Bettina Falkenberg is an online EFT therapist based in Richmond

What attracted you to become a therapist?

It just happened; it had to happen. Both my parents were doctors and at the age of 18 I was certain of just one thing; that I didn’t want to be a doctor. 15 years later, after becoming a lawyer, I regretted this decision. My Dad really cared about his patients, and I could see the difference he made. Now I was in my thirties with two young kids and my main worry was to bring home the bacon, retraining was not on the agenda. However, when friends talked to me about their problems, they would say things like; “you are so good at this, you should do this professionally”.

Then I came across EFT. I won’t lie; like most people I found tapping on my face while talking to myself odd. But soon I was fascinated by this new and different approach. It worked for me and I found myself on one course and on another course and pretty soon in practitioner training. For the first time in my life I felt in the flow. At the earliest opportunity I let go of the day job, became an EFT Therapist and have never looked back. I am now an EFT trainer myself and train and mentor EFT practitioners. 

Where did you train? 

I trained at THE EFT Centre in London. Sue Beer and Emma Roberts are two of the original 29 EFT Foundation Masters and outright wonderful therapists, teachers, and human beings. After doing my EFT training with them I went on to study for the Diploma in Integrated Energy Technique, as well as Hypnotherapy and NLP.

I trained in Matrix Re-Imprinting with its founder, Karl Dawson, and studied Energy Healing after Barbara Brennan.

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?

EFT (often referred to as ‘tapping’) has become my main therapy tool because it is fast, gentle, and powerful. Depending on the client’s needs I will integrate hypnotherapy, NLP, Matrix Reimprinting, and energy healing.

EFT is a mind-body therapy meaning we combine elements of talking therapy with the stimulation of acupuncture points. The basics of EFT tapping are easy to learn and the first thing I’ll teach a new client. The client can take it away and use it as a tool for daily stress relief and as emotional “first aid” in moments of overwhelm and upset. It is hugely empowering for clients if they can help themselves to feel better rather than having to wait for the next therapy session. 

In the session we can dig deeper together and gently release trauma, fears, limiting beliefs, emotional and physical pain. Because of the mind-body connection many physical ailments, e.g., chronic pain, gut problems like IBS, and menopause symptoms like hot flushes respond extremely well to EFT.

I offer potential clients the opportunity to meet me for a free informal conversation where we can get to know each other, and they can ask me any questions they may have. 

What a session with me might look like:

In a session I will meet you exactly where you are and help you figure out how you would like your life to be instead. I will hold you in a safe and completely non-judgemental space. 

At the end of a session, you will feel calmer, peaceful, inspired, and energised (sometimes you may be exhausted but that’s a good sign too!) You will have learned easy coping strategies that will enable you to take agency over your life instead of feeling helpless and out of control. 

“Bettina immediately enabled me to feel safe… Without judgement she listened attentively to how I was feeling. She tuned into me and my challenges and seemed to understand in a way that other people didn't...  Bettina used her phenomenal skills to guide me to a place of calm and to rekindle a sense of wellbeing. Her insights and intuition provided the perspective which enabled me to face my cancer challenge… After each session I felt lifted. I felt hope. The negative feelings that were causing me distress eased.. and I felt renewed strength.” C.R., Devon

How does EFT help?

EFT works through physically calming the body’s stress response and regulating the nervous system. With regards to past trauma, for instance, this means that traumatic memories, while still real – we don’t deny their existence – don’t create a debilitating physical response in the present moment anymore. 

Rather than responding with fight, flight, or freeze, i.e. stress, anxiety, anger, or even paralysis, we remain calm and rational when a traumatic memory is triggered. An example might be that someone who developed a flying phobia after having experienced an emergency landing, is able to enter a plane without getting anxious or panicky. 

This is from a client who saw me for a fear of heights:

“Bettina assured me that EFT could help my fear of heights... Bettina has a lovely aura and is incredibly supportive. I found my 4 sessions with her (that's all it took) really enjoyable and to my amazement really successful. I continue to practice EFT and feel the benefits daily. As a result, my skiing after all these years has improved as I can finally look downwards (it's never too late!), I have ridden confidently with joy on the back of a Harley along a dramatic coastline (something I would have struggled with) and best of all I don't have odd panic attacks when driving and having to stop on steep slopes!!!! I feel generally very calm...... Many many thanks!!!!!” S.T., Twickenham

What sort of people do you usually see?

About 60% of my clients are cancer patients or carers of cancer patients. While their challenges are individual and varied, many of them struggle with overwhelm and anxiety. I run support groups for women who are dealing with the effects of sudden onset menopause caused by hormone therapy. 

