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Scientific Research on EFT Tapping

Welcome to the EFT Research Bibliography

There are over 5,000 stories on this web site written by people who have recovered from a wide variety of physical and psychological challenges using EFT. This anecdotal evidence is consistent with rigorous scientific research showing that EFT is an “evidence-based” method. Studies show that EFT is effective as a self-help tool, while it is also used in many healthcare settings by medical and mental health professionals.

This EFT research bibliography lists more than 100 papers published in peer-reviewed professional journals. To provide a context for this research, which has been shaped by the criteria for evidence-based treatments defined by the American Psychological Association’s Division 12 Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments, we begin with on overview of the criteria.

The abstracts are organized into a number of categories. These include Outcome Studies, Clinical Reports, Mechanisms Papers, Review Articles and Meta-Analyses, and Skeptical and Opposing Viewpoints. Outcome studies are further divided by condition, such as anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). From the links at the top of this page you can jump to any of these sections immediately.

APA Standards for Empirically Validated Treatments

EFT Universe supports the evidence-based standards defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) Task Force (“APA standards” for short). These define an “empirically validated treatment” as one for which there are two different controlled trials conducted by independent research teams.

For a treatment to be designated as “efficacious,” the studies must demonstrate that the treatment is better than a wait list, placebo, or established efficacious treatment.

To be designated as “probably efficacious,” a treatment must have been shown to be better than a wait list in two studies that meet these criteria, or are conducted by the same research team rather than two independent teams. 

The APA standards advocate that studies contain sufficient subjects to achieve a level of statistical significance of p < .05 or greater, which means that there is only one possibility in 20 that the results are due to chance. The status of EFT as an evidence-based practice is summarized in this statement published in the APA journal Review of General Psychology: 

“A literature search identified 51 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues. The 18 randomized controlled trials in this sample were critically evaluated for design quality, leading to the conclusion that they consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association were also applied and found to be met for a number of conditions, including PTSD.” (Feinstein, 2012)

The State of EFT Research

The results of all the published studies listed below are statistically significant. Many of them are randomized controlled trials or RCTs, a design generally regarded as the Gold Standard of research. EFT has met the APA standards as an “efficacious” treatment for phobias, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

There are several definitions in the field of medicine (as distinguished from the field of psychology) of what constitutes an evidence-based treatment. One of the most useful comes from the US government’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

It requires a standardized description of the method in the form of a manual and training materials, documentation that the treatment was delivered with fidelity to that method, the use of validated and reliable outcome measures, corrections for dropouts (such as an intent-to-treat analysis), appropriate statistical analysis, sample sizes sufficient to produce a probability of p < .05 or better, and publication in a peer-reviewed professional journal. NREPP has validated Thought Field Therapy (TFT), on which EFT is based, as an evidence-based practice, and this designation for EFT is expected to follow shortly.

EFT has been researched in more than 10 countries, by more than 60 investigators, whose results have been published in more than 20 different peer-reviewed journals.

These include distinguished top-tier journals such as Journal of Clinical Psychology, the APA journals Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and Review of General Psychology, and the oldest psychiatric journal in North America, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

EFT research includes investigators affiliated with many different institutions.

In the US, these range from Harvard Medical School, to the University of California at Berkeley, to City University of New York, to Walter Reed Military Medical Center, to Texas A&M University, to JFK University. Institutions in other countries whose faculty have contributed to EFT research include Staffordshire University (United Kingdom), Lund University (Sweden), Ankara University (Turkey), Santo Tomas University (Philippines), Lister Hospital (England), Cesar Vallejo University (Peru), Bond University (Australia), and Griffith University (Australia).

The wide variety of institutions, peer-reviewed journals, investigators, and settings that have, in independent research, found EFT to be efficacious, are one indication of the breadth of existing research results.

The next frontier of EFT research is replication of the studies that have not yet been replicated, and investigations into the physiological changes that occur during EFT, using such tools as gene expression analysis, MEGs (magnetoencephalograms), fMRIs, and neurotransmitter and hormone assays.

