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The effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in reducing depression and anxiety among adults: A pilot study

Research & Studies

The effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in reducing depression and anxiety among adults: A pilot study

Citation (APA Style): Chatwin, H., Stapleton, P., Porter, B., Devine, S., Sheldon, T. (2016). The effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques in reducing depression and anxiety among adults: A pilot study. Integrative Medicine, 15(2), 27-34.

Abstract

Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) places major depressive disorder (MDD), or depression, as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide. Some studies have found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) represents the most superior approach in treating mild to severe symptoms. Recent literature has indicated a number of limitations to this therapeutic approach. An approach that has received increasing attention within the literature is the emotional freedom technique (EFT). 

Objective: The current pilot study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of CBT and EFT in the treatment of depression and comorbid anxiety. 

Design: The research team designed a pilot study structured as a randomized, controlled trial with 2 intervention arms. 

Setting: The study took place at Bond University in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. 

Participants: Participants (n = 10) were local community members who had screened positive for a primary diagnosis of MDD. 

Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to an 8-wk CBT or EFT treatment program, the intervention groups. A sample of individuals from the community was assessed for comparative purposes (control group) (n = 57). 

Outcome Measures: Pre- and postintervention, all participants were interviewed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) 6.0, and they completed the following validated questionnaires: (1) the Beck Depression Inventory, second edition (BDI-2) and (2) the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS-21). 

Results: Findings revealed that both treatment approaches produced significant reductions in depressive symptoms, with the CBT group reporting a significant reduction postintervention, which was not maintained with time. The EFT group reported a delayed effect involving a significant reduction in symptoms at the 3- and 6-mo follow-ups only. Examination of the individual cases revealed clinically significant improvements in anxiety across both interventions. 

Conclusions: Overall, the findings provide evidence to suggest that EFT might be an effective treatment strategy worthy of further investigation.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Techniques, depression, EFT, tapping, anxiety

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

Research & Studies

Reductions in Pain, Depression, and Anxiety After PTSD Symptom Remediation in Veterans

Citation (APA Style): Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2014). Reductions in pain, depression, and anxiety after PTSD symptom remediation in veterans. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 10(3), 162—169.

Abstract

A randomized controlled trial of veterans with clinical levels of PTSD symptoms found significant improvements after EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). While pain, depression, and anxiety were not the targets of treatment, significant improvements in these conditions were found. Subjects (N = 59) received six sessions of EFT coaching supplementary to primary care. They were assessed using the SA-45, which measures 9 mental health symptom domains, and also has 2 general scales measuring the breadth and depth of psychological distress. Anxiety and depression both reduced significantly, as did the breadth and depth of psychological symptoms. Pain decreased significantly during the intervention period (— 41%, p < .0001). Subjects were followed at 3 and 6 months, revealing significant relationships between PTSD, depression, and anxiety at several assessment points. At follow-up, pain remained significantly lower than pretest. The results of this study are consistent with other reports showing that, as PTSD symptoms are reduced, general mental health improves, and that EFT produces long-term gains for veterans after relatively brief interventions.

Key Words

Anxiety, depression, pain, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), veterans.