History of EFT Training and emerging Associations

By Helena Fone (past Chair of AAMET). 

HistoryThe history of EFT Training in the UK  began in 1995 when Gary Craig launched his first training video set, titled ‘The EFT Course’ and the ‘EFT Manual’.  In 1998, he released the next ‘Steps Towards Becoming the Ultimate Therapist’ that contained videos from his own live seminars.  These videos/DVDs could be purchased from Gary’s website www.emofree.com for around $170 up to $295 for a set.The website began to gather information on EFT and from 2000 the EFT Manual could be downloaded for free which made this site a very popular one to visit.  To become listed on the Emofree website, you had to confirm that EFT was your primary trade which was difficult for many at the time, especially as EFT was so new.

Dr Patricia Carrington created an online test based on viewing Gary’s DVDs.  If you passed this test you were awarded a ‘Certificate of Completion’.  The designation was either EFT-CC or EFT-ADV, depending on the level of the test that was passed.

Following on from this, Ann Adams created Workshop Guidelines with Gary Craig and began the EFT Master programme where assessment was conducted live in the USA. Those who passed became what we now call ‘EFT Founding Masters’ of which there were 29 originally.  Gary withdrew his support in this programme and created his own certificated online test.  These designations were Cert 1, Cert II, Cert Honours.  When Gary ‘retired’ these awards were no longer available.

The emerging Associations

In the mid-1990’s the Association of Meridian Therapies (AMT) was set up by Chrissy Hardisty and Sylvia Hartman.  When Dr Tam Llewellyn-Edwards left the AMT, he established (AAMET) the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Techniques in 1999.  The AAMET website listed all Energy Therapists around the world. There was no entry programme. Around 2005, a group of enthusiastic individuals that included Dave Wharton, June Spencer, Christine Sutton et al, formed a ‘steering committee’ set up to develop an EFT training syllabus and list of competences.  Helena later joined this group as she was keen to improve standards of training.  In 2009 Tam and other EFT Masters approached Helena to offer her the role of Chair of AAMET from Tam.  This was a great honour and yet a very challenging prospect– especially as Helena had just moved countries the previous month!

Unfortunately, Tam couldn’t offer any support and things moved fast, but after only two months into the role, Helena worked with the training team to develop face to face trainings for the public. She then contacted Gary Craig to have AAMET’’s training programme endorsed by him but was disappointed to find that despite the lengthy discussions entered into with Gary and his daughter Tina Craig, they were not willing to support the training.  Gary registered a trademark against ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’ and ‘EFT’.  He then released an ‘Open Hand Policy’ to bring ‘clarity’ to misunderstandings about the various training programmes.  Gary and Tina allowed the use of the trademark names but threated legal action against anyone using them in their training certification programme adding that only his DVD long distance programme would be the permitted certification in EFT.

Gary and Tina were not convinced by Helena that there was a need for face to face training in EFT.  Some years later, Tina went on to offer face to face trainings with ACEP, extoling its virtues and regarding them as ‘high quality’ and ‘gold standard’.

Eventually the trademark issue dissolved when Gary Craig sent this message out on his ‘retirement’.

“…………..I will be retiring on January 15, 2010. It has been a magnificent ride and I am thrilled to have joined with you in bringing the EFT gift to the world.  I will keep the EFT website, DVD store, Certification and related items active until my retirement date.  This should give you plenty of time to make any adjustments you deem necessary.

Please know that our website cannot be maintained by or turned over to someone else.  This is because it has my name all over it and thus turning it over, legally speaking, may create unwanted liability for me and my family. Although I am leaving the website open for a while, it remains subject to copyright protection and is not to be copied and reproduced elsewhere.

With this in mind, I am contributing ONLY the trademarked names (EFT and Emotional Freedom Techniques) to the public domain so that you can decide for yourselves how best to use them.  Different countries and cultures can establish their own organizations and rules without having to go through me.  However, this does NOT include our DVDs, website, the EFT Manual, books and other materials.  They remain my copyrighted property and are NOT being released to the public domain……..”  Gary Craig


The next step for Helena was to create a new website for AAMET and only allow members onto the site if they met certain criteria.  This caused some problems as one can imagine with those who were not used to being asked for such requirements.  However, they soon saw the benefits of the selection process. Working with a website designer on Gozo took up a huge amount of Helena’s time in terms of deciding on design and layout and writing up content as well as deciding how to list practitioners and trainers on the site, determining the screening process and fees as well as needing a new logo, seals, certificates etc. Helena had already set up the EFT Register and gave permission to use ideas from that site.  She also put up the initial funds to set up the website as AAMET’s “accounts” were in deficit whereas today it has over £70,000 or more in funds and accounts are audited by an accountant.  Accountability and transparency was very important for members.

 Setting up the new AAMET

Helena established a new Executive Board with various sub committees and recruitment began which again was very time consuming.  Then there was the arranging the writing up of the Complaints Procedure, Code of Ethics, Statute, About us etc.   All decisions were passed through the Board and the relevant sub-committees for discussion and approval.  Regular monthly meetings were set up on Skype which Helena hosted.  All groups were encouraged to become empowered and autonomous in coming up with ideas for the Board to consider.

Helena then renamed AAMET to AAMET International to give it worldwide status. Business cards and leaflets were designed and given to members.

