Introducing Tom Porpiglia: A former electronics specialist turned Licensed Mental Health Counselor and practitioner of energy psychology techniques. With a focus on EFT Tapping, Tom helps clients achieve rapid and sustainable results, and his work with veterans has shown remarkable success in treating PTSD. Learn more about his transformative approach to healing in this insightful MysticMag interview.
Who is Tom Porpiglia? What can you tell us about your professional journey?
In 1969, I earned my Associate’s degree in electronics and got drafted into the US Army upon graduation. I spent a year in Vietnam as a communications specialist, and then 25 years in the electronics industry servicing 2-way radios and mobile telephones, writing code for automatic testing of our products, and many other tasks. After experiencing several personal growth and development seminars and spending time in counseling as a client, I acknowledged what I had known in tech school: electronics was not where I belonged, I just didn’t know what else to study, so stuck with electronics. All of these experiences led me to study Transactional Analysis, going back to school to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and then a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. I left my previous career in February 1997 and started a private practice as a mental health counselor. I became a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in 2006 when New York State finally started licensing us. I’m also certified as a Diplomate of Comprehensive Energy Psychology (DCEP) by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
I was searching for a better way to help clients heal from trauma, anxiety, and other mental health issues that would allow them to make life changes easier and quicker. I read about a technique called Thought Field Therapy, which involves tapping and couldn’t wrap my brain around it. In August of ’97, I heard a man named John give a brief talk, 10 to 15 minutes at a Transactional Analysis conference, about a tapping technique he was using. It just wasn’t enough information to understand it better or even begin to use it. In Jan. or Feb. ’98 I was at a winter gathering of a Transactional Analysis community in Jamaica and John gave the same short presentation without any demonstration.
The gathering was different from a conference in that we did conference activities in the morning and had the afternoons free to do touristy things. Since we were in a “tropical paradise” I decided I wanted to experience snorkeling and organized a snorkeling trip for our group. The event was a bit challenging because of the water temperature and the waves. Somehow, everyone but me was back on the boat, calling me. When I oriented myself to the boat, I decided I was too tired to swim to the boat and signaled that I needed help, thinking they would just come to me with the boat. Instead, the tour guide swam over to me and did the whole lifeguard rescue thing. As I climbed onto the boat, I suddenly experienced a wave of terror that sent me into an intense crying spell. Fortunately, John and his wife were on the boat and asked permission to tap on me. Of course, I said yes, not knowing what to expect. What I experienced was the terror and hence the crying calmed down very quickly, probably in less than 5 minutes. My brain was wondering what had just happened, as intense crying spells like I was experiencing had always lasted more than 5 minutes.
In July of ’98, I experienced another healing crisis and took to investigating Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping. I purchased the training course which was on 11 VHS tapes. I began learning the technique and applying it to my clients. My first client was an Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, and when he unexpectedly went into the trauma and started crying, I asked if I could tap on him. He said yes not knowing anything about what I was going to do! I was amazed that he calmed down and stopped crying in about 15 minutes. The rest is history.
What energy psychology techniques do you use and can you share a few details about them?
Predominately, I use EFT Tapping. It’s easy to use and I teach it to my clients. In most cases, it produces rapid, sustainable results compared to traditional counseling/therapy methods. EFT Tapping involves recalling a memory or event that causes a person to experience distress measured on a scale of zero to ten, ten being the maximum intensity. We create a phrase to describe the distress and then tap with two fingers on acupuncture meridian points, and acupoints, on the face, torso, and hand, while repeating phrases that keep the person tuned into the distressing issue. We do this until the intensity of the issue is zero.
Tapping is easily delivered in person, over the phone, or via telehealth platforms with equally good results. It can also be used in group settings and on children. It’s very safe and there aren’t any known side effects.
Once in a while, I will use Tapas Acupressure Technique, which uses a physical “pose” to hold some acupuncture points with one hand and the other hand is placed on the back of the head where the visual cortex is. As with EFT Tapping, one focuses on the distressful issue until the intensity is zero. There are several other steps involved in the process that I won’t go into here. Most often, I use it to help people dispel anger or disconnect energy cords from other individuals they were in relationships with.
You organize various Health and Wellness events. What can people expect from those?
Usually, the events are organized by other organizations and I show up to present introductions to EFT Tapping or train people in basic EFT Tapping. People learn about various issues that tapping can be applied to, some research information, case studies, pre-post workshop outcomes, and tapping demonstrations. This helps them understand the ease of use and power of tapping.
What do Veterans Services you provide include?
When I started using EFT Tapping, there wasn’t any research on tapping. Now there is a plethora of research supporting the effectiveness of EFT Tapping on a wide variety of mental health and other conditions like pain management, food cravings, limiting belief systems, relationships, and more.
In 2008, I became involved with the research team that did the original research using EFT Tapping on veterans with PTSD. The outcomes were amazing as the research demonstrated an 85% sustainable success rate with an average 63% reduction in symptoms. These results can’t be obtained with traditional methods. I use tapping with veterans to help them heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral Injury. This may include helping with relationship issues, substance abuse, behavioral issues, and anything else they bring to a session. You can see a video clip of me working with a veteran on my website.
Is there anything else about your work that you’d like to share with our readers and that we haven’t covered?
I provide services in person and via a telehealth/video platform in New York State. EFT is easily delivered and very effective in video sessions. I also provide services for many Employee Assistance Programs across the state. My services are private pay and may qualify for coverage if the client has out-of-network coverage on their health insurance policy.
In addition to offering very basic trainings in EFT Tapping, I have had the privilege and honor of being an Emotional Assistant (EA) at several in-person and online trainings. My job as an EA is to supervise people during practice sessions and to help anyone that may have been triggered into an undesirable emotional state.
To learn more about Tom and his work, you can visit his website at www.lifescriptcounseling.com