My husband’s PTSD was severe. He spent two years in the VA as an inpatient when he returned from Vietnam. Our life was hell. He was often suicidal and suffered from constant depression, nightmares, flashbacks and his anger was scary. In fact he had almost ALL of the symptoms of PTSD.

PTSD is a normal response to very abnormal conditions or situations. War is not normal. Neither are rapes, natural disasters or any of the other situations that are traumatizing and can cause PTSD. Symptoms include fear, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, depression, addictions, violence, relationship problems, sleep disruptions, etc.

I eventually heard about and studied TFT, Thought Field Therapy, an innovative therapy consisting of tapping on sequences of acupoints for trauma. I found that TFT works, but can be complex and difficult to apply. Later on I heard about EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, a simpler and more ‘user-friendly’ version of tapping. Fifteen courses and much study later and I’m more impressed than ever with what EFT can do.

I’ve used EFT with my husband for his PTSD and have seen some amazing results. He still has PTSD, but his symptoms are better and we have a better quality of life. It’s more bearable. I’ve also used it with many clients who have had PTSD for reasons other than combat and for many other types of issues, emotional and physical, with great results.

I know you vets out there are saying, “I’ve had this too long, nothing will help me; I’ve tried everything.” My husband had his severe PTSD for thirty years when we started using the EFT with him. Here’s an example: he had a problem with rain. Even though we live in the desert, there would occasionally be a few times in the year when it would rain for a few days at a time. After a few hours of the rain, his anxiety levels would rise and we would have a hard time of it until the weather changed. Once, about a year ago, when that happened, he got kind of freaked out and said “Help me, I’m having flashbacks.” I had guided him through the technique before on other issues and he’d gotten a lot of relief, so he knew it worked. When we started tapping about the rain anxiety, on a scale of 0-10, (10 being the worst he’d ever had), he was an 8. We went through a few rounds of the technique, which took only a matter of minutes, and he got down to a more comfortable level of 3. He said, “Ok, I feel better now.” and went back to what he was doing. It’s raining today and he has only a small amount of anxiety about it, so the effect has lasted.

Another time, he awoke in the middle of the night from a bad nightmare. He agreed to tap with me on it and within a short period of time he calmed down and was able to go back to sleep.

Other times, when something has triggered him and his anxiety levels are going up, and mine along with his, I’ll tap on myself and I’m able to be less defensive about whatever he’s upset about, and that helps me to handle it better and can diffuse the situation without it escalating. I’ve literally used EFT on hundreds of my own emotional and physical issues and can honestly say that I’m a much healthier person than I’ve ever been.

What is EFT about? Emotional Freedom Technique is part of a new branch of psychology called Energy Psychology and also a new part of medicine called Energy Medicine. It’s a needle-free form of acupuncture that uses the same energy meridians throughout the body that have been used in Chinese medicine for over five thousand years.

EFT has been found to be successful on many issues such as insomnia, phobias and physical pain as well as PTSD. It’s relatively painless compared to some other techniques used to treat PTSD and the basics of it can be learned in a fairly short period of time. It’s a self-help and self-empowerment tool that people can use to calm and relax and heal themselves.

ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, a worldwide organization) held their annual Canadian conference in Toronto last October. One of the papers presented at the conference was entitled, "The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans using EFT." This pilot study measured levels of anxiety, depression and addiction using the SA-45 and PCL-M, two symptom checklists. The average score on the PCL-M (PTSD Checklist - Military) was 66; scores above 50 are indicative of long-term PTSD, and are not easy to change. After 5 days of treatment with EFT, the vets' average score went down to 22, which is well within the 'normal' range. After a 30 day (non-treatment) follow-up, their scores had 'bounced' back to 33, which although higher, is still considered 'normal.' The researchers conclude that 'the use of EFT for the treatment of PTSD warrants further investigation.........."

That further investigation is currently being done. There is information in another article in this paper about a research study that is being conducted to prove the effectiveness of this method. They are accepting veterans to participate in the study.

The EFT-PTSD Research Study is offering free treatments to qualified veterans who have PTSD. These treatments are being conducted by phone, so they can be done in the safety of your home or apartment, which works out well since a lot of the PTSD vets tend to isolate. If you got even a small amount of improvement, (which would be unusual-- most people get a significant amount of improvement from this method) wouldn’t it be worth it? What would it be worth to you to get a few more hours of sleep a night, to be able to get through your day without pain meds, or to live life with significantly less anxiety and anger?

For more information about EFT, see the website at There are videos and a free download of the basic instruction manual along with a wealth of information on how other practitioners are using it. To see EFT in action on PTSD go to the following link and see the video EFT for PTSD: I highly recommend watching this video; you’ll be amazed, and interested in finding out more about this technique.

There is a site where participating VA hospitals that use EFT are listed, along with a listing of practitioners who will give low cost or free sessions to veterans and their family members. See I am one of the practitioners listed there; feel free to contact me for more information. I can be reached at,

Author's Bio: 

Susan Barrera is a Certified EFT Practitioner and a Reiki Master. She has written articles for The Veterans Voice about living with combat PTSD from the wife's point of view. (They are archived at: