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What’s the Point of Tapping? A Review

Research & Studies

What’s the Point of Tapping? A Review

Citation (APA style): Pfeiffer, A. (2018). What’s the point of tapping? A review. Psychotherapeutenjournal (German) 3, 235-243.

Abstract

The so-called tapping techniques like process and embodiment-focused psychology (PEP) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) have long since found their way into everyday clinical treatment in Germany. Clinical experience indicates that conditions with a high level of physiological emotional are believed to respond well to tapping techniques. However, based on the esoteric-sounding energy hypotheses on which such treatments rest, many classically trained psychotherapists are critical of these techniques. What do the scientific studies of recent years say about the effectiveness of tapping techniques? For which clinical situations is the application of tapping to be recommended? This review is intended to provide an insight into the current state of research, to critically analyze the individual studies, and to compare their results with studies of other forms of psychotherapy. On this basis, the scientific hypotheses of these therapies is also discussed.

Key Words

Emotional Freedom Techniques, EFT, tapping.

Research on Acupoint Tapping Therapies Proliferating Around the World

Research & Studies

Research on Acupoint Tapping Therapies Proliferating Around the World

Citation (APA Style): Freedom, J., Hux, M., & Warner, J. (2022). Research on acupoint tapping therapies proliferating around the world. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 14(1), 22–37. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2022.14.1.JF

Abstract

Background
The evidence base for acupoint tapping including Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) includes over 120 clinical trials showing relatively rapid and durable improvements for a range of psychological and physical conditions. It supports the premise that tapping is an active ingredient and shows associated physiologic changes. This evidence is based in standard Western literature databases such as EBSCO and overwhelmingly in English.

Objective
The current report explores international and regional research on EFT not previously known in the Western literature evidence base.

Methods and Results
A search of ResearchGate found 86 research studies on acupoint tapping not identified in standard Western databases. A systematic search of 21 databases using the EBSCO search engine yielded an additional five previously unknown papers for a total of 91 research studies. These studies were published in regional and international journals (71% in Indonesia) with most published primarily in languages other than English (81% had only title and/or abstract available in English). EFT was used in 47% of the studies, and the remaining studies used “Spiritual EFT” (SEFT), a variation developed in Indonesia combining tapping with spiritual affirmations from the Quran. The majority (84%) were single group or comparative clinical trials and 5% were literature reviews. The target issue included a range of psychological or medical conditions such as anxiety (29%), depression (15%), and hypertension (11%). In a further step, the potential magnitude of this additional research base was explored using Google Scholar. Challenges include inconsistent quality of translations, limited search capabilities of Google Scholar, lack of full text translated into English, and reasons why this literature is not found in the major databases.

Conclusion
This review identified a large number of studies that had been “invisible” in the West due to their having been published in non-English-language journals. They demonstrate growing interest in EFT throughout the world. In comparison with English-language EFT databases, these studies tend to be more frequently performed in treatment settings such as hospitals, clinics, and universities, and they often address medical diagnoses such as diabetes, hypertension, and pain as well as psychological conditions. In addition, they apply EFT with populations rarely focused upon in Western EFT studies, such as prisoners, addicts, cancer patients, and diabetics. Finally, these studies provide a valuable perspective on how acupoint tapping is being used around the world in real-life settings.

Key Words

Tapping, EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, energy psychology, acupoint tapping, Spiritual EFT.

Integrating the Complementary Therapies of Energy Psychology and Dreamwork – the Dream to Freedom Method

Research & Studies

Integrating the Complementary Therapies of Energy Psychology and Dreamwork – the Dream to Freedom Method

Citation (APA Style): Hoss, R. J., Hoss, L. M., Church, D. (2022) Integrating the complementary therapies of Energy Psychology and Dreamwork – the Dream to Freedom Method. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 7(3):27; doi:10.21926/obm.icm.2203024.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the integration of dreamwork and Energy Psychology (EP) can enhance outcomes in the treatment of a range of psychological disorders. The therapeutic process often begins with a peeling away of emotional layers until underlying issues surface. When utilizing dreamwork, however, it is possible to begin at a deeper level. Because dreams address salient unresolved emotional conflicts, dreamwork can quickly bring into consciousness previously unconscious emotional issues that are at the source of psychological difficulties. Utilizing techniques from energy psychology to process the material that emerges in dreams is a particularly potent way of engaging the emotional content of the dream and utilizing it to inform the dreamer’s self-understanding and direction. Energy Psychology, in its most frequently utilized format, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), combines imaginal exposure and cognitive restructuring with the somatic stimulation of acupuncture points by tapping on them. More than 100 clinical trials demonstrate the unusual speed and clinical efficacy of EFT. The authors of this paper have combined dreamwork and EFT into a therapeutic protocol we call the Dream to Freedom (DTF) method. In addition to providing theoretical underpinnings of the approach, we present details of the use of the DTF protocol with seven subjects. In each case, underlying stressful memories triggering psychological symptoms were revealed, and the stress reaction to those specific memories was minimized or eliminated. In all seven case reports, DTF appears to have provided a systematic protocol for enhancing the emotional problem-solving function of dreams, providing each subject with insight towards creating future action steps.

Key Words

Energy Psychology, Emotional Freedom Techniques, (EFT), tapping, stress response, memory reconsolidation, dream work, gestalt therapy, dream analysis, dream to freedom (DTF).

The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Research & Studies

The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers

Citation (APA Style): Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 9(5), 40-44.

Abstract

This study examined whether self-intervention with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy that combines a cognitive and a somatic element, had an effect on healthcare workers’ psychological distress symptoms. Participants were 216 attendees at 5 professional conferences. Psychological distress, as measured by the SA-45, and self-rated pain, emotional distress, and cravings were assessed before and after 2-hours of self-applied EFT, utilizing a within-subjects design. A 90-day follow-up was completed by 53% of the sample with 61% reporting using EFT subsequent to the workshop. Significant improvements were found on all distress subscales and ratings of pain, emotional distress, and cravings at post-test (all p<.001). Gains were maintained at follow-up for most SA-45 scales. The severity of psychological symptoms was reduced (-45%, p<.001) as well as the breadth (-40%, p<.001), with significant gains maintained at follow-up. Greater subsequent EFT use correlated with a greater decrease in symptom severity at follow-up (p<.034, r=.199), but not in breadth of symptoms (p<.0117, r=.148). EFT provided an immediate effect on psychological distress, pain, and cravings that was replicated across multiple conferences and healthcare provider samples.

Keywords

Emotional Freedom Techniques, psychological distress, emotional distress, cravings

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.