Citation (APA style): Church, D., Stapleton, P., Sheppard, L., & Carter, B. (2018). Naturally Thin You: Weight loss and psychological symptoms after a six-week online clinical EFT (emotional freedom techniques) course. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 14(2), 131-136. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2017.10.009
Background/objective: Traditional methods of delivering therapeutic interventions have increasingly been supplemented by online courses. The current study investigated the effects of Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in 76 participants enrolled in a six-week online course called Naturally Thin You. Weight, restraint, the power of food in the external environment, happiness, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed before and after the course and at one-year follow-up.
Method: Participants received six live group teleclasses, access to online course materials and a private social media group, and a year of monthly support teleclasses. No particular diet was recommended; the course focused instead on controlling emotional eating and using EFT to treat the emotional triggers associated with food. Clinical EFT’s Borrowing Benefits protocol, in which the group facilitator works with a single participant while others simultaneously self-apply EFT, was used during the teleclasses.
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA compared scores pre- to 12-month follow-up, and significant improvements were found for body weight (p < .001), depression symptoms (p = 0.010), restraint (p = 0.025), and the subjective power of food in the external environment (p = 0.018). Weight decreased an average of 1lb/week during the course, and 2lb/month between pretest and one-year follow-up. On follow-up, no change was observed in PTSD symptoms measured by a brief civilian trauma checklist, or anxiety, and increases in happiness were non-significant. The results indicate Clinical EFT’s utility to address the influence of food in the external environment and assist weight loss, and to promote beneficial long-term change when delivered in an online format.
Keywords: EFT, emotional freedom techniques, online, psychological symptoms, weight loss