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EFT Studies

A Randomized Controlled Comparison of Emotional Freedom Technique and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Adolescent Anxiety: A Pilot Study.

2016: From The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Author Information – Gaesser AH1, Karan OC2.


RESULTS: EFT participants showed significant reduction in anxiety levels compared with the wait list control group with a moderate to large effect size. CBT participants (n = 21; M = 54.82, SD = 5.81) showed reduction in anxiety but did not differ significantly from the EFT or control.

CONCLUSIONS: EFT is an efficacious intervention to significantly reduce anxiety for high-ability adolescents.


Randomised Controlled Study Comparing Two Psychological Therapies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) vs. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

2015: Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment

Author Information – Ashraf Al-Hadethe. Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, The University of Nottingham, UK


These changes of PTSD, PTSD clusters, anxiety and depression remained stable for 3, 6 and 12 month follow-ups in EFT group, while these changes were unstable during the follow-ups. Measures of coping strategies showed that seeking support and active coping improved since the interventions. In conclusion, both EFT and NET showed their effectiveness among traumatised Iraqi people.


The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in Reducing Depression and Anxiety Among Adults: A Pilot Study

2016: The Journal of Integrative Medicine

Author Information – Hannah Chatwin Senior Research Assistant at Bond University, Australia.


Results: Findings revealed that both treatment approaches produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms, with the CBT group reporting a significant reduction post intervention, which was not maintained with time. The EFT group reported a delayed effect involving a significant reduction in symptoms at the 3- and 6-mo follow-ups only. Examination of the individual cases revealed clinically significant improvements in anxiety across both interventions.

Conclusions: Overall, the findings provide evidence to suggest that EFT might be an effective treatment strategy worthy of further investigation.


Food for Thought: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the Treatment of Food Cravings

2016: The International Association of Applied Psychology

Author Information – Bond University, Australia and The Lakeside Rooms, Robina, Queensland, Australia. Address for correspondence: Peta Stapleton, School of Psychology, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, 4229, Australia.


Overall, EFT and CBT demonstrated comparable efficacy in reducing food cravings, one’s responsiveness to food in the environment (power of food), and dietary restraint, with Cohen’s effect size values suggesting moderate to high practical significance for both interventions. Results also revealed that both EFT and CBT are capable of producing treatment effects that are clinically meaningful, with reductions in food cravings, the power of food, and dietary restraint normalising to the scores of a non-clinical community sample. While reductions in BMI were not observed, the current study supports the suggestion that psychological interventions are beneficial for food cravings and both CBT and EFT could serve as vital adjunct tools in a multidisciplinary approach to managing obesity.


Effect of the Emotional Freedom Techniques on Perceived Stress, Quality of Life, and Cortisol Salivary Levels in Tension-Type Headache Sufferers: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

2013: Explore (NY)

Postgraduate Course Stress Management and Health Promotion, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


RESULTS: Within the treatment arm, perceived stress, scores for all Short-Form questionnaire-36 subscales, and the frequency and intensity of the headache episodes were all significantly reduced. No differences in cortisol levels were found in any group before and after the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: EFT was reported to benefit patients with TTH. This randomized controlled trial shows promising results for not only the frequency and severity of headaches but also other lifestyle parameters.


The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress and Anxiety in Nursing Students: A Pilot Study.

2016: Journal Nurse Educ Today

Carolinas College of Health Sciences, Charlotte, NC, USA. Electronic address:


RESULTS: Decreases in anxiety as measured on both the STAI and PSS were statistically significant (p=.05). For PSS, STAI state and trait data, the reduction in self-reported stress was statistically significant with a mean difference baseline to week 4. Qualitative data suggested that nursing students experienced a decrease in feelings of stress and anxiety including a decrease in somatic symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, findings suggested that EFT can be an effective tool for stress management and anxiety relief in nursing students.


Anxiety and Anger Symptoms in Hwabyung Patients Improved More with EFT

2015. The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Jin Woo SuhSun Yong Chung, Sang Young Kim, Jung Hwan Lee, and Jong Woo Kim

Quote: Over the entire 9-week interval, there were significant decreases in the HB symptom scale, anxiety state, anger state, anger trait, somatization, anxiety, hostility, and so on in EFT group (p < 0.05). Conclusion. The EFT group showed improved psychological symptoms and physical symptoms greater than those observed in the PMR group. EFT more effectively alleviated HB symptoms compared to PMR. EFT group showed better maintenance during self-training, suggesting good model of self-control treatment in HB patients.


Emotional Freedom Techniques for Anxiety: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis

2016. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Ben Gurion University, Medical School for International Health, Beersheva, Israel

Quote: Emotional freedom technique treatment demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety scores, even when accounting for the effect size of control treatment.


