A recent meta-analysis (May 2015) by Johnsen, T. J., & Friborg, O. has raised quite a stir. Their research paper analyzed 70 studies conducted between 1977 and 2014, and concluded that CBT is roughly half as effective in treating depression as it used to be. Articles by Vaughan Bell in the blog, MindHacks, and by Olver Burkeman of The Guardian, recently offered some intriguing perspectives on the results of this large-scale analysis.
The data from this study has been used as the foundation for three published papers by Stapleton, et al. This study investigated ninety-six overweight or obese adults who were randomly allocated to a four-week (2 hour EFT session one time per week plus self-directed EFT between sessions) EFT treatment or waitlisted. Waitlist participants crossed over to the EFT group upon completion of wait period. The researchers measured through self-report measurement tools the degree of food craving, the perceived power of food, food restraint capabilities, and other psychological symptoms were measured before the EFT intervention, immediately after the 4 weeks and then again 12-months later. Significant improvements in weight, body mass index, food cravings, subjective power of food, craving restraint and psychological coping for EFT participants from pretreatment to 12-month follow-up were reported and can be found in Stapleton, P., Sheldon, T., & Porter, B. (2012).
This study, with lead researcher and EFTU trainer Peta Stapleton, was designed to investigate the use of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to treat Major Depressive Disorder in adults using a therapeutic group setting. The results indicated a change in diagnosis in each of the participants, with data indicating an overall improvement for the treatment group for depressive symptoms.
The authors of this study found that EFT can be effective in helping adolescents with moderate to severe depressive symptoms, but that it may be effective In both group format and a limited number of sessions.
This study by Church and Brooks explores EFT & other CAM techniques for helping veterans and their spouses with PTSD symptoms including EFT, yoga, meditation and other neuroregulating techniques ub a retreat setting.
7 Iraqi and Vietnam War veterans were treated with 6 sessions of EFT and symptom severity decreased significantly by 40%, anxiety decreased 46%, depression 49%, and PTSD 50% and the gains were maintained at the 90-day follow-up.
Study authors report that the results support the potential of EFT as an effective treatment for a range of psychological and physical disorders. As an average of just over 5 sessions were required, it is possible that EFT may also be very cost effective.
This article describes the techniques, how EFT is taught in a workshop setting, and provides case examples. The clinical benefits of EFT and future research directions are discussed.
2 hours of self-applied EFT was used and a 90-day follow-up was completed by half of those attendees, with 61% reportedly using EFT after the conference. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest after the conference and gains were maintained at follow-up for most of the psychological distress scales.