EFT Research Paper
Dismantling an Energy Psychology Technique for Communication Apprehension
Citation: Fitch, J. III, Kimmel, K., Fairchild, J., DiGirolamo, J., (2019) Dismantling an Energy Psychology Technique for Communication Apprehension, Energy Psychology Journal, doi 10.9769/EPJ.2019.11.2
Reducing communication apprehension (CA) in university public speaking classes has been traditionally achieved by strategies such as skills training, rehearsal, preparation, and repeated performance. Yet, some highly anxious speakers require more intensive interventions. Recently, Energy Psychology (EP) protocols such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Primordial Energy Activation and Transcendence (PEAT) have significantly reduced CA after brief interventions. Other studies have investigated the therapeutic effects of the various components of selected EP protocols through dismantling studies. This study contributes to existing EP dismantling and CA studies by exploring the efficacy of two modified PEAT protocols. Participants (N = 51) were randomly placed into one of three groups: a modified PEAT acupressure group, a modified PEAT non-acupressure group, and a no-treatment control group. Mixed method analyses did not find a significant difference in CA scores (p < .05) or reported subjective experiences between groups at posttest, and highly anxious speakers benefitted more from the public speaking course than less anxious ones. The authors suggest that dismantling the original PEAT technique may have limited its efficacy and further study on PEAT for CA is required.
I found this paper to be a courageous and fascinating paper. I was not personally knowledgable about the PEAT technique. I discovered that two previous published papers had been published on PEAT for its usage for addressing and rducing publix speaking anxiety, one in 2011 and another in 2012. This study included public university students in the southeast region of the U.S., who were enrolled in a public speaking course. The three treatment groups includ 51 students with two active treatment groups and one non-treatment control group.
PEAT, in its primary usage as “Basic PEAT” is a form of Energy PSychology intervention closely resembling EFT. It utilizes six acupressure points, three on each side of the face, (genlte pressure applied to the right and left bridge of nose, right and left side of the outside of eye and right and direclty beneath the left and right eye) as well as EFT similar “Even though” statement, , memory recall with a focusing on an adverse previous similar situation (ie a stressful anxiety producing memory of a public speaking experience) with a 1-10 SUDs self-score, a self acceptance statement and the taking of a deep breath.
For ease of access, I have included below my comments the 2012 study citation and abstract:
What I found myself appreciating was the willingness of the authors to build upon a previous study that demonstrated statistically significant downward shift in CAI (Communiation Anxiety) State scores, relative to the control group, with a medium effect size and attempt to explore from a dismantling perspective, what aspects of the PEAT method may or may not be active components.
In this sudy the Basic PEAT method was purposely altered to include two modifications to the technique: the MBPA (Modified Basic PEAT non-acupressure group which did not allow the participants to say the verbal componenbts aloud) and a MBPN (modified Basic PEAT non-acupressure) group with no verbal componenet AND no self acupressure contact).
The results showed a slight decrease in all 3 groups (including hte control group). The modified PEAT methods did NOT show a statistically significant decrease in communication anxiety more than the control group indicating that neither of the modified PEAT protocls had a significant effect.. The authors comment that the lack of results may well have been due to:
1. The lack of expression of subjective verbal reports (verbalizing aloud the Event though I have this (emotions, thoughts, images, beliefs) about the last stressful public speaking episode details)
2. The lack of a verbalized self acceptance phrase
3. The lack of physical stimulation of the facial acupressure points via digital pressure.
I wish to personally express my appreciation for any Energy Psychology technique that is willing to do trials and publish research, even if it does not demonstrate effectiveness especially being willing to explore through dismantling studies to discover what may or may not be the active components of the intervention.
Citation: Fitch, J, DiGirolamo, J., Schmuldt, L., The Efficacy of Primordial Energy Activation and Transcendence (PEAT) for Public Speaking Anxiety. journal of energy psychology,doi: 10.9769/2011.3.2.
Abstract Link: https://energypsychologyjournal.org/abstracts/abstracts-%e2%80%93-volume-3-number-2-november-2011/32-john-fitch/
Background: Primordial Energy Activation and Transcendence (PEAT) is one of the newer energy psychology protocols. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a PEAT protocol on individuals experiencing communication anxiety and compare results with existing protocols such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
Method: The current study (N = 82) examined the efficacy of the PEAT protocol in reducing communication anxiety by measuring anxiety using the Communication Anxiety Inventory Form State (CAI State) before and after a 20-min PEAT treatment for an experimental group and comparing the results with a control group that received no treatment.
Participants: University students enrolled in a public speaking class volunteered for participation in the study.
Results: The PEAT process produced a statistically significant downward shift in CAI State scores, relative to the control group, with a medium effect size. A qualitative content analysis of participant interviews also identified themes of effectiveness of the Basic PEAT protocol in reducing public speaking anxiety.
Conclusion: The strength of the results indicates a beneficial effect due to the PEAT treatment and that further investigation is warranted.
Keywords: communication disorders, anxiety disorders, public speaking, acupressure, guided imagery, PEAT (Primordial Energy Activation and Transcendence)