The Tapping Project: What happens when students learn tapping in schools

(by Sarah Murphy, LPC) What happens when school children learn tapping? Can this ease their anxiety and increase their wellbeing? Dr. Margaret Lambert explored these questions with her newly published dissertation on The Tapping Project. Her answer: Yes! EFT tapping in school helps students.

The project is the first to examine the benefits of tapping in primary schools. It included 138 students in their 5th and 6th year of school in the Northern Territory in Australia. Nine teachers attended two hour-long trainings and then began The Tapping Project, using EFT tapping in their classrooms. One hundred percent of the participants thought it was effective and that all schools should teach tapping. Anxiety symptoms improved, wellbeing improved, concentration improved, classes were calmer, and some students even reported getting better grades, as their focus improved after using EFT tapping in school. 

The Tapping Project format

The project was held in two, four-week stages. In the first, students and the teacher tapped together following the teacher’s tapping script. In the second, students tapped quietly, using their own words to identify the problems they needed to work on. Everyone liked the second, quiet phase best.

At the end of each session and again about ten weeks after the project was finished, students felt less anxiety and greater wellbeing. They also had less physical discomfort and reported that they had an easier time paying attention. Every participant ― all nine teachers and 138 kids ― agreed that EFT should be taught in all schools.

EFT tapping in schools helps students

In her quantitative analysis, Dr Lambert used the Subjective Units of Wellbeing Scale (SUWS) and the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale (RCMS-2). Over the 30 weeks of the project, anxiety decreased significantly and wellbeing improved. Those students who reported feeling “anxious” or “not great” received the greatest benefit from tapping. 

In her qualitative analysis, Dr Lambert reports that 131 students said tapping was helpful, while 52 did not. Those who did not find it helpful tended to be from the older grade and mostly reported that tapping was boring. That said, they reported that their classes calmed down more quickly and got to work more readily, hence they agreed that all schools should teach tapping.

How does EFT tapping in schools help?

Lambert identified three areas where tapping caused beneficial changes: cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Students reported they were able to feeling more confident and better able to focus; some grades improved, and students attributed this to their better concentration. Students felt calmer. Some students reported a decreased in physical discomfort (such as nervous stomach, shaking hands, and butterflies).

The results translated outside the classroom, as some students reported that they used tapping on their own; some even taught their families. One boy reported using tapping to calm down when he became frustrated with his video game; another used it to calm down after getting angry with his family. Some students used tapping for sports and performances, while others used it for feeling overwhelmed by workload or test anxiety. Students whose parents or family members responded positively or with curiosity taught tapping to their family members. One girl reported that her dad had a lot of back and leg pain, and tapping improved his symptoms. 

What about the kids who didn’t think tapping benefited them?  

Most of those said tapping was boring, or they were afraid they would look weird and people would think they looked weird. Most of those kids were in the 6th year, and the teachers guess that this was a manifestation of being “too cool for school.” There were some students who were not doing well (as reported on the SUWS) and sometimes tapping didn’t help. That said, even if they felt it didn’t  benefit themselves, all students endorsed tapping ― they could see the results for others. 

What did the teachers say about tapping in school?

The teachers thought the students liked and benefited from tapping. They found their classrooms were calmer after tapping. They said some students responded better than others, and that students with special needs or mental health concerns benefited greatly. Students with ADHD, for example, seemed calmer. One girl with serious depression stopped making alarming statements and seemed happier. 

As Haim Ginott (1972) said, and Lambert quoted: “Only if a child feels right can he think right.” The Tapping Project gives good preliminary evidence that tapping in schools can help children feel better, and that might help them learn better. Now that is something we can all endorse!

Would you like to learn how to teach children tapping and other energy psychology methods in a variety of settings – including schools?
Sign up for this one-day, pre-conference intensive, “Mind/Body Tools for Children: Techniques for Trauma, Resilience, Self-Confidence & Performance”. LIVE, ONLINE May 12, 2021. And then be sure to join us for the 23rd International Energy Psychology Conference – The Art & Science of Transformational Change, May 13-16.


Sarah Murphy, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and coach with more than 12 years of clinical experience. She specializes in energy psychology, including EFT, as well as mindfulness and hypnotherapy. In her therapy practice, she works with individuals seeking to find peace within themselves, people who have serious medical diagnoses, and couples who want to resolve conflict and live in harmony. Sarah’s personal motto is that we are here to create a more peaceful world, one more-peaceful person at a time. She is an ACEP member and chair of the Communications Committee. Learn more at

Photos by Ridofranz and Monkey Business Images

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