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.
Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol.