Counsellor taps into coaching tool technique

Lillian Simmons
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Phyllis Reardon is an author, life coach, professional speaker and, more recently, a trained emotional freedom technique (or tapping) practitioner. — Submitted photo

When she first heard about emotional freedom technique (EFT), Phyllis Reardon was skeptical, to say the least.

Her son, a holistic personal trainer, had sent her a video on EFT (also called tapping) in the fall of 2009.

“I thought, this is weird, this is really weird — somebody tapping on parts of their body. OK. … And that’s going to take away fear? … Whatever!”

Still, she was curious.

Reardon, who has a master’s degree in education, specializing in counselling, is an author, life coach and professional speaker. In a Skype Interview from Florida on

Nov. 29, she noted that her first book, “Life Coaching Activities and Powerful Questions” (2010) was the second-bestselling life-coaching book on Amazon that day.

Shortly after her son sent her the EFT video, Reardon was preparing to give a presentation to 28 businesswomen affiliated with the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE). The event, held in South Dildo, was a little different than what she was used to.

As a teacher and career guidance consultant with the Department of Education, Reardon had been speaking to educational groups for years, but this time she would be talking about her book.

“I thought, oh my God, I haven’t met these women. I’m going to talk to them about something I’ve written. Are they going to listen to me, will this make any sense to them? Who’s going to want to listen to what I have to say?

“I was out of my comfort zone.”

Then she remembered the EFT video. One hurried run-through of the video and she was out the door.

“So, I’m driving to the presentation and there’s no sense of anxiety coming through in my chest. And I walk into the building — nothing. I present that night and I have fun. I loved it!”

Reardon describes EFT as “acupuncture without needles,” part of traditional Chinese medicine, thousands of years old.

“There are meridians located all throughout the body, where energy flows, and that’s what acupuncture is based on. Acupuncture goes deeper into the meridian, but with EFT you’re tapping on the meridian points that are under the surface.”

The purpose is to free up negative emotions, which, Reardon says, can come from people and incidents throughout a lifetime — family, friends, teachers “telling us we can’t do something,” causing doubt or negative belief.

“If that doubt about our own performance — for example, speaking or writing an article — stays in there, it can keep us from moving on. It becomes a limiting belief and it’s going to limit our productivity. It will hold us back. What EFT does is allow the energy to flow again. It’s part acupuncture without the needles, part talk therapy.”

Even after her successful presentation to the businesswomen, Reardon remained skeptical.

“I thought it couldn’t be. There’s no way that this tapping on parts of my body could have kept me from getting anxious.”

Then she got the opportunity to really test it out.

Reardon grew up in St. John’s. After retiring from the education system, she moved to Whiteway, Trinity Bay in 2007, to be close to another of her passions, golf. She spends her winters in Florida.

Just a few months after her initial experience with tapping, she discovered EFT training offered in Orlando, about two hours from her Florida home.

“I said, let’s get out there and see. I was still cynical as I started that first day in January 2010, but that soon changed. And I saw it as a wonderful tool to use. And I’m having amazing success.”

In a rut

Reardon’s master’s degree in counselling was geared toward talk therapy.

“My life coaching is my biggest thing — but tapping is a tool in my toolbox and I use it personally every day.”

She says sometimes highly successful people can suddenly finds themselves stuck.

“They figure they got all their ducks in a row, but it’s just not happening. And why it’s not happening is because of that limiting belief, that negative thought, that doubt that’s holding them back. Sometimes they’re not even aware it exists within their subconscious. Through the EFT process, it’ll surface and they’ll say, gee, where did that just come from? And then we’ll clear it.”

The number of sessions a person needs depends on the complexity of the problem, she explains.

“If you’re walking down the street and a dog comes up and bites you and you develop a fear through that, it can be cleared pretty quickly. But if you’re walking down the street with a family member and they torment the dog so that it bites you, and earlier in the day your mom said to you, ‘Get out of the house, I’m too busy’ — then you’ve got a layer of emotion. If the fear is layered around other emotions it might take longer to clear it.”

She recalls one client who would eat a large bag of potato chips after dinner each evening.

“She was interested in losing weight and we saw that we’d best work first with the craving. We went through one session. That was 15 months ago and she hasn’t had any potato chips since.

“If that was an addiction it would take maybe six sessions because obviously there’s emotion attached with addictions.”

Reardon plans to do more advanced EFT training in 2013.

Heal thyself

She has written two other books, “Know Your Strengths Inventory” (2011) and “Life Coaching Questions” (2012).

In January she’ll begin her fourth book, on self-healing, which she hopes to have completed in the spring.

Reardon believes the most significant point people should understand is how much power they have.

“It’s so important for people to know the power they have to heal themselves — that you don’t have to run off to the doctor for every little thing. People really need to know that in any part of life we have so much power to create,” she said.

“We hear that from all the great philosophers who’ve said it in different ways. And it’s only since I’ve gotten into EFT that I understand it.”

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, Department of Education

Geographic location: Florida, South Dildo, Whiteway Trinity Bay Orlando

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Recent comments

  • Andrea
    December 19, 2012 - 21:06

    I thank Lillian for publishing this great article. I also thank 'Coach Phyllis' for sharing her information and knowledge with us. I have personally met Phyllis, and I can vouch for her integrity as a person and for her passion for the EFT technique. I am honoured to be her friend. I feel, therefore, that I would be remiss not to respond to Mr. Wight's comments. Although I cannot personally attest to the EFT technique - a fact that I will remedy in the near future - I have strong beliefs in and experience in energy healing and acupuncture - they work. It was not all that long ago that men were afraid to cross the sea in fear that they would fall off the edge of the earth. I feel that it is important, especially in today's stress-filled world, that we open ourselves to non-traditional healing. I feel that there can be a balance between the traditional and non-traditional forms of restoring health to both body and spirit. Thank you, Coach Phyllis!

  • Steve Wight
    December 19, 2012 - 07:54

    EFT is based on the same nonsense as energy healing and acupuncture. The man who started EFT tells people he knows the cause and cure for almost every ill and its solution is EFT. EFT does the exact same thing that Dumbo's magic feather did for him. No, not let him fly. It gives the person some temporary confidence from belief in a ritual that was performed on them. The effect is the essentially a placebo type effect. The danger in EFT is that people start with a reduction in stress (which will only work temporarily) and suddenly make the jump to EFT curing cancer, which it will not. When people ignore real treatments for this mystical hokum, then real harm is done.