Bringing EFT Tapping Into Schools
GUEST SPEAKER: Fellow EFT Tapping Practitioner, Allison Simpson, demonstrates a short icebreaker group EFT meditation for teenagers that teachers can use to bring this evidence-based stress management technique into their class. I recently had the pleasure of working with Allison while delivering a group EFT session for stress and anxiety to Grade 11 & 12 students in an international school. This was done via the school’s online learning platform. The following interview was inspired by the team teaching we did together. In this interview, you will learn:
- how Allison discovered EFT after being diagnosed with a stress-related autoimmune disease when she was a university/college student.
- how teachers can lead a teen-friendly EFT meditation as a way of introducing this scientifically proven stress management technique into their classroom, in order to help their students get focused and ready to learn.
- some of the reasons why we believe short group EFT tapping meditations for teens are needed in schools right now.
ELENI VARDAKI: Hi Allison, thanks so much for being here.
ALLISON SIMPSON: Thank you, Eleni, for inviting me.
ELENI VARDAKI: So today I’d like to introduce you to my audience. Really, it’s thanks to you that EFT came to Greece (through EFT International). You are the one who made it all happen, where we had the training, here. And we have now got certified EFT Practitioners in Greece. But what’s so special about EFT? When did you feel so passionately about organizing the certification training, so people could be certified in EFT here in Greece?
ALLISON SIMPSON: I have been practicing EFT for almost 10 years now, and I find it to be one of the most effective techniques to help me manage my emotions. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease during my first semester of Law School. And I knew that it had a lot to do with stress because it was a year after September 11th, and I had witnessed that with my own eyes from my bedroom window. My parents got divorced later that year. I broke up with a boyfriend. I started Law School. And then my grandfather died during my finals, during the first semester. And a couple of months later, I woke up in excruciating pain, and I couldn’t move. And it took the doctors like 8 months to diagnose me correctly. They recognized immediately that it was stress-related. So they put me, automatically, on a ton of anti-anxiety meds and pain killers.
Those medications have a real effect on your body. I mean two years later, I was in my last year of Law School, and I was having panic attacks like every single day. I mean debilitating panic attacks where I couldn’t walk out of my apartment. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack, or the room would start spinning. So it really just took over my life. And I had to take a pause on Law School. I ended up going back and finishing, but my whole career path got derailed from that health experience.
Because I was always so cognizant that it was psychosomatic, to a certain degree, I started looking for healing modalities that would help me get to the root cause of my disease, rather than just treat symptoms pharmaceutically. So I found EFT about 10 years ago, and it’s just the most amazing technique because it’s so efficient and it’s so empowering. I feel like I have control over myself in those situations where everything is falling out of control. We live in such a stressful time. And we need more tools like this to help us live our best lives.
(02:17) ELENI VARDAKI: If you are a teacher who is thinking, “How can I bring this tool, this stress management tool, into my classroom?”…what tapping meditation could you do that teachers could use as an icebreaker to just put it up on the screen and for kids to follow along with, so that they can help break the ice and introduce tapping into their classroom?
ALLISON SIMPSON: I would just very simply address the elephant in the room – that I’m about to ask them to do something that’s outside of their comfort zone. And it’s gonna make them feel weird. Instead of sitting there showing them what I’m gonna do, I want to immediately engage them, so they start to feel the benefits of it. Because asking teenagers to talk about their feelings in front of other teenagers is something that’s gonna be met with a lot of resistance.
(03:02) ALLISON SIMPSON: Let’s pretend that you’re my student, Eleni, and I’m the teacher. I’m bringing it into your classroom.
So I’m just going to invite you now to give something new a little bit of a try. You know, school can be stressful. And we don’t really learn in school – not just in school, I don’t remember ever learning, growing up, how to handle my stress. But I learned this when I was older, and I would like to share it with you. Would you like to give it a try?
ELENI VARDAKI: Yeah! And also I’d like to invite, if a teacher is showing this to their class, to also invite students to follow along and tap with us.
ALLISON SIMPSON: Yes, absolutely.
