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The Effectiveness of ‘’EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques’’ in People with Phobias

Citation: Xanthou, A.,(2020) The Effectiveness of ‘’EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques’’ in People with Phobias, Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience & Mental Health  DOI: 10.26386/obrela.v3i1.173

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Abstract: This research is a qualitative study that investigates the experience, symptoms and difficulties faced by people with
phobias and the effectiveness of EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques as a treatment method. Seven people who received an EFT session for their phobia participated in this survey. For the participants’ interviews, the researcher used a semi-structured interview guide and the Interpretation Phenomenological Analysis method to process the data. The results showed that EFT is a significant and effective treatment and self-assistance method, with a range of effects, possibly associated with a variety of factors. Specifically and practically, three people reported complete and immediate treatment, others mentioned improvement to varying degrees, while one did not comment. This research
study aims to contribute to the bibliographic deficit on qualitative research concerning the EFT method. The findings could have significant expansions related to the individualized enhancement and application of EFT as a therapeutic method.
Keywords: EFT-Emotional Freedom Techniques, Phobias, personal experience, Interpretation Phenomenological Analysis

Craig’s Notes: For those of you reading this in order to find effectiveness statistics of EFT for phobias, this is not the study to look for that. A qualitative study does not explore numbers or percentage effectiveness or statistical significance of difference. This is a very personal deep exploration of 7 individual’s experiences of using EFT for their phobias. While there is no new and surprising information here, especially for practitioners who utilize EFT for working with fears and phobias, the in depth responses of the participants are noteworthy. Here are some of the study’s highlights:

  • All participants stated they focused on thoughts and images regarding their personal phobic experiences. Despite their initial intensity and difficulty in some cases or the tendency to avoid remembering and re-experiencing negative emotions, they benefited from EFT. They felt relief, relaxation and reduction of intense emotions and especially fear during the application of the technique.
  • Overall, three people reported complete treatment of their phobia (fear of heights and airplanes), after one EFT session, with long-term maintained results. Two others mentioned that although they had experienced intensive emotions during the EFT session, they observed decreased intensity when exposed to the real phobic situation (fear of heights). Thus they were able to reduce the proximity distance to the phobic stimulus. One person reported that although not having felt ready to enter the elevator, observed a decrease in fear intensity regarding thoughts and hesitation to attempt it, which was previously unthinkable.
  • Some participants benefited greatly by the EFT method and were enthusiastic. After being trained, they incorporated EFT into their daily lives for many years since the initial contact. They implemented EFT on many personal issues or extended its application to their relatives.
  • The majority of the participants found that EFT is a very effective method for managing many physical and psycho-emotional issues. They were very willing and positive to inform or recommend the method to other people, considering that it could be proven a useful means to smoothen or eliminate negative emotions.
  • To sum up, EFT is a significantly beneficial and effective method of managing and treatment for a variety of phobias and patients. According to research studies, the results vary between immediate and instantaneous treatment, even to chronic phobias, (see Chapter 2.2) and more limited effects.This may be due to a variety of factors, such as problem complexity, patients’ psycho-emotional background and temperament etc.