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EFT Research Paper

Six Sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques Remediate One Veteran’s Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Citation: Minewiser L. Six Sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques Remediate One Veteran’s Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Med Acupunct. 2017 Aug 1;29(4):249-253. doi: 10.1089/acu.2017.1216. PMID: 28874927; PMCID: PMC5576207.

Link to Full Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576207/


Background: Reports show high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Veterans who served in the Gulf Wars. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) comprises an evidence-based practice that is highly effective at reducing symptom severity in Veterans with PTSD. The case report here is of one of the Veterans who participated in a replication study of the first Veteran Stress Research Study conducted by Church et al. Results of that study demonstrated that EFT was highly effective at treating the psychologic symptoms of PTSD. Similar results have been found in the replication study conducted by Geronilla et al.

Case: RM is a young Marine Reservist who served in Iraq and returned with PTSD. He participated in the Veteran Stress Project replication study wherein he received 6 sessions of EFT. EFT is explained and a sample treatment session is described. A discussion of some of the changes that have occurred for RM is included.

Results: The patient’s PTSD scores dropped from a high clinical score of 60 before treatment to 40 after 6 sessions and to a clinical score of 22 at 6 months follow-up. His insomnia, which had been at a clinical level, reduced as did his pain and measures of psychologic distress, as measured in the Symptom Assessment–45 instrument.

Conclusion: Six sessions of EFT reduced PTSD scores dramatically and improved RM’s life. He continues to use EFT to manage any stress in his life.

Keywords: : Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, PTSD, Veteran Stress Project


Conclusion as per author: A case was reported in which 6 sessions of EFT not only reduced this Veteran’s PTSD scores to below the clinical threshold but also gave him a tool that he continues to use 3 years after the completion of his participation in the study. EFT helped reduce the hyperarousal that he felt as a response to both external and internal triggers. He was able to reframe the beliefs he was holding about himself and his place in the world. His experience was not unique, as 97% of the participants in the replication study no longer scored in the clinical range for PTSD. For the study participants, the mean Insomnia Index scores dropped to 9 points, and most of the scales on the SA-45 showed a reduction as well (P < 0.001).4 EFT appears to be a highly effective intervention for the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans.

Additional quoted comments by the veteran about his experience: “I still use EFT during stressful days and meetings, and it always brings me back to center after enough tapping. Tapping gave me a free therapy that I could do myself. Oftentimes, I don’t even speak about the situation when tapping now. I let my ‘monkey’ mind wander and tap as my thoughts wander. It seems to work on calming the automatic responses and stories my mind makes up. Relief like no other for sure. Thanks for coming into my life during the right season, which allowed for [a] much-desired shift in my way of being in this world. 

I’m now Operations Manager of my current company, putting deals together with ‘bigwigs’ I never thought possible. Inch by inch, life gets easier and easier. … Or is it because I get better and better? All I know is EFT was a game-changer for me. What makes it easily forgettable is that it doesn’t cost anything. (RM, personal communication, October 8, 2016)”

Craig’s Note: This is a wonderful example of a case study performed by an EFT clinician over the course of 6 real EFT sessions with a veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The researcher worked individually over a limited number of sessions with a veteran who had participated in a replication study of the first Veteran Stress Research Study conducted by Church et al. 

These are the kind of case studies that we need more clinicians to submit and have published. It provides not only further data to support EFT’s effectiveness for a variety of conditions and demographics but it also provides the kind of clinical detail (as the author offers specific examples of the exact tapping statements that were utilized). 

For those clinicians intrigued by the possibility of writing case studies, a useful resource could be the book by Liz Boath, PhD, Making the Case for EFT and Energy Psychology: Designing, Conducting and Publishing Case Studies which can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Case-EFT-Energy-Psychology-ebook/dp/B09W9T4KZH