US Veteran Uses EFT to Process the Withdrawal from Afghanistan

As a former Behavioral Health Officer in the U.S. Army, watching the US withdraw from Afghanistan this week is a painful, and emotionally devastating experience. I know I am not alone in this experience, as many veterans who served in Afghanistan and lost friends are going through their own deeply emotional experience. 

Even though we can’t take away the horror of what’s happening there, we can reduce the emotional burden for ourselves. I like to use a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. EFT combines tapping on energy meridian points commonly used in modalities like acupuncture and acupressure, except EFT is self-administered, giving you a useful tool literally at your fingertips that you can use on your own to calm your nervous system. 

Traditional EFT combines putting your attention on the truth of how you feel about an experience, result, or current issue/person with an affirmation of acceptance of self even with the painful or stressful thought, feeling, or action while tapping through the points. By doing this, you are sending a calming signal to the amygdala, the part of your brain where your flight/flight response is housed and able to achieve a reduction in symptoms or a sense of peace and/or clarity.

Below is a video containing an example of how I used tapping to help navigate the complicated emotions I was feeling. If you are familiar with the use of EFT, it might not look like exactly what you are used to, as I had to stop several times and just tap through the points until I could get my tears under control and gather enough clarity to form a setup statement. That’s okay; sometimes putting your attention on the pain while tapping through the points is enough to find a release until you can regain control of your thoughts and begin to craft your setup statement.

Watch the video here

More information about how to use EFT

At times, EFT can tune you into your feelings first, causing your distress to go up before coming down. If that happens to you, it’s totally normal. There are two important things to remember: KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN and KEEP TAPPING.

You can also combine tapping through the points with grounding exercises to keep you grounded in the present moment. To do this, tap through the points while paying special attention to sights, sounds, and textures around you: 

“I feel my fingertips against my skin.”

“I see three things that are green: a tree out the window, a sticky note, a shirt in my open closet.

“I hear the fan, people talking outside the window, the sound of my tapping.”

Do this until you feel calm.

You can learn other ways to reduce stress and calm down by watching free videos on ACEP’s Resources for Resilience. Feeling in shock or exhausted? Go here. Feeling upset by traumatic memories? Go here.


Jess Johnson is a life coach with more than 12 years of clinical and trauma focused experience. She uses a combination of powerful mindset coaching, EFT, and Matrix Reimprinting in her practice, teaching women to get out of their own ways and defeat self-sabotage. You can follow her on Facebook at Jess Johnson Coaching Services, Instagram at @seekingagreatperhaps1, or at her website:

 DISCLAIMER: EFT is a powerful self-healing technique, but issues you’ve been dealing with for years will likely require a skilled certified practitioner and/or one that specializes in the area you’d like to work on. 


  1. Margaret Haines says:

    What a pleasure to read your article. It is the best explanation of EFT I have seen in the 20 plus years I’ve used it (off and on). Without going into detail about all the aspects of EFT, you included ways to ground oneself and a great reminder to keep one’s eyes open, and a beautiful explanation of the set-up statement. Thank you for writing so clearly with short paragraphs. Loving a chunk at a time.
    Thank you!

  2. Jondi Whitis says:

    Thank you Margaret! We are so glad our work is relevant snd helpful to you. Please help us spread the word of hope and healing to others, by passin this on!

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