A number of meta-analyses, combining the results of many RCTs that meet the APA standards, have been published. Meta-analyses are considered to be at the top of the “hierarchy of evidence” because they combine the results of a whole body of scientific literature to measure “treatment effect.” This uses a measure called Cohen’s d (Cohen, 1988) or a slightly different calculation called Hedges’ g.

This scale ranges from a small treatment effect, d = 0.2 to a moderate effect, d = 0.5 to a large effect of d = 0.8. Meta-analyses show EFT to have a large treatment effect for anxiety, depression, and PTSD. For anxiety, d = 1.23 (Clond, 2016), for depression d = 1.31 (Nelms & Castel, 2016) and for PTSD, d = 2.96 (Sebastian & Nelms, 2016).

The EFT Universe training and certification program is based on “Clinical EFT,” a consistent and reliable protocol supported by this extensive base of evidence and clinical practice, and in conformity with the APA standards. EFT Universe trainings are accredited for CE/CME for doctors (American Medical Association), nurses (American Nurses Credentialing Commission), psychologists (American Psychological Association), social workers (NASWB), and many other professional organizations.

Outcome Studies, Clinical Reports, Mechanisms Research, and Review Articles

There are several kinds of research papers listed on these pages. The first is “outcome” research. These studies compare the medical or psychological outcomes of two groups of people with similar symptoms, or the same sample before and after EFT. Outcome studies measure changes in, for instance, pain, depression, or PTSD symptoms.

While an outcome study is designed to answer the research question “Does this work?” the second kind of paper asks the question “How does it work in the body?” With EFT having been shown in many outcome studies to work very quickly and reliably for a variety of ailments, researchers have also studied the physiological mechanisms of action by which such rapid healing is possible. So the second category of paper you will find below is mechanisms papers.

The third category of paper is the “clinical report.” Clinical reports describe the use of EFT with special groups, such as people with epilepsy, veterans, children, refugees, or prisoners. They may present a single case.

Next, there are “review papers.” These systematically gather together all the published evidence about a topic, present it in a structured manner, and evaluate that body of knowledge.

There is also a section listing papers written by skeptics and opponents of EFT. Despite a large and consistent evidence base, there are many professionals who remain unconvinced, some of whom actively campaign against the use of EFT or further research into EFT. You can make up your own mind after reading the arguments before and against.

How the EFT Research Pages Are Organized

For convenience, and to organize the large number of studies referenced on this site, outcome studies are presented first, by the condition for which data was collected, e.g. Depression, Pain, etc. The titles of studies are listed below the heading. If a meta-analysis is available, it is always listed first. If you click on a title, you jump to the paper’s abstract, and if available, the full text of the paper, or a location online where you can obtain it.

A study in which the primary outcome was PTSD symptoms might have also collected data on secondary outcomes such as pain. If so, the study may appear under both headings. The abstract tells you the treatment protocol, number of subjects, assessments used, change in symptoms, and statistical significance. Below outcome studies, clinical reports, mechanisms papers, and review articles are listed.

All the studies listed on this page have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals or submitted for publication after being presented at professional conferences, with a few exceptions. These studies are listed at the bottom of the page under “Informal or Unpublished Research.” These are listed in a separate section since they have not met the rigorous standards inherent in peer review.

Many of the studies on this page have been performed by a team of dedicated volunteers at the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare. A great need exists for money and expertise to perform the next level of research on EFT, to pay for genetic tests, lab assays, and data analysis.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation or bequest to EFT research, you may do so here through the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare web site. EFT Info and Disclaimer Document.

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.

EFT for anxiety: A systematic review with meta-analysis

EFT as an Alternative Therapy to Reduce Anxiety Disorders and Depression in People Who Are Positive Covid-19

App-based delivery of Clinical EFT: Cross-sectional study of app user self-ratings

EFT to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: A service evaluation

Reducing mathematics anxiety among students with pseudo-dyscalculia in Ibadan through numerical cognition and EFT: Moderating effect of mathematics efficacy

Tapping for PEAS: EFT in reducing Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome (PEAS) in university students

Efficacy of EFT in reducing public speaking anxiety: A randomized controlled trial

Breathing therapy and EFT on public speaking anxiety in Turkish nursing students: A randomized controlled study

