Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) For Treating PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) For Treating PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Woman doing EFT on the karate chop point. Emotional Freedom Techniques, tapping, a form of counseling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine.

A number of studies have now confirmed that the popular alternative therapy EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) can successfully treat PTSD(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in as little as four to ten EFT sessions.

This is very exciting news for PTSD sufferers because not only is PTSD a notoriously difficult condition to treat, but EFT techniques are free and can easily be done from home.

Emotional Freedom Techniques or “tapping” as it’s popularly known is a “psycho-energy” alternative therapy, which utilizes various aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming and energy medicine. EFT is often referred to as “tapping” due to the individual tapping on various acupressure points on the body during the therapy.

Many websites such as Wikipedia incorrectly claim that EFT is nothing more than placebo or “pseudo-science”, despite hundreds of clinical trials now demonstrating its efficacy.

More than 40 clinical trials and four meta-analytic reviews of EFT treatments have demonstrated large effect sizes with a range of conditions, including pain, PTSD (in both civilian and military veteran populations), phobias, anxiety, and depression.

“Clinical EFT has been shown to regulate stress hormones and limbic function and to improve various neurologic markers of general health.

The epigenetic effects of EFT include upregulation of immunity genes and downregulation of inflammation genes.

Six dismantling studies have indicated that the acupressure component of EFT is an active ingredient and not placebo.” [1]

EFT’s efficacy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been investigated in a variety of demographic groups including war veterans, victims of sexual violence, the spouses of PTSD sufferers, motor accident survivors, prisoners, hospital patients, adolescents, and survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. [2]

PTSD is a serious psychological condition that literally robs your ability to live a happy or healthy life and as a sufferer of complex PTSD, personally I have found standard allopathic treatments such as anti-depressants and CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy) to be hopelessly inadequate.

It now appears from the emerging scientific research that EFT is an extremely powerful therapy for treating a wide range of psychological disorders from anxiety to depression to phobias to PTSD.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent scientific research on the various therapeutic benefits of Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT).

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) For Treating PTSD

A study published this year(2017) in The Permanente Journal reviewed the evidence for EFT treating PTSD and surveyed 448 EFT practitioners in order to develop clinical guidelines.

A stepped care model was recommended, with 5 EFT therapy sessions for subclinical PTSD and 10 sessions for clinical PTSD, in addition to group therapy, online self-help resources, and social support. Clients who fail to respond should be referred for appropriate further care.

The study concluded:

According to published reports, systematic reviews of the published evidence, a meta-analysis of seven RCTs, and practitioner consensus, most cases of PTSD are remediated in ten EFT sessions or less.

As a safe, efficacious, and easily learned self-help method, EFT should be offered to clients as an initial treatment option immediately after diagnosis. Group therapy involving family members may reinforce treatment effects through social support, and access to Battle Tap provides veterans and warriors with access to EFT at times and places of their own choosing.

A structured evidence-based practice protocol should be widely disseminated to clinicians and institutions bearing the burden of PTSD treatment. For those patients who do not respond, appropriate medication and intensive individual psychotherapy is recommended, especially in cases of complex PTSD. [2]


[1] The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis.


[2] Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD Using Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)


[3] Emotional Freedom Techniques to Treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans: Review of the Evidence, Survey of Practitioners, and Proposed Clinical Guidelines


[4] The Manual Stimulation of Acupuncture Points in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques.


The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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