Citation (APA Style): Kalla, M., & Stapleton, P. (2016). How Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) may be utilizing memory reconsolidation mechanisms for therapeutic change in neuropsychiatric disorders such as PTSD and phobia: A proposed model. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing (in press).
Maladaptive fear memories attributed to Pavlovian associations are considered to be at the crux of neuropsychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobia. The memory reconsolidation theory suggests that upon retrieval, memories become labile for a few hours, during which yielding a prediction error can lead to therapeutic change. This article proposes that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a therapeutic intervention combining psychotherapy with a somatic acupoint stimulation component may be utilizing memory reconsolidation mechanisms to facilitate therapeutic change. The EFT protocol combines three crucial elements of therapeutic change, namely, retrieval of fear memories, incorporation of new emotional experiences and learnings into the memory creating a prediction error, and finally reinforcement of the new learning.