Other issues I commonly deal with are PTSD and the effects of childhood trauma like depression and panic attacks. Some clients seek help with phobias that stop them from fully participating in life.

While EFT is very helpful for relationship struggles (with your partner, parent, child, boss), I do not see couples but work with one of the partners. It takes two to tango and it is astonishing how profoundly a change in one partner can change the dynamic of the relationship.

Not many clients seek help specifically for anger issues, yet anger frequently comes up during therapy. Anger, especially in women, is often repressed and feared, yet it needs to be addressed for change to happen. EFT is a tool that makes it safe to acknowledge and gently release anger. Think of it as defusing a WW2 bomb before it goes off years later.

While I rarely work with adolescents, I do support mothers who worry about their children.

Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?

While mental health issues are thankfully not as stigmatised as they used to be, much more needs to be done to raise awareness and much more help for those affected is needed. The number of young people who don’t get support is increasing and the rising number of suicides among young men is heart breaking. I’d love to see much more preventative work, such as Meditation or Tapping in schools and Universities. 

Standard treatments for mental health issues are CBT and medication. Both are necessary and can be helpful, but they are not enough, and they don’t fit all. The NHS is beginning to acknowledge other forms of therapy, but it will take years before they are fully integrated in the health system and more people get the therapy that suits them.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I can’t imagine doing anything else; my work is very rewarding and energises me. 

What is less pleasant?

Social media seems to be the way to grow your business these days. I didn’t grow up with it and I don’t enjoy spending time on it. That’s where well curated platforms like Welldoing are helpful.


How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?

I’m fairly new to Welldoing; I have joined because the matching service for clients and therapists is unique and helpful. Finding the right therapist can be confusing and overwhelming for clients. 

There’s a very generous offer of CPD sessions and peer support and I am looking forward to participating in some of them. 

Last but not least, the admin support is fantastic!

What books have been important to you in terms of your professional and personal development? Do you ever recommend books to clients?

One of the Aha moments of my professional life was seeing Bessel van der Kolk and Stephen Porges at a conference in London in 2017. Suddenly, things I knew from experience had a scientific explanation and underpinning. I knew it worked, now I new why and how. Both talked about how trauma gets stuck in the body and how no amount of talking alone will release it. 

Bessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps The Score became a NYT bestseller. I also recommend Stephen Porges’ The Pocket Guide To The Polyvagal Theory.

Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief explains in layman’s language that genes do not dictate our biology but are instead switched on and off by outside influences, among others, our beliefs. 

Emma Roberts has written a fantastic companion for both patients and EFT practitioners who want to work with cancer; Even Though I Have Cancer. It’s still the best on the subject and gives hands-on practical advice. I regularly recommend it to my clients.

Step-by-Step Tapping by Sue Beer and Emma Roberts is a practical, illustrated introduction to EFT for newcomers. It does what it says on the tin.

EFT works whether you believe in it or not. However, some clients with inquisitive and sceptical minds (I was one of them!) want to know how it works and whether any of it is backed by science. To them I recommend The Science Behind Tapping by Dr Peta Stapleton. 

Brene Brown’s legendary TED Talk The Power of Vulnerability from 2010 has had 65 million views for a reason. I keep going back to it. Everyone should watch it.

What you do for your own mental health? 

I tap a lot! Tapping has changed my life and I integrate it into my daily routine. It doesn’t need to take much time. I am so lucky to live near Richmond park. I love walking in silence on my own, listen to the birds, and hug a tree on the way. If you haven’t tried tree hugging yet, do, it’s powerful. I practise daily gratitude and reassure the woman I meet in the mirror. I am also a great fan of cold water for wellbeing.

You are a therapist in Richmond. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?

EFT works very well online and I see clients from all over the UK and from abroad.

What’s your consultation room like?

Cosy, comfortable, and personal but unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. Occasionally I visit housebound or disabled clients at their home.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

Your therapist doesn’t have a magic wand. Any form of therapy can only work when you are ready for it and if you are willing to engage with it. It can be scary. Your therapist can help you overcome resistance, but they can’t do the work for you. 

To change old programming takes time and repetition. The mind, like your muscles, needs exercise. You wouldn’t go daily to the gym for a month and think, right, that’s done, no need to exercise again. 

Don’t fall for the voice in your head that says your problems aren’t really that big and you should just pull yourself together, others are worse off etc. Asking for help is taking responsibility for yourself. You deserve to live your best life.

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

I have learned that change is possible. 

Contact Bettina here

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