Reductions in pain, depression, and anxiety after PTSD symptom remediation in veterans

EFT and breathing awareness to reduce childbirth fear: A randomized controlled study

The effect of progressive muscular relaxation and EFT on test anxiety in high school students: A randomized controlled trial

Tapping for success: A pilot study to explore if EFT can reduce anxiety and enhance academic performance in university students

EFT: Stress and anxiety management for students and staff in school settings

Tapping your way to success: Using EFT to reduce anxiety and improve communication skills in social work students

EFT reduces anxiety among women undergoing surgery

Effectiveness of music therapy and EFT on test anxiety in Turkish nursing students: A randomised controlled trial

Effectiveness of a school-based EFT intervention for promoting student wellbeing

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EFT in reducing anxiety and depression in Indian adults

Is EFT generalizable? Comparing effects in sport science students versus complementary therapy students

The effect of a brief EFT self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Group counseling with systematic desensitization and EFT to reduce public speaking anxiety

Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of EFT and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings

The effect of EFT on stress and anxiety in nursing students: A pilot study

EFT: An alternative therapy in destressing

The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and EFT in reducing depression and anxiety among adults: A pilot study

Effectiveness of EFT on occupational stress for preschool teachers

EFT and anxiety level of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention

A randomized controlled comparison of EFT and cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce adolescent anxiety: A pilot study

Interventions to reduce anxiety for gifted children and adolescents

Group counseling with systematic desensitization and EFT to reduce public speaking anxiety

Dismantling an energy psychology technique for communication apprehension: A randomized mixed methods trial

Pilot study of EFT, WHEE and CBT for treatment of test anxiety in university students

Psychological symptom change after group application of EFT

Psychological and physiological symptoms of psoriasis after group EFT

The use of EFT in women with panic disorder: A pilot study

Reducing anxiety in dental patients using EFT: A pilot study

The effect of EFT on patients with dental anxiety: A pilot study

Self-administered EFT in individuals with fibromyalgia: A randomized trial

Can EFT be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions? Results of a service evaluation in Sandwell

Case series of panic disorder patients treated with Oriental medical treatments and EFT

Assessment of EFT: An alternative treatment for fear

Methodological problems in Waite & Holder (2003) preclude meaningful interpretations about EFT

The effectiveness of EFT for optimal test performance: A randomized controlled trial

The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and non-randomized trials of EFT for the treatment of depression

The effectiveness of EFT on depression of postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial 

EFT to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: A service evaluation

Brief group intervention using EFT for depression in college students: A randomized controlled trial

Reductions in pain, depression, and anxiety after remediation of PTSD symptoms in veterans

Can EFT be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions? Results of a service evaluation in Sandwell

Is acupoint stimulation an active ingredient in EFT? A controlled trial of teacher burnout

Depression symptoms improve after successful weight loss with EFT: A randomized controlled trial

The effect of a brief EFT self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EFT in reducing anxiety and depression in Indian adults

Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of EFT and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings

The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and EFT in reducing depression and anxiety among adults: A pilot study

Psychological symptom change after group application of EFT

Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of EFT: An observational study

Self-administered EFT in individuals with fibromyalgia: A randomized trial

The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms 

The treatment of combat trauma in veterans using EFT: A pilot protocol 

A feasibility study: EFT for depression in Australian adults

EFT effects on psychoimmunological factors of chemically pulmonary injured veterans

Pain, range of motion, and psychological symptoms in a population with frozen shoulder: A randomized controlled dismantling study of Clinical EFT

Investigation on EFT effectiveness in diabetic patients’ blood sugar control

The effectiveness of EFT for improving the physical, mental, and emotional health of people with chronic diseases and/or mental health conditions: A systemic review protocol

Effects of EFT on the reduction of chronic pain in adults: A pilot study

The lived experience of chronic pain and the impact of brief EFT group therapy on coping 

EFT to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: A service evaluation

TBI symptoms improve after PTSD remediation with EFT

Effect of EFT on perceived stress, quality of life, and cortisol salivary levels in tension-type headache sufferers: A randomized controlled trial

