Our Guide to EFT Ethics
The EFT Guild is a community of members who offer their services in many different contexts. Those who work as medical or mental health professionals, coaches or therapists will be bound by the ethical codes of their professions. All of us are bound by the laws of the country in which we live and by the moral compass of our culture and society. The EFT Guild sets out here a realistic statement of principles to guide members towards EFT Good Behaviour. Members who persistently deviate from good behaviour will be asked to leave the Guild.
Don’t Go Where You Don’t Belong
If you are not a mental health professional or have experienced serious mental health problems yourself or in your close family (and have come through them) then do not promote yourself as an expert. EFT practitioners are ordinary people who have learned to use an extraordinary tool with skill and can offer that learning and experience to other ordinary people experiencing the difficulties of everyday life. Do not give medical advice or suggest someone stop or start taking medication. Only a doctor can suggest change to prescription drugs or medical/surgical treatment.
Get Advice and Seek Help
Do not try to work out ethical decisions on your own. Should your own issues, circumstances or history cause you to lose objectivity and prevent you from being a neutral helper then raise the situation with your support group and use our private forum. Take advice and seek help. Be aware that your client may need to see someone else.
The professional relationship with a client is asymmetric (one way). You are the helper they are the receiver of help Do not seek to get your own needs met through your clients. Never, ever, initiate or respond to any sexual advances with people who engage you for therapeutic services. If a client is asking for more of your time and energy than they are willing to contract for, or than you are willing to offer, simply and firmly say no.
Everyone is Different
Change that happens for one client may not result for another. Everyone responds in their own unique way. Make this clear in your written and verbal communications with prospective clients. Do not try to fit the client to your way of working. Skilful EFT flexes the process to the person. Remember that people live in a framework of national and local laws and social or religious codes. If your client is from another country, or follows a different religion, then respect that what is possible for you, may not be legal or acceptable for them. If in doubt ask, assumptions may cause offence.
Consider the security of your notes and records. Do not leave client notes lying around where others could read them. If you are in the UK and keep electronic records you must register under the Data Protection Act. In other jurisdictions it is your responsibility to comply with the law regarding the processing of client data.
Do not talk about your client sessions with family and friends. Use EFT Guild Support Groups or a clinical supervisor to talk things through when you need to. Make sure you get a person’s explicit permission before writing up their experiences as an article or teaching example and agree changes to disguise their identity: how would you feel reading about yourself online?
Speak Out when Danger
An EFT session is not the confessional nor is it subject to attorney-client privilege. Should you hear that your client or someone else is in real danger then you need to speak out to prevent harm by informing police, social services or their GP. If your client has been a victim of crime in the past and neither they, nor anyone else, are currently under threat then it is their decision to report it or not. If you see children or vulnerable people in your practice you are advised to seek Safeguarding training.
If a client comes to you asking for EFT then give them EFT. Explain carefully, and get consent, before introducing other therapies you practice. Make sure you are clear yourself about the differences between the clean language practice of skilful EFT and the many tapping variations which use suggestion and manipulation of imagery and subjective experience (NLP).
No Means No
If anyone says No to EFT then do not push or manipulate them into tapping just because you consider it would be good for them. If a client does not want to continue with your sessions then accept that. Honour a person’s right to change their mind and learn from your experience.
Marketing Good Behaviour
Bulk emails to your contacts endorsing a third party product or service from which you gain affiliate commissions need to make clear that you will benefit from their purchases. No Bait and Switch: a free introductory session should be just that and not a fishing expedition to find issues and manipulate a person into paid work. Consider how you balance your client's emotional and financial well being and your need to build your business.
Promote Your Experience
Promote yourself only in areas where you have experience and be straight about your experience. Do not encourage unrealistic expectations. For example if you market EFT for weight loss then either you, or a number of your clients, need to have maintained the loss of a significant weight using EFT and you need documented cases. Avoid use of the words ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ when it comes to illness. Be clear about what you charge, length of sessions, methods of payment and how to contact you.
Recognise and Do Your Own Work
We are all wounded healers. However if your personal issues overwhelm you and dictate your agenda they will prevent you from getting out of your own way to help others. The Guild daisy chains, support groups and EFT Angels are not a substitute for personal therapy for serious issues. To be a member of our community you need to be sufficiently grounded to recognise your own stuff and take action to clear it.
We May Add More
As we grow and learn we may add to this code of good behaviour.