Q. What is EFT Tapping?
A. Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), is a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight control, and limiting beliefs, to name just a few.
Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy
Q. How Does EFT Tapping Work?
A. Tapping makes use of the mind-body connection, acknowledging and integrating the concepts that physical pain, disease, and mental wellbeing are intricately connected to our emotional states.
The body has an energy system that travels along pathways known as meridians. Tapping on these meridian endpoints helps to stimulate this system, and when verbally or mentally addressing the root causes of distress, the areas of blocked energy are able to release and flow naturally.
The basic Tapping technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion or situation at hand - a fear, a worry, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything else that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on each of the 9 specific meridian endpoints of the body.
Tapping on these meridian points in sequence while concentrating on the negative emotions engages both the brain’s limbic system and the body’s energy system, encouraging a sense of safety and resolution. And as the scientific field of Epigenetics is proving, when you change your internal environment - your emotions and beliefs - external changes in your mental & physical health will follow.
In some ways, Tapping is similar to acupuncture in that they both promote healing by stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. However, unlike acupuncture, Tapping, does not involve the use of needles!
Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone, and you can apply it to yourself whenever you want, wherever you are. It can be used with a specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences. Most importantly, Tapping gives you the power to bring healing to yourself, putting control over your life back into your own hands.
Q. Is There Scientific Evidence of Tapping’s Effectiveness?
A. Like many healing arts that draw upon ancient wisdom, Tapping has been met with a fair share of skepticism. Some doctors and psychologists have been quick to dismiss it as “woo woo”, despite the vast amounts of anecdotal evidence from the results of clinical trials, practitioner reports, individual case studies, and those who have used EFT Tapping on their own.
In recent years, however, there’s been a growing pool of undeniable research proving that Tapping produces real, lasting breakthroughs. It significantly improves, and can even even eliminate, conditions that hospital treatments, medications, and years of psychotherapy often fail to adequately resolve. Studies performed around the world, including the prestigious Harvard Medical School, continue to verify these assertions.
The scientific basis for Tapping therapy revolves around the functions of a specific almond-shaped part of your brain called the amygdala. It is part of the body’s limbic system, the source of emotions and long-term memory. The amygdala is known as the brain’s fear center, from which the “flight or fight” response originates, alerting other parts of the brain that it senses danger. This, in turn, initiates the firing of other brain receptors and the release of specific hormones that allow the body to respond to the perceived danger.
This process is highly useful when faced with a real survival situation or an actual threat, but can be detrimental when developed into an “irrational fear” such as public speaking or a fear of rejection.
Tapping has been shown to significantly calm and even “turn off” the amygdala, disrupting the stress response and allowing the brain synapses to be rewired for a more appropriate emotional response to a given situation.
Q. What’s the History Behind Tapping?
A. It began in 1980, with a psychologist named Roger Callahan, and a patient with an extreme phobia towards water. Mary’s fear of water controlled her life and kept her from performing many otherwise normal daily activities. She was unable to take her children to the beach, and found it impossible to drive near the ocean. She grew fearful when it rained, and could not even stand the sight of water on TV. She even had vivid nightmares involving water.
Dr. Callahan and Mary had been working on this problem together for over a year. Finally, Mary worked up the courage to sit within sight of the pool at Dr. Callahan’s house. Even doing this caused Mary extreme distress, and though she found ways to cope with the intense fear and emotional pain, she had not yet overcome her phobia.
Her fear of being near the water caused Mary to have stomach pains – a common “gut reaction.” Dr. Callahan had recently been studying traditional Chinese medicine, which included learning about the meridians and how they worked. Suddenly he had an inspiration. Remembering that there was an acupuncture point for the stomach meridian on the cheekbone, he asked her to tap there, thinking it might help with her stomach pains.
Mary tapped her cheekbone as directed, and this little action changed medicinal history! The response seemed miraculous, to both Mary and Dr. Callahan. Her stomach pains disappeared. But even more amazingly, her fear of water disappeared too! She ran down to the pool and began splashing herself with water, rejoicing in her newfound freedom from her phobia.
Based on this discovery, Dr. Callahan began a series of investigations to develop and refine this technique, which he termed “Thought Field Therapy.” It was fairly complex, and required a trained practitioner to use specific algorithms and techniques to determine which meridian points to stimulate to obtain the desired results.