Self-administered EFT in individuals with fibromyalgia: A randomized trial

EFT as an effective adjunctive treatment in the neurotherapeutic treatment of seizure disorders 

Making sense of chronic disease using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): An existential view of illness 

The treatment of combat trauma in veterans using EFT: A pilot protocol

Neurophysiological indicators of EFT treatment of posttraumatic stress

Reductions in pain, depression, and anxiety after PTSD symptom remediation in veterans

Psychological and physiological symptoms of psoriasis after group EFT: A pilot study

A preliminary study for the evaluation of the effects of EFT for insomnia in the elderly

A comparison of EFT—Insomnia (EFT-I) and Sleep Hygiene Education (SHE) in a geriatric population: A randomized controlled trial

EFT and anxiety level of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention

The effectiveness of a training program based on EFT in upgrading feelings of happiness for diabetics in Gaza

The effect of a brief EFT self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

The effectiveness of EFT on the somatic symptoms of fibromyalgia

The effectiveness of EFT in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis

EFT to treat posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans: Review of the evidence, survey of practitioners, and proposed clinical guidelines

The manual stimulation of acupuncture points in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: A review of Clinical EFT

Guidelines for the treatment of PTSD using Clinical EFT

A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for PTSD: EMDR vs. EFT

Psychological trauma symptom improvement in veterans using EFT: A randomized controlled trial

EFT remediates PTSD and psychological symptoms in veterans: A randomized controlled replication trial

Research Review: Psychological and psychosocial treatments for children and young people with post-traumatic stress disorder: A network meta-analysis 

CAM and energy psychology techniques remediate PTSD symptoms in veterans and spouses

Borrowing benefits: Group treatment with Clinical EFT is associated with simultaneous reductions in posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression symptoms

Efficacy of two evidence-based therapies, EFT and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for the treatment of gender violence in the Congo: A randomized controlled trial

Effects of integrative PTSD treatment in a military health setting

Epigenetic effects of PTSD remediation in veterans using Clinical EFT: A randomized controlled pilot study

Randomized controlled study comparing two psychological therapies for PTSD: EFT vs. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

EFT and resiliency in veterans at risk for PTSD: A randomized controlled trial

Single session reduction of the intensity of traumatic memories in abused adolescents: A randomized controlled trial

Efficacy of EFT provided by coaches vs. licensed therapists in veterans with PTSD 

Does combining EFT and hypnosis have an effect on sexual assault—specific posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms? 

Neurophysiological indicators of EFT Treatment of posttraumatic stress

Post-earthquake rehabilitation of clinical PTSD in Haitian seminarians

The impact of EFT and Matrix Reimprinting on the civilian survivors of war in Bosnia: A pilot study

Psychological symptom change in veterans after six sessions of EFT: An observational study

Six trauma imprints treated with combination intervention: Critical incident stress debriefing and Thought Field Therapy (TFT) or EFT

Telephone delivery of EFT remediates PTSD symptoms in veterans

The treatment of combat trauma in veterans using EFT: A pilot protocol

The efficacy of EFT for treating trauma in a female population following an earthquake in Indonesia 

Established and emerging PTSD treatments 

The use of Advanced Integrative Therapy with C-PTSD and intergenerational trauma transmission: A case study

Food for thought: A randomized controlled trial of EFT and cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of food cravings

Naturally thin you: Weight loss and psychological symptoms after a six-week online clinical EFT course

Skinny Genes’ Six-week, Online, Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques Program: Durable Weight Loss and Improved Psychological Symptoms

An initial investigation of neural changes in overweight adults with food cravings after EFT

Online delivery of EFT in the treatment of food cravings and weight management: A randomised controlled trial

Portion perfection and EFT to assist bariatric patients post surgery: A randomised control trial

A randomized clinical trial of a meridian-based intervention for food cravings with six month follow-up

Clinical benefits of Emotional Freedom Techniques on food cravings at 12-months follow-up: A randomized controlled trial

Emotional Freedom Techniques for food cravings in overweight adults: A comparison of treatment length

Emotional Freedom Techniques in the treatment of unhealthy eating behaviors and related psychological constructs in adolescents: A randomized controlled pilot trial

The effect of a brief EFT self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of EFT and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings

Energy Psychology in the treatment of eating disorders

The effect of EFT on psychological symptoms in addiction treatment: A pilot study

Quitting smoking: How to use Emotional Freedom Techniques

Practical application of Emotional Freedom Techniques for food cravings

Comparison of the effectiveness of two modalities of group delivery of EFT intervention for food cravings: Online versus in-person

The effect of EFT on students’ video game addiction

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 such as scores on symptom assessments or they may describe the ways in which practitioners can work with this population.

