The high school students John Soriano works with in a new after-school program in Orlando, Fla., have been doing something a little unusual to improve their grades. They’ve been using their fingertips to tap lightly on acupressure points on their bodies while repeating some simple phrases.
Soriano, who spoke exclusively with Examiner.com on March 7, has been using this process — called emotional freedom techniques (EFT) or tapping — to help neutralize some of the negative feelings and beliefs the kids have that are hampering their success at school.
“These kids experince the normal daily struggles most teens face,” Soriano says. “But they’re also coping with learning disabilities that make it difficult for them to learn and thrive in school.”
Soriano started the intervention program five weeks ago to help a group of juniors and seniors who were failing core subjects. As part of the program, students learn tools to help improve their visual learning and receive help from tutors in the subjects they’re failing. Soriano uses EFT to help address some of the negative emotions and beliefs the kids have about school and themselves.
“These kids often get painful feedback,” Soriano says. “They’ve been told over and over again they they’re different. Many of them feel out of place.”
To help ease some of these negative emotions, Soriano taps with kids individually about issues that bother them at school. For example, he’s helped kids struggling with test anxiety, fears about speaking in front of the class, feelings of being overwhelmed and the pain of rejection.
“The kids were very open-minded about trying something new,” Soriano says. “They felt a lot calmer after they tapped. They were able to look at things in a more positive way and do the things they were worried about.”
Soriano says EFT plays a significant role in this intervention program.
“If we don’t clear the negative issues, the kids don’t make as much progress.”
Nine kids are participating in the group. In just a few weeks, they improved their failing scores by an average of two to three letter grades.
Soriano also has a private life-coaching practice. He works with teens and adults around the world.
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