Gary Craig, an engineer in California, trained under Dr. Callahan’s tutelage in the 1990’s, learning the procedures for TFT. As time passed, he began to improve the process by creating a simpler tapping sequence that could be easily learned and repeated, even by the patient him/herself.
The result was the development of a new type of therapy that Gary named EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)t. But perhaps even more importantly, he created a community around EFT, allowing the technique to be learned, applied, and shared freely. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have used Tapping to resolve emotional problems and physical conditions.
Q. How Do I Tap?
A. [Link to video tap along/point demo by Karen & Alex] Q. What is Somatic Experiencing (SE)?
A. SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® (SE™) is a potent psycho-biological method for relieving chronic stress and resolving trauma symptoms. It was developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine
The method resulted from a multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, honed over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.
SE helps assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight, freeze/collapse, submit or attach responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states.
Q. What is the Science Behind SE?
A. Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease.
Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, illness, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict. SE teaches that trauma is not caused by the event itself, but rather develops through the failure of the body to adequately process adversity.
In his studies, Dr. Levine found that prey animals in the wild are rarely traumatized despite routine threats to their lives. Yet human beings are readily traumatized.
Since humans and other animals possess nearly identical brain- and body-based survival mechanisms, Dr. Levine worked to identify what was interfering with the human threat-recovery process, and to develop tools for restoring people’s innate capacity to rebound following overwhelming experiences.
Under threat, the nervous system of all mammals are design to mobilize massive amounts of energy in readiness for self-defense via the fight, flight, and freeze responses. Once safe, animals spontaneously “discharge” this excess energy through involuntary movements including shaking, trembling, and deep spontaneous breaths. This discharge process resets the autonomic nervous system, restoring equilibrium.
Although humans are similarly designed to rebound from high-intensity survival states, we also have the problematic ability to override the natural discharge of excess survival energy. Through rationalizations, judgments, shame, enculturation, and fear of our bodily sensations, we may disrupt our innate capacity to self-regulate, functionally “recycling” disabling terror and helplessness in the body.
When the nervous system does not reset after an overwhelming experience, sleep, cardiac, digestion, respiration, and immune system function can be seriously disturbed. Unresolved physiological distress can also lead to an array of other physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
Q. How does SE Work?
A. SE facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body-addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.
SE does not require the traumatized person to talk repeatedly about the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve—in a slow and supported way—the body’s instinctual fight, flight, freeze, and collapse responses.
Individuals locked in anxiety or rage then relax into a growing sense of peace and safety. Those stuck in depression gradually find their feelings of hopelessness and numbness transformed into empowerment, triumph, and mastery.
SE catalyzes corrective bodily experiences that contradict those of fear and helplessness. This resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases people’s vitality, equanimity, and capacity to actively engage in life.
Text in this section reproduced and adapted with permission by the SE Trauma Institute http://www.traumahealing.comQ. Who can benefit from EFT Tapping and SE work?
A. I specialize in working with adults who have experienced Sexual Abuse and Trauma. You may be struggling with symptoms resulting from a specific overwhelming or traumatic experience such as a rape, or from repetitive childhood (or adult) abuse and the impact that this is still having on your life today.
Challenges you experience may include: PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms, anxiety/panic attacks, feeling helpless or overwhelmed, chronic stress, phobias, depression, physical tension/pain, anger/irritability, sleep/digestion/immune-system issues, a feeling of numbness or disconnection, hyper-vigilance, low self-confidence, challenges connecting with others in general and spousal intimacy issues.
This may be the first time you've sought support, or you may have tried various traditional methods of therapy before. You may have engaged with significant personal growth, psychological or spiritual work but find yourself still struggling with the same issues.
Our bodies are designed for wellness. They give us signals every moment telling us exactly what they need to feel better. But with Trauma, so many of us have learnt to mistrust and override our body's communications. The good news is, when we learn how to listen, correctly interpret and attend to our body's needs, everything gets a LOT easier.
In working with me, we will explore how your body holds on to the Trauma. Using EFT Tapping and SE we will work gently and safely to release the painful emotions and sensations that have kept you stuck in old patterns that no longer serve you.
Q. My sexual Trauma is severe - can you help me?
A. My own trauma and dissociation has been severe. For years I used memory repression as a defensive mechanism. I have struggled with self-harm, anxiety and depressive episodes. If anyone understands the struggles of intense traumatic response, I do. Severe symptoms do not deter me. I encourage you to seek professional help and at the same time I believe that as a survivor myself, I can offer you a unique perspective and path towards healing.Q. There might be something I don’t remember. Can you help me with recovering memories?