The effect of EFT on nurses’ stress, anxiety, and burnout levels during the COVID-19 pandemic: A randomized controlled study

Is online treatment as effective as in-person treatment?: Psychological change in two relationship skills groups

Energy Psychology: Practices and theories of new combinations of psychotherapy

Supporting chronic disease healthcare through remote EFT Treatment and self-care: An evaluation using the WHO determinants of health

EFT entry in The Sage Handbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy

Borrowing benefits: Clinical EFT as an immediate stress reduction skill in the workplace

EFT: Stress and anxiety management for students and staff in school settings

A virtual emotional freedom practitioner to deliver physical and emotional therapy

EFT: Finally, a unifying theory for the practice of holistic nursing, or too good to be true?

Application of EFT

Words to tap by: The use of language in Energy Psychology protocols 

EFT–how to make it mainstream; a thematic analysis of practitioners’ views

Change is possible: EFT with life-sentence and veteran prisoners at San Quentin State Prison

Psychological and medical applications of certain innovative therapies in correctional settings: Clinician, staff, and client observations from three institutions 

Effect of EFT on anger symptoms in Hwabyung patients: A comparison with the progressive muscle relaxation technique in a pilot randomized controlled trial 

EFT: A safe treatment intervention for many trauma-based issues

A survey of energy psychology practitioners: Who they are, what they do, who they help

Determining highly desirable traits of an effective EFT practitioner: A Delphi study

Emotional acupuncture–Nursing Standard

Energy Psychology and psychotherapy: A study of the use of Energy Psychology in psychotherapy practice 

Trauma-based energy psychology treatment is associated with client rehabilitation at an addiction clinic 

Subjective dimensions of meaning in the clinical encounter: Unifying personhood and disease 

Stress management for the treatment of sleep disorders in lawyers: Pilot experimental study in Athens, Hellas

A virtual emotional freedom therapy practitioner demonstration

The effect of EFT therapy on the reduction of aggression in single mothers

Qualitative analysis of the influence of an EFT group treatment program for suppressed anger patients

EFT remediates dental fear: A case series 

Six sessions of EFT Remediate one veteran’s combat-related PTSD

Clinical story of a 6-year-old boy’s eating phobia: An integrated approach

EFT for traumatic brain injury

Treating trauma using shamanic and non-local methods: Theory, mechanisms, and relevance to current clinical practice

EFT, in The Practising Midwife

EFT: Energy psychology integration in the workplace setting

Energy Psychology treatment for orphan heads of households in Rwanda: An observational study

Energy Psychology treatment for posttraumatic stress in genocide survivors in a Rwandan orphanage: A pilot investigation

Integrating Energy Psychology into treatment for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Preliminary evidence for the treatment of type I ‘yips’: The efficacy of EFT

Single-session EFT for stress-related symptoms after motor vehicle accidents

It helps me to love my work: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the senior therapist experience of using Energy Psychology in psychotherapy for trauma

Energy for healing trauma: Energy Psychology and the efficient treatment of trauma and PTSD

Six trauma imprints treated with combination intervention: Critical incident stress debriefing and Thought Field Therapy (TFT) or EFT

Psychological intervention including EFT for an adult with motor vehicle accident related PTSD: A case study

A case report of schizophreniform disorder treated by Oriental medical treatment and EFT

A case report of a somatization disorder patient with histrionic personality disorder

Six sessions of EFT remediate one veteran’s combat-related post-traumatic stress disorderW

World trade center: A longitudinal case study for treating post traumatic stress disorder with EFT and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

A case report of a patient with heart and gallbladder somatization disorder induced by stress

Psychological intervention including EFT for an adult with motor vehicle accident related PTSD: A case study

A case study of Tourette’s syndrome with adjunct neurofeedback treatment

Veterans: Finding their way home with EFT

Working with military service members and veterans: A field report of obstacles and opportunities

Effect of trance techniques on emotion and pain: Utilizing NLP and EFT

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.

