CJ Puotinen
EFT Coach and Trainer


About CJ

Image: CJ PuotinenIn addition to being an EFT practitioner and trainer, Emotion Code Practitioner, Body Code Practitioner, and Professional Health and Wellness Coach, I am the author of 23 books and more than 100 magazine articles, most of them dealing with holistic health.

For several years, I collaborated with EFT founder Gary Craig on a series of articles, reports, and books about EFT. I am one of the few EFT practitioners to complete, in 2009 and 2010, Gary Craig's foundational and advanced level certifications by examination (EFTCert-I and EFTCert-II). After Gary closed his practitioner certification program, its administrator, his daughter, Tina, created an EFT certification program through the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP). I completed ACEP's Advanced EFT Practitioner certification in 2011. The EFTCert-I, EFTCert-II, and ACEP programs emphasize what Gary Craig calls Gold Standard EFT®. Instead of EFT as it was originally presented, with variations added by others, Gold Standard EFT® focuses on Gary's fundamental principles and procedures. These include EFT detective work (finding a specific event that relates to a problem, challenge, or issue), the identification and reduction of the event's emotionally charged details, and thorough testing of the result. Those who take this approach report faster, more comprehensive outcomes.

From 2003 until 2014, my New York EFT workshops were fund-raisers for an Animal Assisted Therapy program in which volunteers and their calm, friendly dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other pets visited hospitals, schools, nursing homes, libraries, adult day programs, and other facilities. My first therapy dog, Samantha, and I made over 500 visits to facilities in Rockland County, New York, and Bergen County, New Jersey. Samantha was a black Labrador Retriever, as was my second therapy dog, Chloe. In all of my New York workshops, I borrowed therapy animals registered with the program to demonstrate how to apply EFT to pets. In some workshops, people who were afraid of dogs overcame their fears with EFT, right in the classroom.

In Montana, I helped organize the Helena chapter of Intermountain Therapy Animals, a national organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to training, registering, and insuring therapy pet/handler teams, ITA founded the Reading Education Assistance or R.E.A.D. program in which children in schools and libraries read out loud to therapy animals. I am an ITA and R.E.A.D. program trainer.

In addition, I am the author of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care (McGraw-Hill) and Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Random House), a frequent contributor to The Whole Dog Journal, and a certified Sidereus Energy Healer for Animals.

Image: CJ Puotinen and dogs in grass

In 2012, I became certified as an Emotion Code Practitioner and in 2013 as a Body Code Practitioner. Emotion Code and Body Code are additional ways to discover and release emotions that are blocking a person's progress in life. There's no denying that EFT is different from anything most people have experienced, and I like to say that Emotion Code and Body Code are even more different! Click on "About Emotion Code and Body Code" at left.

Interview with CJ Puotinen

Q: How long does it take to learn EFT?

A: You can master the basics in less than an hour. EFT's basic protocol has an impressive success record by itself. Learning EFT's refinements and advanced techniques requires careful study and months or years of practice, but all EFT procedures are accessible to everyone who would like to learn them.

Q: How long does it take to get results?

A: Many people experience immediate results, making them what Gary Craig terms "one-minute wonders," while others require more than one session. This is because many problems have different "aspects," or elements, that have to be addressed individually. As soon as one is cleared, it's gone forever, but another pops up to take its place. However, even complex issues can be cleared quickly and efficiently as soon as one discovers the problem's "core issue" and a specific event that relates to it.

Q: How long does it take to know whether EFT will work well for you?

A: If you're working on your own and follow Gary Craig's basic instructions, which he demonstrates in his online tutorial, you may be able to tell within 15 or 20 minutes. If you're working with a skilled practitioner, you'll probably know in even less time – certainly within a single session. However, working on one's own can be a challenge, especially if an event has many emotionally charged details, which can leave one feeling overwhelmed. In that case, EFT is easier and more likely to be effective with the help of an EFT practitioner or trainer.

Q: Does EFT work for everyone?

A: Gary Craig estimates that EFT works for about 80 percent of those who try it, with a higher success rate for those working with a skilled practitioner. I often start EFT workshops with a demonstration that focuses on breathing. After just one or two rounds of tapping, most participants notice that it's easier to breathe deeply and fully. After another round or two, between 80 and 85 percent report significantly improved breathing or breathing that is effortless, light, and relaxing. And that's with the simplest EFT procedure.

Q: What do most people use EFT for?

A: By addressing the underlying energy disruptions or imbalances that contribute to life’s problems and challenges, EFT can have positive effects on health and happiness. The EFT literature shows this acupressure tapping technique to be, in many cases, effective for:

Q: What does EFT not work for?

A: That's an interesting question – and the answer is, no one knows. From the time he introduced EFT to the world, Gary Craig has been asked, "Does it work for __________ ?" and his answer is always the same. He says, "Try it and let me know what happens."

The reports he received became the foundation of his online newsletter, and they covered every imaginable situation. Some people used EFT to remember where they put things, ask for a raise or feel comfortable in a job interview, help their dog's arthritis, improve their hearing, get rid of allergies, stop snoring, rescue dying house plants, eliminate test anxiety, and even get their cars to start or their computers to work. If nothing else, tapping with EFT can help you feel calmer and more focused in any situation.

Q: Are there different EFT treatments for different conditions?

A: No. The same basic procedure is used for everything. This is why Gary Craig calls it a “universal healing tool.” EFT isn’t a diagnostic tool and it doesn’t treat any specific illness. Instead, it addresses the underlying energetic contributors to whatever the problem might be.

Q: How old do you have to be to learn or use EFT?

A: EFT has been used on babies and small children with excellent results. Parents can tap on the EFT points of infants. Very young children can learn the tapping points, and children as young as six to eight routinely teach it to others. It's a terrific tool for parents, teachers, athletic coaches, and anyone who works with kids.