Having legal status would hopefully raise the credibility of EFT training so Helena then researched the requirements for AAMET to gain legal status as an Association.  She discovered this could be done by applying for NGO status and registering the association in Malta where she lived, as a Voluntary Organisation.  To set an NGO or charity group up in another country would have required a volunteer in that country to apply and none were forthcoming.  A Statute was set up outlining the Association’s aims, objectives and by laws.

In 2013 Helena was notified by EFT Masters that Dawson Church was holding a meeting in London and they felt as I was Chair of AAMET that I should attend. The ‘harmonisation meeting’ was designed to agree upon a global training programme.  Dawson accepted and kept AAMET’s training programme but unfortunately did not want to yield on other issues which was a disappointment to all.  A further meeting was planned at Santa Rosa, California but at the last minute, Dawson did not attend.  Instead, the 15 EFT Practitioners, Trainers and EFT Masters at the meeting in Santa Rosa came up with a mutually agreeable training pathway.  The full story and outcome can be read here.

In addition to the above, Helena instigated and helped with other initiatives during her 5 year term including introducing a newsletter, online magazine and setting up a research team; organising two AAMET Conferences (Florence 2012 and Manchester 2013), volunteer application forms and introducing time sheets for volunteers who were being paid to promote accountability and transparency.

The EFT Master Trainer programme came about because membership was growing rapidly and as Training Director of AAMET International, Helena discovered various discrepancies among training programmes which was causing confusion and drawing complaints.  To bring everything into line and to gain recognition by professional organisations, Helena researched further into writing up Occupational Standards for EFT and contacted many organisations and individuals.  However, there were little to nil resources available within AAMET on a voluntary basis to write these up so instead she focused on writing up various guidance manuals (Case Studies, CPD & Supervision, Members’ Handbook etc) and a Training and Accreditation Programme – all of which were passed through the training teams for discussion and approval.

With these in place, Helena then applied for external accreditation with the National Committee for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) in Malta, starting with the Master EFT Trainer programme.  Living on Gozo meant constant ferry trips to Malta and with no experience in writing up an educational programme, it was as steep learning curve.  The Master Training programme had to be written according to the NCFHE’s strict regulations, together with a Core Curriculum which had to address occupational standards.  There was a lot of hard work.  The NCFHE praised the sterling work and attention to detail and after a few minor tweaks after Helena stepped down, the application was finally accepted.  Helena did receive a payment from AAMET for this work but it was not commensurate by any means.

By May 2015, Helena felt she had completed what she had set out to do and was ready to step aside as Chair but would remain involved with the training programme. She approached the deputy Chair who agreed to take over in September. When Helena discovered unfounded hurtful comments had been shared among team members about her work on the training programme, including critical comments made about her enthusiasm and drive by a senior member of the Board, she felt obliged to step down prematurely from her position as Chair and Training Director.

I have to put on record and acknowledge the dedication and hard work that was put in by some people on the teams but for obvious reasons, cannot name individuals but we both know who you are. Public praise was given to those who made a contribution, no matter how small.

An overview of EFT Training, certification and accreditation

There are various ways to become certified in EFT and in many countries, EFT is not regulated.

1. If the country you live/work in does not regulate complementary therapies such as EFT, then virtually anyone can work as an EFT Practitioner and can certify another person as an EFT Practitioner.

2. You can train with an EFT Trainer who has undertaken quality and qualified training.  You can train with a trainer or training provider who is accredited by an awarding body and whose qualification is recognised nationally. In some cases they may be recognised in Europe and often in other countries worldwide.

Accrediting bodies

Accreditation is a process that assures the educational community and the general public that your training institution, school or programme has clearly defined and appropriate objectives and maintains conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected. It  also demonstrates your commitment to professional improvement and that you take your work seriously.

Regulatory Bodies

There are two types of regulation: Statutory and Voluntary. Therapies that pose a high risk to the public’s health come under statutory regulation. In many countries, most complementary therapies come under the voluntary regulation category. Governments in many countries have asked that there should be a unified system of self regulation for complementary therapies and encourages professions to adopt this policy.

Regulating bodies set the standards for individual therapies that they accept on their register. A regulator is there to protect the general public, whereas a professional association exists to support its members. There would be a conflict of interest if the associations tried to perform both roles. At the moment the professional associations in various countries maintain registers of adequately qualified practitioners who are up to date with CPD requirements. This is a form of voluntary self-regulation, but the Regulatory bodies provide an overarching organisation for each therapy which maintains a single register of suitably qualified practitioners to minimise confusion for public understanding. The intention is that eventually EFT practitioners in various countries will have the same level of qualifications and will satisfy the same requirements, whilst still being free to belong to the professional association which has the characteristics they prefer.

Associations, Foundations, Councils etc

It is the role of a professional organisation to represent its membership by looking after the needs of the professional therapist. A professional organisation will offer discounted insurance, CPD opportunities, journals or newsletters, support group and meetings.  The best organisation to belong to is one who has a thorough understanding of the therapeutic modality it represents.

Awarding Bodies

An awarding body (or training centre) has complied with a criteria laid down by the Government in that country to deliver qualifications. They develop a qualification that goes through an approval process and if successful is placed on the Educational Framework for that country. Qualifications are the main currency for the measurement of skills and knowledge and as such are a central component of workforce training and progression. Such training courses have to be written in accordance with Occupational Standards.


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