Tapping for Success: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for Enhancing Academic Performance in University Students Innovative Practice

2013. Higher Education, Vol1 I(3)

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A

A Narrative Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

2012. Staffordshire University, CPSI Monograph.

Boath, E., Stewart, T & Carryer A.

Review of the Effectiveness of EFT

Tapping for PEAS: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT ) in Reducing Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome (PEAS) in University Students

2012. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 1(2), 1-12.

Boath, E. Stewart, A & Carryer, A

Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions


Psychology 2013. Vol.4, No.8, 645-654 Published Online August 2013 in SciRes (

Psychological Trauma Symptom Improvement in Veterans Using Emotional Freedom Techniques: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Church D, Hawk C, Brooks AJ, Toukolehto O, Wren M, Dinter I, Stein P.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Feb;201(2):153-60. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31827f6351.

Brief Group Intervention Using Emotional Freedom Techniques for Depression in College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Church D, De Asis, MA, Brooks, AJ

Depress Res Treat. 2012;2012:257172. doi: 10.1155/2012/257172. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Depression Symptoms Improve After Successful Weight Loss with Emotional Freedom Techniques

Stapleton P, Church D, Sheldon T, Porter B, Carlopio C.

ISRN Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 28;2013:573532. doi: 10.1155/2013/573532

The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Church D, Yount G, Brooks AJ.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Oct;200(10):891-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b9fc1.

The immediate effect of a brief energy psychology intervention (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on specific phobias: a pilot study

Salas MM, Brooks AJ, Rowe JE.

Explore (NY). 2011 May-Jun;7(3):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2011.02.005.

Evaluation of a Meridian-Based Intervention, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), for Reducing Specific Phobias of Small Animals.

Wells S, Polglase K, Andrews HB, Carrington P, Baker AH.

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Sep;59(9):943-66.

Quote: “ANOVAS revealed that EFT produced significantly greater improvement than did diaphragmatic breathing behaviorally and on three self-report measures, but not on pulse rate. The greater improvement for EFT was maintained, and possibly enhanced, at six- to nine-months follow-up on the behavioral measure. These findings suggest that a single treatment session using EFT to reduce specific phobias can produce valid behavioral and subjective effects.”

Pilot Study of Emotional Freedom Techniques, Wholistic Hybrid Derived From Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment of Test Anxiety in University Students

Benor DJ, Ledger K, Toussaint L, Hett G, Zaccaro D.

Explore (NY). 2009 Nov-Dec;5(6):338-40. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2009.08.001.

The heart field effect: Synchronization of healer-subject heart rates in energy therapy

Bair CC.

Adv Mind Body Med. 2008 Winter;23(4):10-9.

A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing vs. emotional freedom techniques.

Karatzias T, Power K, Brown K, McGoldrick T, Begum M, Young J, Loughran P, Chouliara Z, Adams S.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Jun;199(6):372-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31821cd262.

Rapid treatment of PTSD: why psychological exposure with acupoint tapping may be effective

Feinstein D.

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2010 Sep;47(3):385-402. doi: 10.1037/a0021171.

Energy psychology: A review of the preliminary evidence

Feinstein D.

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2008 Jun;45(2):199-213. Doi: 10.1037/0033-3204.45.2.199.

Facts, paradigms, and anomalies in the acceptance of energy psychology: A rejoinder to McCaslin’s (2009) and Pignotti and Thyer’s (2009) comments on Feinstein (2008a).

Feinstein D.

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2009 Jun;46(2):262-9. doi: 10.1037/a0016086.

Six pillars of energy medicine: clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm

Feinstein D, Eden D.

Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):44-54.

Why Tapping Works: A Neurobiological Explanation

Ronald Rudens (PhD)

Acupoint Stimulation In Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence Of Efficacy

Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology, 16, 364-380. doi:10.1037/a0028602

Feinstein, D. (2012)

Energy psychology and psychotherapy: A study of the use of energy psychology in psychotherapy practice

Aim: The aim of the study was to increase understanding of how energy psychology informs and affects counselling/psychotherapy practice. By undertaking phenomenological interviews with experienced clinicians, the aim was to enrich and expand on the scientific approaches to energy psychology research. Method: This research is based on in-depth semi-structured interviews using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Five experienced psychotherapists who are also practitioners of energy psychology were interviewed. Findings: Four main themes emerged from the analysis: energy psychology as a potent intervention that facilitates shifts in emotions, cognitions, behaviours and physiology; the safety of energy psychology techniques; the role of the therapeutic relationship when using energy psychology techniques; and the challenges of integrating energy psychology into the work context, highlighting the need for more complex, systemic models to understand how people experience distress and how change is facilitated.Conclusion: Overall, participants in this study found energy psychology to be a valuable supplement to counselling and psychotherapy. The implications for current practice are discussed.

Mason, Elizabeth (2012)



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