French Transplant Brings Emotional Freedom to Community
Therese Harmon’s project in Landmark Education’s Self Expression and Leadership program involved giving away her expertise in holistic healing free to community and civic groups. Her efforts caught the attention of the South Bend Tribune, whose story in Harmon is printed here in its entirety.
by Gene Stowe
After five years of pharmacy training in her native France, Therese Harmon was
beginning to wonder whether filling prescriptions was the right way to heal people.
“I was feeling a sense of unease with that kind of system,” she recalls.
When she came to the United States in 1968, Harmon got a degree in secondary
education, expecting to teach French, but instead her interest in holistic healing grew and she went back to school to become a massage therapist and studied nutrition and other therapies.
Now she is, among other things, an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) coach. “I
consider myself a holistic health practitioner,” Harmon says. “I coach, trying to
wake them up to their potential. They’re not living up to their full potential.”
EFT — “a form of emotional acupuncture,” she calls it – involves tapping critical
points on the body, such as the forehead, around the eyes, under the nose, under
the lips, under the arms, in order to rid the person of negativity and dysfunction.
It can help golfers get past a bad swing, stressed moms deal with their children in
a more relaxed way and pain-suffering people get well, Harmon says.
“It’s a simple technique, but it’s as complex as human behavior and human
psychology,” she explains in her rich French accent, while her earrings dance in
time to her expressive hands. “Human emotion is very complex. It doesn’t matter what
the situation is, what the dysfunction is,” from obesity to emotional addiction.
“It will not only improve your game. It will give you the tools to improve your life.
Nothing in life is separate. Life is meant to be fun, and to be lived with ease and
grace, no matter what our circumstances are. Life happens, but we don’t have to react
to it where it afflicts our mind and body resulting over time in disease.”
Harmon felt like she was on the fringe some 35 years ago when she was into natural
childbirth and other holistic approaches as she started having children. Today, the
mainstream has moved in her direction, with once-scorned alternatives from
chiropractic to massage to acupuncture becoming commonplace.
For years, Harmon has coached people one-on-one, helping them go deeper into the
holistic experience so they can be happier. She sometimes detects the person’s
situation with a muscle-testing approach that works like a polygraph test by touch.
“Everybody wants to be happy,” she says. “Everything in life strengthens you or
weakens you. To work with someone obviously helps you to go deeper and understand
yourself more. I’m always in personal development.”
Recently, she has been attending a course in Chicago by Landmark Education, an
international training and development company, that has prompted her to offer her
expertise more widely. Now she’ll make free presentations to church, civic and other
“The core of the program is to create a community project,” Harmon says. “The course
has helped me think bigger — to think community, to think bigger impact. The
presentation is experiential and leaves you touched and transformed in some way.”
It’s giving back to a community that’s given to her.
“This country has been everything to me,” she says. “I love my life. I have had the
freedom to change course as often as I needed to. In France, I’d still be in pharmacy.”