EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES – ANXIETY

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. All of these research titles can be found in their original form by clicking ‘here’.

Please click on the title that interests you and you will be taken to the relevant research;

Psychological Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial

Dawson Church, PhD[1] Crystal Hawk, MEd,[2] Audrey Books, PhD,[3] Oliver Toukolehto,[4] Maria Wren, LCSW,[5] Ingrid Dinter,[6] Phyllis Stein, PhD[7]. These data were presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Seattle, Washington, April 7-10, 2010. In peer review.

Abstract

This study examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in military veterans receiving mental health services. Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to EFT (n = 30) or wait-list (n = 29; WL). The EFT intervention consisted of six hour-long EFT coaching sessions concurrent with standard care. PTSD was assessed using the PTSD Checklist-Military (PCL-M). Psychological distress was measured using the Symptom Assessment 45 (SA-45), which has 2 global scales and 9 subscales for conditions such as anxiety and depression. The WL and EFT groups were compared pre- and posttest (at 1 month for the WL group, after 6 sessions for EFT group). EFT participants had significantly less psychological distress on the global and on all but one of subscales on the SA-45 (p < 0.0002) and the PTSD total score (p < 0.0001) at posttest. 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria vs. 4% in the WL. Following the wait-period, WL participants received the EFT intervention. In a within-subjects longitudinal analysis, 60% no longer met PTSD clinical criteria after 3 sessions. This increased to 86% after 6 sessions, and remained at 86% on 3-month follow-up. Statistically significant decreases in psychological distress and PTSD total scores were present after 6 sessions (p < 0.0001), and remained stable at follow-up. The results are consistent with other published reports showing EFTs efficacy at treating PTSD and co-morbid symptoms, and its long-term effects.

The Effect of a Brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Self-Intervention on Anxiety, Depression, Pain and Cravings in Healthcare Workers

Dawson Church, PhD 1 & Audrey J. Brooks, PhD 2

1 Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine, Santa Rosa, CA.

2 Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson

Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, (2010), Oct/Nov (in press).

Abstract

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and craving were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at posttest (all p < .001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p < .001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p < .001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p < .034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p < 0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

Psychological Symptom Change in Veterans After Six Sessions of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT); An Observational Study

Dawson Church, PhD, Linda Geronilla, PhD, & Ingrid Dinter

International Journal of Healing and Caring, (2009, January), 9(1).

Abstract

Protocols to treat veterans with brief courses of therapy are required, in light of the large numbers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other psychological problems. This observational study examined the effects of six sessions of EFT on seven veterans, using a within-subjects, time-series, repeated measures design. Participants were assessed using a well-validated instrument, the SA-45, which has general scales measuring the depth and severity of psychological symptoms. It also contains subscales for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior, phobic anxiety, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoia, psychosis, and somatization. Participants were assessed before and after treatment, and again after 90 days. Interventions were done by two different practitioners using a standardized form of EFT to address traumatic combat memories. Symptom severity decreased significantly by 40% (p < .001), anxiety decreased 46% (p < .001), depression 49% (p < .001), and PTSD 50% (p < .016). These gains were maintained at the 90-day follow-up.

The Treatment of Combat Trauma in Veterans Using EFT: A Pilot Protocol

Dawson Church, PhD

Traumatology, (2010), 15(1), 45-55.

Abstract

With a large number of US military service personnel coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co- morbid psychological conditions, a need exists to find protocols and treatments that are effective in brief treatment timeframes. 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 effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms

Rowe, J. (2005). The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms. Counseling and Clinical Psychology Journal, 2(3):104.

Abstract

Previous research (Salas, 2000; Wells, et al., 2003), theoretical writings (Arenson, 2001, Callahan, 1985, Durlacher, 1994, Flint, 1999, Gallo, 2002, Hover-Kramer, 2002, Lake & Wells, 2003, Lambrou & Pratt, 2000, and Rowe, 2003), and many case reports (www.emofree.com) have suggested that energy psychology is an effective psychotherapy treatment that improves psychological functioning. The purpose of the present study was to measure any changes in psychological functioning that might result from participation in an experiential Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) workshop and to examine the long-term effects. Using a time-series, within-subjects repeated measures design, 102 participants were tested with a short-form of the SCL-90-R (SA-45) 1 month before, at the beginning of the workshop, at the end of the workshop, 1 month after the workshop, and 6 months after the workshop. There was a statistically significant decrease (p < .0005) in all measures of psychological distress as measured by the SA-45 from pre-workshop to post-workshop which held up at the 6 month follow-up.

Self-administered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in Individuals with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Trial

Gunilla Brattberg, MD, School of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden

Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, (2008), Aug/Sep, 30-35.

Abstract

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. The number needed to treat (NNT) regarding recovering from anxiety was 3. NNT for depression was 4.

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. However, it would be of interest to further study this simple and easily accessible self-administered treatment method, which can even be taught over the Internet.

Pilot Study of EFT, WHEE and CBT for Treatment of Test Anxiety in University Students

Daniel J. Benor, Karen Ledger, Loren Toussaint, Greg Hett, & David Zaccaro

Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, (2009, November) 5(6), 338-340.

Abstract

Objective: This study explored test anxiety benefits of Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR (WHEE), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Participants: Canadian university students with severe or moderate test anxiety participated.

Methods: A double-blind, controlled trial of WHEE (n = 5), EFT (n =5), and CBT (n = 5) was conducted. Standardized anxiety measures included: the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-21).

Results: Despite small sample size, significant reductions on the TAI and HSCL-21 were found for WHEE; on the TAI for EFT; and on the HSCL-21 for CBT. There were no significant differences between the scores for the three treatments. In only two sessions WHEE and EFT achieved the equivalent benefits to those achieved by CBT in five sessions. Participants reported high satisfaction with all treatments. EFT and WHEE students successfully transferred their self-treatment skills to other stressful areas of their lives.

Conclusions: WHEE and EFT show promise as effective treatments for test anxiety.

The Effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Emotional Freedom Techniques on Test Anxiety in High School Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nilhan Sezgin, PhD, & Bahar Özcan, MA

Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, (2009), (1)1, 23-30.

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) on test anxiety. A group of 312 high school students enrolled at a private academy were evaluated using the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), which contains Worry and Emotionality subscales. Scores for 70 students demonstrated high levels of test anxiety; these students were randomized into control and experimental groups. During a single treatment session, the control group received instruction in PMR and the experimental group in EFT, which was followed by self-treatment at home. After 2 months, subjects were retested using the TAI. Repeated covariance analysis was performed to determine the effects of EFT and PMR on the mean TAI score, as well as the 2 subscale scores. Each group completed a sample examination at the beginning and end of the study, and their mean scores were computed. Thirty-two of the initial 70 subjects completed all the study’s requirements, and all statistical analyses were done on this group. A statistically significant decrease occurred in the test anxiety scores of both the experimental and control groups. The EFT group had a significantly greater decrease than the PMR group (p < .05). The scores of the EFT group were lower on the Emotionality and Worry subscales (p < .05). Both groups scored higher on the test examinations after treatment. Although the improvement was greater for the EFT group, the difference was not statistically significant.