ICEBREAKER GROUP EFT TAPPING MEDITATION FOR TEENS
PART I: SETTING UP THE EFT GROUP TAPPING MEDITATION
Teacher: So we start tapping by tapping on the side of our hands. Either side. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes I even like to do it like this. So I’m getting both sides. Do what feels comfortable for you. And we start with a Setup Statement, where we are acknowledging whatever the “negative emotion” is that we’re feeling.
Teacher: Even though I feel really weird about trying tapping right now. Students: Even though I feel really weird about trying tapping right now. Teacher: I’m gonna give it a try. Students: I’m going to give it a try. Teacher: And see where it goes. Students: And see where it goes.
Teacher: Even though I really don’t feel like trying this right now. Students: Even though I really don’t feel like trying this right now. Teacher: I don’t know why my teacher’s making me tap on my hand. Students: I don’t know why my teacher’s making me tap on my hand Teacher: But I’m willing to be a little brave. Students: But I’m willing to be a little brave. Teacher: And give this a try right now. Students: And give this a try right now.
Teacher: Even though Students: Even though Teacher: I feel really weird about trying tapping Students: I feel really weird about trying tapping (Teacher) I’m gonna give it a try and see where it goes. Students: I’m gonna give it a try and see where it goes.
PART II: TAPPING THROUGH THE EFT MEDITATION POINTS
Top of the Head: (Teacher) Great. Now we’re gonna start tapping through the points. I’ll lead you through them. And you just follow along with me. We’re going to stick with this emotion, starting at the top of our heads, sticking with the emotion of this “feeling really weird”. I feel weird doing this right now. (Students) I feel weird doing this right now.
Eyebrow: (Teacher) I am tapping on my head and my face like a monkey (Students) I am tapping on my head and my face like a monkey.
Side of the Eye: (Teacher) I have no idea why my teacher is asking me to do this. (Students) I have no idea why my teacher is asking me to do this.
Under the Eye: (Teacher) How is hitting myself on the face supposed to help me with my stress? (Students) How is hitting myself on my face, supposed to help me with my stress.
Under the Nose: (Teacher) The idea of being stressed out, and then trying to do something like this in front of all my friends. (Students) The idea of being stressed out and then trying to do something like this in front of all my friends.
Under the Mouth: (Teacher) Well, I think that makes me feel more stressed out! (Students) I think that makes me feel more stressed out.
Collarbone: (Teacher) I don’t wanna do something weird in front of my friends. (Students) I don’t want to do something in front of my friends.
Under the Arm: (Teacher) But I also don’t like feeling stressed out. Now you’re tapping on the underneath. You’re on the side of the ribs underneath your armpits. (Students) But I also don’t wanna to feel stressed out.
Top of the Head: I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with myself when I’m stressed. Students: I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with myself when I’m stressed.
Eyebrow: Teacher: School is hard sometimes. Students: School is hard sometimes.
Side of the Eye: (Teacher) I don’t know how tapping on myself is gonna make me feel better. Students: I don’t know how tapping on myself is going to make me feel better.
Under the Eye: (Teacher) But feeling stressed is not making me feel good, either. (Students) But feeling stressed is not making me feel good either.
Under the Nose: (Teacher) I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. (Students) I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.
Under the Mouth: (Teacher) Maybe this might help. (Students) Maybe this might help.
Collarbone: (Teacher) My teacher seems to think that it works. (Students) My teacher seems to think that it works.
Under the Arm: (Teacher) For the most part, she/he does try to help me. (Students) For the most part, she/he does try to help me.
Top of the Head: (Teacher) But I feel really weird doing this. (Students) But I feel really weird doing this.
Eyebrow: (Teacher) I mean I’m stressed, but I also feel weird and uncomfortable. (Students) I mean, I’m stressed, but I also feel weird and uncomfortable.
Side of the Eye: (Teacher) Although maybe that’s not really about the tapping. (Students) Although maybe that’s not really the tapping.
Under the Eye: (Teacher) Maybe it’s just that stress and being a teenager is weird and uncomfortable. (Students) Maybe it’s just that stress and being a teenager is weird and uncomfortable.
Under the Nose: (Teacher) I’m not alone here doing this. My other friends are doing it. (Students) I’m not alone here doing this. My other friends are doing it.
Under the Mouth: (Teacher) Maybe I’m not the only one that’s feeling stressed. (Students) Maybe I’m not the only one feeling stressed.
