Below are examples of on-going research into Energy Psychologies of which EFT is one of the most well known and accessible. The following website lists many more examples.
PUBLISHED RESEARCH and REVIEW ARTICLES in
The Immediate Effect of a Brief Energy Psychology Intervention (EFT) on Specific Phobias: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Maria Salas, PhD, Audrey J. Brooks, PhD, Jack E. Rowe, PhD.
Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, in press: scheduled for 2011 publication.
This study examined whether Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines cognitive and somatic elements, had an immediate effect on the reduction of anxiety and behaviour associated with specific phobias. The present study utilised a cross-over design with participants (N=22) randomly assigned to either diaphragmatic breathing or EFT as the first treatment. Study measures included a behavioural approach test, Subjective Units of Distress Scale, and Beck Anxiety Inventory. EFT significantly reduced phobia-related anxiety and ability to approach the feared stimulus whether presented as an initial treatment or following diaphragmatic breathing. When presented as the initial treatment, the effects of EFT remained through the presentation of the comparison intervention. Further study of EFT for specific phobias is warranted.
Rapid Treatment of PTSD:
Why Psychological Exposure with Acupoint Tapping May Be Effective
David Feinstein, PhD
Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, (2010), 47(3), 385-402.
Combining brief psychological exposure with the manual stimulation of acupuncture points (acupoints) in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional conditions is an intervention strategy that integrates established clinical principles with methods derived from healing traditions of Eastern cultures. Two randomized controlled trials and six outcome studies using standardized pre- and post-treatment measures with military veterans, disaster survivors, and other traumatized individuals corroborate anecdotal reports and systematic clinical observation in suggesting that (a) tapping on selected acupoints (b) during imaginal exposure (c) quickly and permanently reduces maladaptive fear responses to traumatic memories and related cues. The approach has been controversial.
This is in part because the mechanisms by which stimulating acupoints can contribute to the treatment of serious or longstanding psychological disorders have not been established. Speculating on such mechanisms, the current paper suggests that adding acupoint stimulation to psychological exposure is unusually effective in its speed and power because deactivating signals are sent directly to the amygdala, resulting in reciprocal inhibition and the rapid attenuation of maladaptive fear. This formulation and the preliminary evidence supporting it could, if confirmed, lead to more powerful exposure protocols for treating PTSD.
Single Session EFT for Stress-Related Symptoms After Motor Vehicle Accidents
Larry Burke, MD
Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, (2010), 2(1), 65-72.
Motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are a common cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Energy psychology (EP) approaches such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) are a new form of exposure therapy used to treat PTSD from a variety of different causes. These techniques provide an attractive alternative to more well-established approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy because of their potential for accelerated healing similar to what has been demonstrated with eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. There are only a few reports in the literature of the use of EP for the treatment of PTSD resulting from MVA. This clinical report presents 3 case histories documenting the use of single-session EFT for the treatment of acute psychological trauma immediately after a car accident, urticaria as a component of acute stress disorder 2 weeks after a car accident, and PTSD and whiplash syndrome 11 months after a car accident. These cases are discussed in the context of a review of the current literature on PTSD after MVA and are followed by recommendations for future research.
Application of Emotional Freedom Techniques
Dawson Church, PhD & Audrey Books, PhD
Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, (2010), Aug/Sep, 46-48.
This paper describes an intervention called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements and focuses on resolving emotional trauma that might underlie a presenting condition. Research indicates that EFT is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, and other psychological disorders, as well as certain physical complaints. This article describes the techniques, how EFT is taught in a workshop setting, and provides case examples. The clinical benefits of EFT and future research directions are discussed.
Controversies in energy psychology.
(2009). Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment. 1:1.
In the nearly three decades since tapping on acupuncture points was introduced as a method psychotherapists could use in the treatment of anxiety disorders and other emotional concerns, more than 30 variations of the approach have emerged. Collectively referred to as energy psychology (EP), reports of unusual speed, range, and durability of clinical outcomes have been provocative. Enthusiasts believe EP to be a major breakthrough while sceptics believe the claims are improbable and certainly have not been substantiated with ad- equate data or explanatory models. Additional controversies exist among EP practitioners. This paper addresses the field’s credibility problems among mental health professionals as well as controversies within EP regarding (a) its most viable explanatory models, (b) its most effective protocols, (c) how the approach interfaces with other forms of clinical practice, (d) the conditions it can treat effectively, (e) what should be done when the method does not seem to work, and (f) how the professional community should respond to the large number of practitioners who do not have mental health credentials.
Energy Psychology Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress in Genocide Survivors in a Rwandan Orphanage: A Pilot Investigation.
Barbara Stone, Lori Leyden, & Bert Fellows.
(2009). Energy Psychology: Theory, Research and Treatment, 1:1.
A team of four energy therapy practitioners visited Rwanda in September of 2009 to conduct trauma remediation programs with orphan genocide survivors with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program consisted of holistic, multi-dimensional rapport-building exercises, followed by an intervention using Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Interventions were performed on three consecutive days. Data were collected using the Child Report of Post-traumatic Stress (CROPS) to measure pre- and post-intervention results, using a time-series, repeated measures design. N = 48 orphans at the Remera Mbogo Residential High School Orphanage with clinical PTSD scores completed a pretest. Of these, 34 (71%) completed a post-test assessment. They demonstrated an average reduction in symptoms of 18.8% (p < .001). Seven students (21%) dropped below the clinical cut-off point for PTSD, with average score reductions of 53.7% (p < .001). Follow-ups are planned, to determine if participant gains hold over time. Directions for future research arising out of data gathered in this pilot study are discussed.