Research and Information

There is increasing scientific evidence of the effectiveness of EFT and Energy Psychology in addressing numerous issues, including, but not limited to;

Anxiety Disorder,

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5,000 patients from 11 treatment centres in South America diagnosed at intake with an anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to an experimental group (tapping) or a control group (Cognitive Behavior Therapy/medication) using standard randomization tables and, later, computerized software. Ratings were given by independent clinicians who interviewed each patient at the close of therapy, at 1 month, at 3 months, at 6 months, and at 12 months.

The raters made a determination of complete remission of symptoms, partial remission of symptoms, or no clinical response. The raters did not know if the patient received CBT/medication or tapping. They knew only the initial diagnosis, the symptoms, and the severity, as judged by the intake staff.

Results at the close of therapy:

63% of the control group were judged as having improved
90% of the experimental group were judged as having improved
51% of the control group were judged as being symptom free
76% of the experimental group were judged as symptom free

At one-year follow-up, the patients receiving tapping treatments were less prone to relapse or partial relapse than those receiving CBT/medication, as indicated by the independent raters' assessments and corroborated by brain imaging and neurotransmitter profiles.

In a related pilot study by the same team, the length of treatment was substantially shorter with energy therapy and related methods than with CBT/medication (mean = 3 sessions vs. mean = 15 sessions).

The principal investigator was Joaquín Andrade, M.D. The report was written by Dr. Andrade and David Feinstein, Ph.D. The paper will appear in Energy Psychology Interactive: An Integrated Book and CD Program for Learning the Fundamentals of Energy Psychology (Ashland, OR: Innersource, in press, distributed by Norton Professional Books) by David Feinstein in consultation with Fred P. Gallo, Donna Eden, and the Energy Psychology Interactive Advisory Board.


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A study of the effects of EFT on phobias of small animals and insects found impressive results;

Those subjects who had learned EFT, as compared to those in a comparison group who had learned a deep breathing method, showed significantly greater reduction in their fear of small animals and insects - both in terms of their ability to approach the feared animal after the treatment, and their self reported indexes of fear.

Six to nine months later, these results held up just as well as they did at the time of the treatment, showing that the results of EFT are lasting - an important consideration. The deep breathing group improved also in their symptoms, but significantly less so.

Evaluation of a Meridian Based Intervention, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), for Reducing Specific Phobias of Small Animals. Wells, S., Polglase, K., Andrews, H.B., Carrington, P., & Baker, A.H. (2003). Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 59(9), 943-966

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,

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Research conducted by Dr. Paul Swingle and his colleagues, studied the effects of EFT on auto accident victims suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - an extremely disabling conditioning that involves unreasonable fears and often panic attacks, disabling physiological symptoms of stress, nightmares, flashbacks etc.

These researchers found that three months after they had learned EFT (in two sessions) these auto accident victims showed significant positive changes in their brain waves and in self-reported symptoms of stress.

Effects of a meridian-based therapy, EFT, on symptoms of PTSD in auto accident victims. Swingle, P., Pulos, L., & Swingle, M. (May, 2000). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Las Vegas, NV

The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans Using EFT

In this study, a sample of 11 veterans and family members were assessed for PTSD and other conditions.

Evaluations were made using the SA-45 (Symptom Assessment 45) and the PCL-M (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist - Military) using a time-series, within-subjects, repeated measures design. A baseline measurement was obtained thirty days prior to treatment, and immediately before treatment. Subjects were then treated with a brief and novel exposure therapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), for five days.

Statistically significant improvements in the SA-45 and PCL-M scores were found at posttest. These gains were maintained at both the 30- and 90-day follow-ups on the general symptom index, positive symptom total and the anxiety, somatization, phobic anxiety, and interpersonal sensitivity subscales of the SA-45, and on PTSD. The remaining SA-45 scales improved posttest but were not consistently maintained at the 30- and 90-day follow-ups. One-year follow-up data was obtained for 7 of the participants and the same improvements were observed.

In summary, after EFT treatment, the group no longer scored positive for PTSD, the severity and breadth of their psychological distress decreased significantly, and most of their gains held over time. This suggests that EFT can be an effective post-deployment intervention.

The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Pilot Protocol. Church, D. (2009). Traumatology.


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Another study by Dr. Swingle used EFT as a treatment for children diagnosed with epilepsy. The children were administered EFT by their parents every time each day that the parents suspected a seizure might occur. Swingle found significant reductions in seizure frequency among these very young children, as well as extensive clinical improvement in the children's EEG readings after exposure to two weeks of daily in-home EFT treatment, an impressive result.

Effects of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) method on seizure frequency in children diagnosed with epilepsy. Swingle, P. (May, 2000). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Las Vegas, NV.


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The aim of this study was to examine if self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) leads to reduced pain perception, increased acceptance, coping ability and health-related quality of life in individuals with fibromyalgia.

86 women, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and on sick leave for at least 3 months, were randomly assigned to a treatment group or a waiting list group. An eight-week EFT treatment program was administered via the Internet.

Upon completion of the program, statistically significant improvements were observed in the intervention group ( n=26) in comparison with the waiting list group (n=36) for variables such as pain, anxiety, depression, vitality, social function, mental health, performance problems involving work or other activities due to physical as well as emotional reasons, and stress symptoms. Pain catastrophizing measures, such as rumination, magnification and helplessness, were significantly reduced, and the activity level was significantly increased.

Self-administered EFT seems to be a good complement to other treatments and rehabilitation programs. The sample size was small and the dropout rate was high. Therefore the surprisingly good results have to be interpreted with caution.

Self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in individuals with fibromyalgia: a randomized trial. Brattberg, G. (2008). Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, (August/September).

The following paper revisits some of the Energy Psychology field’s early claims, as well as current practices, and assesses them in the context of existing evidence.

Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy
Feinstein, D. (2012). Review of General Psychology, 16(4), 364-380.

The following are also papers available in full;

Energy Psychology: A Review of the Preliminary Evidence
Feinstein, D. (2008). Energy Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 45(2), 199-213.

Rapid Treatment of PTSD: Why Psychological Exposure with Acupoint Tapping may be Effective.
Feinstein, D. (in press). Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training.

Neurochemistry of counter-conditioning: acupressure desensitisation in Psychotherapy.
Lane, J.R. (2009) Energy Psychology 1:1

Energy Psychology in Disaster Relief.
Feinstein, D. (2008) Traumatology. 14 (1) 124-137

The following link will take you to a number of research papers on EFT and Energy Therapies, via the EFT Universe website. Different types of research are also explained.
EFT Universe website

A summary of EFT research by Steve Wells, creator of Simple Energy Techniques (SET) and Provocative Energy Techniques (PET) Summary of EFT Research

A summary of important EFT research findings to date, by EFT Masters Sue Beer and Emma Roberts of the iEFT Centre in London. Summary of important EFT research findings

Research Studies and Review articles in Energy Psychology Published in Peer Reviewed Journals or Presented at International Conferences, compiled by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
Research Studies and Review articles

Presented Papers and Dissertations; divided in to two parts. The first contains abstracts of papers presented at international conferences, and the second contains dissertations published in the fields of Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine (revised January 2012) Compiled by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
Presented Papers and Dissertations

© Kim Castle 2012