At our most recent hypnotherapy training we began our first test of the EFT/TFT paradigm.
We did a simple experiment for our first project.
We divided 17 people into two groups. One group was given Callahan’s tapping “algorithm” (an algorithm is pretty much a sequence of steps that gives you the same result every time) for anxiety. (This was taken from Callahan’s new book.)
The other group was given a tapping “algorithm” that Rose Rockney and I pulled out of thin air. The EFT/TFT algorithm has people tap on acupuncture points along “meridians” in the body. Our algorithm intentionally had people tap on points where there are no “meridians.” Neither group knew whether they had a “real” tapping algorithm or a “bogus” tapping algorithm.
3 of the people didn’t participate. One didn’t understand the instructions. One felt the experience anchored negative thoughts into touching of the hand. One was familiar with EFT/TFT and was not allowed to participate. The remaining 14 individuals did participate in full. 6 people ended up with the “real algorithm” and 8 with the “bogus algorithm.”
Both groups were given identical instructions as far as recording their level of anxiety and then re-recording their anxiety after utilizing their tapping sequences. No suggestions were given that this would help their anxiety in any way.
The group with Callahan’s algorithm started out at an average of 8.5/10 on the SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress Scale) After three days of tapping three times daily they reduced their anxiety to 5.3, a significant decrease in the amount of anxiety experienced.
The group using the bogus algorithm started out at an average of 8.6/10 on the SUDS. After three days of tapping three times daily they reduced their anxiety to 3.2. This impressive reduction in anxiety was over 40% more effective than the Callahan tapping algorithm.
After the study was completed we asked participants how they felt about their experience and many in both groups noted they felt in charge of their anxiety.
Statistical analysis was not done for this project due to the limited number of participants in both the experimental and control group.
Conclusion: There were too few people in the study to be certain of anything except the following: 1) Tapping in general may empower the individual to feel more in control of their personal life. 2) Tapping using EFT/TFT in our study was not a complete therapy in itself. 3) Tapping using EFT/TFT in our study was not as effective as a bogus therapy. 4) Tapping using EFT/TFT may be a demonstration of a placebo effect.
We certainly will continue our research into EFT/TFT and tapping and discover if any of the algorithms are indeed useful in helping people heal. What is interesting is that both “algorithms” helped people feel better and probably could be utilized as an adjunct for therapy so long as therapists do not hold out EFT/TFT as actual therapeutic modalities.
Finally the long term consequences of these two groups has not been measured. We will check back with the participants at the six month level and discover what they report at that time.