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Comparison of Effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique in Reducing Anxiety in Patients with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Citation (APA style): Alamdar Baghini, A., Mohammadtehrani, H., Behbodi, M., & Kiamanesh, A. R. (2020). Comparison of effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique in reducing anxiety in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Quarterly of Applied Psychology, 13(4), 625–650.

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine and compare the three therapeutic effects of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in reducing anxiety in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Method: Method was quasi-experimental with three experimental groups, one control group and pretest, posttest, and a two-month follow-up. The statistical population was 486 patients referred to Kerman Neurology and Psychiatry Hospital in 2018. Sixty men were selected in purposeful sampling method and randomly assigned to four groups of 15. In group 1, six 45-minute sessions of Shapiro solo EMDR (2014) were performed. In group 2, six 60-minute sessions of group CBT of Dugas & Robichaud (2007) were performed. In group 3, six 60-minute sessions solo EFT of Church (2014) were performed. All four groups completed the Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg & Jacobs’s Anxiety Inventory (1983) in three stages. Data were analyzed using mixed analysis of variance.

Results: Results showed that at the level of 99% confidence anxiety was reduced as follows: in group 1, state anxiety (F=42.36) and trait (F=12.66); in group 2, state anxiety (F=5.38) and trait; and in group 3, state anxiety (F=15.23) and trait (F=18.50). This effect remained stable at follow-up stage. In addition, among the three methods, EMDR was more effective on state anxiety than the other two interventions (p=0.015). Conclusion: Since, all the three methods can improve behavioral strategies by influencing irrational thoughts and emotion release, they are effective ways to reduce anxiety in PTSD patients.

Keywords

behavioral, cognitive, desensitization, emotional release, eye movements, post-traumatic stress, reprocessing

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