
  • Clients can occasionally forget a scheduled telephone session because they have not had to travel to an office for it.  For this reason most EFT practitioners charge for a missed telephone session unless it is for emergency reasons.

Aside from these limitations, there are major benefits to EFT telephone therapy that should be considered by anyone contemplating working with an EFT practitioner who is at a distance from their home.

Benefits Of EFT Telephone Sessions

  • If you are considering working with an EFT practitioner, being willing to use telephone sessions greatly extends the number of qualified EFT practitioners available to you.  It allows you to select from a much wider list of EFT practitioners than those in your immediate vicinity, including some of the acknowledged leaders in the field.
  • Telephone sessions provide considerable savings in terms of time and cost of traveling and give you much greater flexibility in scheduling than do office visits.  Also, many people find it of great benefit to schedule an EFT session in their own home rather than having to travel to another location and for that reason alone prefer them.  For example, I work with some clients who live at a distance of no more than 45 minutes (by car) from my office, certainly a drivable distance, but who prefer to schedule most of their sessions by phone.
  • Telephone sessions tend to improve concentration on the issue at hand.  They often result in a greater focus than is possible in an office setting where many visual distractions occur.  Visual distractions of any kind are entirely absent in a session over the phone, unless the client's own environment is disruptive (I do not encourage clients to be using EFT on the phone while caring for a demanding infant at the same time -- it just doesn't work!)  Also, some clients prefer phone sessions because they feel that the intensity of rapport between themselves and their practitioner is greater when the EFT session is conducted over the phone.
  • The fact that the EFT session occurs in the client’s own home (or another familiar environment) can result in greater generalization of its effects to their everyday life.  Often EFT seems to carry over into daily life more readily and they can see it work immediately after they have tapped on that issue in their own home.
  • EFT sessions over the phone can allow EFT to be applied right on the spot, something usually not possible when treatment is in the office (see for example my article on this site entitled “Using EFT over the phone for on-the-spot issues” in which I tell how I used EFT with a client by having her carry her cell phone with her and talk to me under conditions which ordinarily would have caused her to panic).  I have used telephone therapy for clients using their cell phones for such conditions as fear of driving, fear of flying, fear of heights and many other phobias.  I find it invaluable to be able to lead the client through EFT while they are actually in the feared circumstances.

How Are Phone Sessions Conducted?

Usually the client telephones the practitioner and the tapping is done while the client holds the phone with one hand and taps with the other, or they may use a speakerphone or headphones.  Sometimes the client has to lie on a couch or bed with the phone propped up on their shoulder to do this, however clients rarely report difficulty tapping while talking on the phone.  If they do, they put down the phone temporarily, and then resume talking to the practitioner after completing each round of EFT.

Telephone sessions are usually either paid for by credit card at the time of the appointment or directly following it, or by a check sent to the practitioner before the appointment, or through PayPal.  Telephone sessions cost exactly the same as office visits since they require the same investment of time and the same degree of expertise on the part of the practitioner.

My Recommendations

Don’t hesitate to try using EFT by telephone.

If you are considering EFT telephone therapy, counseling or coaching but are not sure if it's for you, you may want to schedule one or two actual telephone sessions with the practitioner of your choice.  Consider these "trial sessions" although you may well benefit from them at the same time.  You are likely to be very surprised at how convenient and effective they are!

Patricia Carrington PhD



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