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  • Jennie Gibson

EFT Tapping, An Easy Evidence Based Practice for Reducing Your Child’s Stress and Anxiety

It is safe to say that many children with Learning Disabilities or ADHD at times feel frustration, stress, or anxiety related to their need to push themselves to get school work or other tasks done more quickly or efficiently. It is also common for children to feel shame or overwhelm related to these challenges.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, commonly called “Tapping” is a self-help tool for dealing with difficult emotions that can be taught to children in a simple way that they can use whenever they become aware that they are stressed or upset.

EFT has been developing as an alternative therapy since the 1980’s and has become more mainstream during the last 25 years as more and more research confirms that it reduces stress in the body. One author referred to it as “tweaking the body to optimize the brain”.

There have been at least 30 randomized control trials that suggest that EFT is beneficial for ADHD alone.

Substantial research supports the efficacy of EFT. Although evidence specific to ADHD is mostly anecdotal at this time, there have been at least 50 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that suggest that EFT helps conditions related to ADHD.Jul 8, 2021

Tapping Therapy & ADHD: Boost Your Emotions ... - ADDitude

To the extent that a child with Learning Disabilities is affected by stress or mood problems, it is likely that EFT can be beneficial.

EFT is called “Tapping” because one taps on specific acupuncture points on the body. There is also a wording pattern that is generally used while tapping, but the wording is tweaked to suit the individual. There are many wonderful and sometimes a little bit complicated ways that EFT can be used by practitioners and lay individuals.

However, as a certified EFT practitioner, I have found that teaching EFT in a very simple form to children can also work very well. In fact, simply tapping on any of the points wordlessly, can put a person into a calmer state. I have taught children to use tapping when they were emotionally upset, afraid, or remembering bad memories and even when having difficulty going to sleep. It usually works quickly with children, often in 10 minutes or less. (I might add that I have found also that many adults with intellectual disabilities are able to tap on themselves and feel better.)

I will not attempt to teach EFT theory or methods in this article. There are dozens of books and websites that teach different variations of EFT. I recommend going to At the bottom of the landing page click on “Free EFT get started package”. It will take you to a page where you can download the free 60 page EFT Tapping Mini-Manual which is offered by Dawson Church, the scientist who has conducted and published many scientific studies related to EFT. The EFT Universe website offers a wealth of information, including links to the latest research on EFT.

Reading the mini-manual and practicing on yourself can give you enough experience to start using simple EFT to help your child. I would suggest reading tne mini-manual before you start with your child. Bonus: You will probably find it beneficial for your own use as well as I have.

Since EFT is not a drug, it can generally be used along with any other treatment modalities that you may be using.

A word of Caution: If you want to use EFT for PTSD or other complex psychological problems, it would be best to start with a certified practitioner, to make sure that you do not trigger a reaction that could retraumatize the person. There are many psychologists who use EFT as part of their treatment. EFT Universe has a list of certified practitioners, many of whom can work with you using Zoom otherwise work remotely.

EFT can be basic and simple, and it is FREE if you do it for yourself. It can be used on a daily basis to help children enjoy the benefits of reduced stress in their bodies and minds.


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