Catherine Dixon responds to Daily Mail article

catherine dixon

When Catherine Dixon was recommended to a Daily Mail journalist to cure his compulsive nail-biting habit, she didn’t expect what happened next when he wrote about his experience for his newspaper.

by Catherine Dixon

I was initially contacted by the Association of Meridian Energy Therapies (AMT) in December 2011. Daily Mail journalist Vince Graff had been sent a copy of Dr Silvia Hartmann’s latest book about EFT called Stressfish and he had asked to be recommended a practitioner to treat his nail biting habit. I was the practitioner recommended.

I have been in practice since 2001 and I am also trained in shiatsu, acupuncture and chi kung, which sustains the presence of an energy system. I am a trained hypnotherapist and I have been training other therapists to use EFT since 2005. I have worked within the NHS and specialise in the treatment of addictions. I have also written two books about breaking habits which drain our power and energy.

The majority of people who contact me asking for EFT treatment have already researched and come with an intention to use this technique to overcome something in particular, rather than to reinforce a scepticism – I therefore use my time primarily to treat rather than to give lengthy explanations of how the treatment works, or even to justify it.

In a normal clinical setting, I would assess whether EFT was the right tool to use – I need to add here that although I am an advocate of EFT I would not use it for everyone. If this journalist was a normal fee-paying client coming for a treatment I think I would have introduced other techniques to treat his unwanted habit as they would have suited him more.

However I suspect his agenda was an expose of EFT and “quack” therapies as the voice of reason for the nation, or the nation of Daily Mail readers. The fact that he was incredulous about the tapping, found the notion of energy implausible and the link between emotional suppression and illness illogical was evident shortly into the treatment.

Breaking an ingrained habit can take several treatments as the roots and secondary gains need to be addressed to ensure there is no “cross addiction”, so there was a lot of pressure to “prove” and deliver in one session – which is something I never agree to and would avoid taking a client on with these expectations. What I faced was a journalist who wanted a scientific explanation of EFT with evidence-based research before authentically engaging with the treatment. I sent him the link to the Stress Project (the video where EFT was used for the war veterans with huge success) and compiled an email with detailed explanations of how EFT works from a western perspective and also from an energy perspective with a range case studies.

He told me that he did not believe in energy and, because he was able to stop smoking, he should be able to apply the same rationale to his nail biting habit. As you know, we do not work like that. Our reasons for unhelpful patterns is often buried deep in our unconscious, keeping us away from perceived fears and anxieties. I suspected this was very much the case with this journalist yet an understandable defensiveness prevented him from exploring this and seeing the connections between memories, emotions and behavioral patterns.

There were several quotes taken out of context. He mentioned he thought like everyone else and he really did believe that he was speaking on behalf of the nation and that the notion of energy channels was ridiculous – obviously one not shared by millions of people all over the world who use EFT and other energy based interventions such as acupuncture.

In conclusion however, I would agree that there needs to be more evidence and proper rigorous trials about EFT for the wider public to consider this very powerful technique. EMDR, which is based on the same principles, has been accepted by NICE because it secured evidence first. In a way Gary Craig launching this method on the internet has put it in the hands of the population yet people still need validation through an external authority to ratify a particular approach. I have been asked recently to join a steering committee of medical professionals and researchers to look into setting up evidence based research for EFT.

Catherine Dixon
BA Hons, RSA Dip, Cog Hyp, HDPD NLP Prac, MNCH
Email: energy roots

Got an article?

If you’ve written an article about EFT or another meridian energy therapy, or reviewed a book or DVD and would like to share your work, just submit it to EmotionalBuzz for publication. Remember to include your email address or business website address.

Add article (100kb max):

If you have pictures to go with your article, embed them in the Word file.

Before submitting this form, please enter the characters you see in this image: Image verification

Free newsletter