Citation: Clond, M. (2016). Emotional Freedom Techniques for anxiety: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 204(5), 388–395. doi:10.1097/NMD.0000000000000483 Abstract Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) combines elements of exposure and cognitive therapies with acupressure for the treatment of psychological distress. Randomized controlled trials retrieved by literature search were assessed for quality using the… Read More »
The Waite-Holder study has often been the study that has been used to discredit EFT and its protocols, as did the APA originally. Here is the paper and included is a rebuttal paper by Pasahow highlighting methodological problems in the Waite-Holder study.
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.
36 university students with Public Speaking Anxiety were recruited so that the efficacy of EFT in Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety could be studied with the use of a single 45 min. EFT session. Significant self-reported decreases in anxiety and increased confidence as a speaker were noted.
30 adult clinic dental patients were chosen for an EFT intervention upons reporting dental anxiety and after scoring a 6 or more on a 0-10 SUD scale. Each was given a brief 4 minute EFT explanation and a 6 minute EFT treatment. Pre and post SUD scores were taken. Results showed an average SUD decrease of 5 points with 83% experiencing a decrease of at least 4 points.
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.
Public Speaking Anxiety was the condition that was investigated in this study using TFT. The study included 48 participants and 11 licensed and TFT trained psychotherapists. Participants received either TFT immediately or were delayed TFT treatment in a wait list group. Both groups achieved significant results after receiving TFT. No improvements were made for the control group while they received no treatment.
“This uncontrolled study reports on changes in self-reported Subjective Units of Distress (SUD; Wolpe, 1969) in 1,594 applications of TFT, treating 714 patients. Conditions treated include: anxiety and depression, anxiety due to medical condition, anger, acute stress, bereavement, chronic pain, cravings, depression, fatigue, nausea, neurodermatitis, obsessive traits, panic disorder without agoraphobia, parent-child stress, phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, relationship stress, trichotillomania, tremor, and work stress.
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.