Q: How does EFT compare to cognitive therapy, EMDR, prolonged exposure therapy, talk therapy, or other psychological treatments?

A: Many who have experienced both report that EFT works quickly. Because it focuses on balancing the body's energy and does not require one to re-experience painful events, EFT is also gentle. In fact, Gary Craig's name for EFT's approach to painful memories is the Tearless Trauma Technique. Also, EFT is easy to learn and use for oneself.

Q: Do you work by phone?

A: Yes. I prefer phone sessions to Skype, and it’s difficult to do in-depth EFT by email, but all of my sessions include free email follow-up questions and answers.

Q: How long do your EFT sessions last?

A: I schedule 60 to 90 minutes for most sessions because in addition to working on whatever the person wants to address, I'm demonstrating how to use EFT in the future. My goal is to give clients enough resources so that if they're interested in working on their own, they won't need me again. To help this happen, I follow up with emails, course handouts, and links to EFT websites.

Q: How long do EFT's results last?

A: Assuming that the original session was thorough and dealt with a specific event, results should be permanent. If a problem seems to come back, it's often because an important aspect (emotionally charged detail) was not identified and addressed. In most cases, new or remaining aspects can be quickly tapped away. Some who learned EFT as a pain management tool report that its effects last for an hour or 90 minutes, at which point another round of tapping provides additional relief.

Q: How exactly does EFT work?

A: As Gary Craig explained in his original manual, "Our bodies have a profound electrical nature. Any beginning course in anatomy covers this…. Electrical messages are constantly sent throughout your body to keep it informed of what is going on. Without this energy flow you would not be able to see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. Another obvious bit of evidence regarding the existence of electricity (energy) in the body are the electroencephalograph (EEG) and electrocardiograph (EKG). The EEG records the electrical activity of the brain and the EKG records the electrical activity of the heart. About 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body. These energy circuits – or meridians, as they are called – are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern-day acupuncture, acupressure, and a wide variety of other healing techniques…. EFT gives you striking evidence that energy flows within your body because it provides the effects that let you know it is there. By simply tapping near the end points of your energy meridians, you can experience some profound changes in your emotional and physical health. These changes would not occur if there was no energy system."

He went on to describe the link between blocked or disrupted energy and the negative emotions that contribute to most of our human problems. EFT works by combining focused thought (that is, thought that's focused on specific problems) with the tapping of acupuncture end points. The tapping releases energy blocks and at the same time releases whatever negative emotions were trapped within those blocks.

Q: Does any scientific evidence or research support the use of EFT?

A: EFT is still very young. A growing number of researchers are presenting papers at conferences and in the medical literature showing EFT to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress, athletic performance problems, depression, irrational fears or phobias, and other conditions, but no large body of research yet exists.

For an interesting description of EFT from a scientific perspective, see The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change by David Feinstein, Donna Eden, and Gary Craig, with a foreword by Candace Pert, Ph.D. (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005).

See also EFT Universe Research and Tapping Solution Research.

Q: How did you learn EFT?

A: I have been interested in energy work for 40 years and was for most of that time a counselor. Although I was able to attend only one of Gary Craig's workshops in person, I studied his training materials and videotaped seminars, subscribed to his online newsletter, and experimented with EFT in groups, one-on-one sessions, and classes. As soon as EFT certification exams became available, I took them, starting 15 years ago with Dr. Patricia Carrington's EFT-CC (Certificate of Completion) and EFT-ADV (Advanced Certificate of Completion) tests. In 2009, Gary Craig offered a more advanced professional-level certification exam (EFTCert-I), which I took in November of that year, and in 2010 I completed his EFTCert-II course and exam.

In 2011, Gary's daughter, Tina Craig, who administered his certification program until he retired, launched an ambitious EFT certification program with the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. I received the ACAP-EFT (ACEP's Certified Advanced Practitioner of EFT) credential in October 2011.

But my favorite way to study EFT was as Gary Craig's writer and editor. The press releases, magazine articles, reports, and books we worked on gave me many opportunities to ask questions and learn even more about EFT.

Q: What do you most enjoy about EFT?

A: That's easy. It's exciting because it transforms lives, usually quickly and right before your eyes. I enjoy working with people one-on-one, and I enjoy being a "core issue" detective, but I have to say that my favorite EFT activity is teaching workshops. The group's energy is always uplifting and contagious.

Q: Who comes to your workshops?

A: Everyone from brand new beginners to serious students, EFT practitioners, and EFT instructors. At our New York workshops we gave prizes to students who traveled the farthest to attend, and those awards went to people from British Columbia, California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Texas, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, France, and Malaysia.

I encourage networking, and many who attend become Tapping Buddies, EFTers who volunteer to work with others for practice or to provide support. Some were authors or teachers who brought their books, CDs, or DVDs to share. Many were massage therapists, chiropractors, homeopaths, kinesiologists, Reiki masters, energy workers, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, or life coaches.

Q: What are your most satisfying cases?

A: Those in which people or animals found rapid relief from serious discomfort, or eliminated a life-long phobia, or overcame a seemingly insurmountable problem in record time.

Q: How are Emotion Code and Body Code different from EFT?

A: In EFT we usually focus on how you feel physically and emotionally, then identify and discuss past events that are connected in some way to those feelings. In Emotion Code and Body Code, we ask the body through kinesiology muscle testing what to work on. The Emotion Code focuses on 60 different emotions that might be trapped or stuck in the body, contributing to energy imbalances that interfere with health and happiness. When one is identified, we can determine where in the body it’s trapped, and we release it by running a magnet along the Governing Vessel (a key meridian).

The Emotion Code is part of a larger energy healing system called the Body Code, which Dr. Bradley Nelson also developed. For an overview of the Body Code click here.