Emotion regulation through bifocal processing of fear inducing and disgust inducing stimuli

Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) improves multiple physiological markers of health

The effect of EFT on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial

Reexamining the effect of EFT on stress biochemistry: A randomized controlled trial

Epigenetic effects of PTSD remediation in veterans using Clinical EFT: A randomized controlled pilot study

Pain, range of motion, and psychological symptoms in a population with frozen shoulder: A randomized controlled dismantling study of Clinical EFT

Do noncoding RNAs mediate the efficacy of Energy Psychology?

Differential gene expression after EFT treatment: A novel pilot protocol for salivary mRNA assessment

How therapeutic tapping can alter neural correlates of emotional prosody processing in anxiety

Neurophysiological indicators of EFT treatment of posttraumatic stress

EcoMeditation and EFT produce elevated brain-wave patterns and states of consciousness

Modulating gene expression through psychotherapy: The contribution of non-invasive somatic interventions

Taming the amygdala: An EEG analysis of exposure therapy for the traumatized

EFT as an effective adjunctive treatment in the neurotherapeutic treatment of seizure disorders

Is acupoint tapping an active ingredient or an inert placebo in EFT? A randomized controlled dismantling study

EFT for stress in students: A randomized controlled dismantling study

A cartography of energy medicine: From subtle anatomy to energy physiology

Energy healing at the frontier of genomics

How EFT may be utilizing memory reconsolidation mechanisms for therapeutic change in neuropsychiatric disorders such as PTSD and phobia: A proposed model

Energy Psychology in rehabilitation: Origins, clinical applications, and theory

The neurochemistry of counterconditioning: Acupressure desensitization in psychotherapy

A neurobiological basis for the observed peripheral sensory modulation of emotional responses

Evidence and potential mechanisms for mindfulness practices and energy psychology for obesity and binge-eating disorder
Integrating the Complementary Therapies of Energy Psychology and Dreamwork – the Dream to Freedom Method

The Dream to Freedom Technique, a methodology for integrating the complementary therapies of Energy Psychology and dreamwork

Review Articles and 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.

Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy

Application of EFT

Applications of Energy Psychology in Addressing the Psychological Roots of Illness

Attachment and Energy Psychology: Explorations at the Interface of Bodily, Mental, Relational, and Transpersonal Aspects of Human Behavior and Experience

Clinical EFT as an Evidence-Based Practice for the Treatment of Psychological and Physiological Conditions

Clinical EFT as Single Session Therapy: Cases, Research, Indications, and Cautions

Complementary and Alternative Medicine in VA Specialized PTSD Treatment Programs

Controversies in Energy Psychology

Disaster Mental Health Community Planning: A Manual for Trauma-informed Collaboration

The Effectiveness of EFT in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-analysis

EFT to Treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans: Review of the Evidence, Survey of Practitioners, and Proposed Clinical Guidelines

EFT as a Practice for Supporting Chronic Disease Healthcare: A Practitioners’ Perspective

EFT for Anxiety: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis

EFT for Psychological Symptoms and Disorders (textbook chapter)

EFT Scope and Practice Areas

The Effectiveness of Body-oriented Psychotherapy: A Review of the Literature

The Efficacy of Acupoint Stimulation in the Treatment of Psychological Distress: A Meta-analysis

Efficacy of 15 Emerging Interventions for the Treatment of PTSD: A Systematic Review

Emerging Trauma Therapies: Critical Analysis and Discussion of Three Novel Approaches

Empirically Supported Psychological Treatments: The Challenge of Evaluating Clinical Innovations

