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The Impact of EFT and Matrix Reimprinting on the Civilian Survivors of War in Bosnia

Bosnia: A pilot study. Curr. Res. Psychol., 5: 65-73. Click here to view Abstract and read Full Paper


A pilot study was carried out to establish the feasibility and effectiveness of Matrix Reimprinting (MR) in treating post-traumatic stress symptoms in civilian survivors of the war in Bosnia. Two Healing Hands Network Centres in Bosnia in Sarajevo and Hadzici. Clients accessing the Healing Hands Network in Bosnia were invited to participate in the pilot study of MR. At the start and end of their treatment, clients were asked to complete a modified version of the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Checklist (PCL-C; Blanchard et al., 1996) at baseline, immediately after the two week MR intervention and then at 4 weeks follow-up. Eighteen clients were included MR pilot study. There was a significant reduction in the mean scores from baseline to immediately post intervention (p = 0.009) and again at the 4 week follow-up (p = 0.005). The size of the immediate effect was sustained at follow-up (p = 0.65). The qualitative analysis (via. an evaluation form at four weeks follow-up) identified the following four themes: Theme 1: Physical and psychological changes Theme 2: The strength to move on and to self-care Theme 3: Rapport with the MR Practitioners Theme 4: Recommending it for others. Despite the limited sample size, significant improvements were shown. The qualitative and quantitative results support the potential of MR as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress symptoms. Further controlled studies are required.

Editor’s Note

This study by Boath et al was the first published qualitative study of Matrix Reimprinting (MR), an EFT-based approach and is the second quantitative study that explores the impact of EFT and Matrix Reimprinting (MR). MR is considered a dissociative technique, which is considered a favorable approach when working with traumatized individuals). In this study, 18 adults were selected who were “still experiencing severe emotional distress from their experiences during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia. Participants had been exposed to a wide spectrum of traumatic events during the war including: Beatings, confiscation or destruction of personal property, war wounds, torture, rape, sexual humiliation and/or witnessing another person’s injury or murder.” .All were given an introduction to EFT and Matrix Reimprinting at an introductory meeting and then received four, one hour, one-to-one sessions spread over two weeks. Each person was also given translated written copies of the basic EFT protocol, including suggestions for using EFT to aid sleep and also introduced to a heart-focused breathing technique. They were also allowed to use self-administered EFT any time they wished. Participants were assessed for PTSD symptoms using the civilian version of the PTSD Checklist (PCL-C) at baseline, immediately post intervention and at four weeks post intervention. Clients were also asked to fill out evaluation forms for qualitative analysis.

Statistical analysis revealed that the baseline measurement of post-traumatic stress scores averaged 82.71 and immediately after the 2 weeks of MR EFT the mean scores reduced to 53.77 which was clinically and statistically significant. In addition the reduced scores remained stable and significant 4 weeks later suggesting that “the immediate effects of MR were sustained, representing both a clinically and statistically significant reduction from baseline.”  The study also gives important individualized insight through qualitative reports and observations including the participants’ sentiments regarding the technique, the rapport with practitioners and the sense of strength needed to move on with their lives and provide ongoing self-care.