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EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Found to Help Traumatized Vets

15 Apr

This study from the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine in Santa Rosa CA, examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in veterans receiving mental health services.
Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to either an EFT protocol (n = 30) or standard care/wait list (SOC/WL; n = 29). T he EFT intervention consisted of 6 one hour-long EFT coaching sessions, concurrent with standard care. The two groups were compared before and after the intervention (at 1 month for the SOC/WL group and after six sessions for the EFT group).
The EFT subjects had significantly reduced psychological distress (p < 0.0012) and PTSD symptom levels (p < 0.0001) after. In addition, 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria, compared with 4% in the SOC/WL group.

After the wait period, the SOC/WL subjects received EFT. In a within-subjects longitudinal analysis, 60% no longer met the PTSD clinical criteria after three sessions. This increased to 86% after six sessions for the 49 subjects who ultimately received EFT and remained at 86% at 3 months and at 80% at 6 months..

Citation:  Church D, Hawk C, Brooks AJ, Toukolehto O, Wren M, Dinter I, Stein PPsychological trauma symptom improvement in veterans using emotional freedom techniques: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2013 Feb;201 (2):153-60.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award