Research on EFT
This report gives the
status of research on EFT to date, including information on how you can cite
the references in the field should you wish to do so.
An excellent study by
psychologist Steve Wells and his associates in
The results of the
study are impressive. Those subjects who had learned EFT, as compared
to those in a comparison group who had learned a deep breathing method,
showed significantly greater reduction in their fear of small animals and
insects -- -- both in terms of their ability to approach the feared animal
after the treatment, and their self reported indexes of fear. What is
more, these results held up just as well six to nine months later as they did
at the time of the treatment, showing that the results of EFT are lasting
- an important consideration.
The deep breathing group improved also in their symptoms, but significantly less so. All told, this careful study represents a strong confirmation of EFT as a treatment for phobias and common fears. You can cite the Wells et al. research as follows:
study, conducted by Dr. Paul Swingle and his colleagues (Swingle, Pulos &
Swingle, 2001), studied the effects of EFT on auto accident victims suffering
from post traumatic stress disorder -- an extremely disabling conditioning
that involves unreasonable fears and often panic attacks, physiological
symptoms of stress, nightmares, flashbacks, and other disabling
symptoms. These researchers found that three months after they had
learned EFT (in two sessions) these auto accident victims showed significant
positive changes in their brain waves and in self-reported symptoms of
The Swingle at al.
study has now been written up and submitted for publication. It can be
cited as research since it was presented at a scientific meeting. The
researchers are presently attempting to obtain grant money for a much larger
study based on this investigation. The new study, if funded, would have
more subjects and also a control group. The latter was absent from the
You can use the citation below to report this study:
Swingle, P., Pulos, L., & Swingle, M. (May,
2000). Effects of a meridian-based therapy, EFT, on symptoms of PTSD in
auto accident victims. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology,
In still another
study, Dr. Swingle used EFT as a treatment for children diagnosed with
epilepsy. The children were administered EFT by their parents every
time each day that the parents suspected a seizure might occur. Swingle
found significant reductions in seizure frequency among these very young
children, as well as extensive clinical improvement in the children's E. E.
G. readings after exposure to two weeks of daily in-home EFT treatment
–– an impressive result. This study has not yet been
written up but can be cited as follows:
Swingle, P. (May, 2000). Effects
of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) method on seizure frequency in
children diagnosed with epilepsy. Paper presented at the annual meeting of
the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology,
Research in Progress
Several studies on EFT
are in progress or in the planning stage that should put us considerably
ahead with respect to research when they are completed.
(1) A careful replication of the
Wells et al. study on the use of EFT for fears of small animals and insects
is now in its final stage of data analysis at
The results on immediate retesting were extremely significant (in favor of EFT) and strikingly similar to Wells’ results – even to the failure of the single physiological measure, pulse rate, to show any difference between EFT and the other conditions. The close correspondence between these preliminary results and those of Wells is good news indeed and should greatly heighten the impact of the Wells study when this replication is completed. I will be posting a summary of the final Baker-Seigel findings on this website as soon as this is available.
The study will
consist of a treatment group using EFT, a group using a psycho-education
approach for the same number of weeks as the treatment group (6 weeks), and a
no treatment control group (no treatment does not mean that they may not be
seeing the psychiatrist for medication, but they will not be engaged by the
individual therapist). This will be the first EFT study to use videotaped
instruction to teach EFT its subjects, (Dr. Carrington's Introduction
course), thereby insuring that each subject receives identical instruction in
the method, an important consideration in research.
Future Studies Now in the
Research in any area
of science depends on adequate funding to get off the ground. The
following studies represent an ideal toward which we are striving. For
them, all the mechanisms are in place and an outstanding researcher, Dr.
Harvey Baker, is standing by to oversee a project that involve a series of
graded studies on EFT, each building upon the last.
(2) Some unusual clinical research has
been planned by Father Kurien George and Harvey Baker, to take place in