Energy Psychology: A Review of the Preliminary Evidence​

Energy Psychology: Efficacy, Speed, Mechanisms

Energy Psychology In Disaster Relief

Energy Psychology In Rehabilitation: Origins, Clinical Applications, and Theory

Energy Psychology – Special Issue of New Jersey Psychologist

Energy Psychology — Practices and Theories of New Combinations of Psychotherapy

Energy Psychology in the Treatment of PTSD: Psychobiology and Clinical Principles

Energy Psychology: Time for a Second Look

Established and Emerging PTSD Treatments

Evidence and Potential mechanisms for Mindfulness Practices and Energy Psychology for Obesity and Binge-eating Disorder

Is Tapping on Acupuncture Points an Active Ingredient in EFT? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Comparative Studies

The Manual Stimulation of Acupuncture Points in the Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Clinical EFT

Mental Health Wellness and Biofield Therapies: An Integrative Review

Mindful Energy Psychology: History, Theory, Research, and Practice

A Narrative Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of EFT

Oriental Medical Interventions for PTSD: A Model of Oriental Medicine for Disaster Mental Health

Perceptions, Reflections, and Guidelines for Using Energy Psychology: A Distillation of 800+ Surveys and Interviews with Practitioners and Clients

Performance Anxiety

Rapid Treatment of PTSD: Why Psychological Exposure with Acupoint Tapping May Be Effective

Research Review: Psychological and Psychosocial Treatments for Children and Young People with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: A Network Meta-analysis

A Review of CAM Modalities for the Prevention and Treatment of PTSD

State-of-the-Art Prevention and Treatment of PTSD: Pharmacotherapy, Psychotherapy, and Nonpharmacological Somatic Therapies

Strategies for an Integrative Medicine Practice

Stress and Health: Symptoms and Techniques of Psychotherapeutic Management

Stress Management Techniques: Evidence-Based Procedures That Reduce Stress and Promote Health

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized and Non-randomized Trials of EFT for the Treatment of Depression

Theoretical and Methodological Problems in Research on EFT and Other Meridian-based Therapies

Therapists’ Observations in Reduction of Unpleasant Emotions Following Advanced Integrative Therapy Interventions

Thought Field Therapy and Its Derivatives: Rapid Relief of Mental Health Problems Through Tapping on the Body

Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Basis for Treating Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Theory With Illustrative Cases

Treatment Guidelines for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (German language)

Trends In Meridian-Based Psychotherapy — A Review of Research on EFT

What’s the Point of Tapping? A Review

Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny: Behavioral Epigenetics and the Role of Emotions In Health

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.” In the entry for EFT, these Wikipedia editors feature newspaper reports, opinion pieces, and review articles attacking the method 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. EFT’s 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 that the millions of people suffering from devastating conditions such as PTSD and major depression have 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.

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.

Influence of Spiritual Therapy EFT (SEFT) on cortisol levels and immunoglobulin E (study of anxiety in pregnant women in independent practice midwives Semarang)

Can Matrix Reimprinting be effective in the treatment of emotional conditions in a public health setting? Results of a U.K. pilot study

The influence of Gayatri mantra and EFT on quality of life of post-stroke patients 

Applying CBT and TFT in Kurdistan region of Iraq: A retrospective case series study of mental-health interventions in a setting of political instability and armed conflicts 

The effect of SEFT therapy on the anxiety of NAPZA (narcotics, psychotropic, and other addictive substances) residents 

Therapy SEFT for controlling the level of depression in people with HIV and AIDS 

The comparison between laughter and SEFT therapies effect towards stress for the elderly people 

Changes in psychological symptoms after treatment with a novel therapy, the Phoenix Protocol: A case series 

Spiritual EFT intervention to reduce pain in cancer patients 

Spiritual Emotional Freedom Techniques (SEFT) improves quality of life in women experiencing a landslide disaster

The effectiveness of an SQ-EFT (Spiritual Quranic Emotional Freedom Techniques) intervention in patients with schizophrenia

Effectiveness of Spiritual EFT (SEFT) intervention in schizophrenia with depression anxiety stress

Pain and anxiety reduction of first stage maternity mothers using SEFT intervention 

Evaluating a 3-week model for reducing symptoms of stress in traumatized youth using the Trauma Tapping Technique (TTT) for self-help: A pilot trial