Evaluation of a meridian-based intervention, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), for reducing specific phobias of small animals

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Sep;59(9):943-66. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10189.

Abstract

This study explored whether a meridian-based procedure, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), can reduce specific phobias of small animals under laboratory-controlled conditions. Randomly assigned participants were treated individually for 30 min with EFT (n = 18) or a comparison condition, diaphragmatic breathing (DB) (n = 17). ANOVAS revealed that EFT produced significantly greater improvement than did DB behaviorally and on three self-report measures, but not on pulse rate. The greater improvement for EFT was maintained, and possibly enhanced, at six- to nine-months follow-up on the behavioral measure. These findings suggest that a single treatment session using EFT to reduce specific phobias can produce valid behavioral and subjective effects. Some limitations of the study also are noted and clarifying research suggested.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Desensitization, Psychologic*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome