Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Tom Porpiglia, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
We are speaking with Tom Porpiglia, LMHC, on how he uses EFT/Tapping to address mental health disorders.
Tell Us a Story About a Client Suffering From All Sorts of Emotional Issues and How You Helped.
Suzie Q had experienced multiple rapes since the age of 8 and was also seeking out abusive sexual behavior. She was experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and suicidal ideation. Suzie had been experiencing these symptoms since being a teenager and was 41 years old when she was referred to me.
What had Suzie tried before seeking you out?
Suzie had been though 4 therapists, several inpatient and partial hospitalization stays, and a partial course of Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). She was placed on 14 meds, 7 of which were psychiatric medications. The other medications were for other medical conditions – high cholesterol and Type II diabetes. She was also smoking cigarettes and marijuana.
How did you arrive at your course of EFT therapy?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or “tapping” is my standard tool of choice when treating most mental health conditions. It can be applied to a very wide range of conditions experienced by individuals and can provide very rapid relief in many situations. An advantage of EFT tapping is that clients can learn to use it on themselves
Please explain EFT Tapping
EFT Tapping incorporates the following three things:
- Exposure therapy – the client tunes into a distressful situation
- Cognitive modalities – the client creates a statement about the distress
- Somatic therapy – the client then taps on specific acupuncture points (while tuned into the distress), and repeats the phrase that represents the distress
What other modalities or therapies did you implement and what was the outcome of the services you provided?
Predominantly, I used EFT tapping along with TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique).
Over the course of a year Suzie was no longer suicidal and most PTSD symptoms had subsided. As well, she no longer engaged in high risk sexual behavior. The EFT tapping sessions even helped her stop smoking and using pot.
With the exception of one antidepressant, she was able to eliminate all other medications she was on. Suzie’s medical condition also improved. She no longer tested positive for high cholesterol or Type II Diabetes.
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic, Integrative, or Natural Health Path?
I chose this path in 1998 after having a profound first experience with the Emotional Freedom Technique. I was experiencing extreme terror after being rescued during a snorkeling outing. Two people on the boat knew the technique and applied it to me, and within no more than 10 minutes, the terror had subsided.
I had experienced this feeling before and never had it ever subsided in less than 10 minutes. Most of the time it went on for hours. This experience convinced me that EFT was powerful beyond other modes of therapy I had experienced or had been using, especially for trauma.
What lessons have your work and personal experiences taught you?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that healing from PTSD is possible with Emotional Freedom Technique and that clients can return to a life free of the effects of PTSD, depression, anxiety and many other conditions, quicker and easier than most of the traditional methods of therapy and counseling.
I saw veterans participate in EFT go from being clinically PTSD positive to clinically PTSD negative in 6 hours, and the outcome was sustainable over time. That is unheard of with other modalities with the possible exception of Eye Move Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and there is now more research demonstrating Emotional Freedom Technique tapping’s efficacy in other areas of life.
I am a Vietnam Veteran and have been in private practice since 1997, using EFT tapping and other Energy Psychology techniques with my clients since 1998.
I am certified as a Diplomate of Comprehensive Energy Psychology by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, and was part of the research team for the Veterans Stress Project, gathering data to demonstrate the efficacy of EFT tapping on PTSD.
Tom Porpiglia, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Life Script Mental Health Counseling Services, PLLC
Webster, New York, United States
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