A. If you feel like there is something you don’t remember, there is likely something you don’t remember. Why? To dissociate and ‘forget’ or block memories out was one of the ways you survived. Your defenses against remembering will try to tell you there is nothing to remember. Your family may tell you there is nothing to remember. Society may tell you there is nothing to remember. Even therapists may sometimes tell you it doesn’t help to remember. If you still feel like something is missing or has been repressed, your intuition is strong enough to be heard over those defenses. Please listen to it. With Tapping and SE we will work with the Implicit (or procedural) memories for long enough until gradually and naturally the explicit will emerge. This is a process that we can navigate together.Q. Do I have to travel to you or can I receive EFT Tapping and/or Somatic Experiencing long distance?
A. Yes! You can have sessions from any location in the world! I offer video conferencing via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. I have found distance work to be highly effective for most people and some actually prefer to work this way because it cuts out commute-time and they can be in the comfort of their own home.
Some clients initially have reservations about doing this kind of deep work remotely. That said, it can be extremely powerful. Whether in - person or online, I strive to create a safe, supportive container for our work together.
If you are unsure whether remote work is right for you, I invite you to try a session and see how it feels for you!
Q. What happens in a typical session?
A. We will usually begin with a brief check-in to see how you’re doing since our last session. If you are a first-time client, we will do a short review of your intake questionnaire and go over any questions or specific goals you might have for our work together.
We will focus on noticing and tracking emotions and sensations in the body and use this as the basis for our Tapping. Rather than diving right into the hardest parts of your Trauma, my focus will be on helping you feel comfortable and safe. By working in this titrated, gentle way, we will gradually build your tolerance with the aim of working with the more challenging sensations, emotions, and memories that present.
Based on what comes up, I will Tap on myself to guide you and you will Tap on yourself, repeating specific phrases after me. We will usually do several rounds of Tapping in a single session, interspersed with time to reflect on and integrate the Nervous System shifts as they happen.
Sometimes, a session may be more based in guided imagery or other NLP-based techniques as the need arises. This will depend on the material presenting and each individual client.
Most sessions end with some grounding and integration of the work done. Sometimes I will give Tapping phrases to be used between sessions or I may suggest other ‘homework’.
Q. How are Tapping and SE different than more traditional talk therapy?
A. While EFT Tapping and SE can be therapeutic, they are NOT therapy. Tapping and SE are distinct from therapy in that they address the physiology underlying the psychological or emotional issues rather than working exclusively with a person's psychology/cognition. In CBT or traditional analysis, a client may be able to get clear on an issue, but they still have the issue. With Tapping and SE however, the primary focus is to address the physiological manifestations of these issues and help the body restore and return to its natural states of resilience and wellbeing.
In my work, I do not diagnose or treat mental or medical health conditions. Our work together can compliment and enhance the efficacy of other mental or medical treatments you may be seeking.
Q. Do I have to talk about my past?
A. While some psychotherapeutic modalities may encourage you to tell your traumatic story over and over again (Exposure Models) and may focus on discovering the past reason for your current state of distress, EFT Tapping and SE do not rely on you telling your story as this has potential for re-traumatization. Although we may identify past or present triggers for distress, Tapping and SE are more concerned with establishing new, healthy regulatory patterns in the nervous system right now.
Sometimes it may feel hugely important for a client to tell their story in a safe environment. Especially if it is the first time speaking up and being believed. In this instance I welcome this and invite my clients to share in as much or as little detail as feels helpful, healing and safe.
Otherwise, during sessions, storyline or content will be shared carefully and only to the extent that it evokes and then supports the release of old energies and emotions in a movement towards healing. Although it can be helpful for me to know some of what you are working through to best guide you, it is not necessary for the Tapping or SE to work successfully.
Q. Do I really need a Tapping or SE Practitioner? Can't I just do it by myself?
A. We all do our very best to deal with the circumstances of our lives. There are many things we can work through and heal on our own, and sometimes it’s time to seek outside support. If you are reading this, it’s likely that you may have reached the limits of your ability to go it alone.
Especially when working with Trauma, there can be great resistance to doing the most needed work. Maybe it feels too overwhelming or too dangerous to process the emotions alone. Sometimes it helps to have a supportive practitioner to guide you along the path to healing.
Q. How long do people generally work with an SE Practitioner?
A. There is no one answer to this. For clients who wish to work through one specific incident or traumatic experience, 4-6 sessions may suffice. Other clients choose to stay for several years, working through many many issues and beliefs creating a whole different life for themselves. I suggest a package of sessions to begin with and then regularly take time to assess progress and goals as we move along. Some clients come for 2-4 months then take a break and return as needed. Really, it is whatever works best for each individual, their needs, their schedule and their budget.Q. Is our work confidential?
A. Generally speaking, the information provided by you and to you as the client during your sessions is legally confidential. There are exceptions to the general rule of legal confidentiality. These exceptions are listed in the Connecticut Statutes (CGS § 52-146s(c)(5)), wherein a practitioner believes “in good faith that there is risk of imminent personal injury to the person or to other individuals or risk of imminent injury to the property of other individuals”.
Confidentiality may also be waived in the event of physical abuse and/or neglect of a child, including any past or present sexual contact with a minor.
Additionally, in the event of imminent danger to yourself or another person, I am required by law, to protect you, which may result in you being hospitalized, and I have a duty to warn anyone who may be in imminent danger as a result of your threats or frame of mind.
Q. How do I know that Tapping and SE are working for me?
A. Sometimes, people find it hard to notice the changes that are happening in their lives as a result of Tapping or SE because they can be subtle. A common thing I often hear is ‘well I’m just not afraid of that anymore’. It suddenly seems like no big deal. But 2 weeks ago, it was a debilitating phobia. This is why I frequently ask my clients to calibrate where they are on the 0-10 scale. It provides a means for checking relief and progress. If someone was terrified at level 10 last session, but now it’s a level 6, that is huge momentum.
For some clients, the results can be obvious and liberating such as with improved mobility or lessening of physical pain symptoms. For others, it can be more gradual and incremental improvements to sleep or mood. Overall and over time, most of my clients will notice that their symptoms (a) get triggered less often (b) get triggered less intensely and (c) they recover a state of equilibrium faster.
After a Tapping or SE session, similar to a good workout where muscles are sore afterwards, you may also experience being more sensitive/less settled for a couple days before your Nervous System rearranges into an overall state of greater balance. While the shifts may not always be immediately pleasant, the fact that your Nervous System is reorganizing itself is a great sign of integration, progress and the wiring and strengthening of new Neural Pathways.
I always aim to work gently and within a tolerable integrable range that best supports your development and healing.
Q. Is there anyone you don't work with?
A. I do not work with perpetrators.
I offer initial free 15 minute consult calls. These calls allow me to answer potential client questions. They also allow me to assess whether I think I can effectively help each potential client. If a client’s needs do fall outside my scope of practice, I can typically make a suggestion or a referral.
Q. What are your rates?
A. Single Session rate. Sessions are paid in advance at the time of booking using my secure online payment system. A single 60 minute session is $130. The first new client session is 75 minutes at the same $130 rate.
PACKAGE RATES: Many of my clients choose to invest in a package of sessions. Receive up to $10 off each session when you pay upfront and in full for packaged sessions. Please following the scheduling link to view all package and discount options:
https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/KOCMEY/servicesQ. How long is a typical session?
First time new client sessions are 75 minutes long. This allows me to teach the Tapping points and answer any additional questions a client has. Subsequent sessions are typically 60 minutes, although some clients prefer to book double sessions of 120 minutes.
Q. Do you do phone consultations?
A. If you still have questions about whether Tapping or SE is right for you, please follow the link:
to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Q. What types of payment do you accept?
A. I accept all major credit cardsQ. Do you accept insurance?
A. Unfortunately I cannot accept insurance because EFT Tapping and Somatic Experiencing® are not recognized by insurance companies. Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. I require 24 hours notice to cancel all sessions. No shows and appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours will be charged full rate. I appreciate at least 48 hours notice, where possible, so that I may book other clients. Q. How do I learn more about how to Tap and should I do this before I start working with you?
A. It is a great idea for you to learn more how to Tap before we start our work together. Follow this link for a quick start guide and a video showing you the basic sequence and Tapping Points:
Your Healing Journey Begins Here:
Get the Free Guide Entitled: The 5 Things You Need to Know to Start Healing From Sexual Trauma