Paul Emery (QEPR)

EFT & TFT ‘tapping’ research and evidence

Here are a comprehensive list of links to many EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) research papers and studies.

I would suggest that not only does it demonstrate EFT’s effectiveness, but also that of the original ‘tapping’ method TFT (Thought Field Therapy) that was created by Dr. Roger Callahan the the late 70’s.

Even though I am a qualified trainer in EFT and was even partly trained by its founder Gary Craig, TFT is my preferred tapping version for its effectiveness, speed, simplicity and ease of use!

(You can read here why).

(Big thanks to eftuniverse.com for collating this research and papers!)

Outcome Studies

Outcome studies compare outcomes, e.g. levels of pain, degree of depressive symptoms, either between two groups, or between the same people before and after EFT. The headings below tell you, in alphabetical order, the conditions for which data was gathered in the trials below them.

Anxiety

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Athletic Performance

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Depression

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Pain & Physical Symptoms

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Phobias

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PTSD

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Weight Loss, Cravings & Addiction

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Clinical Reports

Clinical Reports describe the use of EFT with various groups, e.g. university students, prisoners, refugees, or abused children. They may contain quantitative data, e.g. scores on symptom assessments, or they may describe the ways in which practitioners can work with this population.

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Mechanisms Papers

The “mechanisms of action” for a technique such as EFT describe what is happening in the body during application of the technique. These papers describe the neurological, epigenetic, psychoneuroimmunological, and hormonal pathways engaged by EFT.

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Review Articles & Meta-Analyses

Review articles gather all the evidence for a method, such as EFT, or a condition, such as phobias, PTSD, or pain. They review the studies that have been completed, and draw general conclusions about the characteristics of the method. Many review articles of EFT and/or Energy Psychology have been published in peer-reviewed journals:

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Skeptical and Opposing Viewpoints

There are many professionals who reject EFT categorically and sometimes vehemently; one prominent opponent calls EFT and similar methods “possible threats to the science of psychiatry and psychology” (Devilly, 2005). Skeptics and opponents discount the above research and argue that the effects of EFT are due to placebo, the nonspecific gains found in any form of therapy, and other factors.

The Wikipedia entry for EFT and most other forms of non-drug alternative therapy are tightly controlled by a group of skeptics who state that these methods possess the characteristics of “pseudoscience.” These Wikipedia editors feature newspaper reports, opinion pieces and review articles attacking the method in the entry for EFT, but censor the posting of any of the more than 100 outcome studies, randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and review papers supporting the method.

The opposition to EFT is understandable. EFTs combination of Western psychotherapy and acupuncture is controversial. Any new therapy faces an uphill journey to acceptance, since research funding goes to established methods, while a large body of existing professionals are trained in and familiar with these methods.

This results in a “translational gap,” a very long lag between the discovery of effective new therapies, and their implementation in primary care. According to a US government analysis, the translational gap averages 17 years (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Only 20% of new therapies succeed in crossing what the report calls a “quality chasm”; the benefits of the remaining 80% are forever lost to patients.

While the skeptics are successful in blocking the majority of new treatments, it is our goal to see the millions of people suffering from devastating conditions such as PTSD and major depression having EFT as an option in primary care.

Below is a selection of articles published in peer-reviewed journals that criticize EFT. You can decide on their merits for yourself.

Rebuttals to Critics


Studies Presented at Professional Conferences or Informally Presented

These studies have been presented at professional conferences, or informally presented such as in books. They have not been peer reviewed and are thus not to be relied on for the empirical rigor that the review process brings. They should be regarded as suggestive only.

Studies Presented at Professional Conferences

Informal and Unpublished Research

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