Citation (APA Style): Stapleton, P., Chatwin, H., William, M., Hutton, A. Pain, A., Porter, B. & Sheldon, T. (2016). Emotional freedom techniques in the treatment of unhealthy eating behaviors and related psychological constructs in adolescents: A randomized controlled pilot trial. Explore, the Journal of Science and Healing, 12(2), 113-122.
Context: In Australia and throughout much of the world, rates of obesity continue to climb as do the prevalence of eating disorders, particularly in adolescents. Psychological consequences of childhood obesity include low self-esteem, depression, body dissatisfaction, and social maladjustment (Young-Hyman et al., 2012).
Objective and Intervention: This feasibility study sought to examine the impact of a six-week Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) group treatment program upon eating behaviours, self-esteem, compassion, and psychological symptoms.
Design: Forty-four students were randomly allocated to either the EFT group or the waitlist control group.
Results: Results revealed a delayed effect for both groups at post-intervention, with improved eating habits, self-esteem, and compassion at follow-up. Findings provide preliminary support for EFT as an effective treatment strategy for increasing healthy eating behaviours and improving associated weight-related psychopathology.
Keywords: EFT, obesity, self-esteem, psychological distress, eating behavior, compassion