Collarbone: (Teacher) Actually, the tapping is kind of helping me realize that. Students: Actually, the tapping is kind of helping me realize that.
Under the Arm: (Teacher) And I feel a little bit calmer, maybe just saying it – that I don’t know what to do with my stress. (Students) And I feel a little bit calmer just saying it – that I don’t know what to do with my stress.
So let’s just take a deep breath.
WHY GROUP EFT TAPPING FOR TEENS IS NEEDED IN SCHOOLS
ALLISON SIMPSON: So what did I accomplish in doing that protocol? Obviously, it would be easier if I had real kids in front of me. Because I’m always reading the room, and I’m always noticing, you know, the facial expression. So it’s a lot easier to kind of rift on what they might be feeling. But I’ve done this before in a classroom setting. And generally what I’m noticing is that they’re really reluctant to give something that looks weird a try.
So that’s why I want to focus on the idea that I’m about to try something that doesn’t make me feel comfortable. But also holding stress inside is not gonna make anybody feel comfortable either. So the awkwardness of this technique is completely outweighed by the benefits of actually having some kind of release. And group work, especially, is so powerful. The connection with other people that are going through similar things and being able to have space to open up and share that with one another. I mean, the healing benefits of that are just astounding. So this is a very easy way to kind of break the ice and get them to do the tapping. And everybody’s doing it.
You’re acknowledging that, you know, it’s weird. Yes. You might feel uncomfortable. But everybody’s doing it – which is kind of important when you’re talking to teenagers. And then they might feel more open, and I find they usually do, to bring to the group something that they can really work on for themselves.
ELENI VARDAKI: I love how you brought in that, you know, “Well actually, I’m not alone in feeling this stress.” Because up until now, stress management has often been seen as “an individual student’s problem”. Where the student will be advised to go to the toilet and do some tapping. Or meditate before a test. Or what have you. So it’s almost kind of banished into the corners of a school, where it’s almost seen as something that is embarrassing to do in public.
And so for teachers to bring the gift of group tapping to their class removes any of those messages that have been sent up until now that doing stress management techniques like this – which are scientific and evidence-based, and we know they work (on a psychological level and on a biological level) – bringing them into a classroom in a way that normalizes it. And also that helps groups realize, “Well actually, I’m not alone”.
Because that’s one of the things that happened at an international school, where we were teaching them how to do EFT recently. You know, one of the young lads in there said, “I realized, actually, I’m not alone” in going through what I’m going through. And at a time when we are so isolated and disconnected, it’s more important than ever that we create these opportunities for our students to realize that we are all going through this stressful time, historically together. And we’re not alone. So thank you very much for leading us through that wonderful tapping meditation.
ALLISON SIMPSON: You’re welcome. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share it, and for your passion and determination in helping others and empowering our youth – because we need them to really step into their authenticity.
ELENI VARDAKI: And if someone would like to learn more about you and the work you do and your services, where could they find you?
ALLISON SIMPSON: I have a website, Allison Simpson, www.AllisonSimpson.com, and I recently joined Clubhouse. So at Allison Simpson there. Yeah, so look me up and send me an email. I’d love to help support you however I can,
ELENI VARDAKI: And I’ll leave links below as well so people can reach out. Thanks so much, Allison.
ALLISON SIMPSON: Thank you, Eleni.
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE
Allison Simpson is a certified EFT Practitioner and Eden Medicine specialist based in Greece. She loves helping parents release overwhelm and diffuse negativity so that they can respond to any challenge – at work or at home – with clarity, confidence, and resolve. Allison is also passionate about helping to spread the word about the power of EFT as a self-soothing stress management tool for kids in schools.
MORE ARTICLES/INTERVIEWS ON THE BENEFITS OF EFT Tapping
- 2020: “5 Ways Tapping (EFT) Can Help Students Cope with Coronavirus Stress”, by Eleni Vardaki (Youth Mentor, EFT Practitioner)
- 2019: “Releasing Emotional & Physical Pain: Can Tapping Help?”, by Eleni Vardaki (Youth Mentor, EFT Practitioner)
- 2018: “Tapping Away Exam Stress” (Stress Less Summit interview of Nicole Dubruel de Broglio, EFT Practitioner)