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EFT Research Paper

Borrowing Benefits: Group Treatment with Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques Is Associated with Simultaneous Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms

Citation: Borrowing Benefits: Group Treatment With Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques Is Associated With Simultaneous Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms. Church D, House D. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan Dec;23:2156587218756510. doi: 10.1177/2156587218756510.


The abstract can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29468884

or at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2156587218756510 with access to both abstract and a pdf of the full paper.


Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an evidence-based treatment for depression and anxiety. The current study sought to elucidate the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety in a nonclinical population. The sample (N = 81) comprised participants at five 2-day EFT workshops. All groups used an EFT protocol called Borrowing Benefits, in which the group facilitator works with a single client while other participants self-apply EFT. Participants were assessed on 9 specific conditions as well as on the breadth (Positive Symptom Total [PST]) and depth (General Symptom Index [GSI]) of psychological distress. Physical pain and addictive cravings were also assessed. Significant reductions were observed in all measures (P < .03). Associations between PST, GSI, and PTSD were significant (P < .026). Participants maintained all gains at 6-month follow-up (P < .02) with the exception of the Hostility subscale, while Cohen’s d = 0.54 indicated a moderate treatment effect for PTSD. The relationship between psychological and physiological conditions identified in this study is consistent with that found in other studies. Group treatment is cost-effective and efficient, and the efficacy of EFT in groups indicates the utility of the Borrowing Benefits technique.

Craig’s Comments:

This current study explores the effect of what is referred to as “Borrowing Benefits.” This is the personal gains that an individual receives when in a circumstance in which EFT is being performed by a practitioner and client and the individual in the audience group, participates along with the session being offered with a focus of attention on the demonstration session as opposed to being on their own concerns/complaints. This study resembles earlier EFT studies like the healthcare workers study in which participants at a conference/EFT training complete subjective questionnaires before the 2 day training, after the training and 6 months later. Several respected assessment tools were used such as the General Symptom Index that explore an individual’s symptoms with regards to a wide variety of conditions. The analysis for this study showed a statistically significant decrease in both the post-test (immediately after the workshop and follow-up scores 6 months later relative to the pretest score for the 2 general scales, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, psychoticism, GSI, and PST. This is consistent with previous similar studies for EFT. This offers continued support for the breadth of symptoms and conditions that EFT appears to offer relief from within a relatively short period of time, in essence a 2 day training.

However, of course, there are limitations to such a study, most notably there being no control group and the fact that the demographic study are those already potentially biased towards the intervention and or workshop leader given the fact that they had paid to attend the training. The study had a number of limitations. In addition this group studied may well not represent the typical individual/group who would be seeking care/intervention for the symptoms and conditions they note in the assessments.