Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), more commonly known as tapping, is an emerging,research-based intervention that has been found to be an effective stress and anxiety management tool for students and school personnel. EFT uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques, such as awareness building, imaginal exposure, reframing of interpretation, andsystematic desensitization, while teaching the individual to self-stimulate protocol-identified acupoints. The use of EFT with children and adolescents is relatively new, and therefore, research on its effectiveness is limited. Within the last decade, initial results have indicated that EFT assists students in reducing anxiety and the fear of failure and in improving self esteem and compassion within a few sessions. This chapter examines relevant EFT research and the use of EFT with school-age children and adolescents. In addition, it discusses the importance of formal training in EFT for school practitioners and ethical considerations. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EFT for Tourettes: A Practitioner's Case Study with a surprising outcome! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ McCallion, F. (2012). Emotional freedom techniques for dyslexia: A case study. Dyslexia is a developmental condition, often inherited, that interferes with the acquisition and processing of written language. Sequencing issues, disorientation, and emotional issues can all be successfully treated separately. This case study details the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to address these issues separately with a single client over 3 connected sessions: addressing 2 specific events concerning teachers, pre-birth issues, and the birth process, respectively. Result: By the end of the 3 sessions, the client was able to read easily and fluently, sequence, and understand sequences. The disorientation associated with her dyslexia had reduced to the point where it was no longer an issue. Whether this formula can be applied to all people with dyslexia, however, is not clear and requires further study ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Gaesser, A. (2018). Befriending anxiety to reach potential: Strategies to empower our gifted youth. Gifted Child Today, 41(4); 186-195. https://doi.org/10.1177/1076217518786983 Gifted students can encounter anxiety-provoking stressors throughout their day. Developing effective anxiety management skills allows them to better navigate these challenges.Concepts from neuroscience help us better understand responses to anxiety and can assist gifted youth and those working with them in recognizing how and when to best apply anxiety management strategies. This article reviews these concepts and integrating them into the classroom environment to assist with this learning process. In addition, it examines an evidenced-based anxiety management intervention that has been found to be efficacious for gifted youth, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
Results of recent EFT research are reviewed and the steps to learning EFT are outlined.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2017.1297394 Boath, E., Good, R., Tsaroucha, A., Stewart, A., Pitch, S. & Boughey, A. (2017). Tapping your way to success: using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce anxiety and improve communication skills in social work students. Journal of Social Work Education.
By the nature of their professional training and practice placements, social work students are prone to situations provoking the onset of anxiety. A programme of academic and placement support, termed the ‘Skills Lab’, provides help and support for students to develop their communication skills and prepare for their practice placements and transition into professional social work practice. Skills Lab evaluations indicated a high level of appreciation, linked with a strong sense of apprehension and anxiety, which some students report has negatively affected their performance. To address student anxiety, a pilot study using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) was developed. EFT is an intervention, which may potentially be effective in reducing academic anxiety and enhancing public speaking. This mixed-methods pilot study measured participants’ (n = 45) subjective distress and anxiety before and after using EFT. Subjective distress/anxiety was invoked through a 15-min assignment lecture. Twelve of the 45 students also participated in one-one interviews to elaborate on their experiences of EFT. Quantitative findings indicated participants reported significantly less subjective distress and anxiety after using EFT. Qualitative findings indicated three themes whereby participants found EFT calming, relaxing and helpful; considered the transferability of EFT in other settings; and proposed some of the mechanisms of EFT’s action.
Stapleton, P.B., Mackay., E., Chatwin, H., Murphy, D., Porter, B., Thibault, S., Sheldon, T. & Pidgeon, A.M. (2017). Effectiveness of a School-Based Emotional Freedom Techniques Intervention for Promoting Student Wellbeing. Adolescent Psychiatry, 7(2), 112-26. https://doi.org/10.2174/2210676607666171101165425
Background: In academic settings, fear of failure and associated emotional difficulties are common and often result in maladaptive behaviours, which often lead to failure or lowered scholastic achievement. Higher levels of self-esteem and resilience have been shown to protect against fear of failure and emotional difficulties, and predict improved academic outcomes in students. However, few studies have investigated the efficacy of group intervention methods aimed at improving self-esteem and resilience. We aimed to measure the effects of using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an emerging therapeutic technique that incorporates elements of acupuncture, exposure therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and somatic stimulation to target negative thoughts and feelings, as a universal intervention for high school and college students.
Methods: This study represented a non-randomised universal intervention, utilising both within and between-subject designs. The EFT intervention groups (N = 204) were drawn from two different school cohorts. The intervention aimed to improve four participant characteristics that have been shown to play a role in influencing academic success: global self-esteem, resilience (ability to adapt to change and cope with stress), total difficulties and fear of failure (cognitive, motivational, and relational appraisals of failure). These characteristics were utilised as outcome variables in the present study and measured by the Rosenberg SelfEsteem Scale, Conners-Davidson Resilience Scale, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Performance Failure Appraisal Index-Short Form.
Results: Results showed a significant improvement in fear of failure, whereby fears were significantly lower from pre-intervention to 12-month follow-up. Findings also indicated a significant main effect of time for emotional and behavioural difficulties, however post hoc tests indicated no statistically significant changes between the time points measured. No significant changes were observed in measures of self-esteem or resilience.
Conclusion: This non-randomised universal intervention represents the first Australian study of the efficacy of a group treatment program within high schools, aimed at increasing student self-esteem and resilience, and decreasing fear of failure and emotional difficulties. The results suggested that EFT might be an effective group intervention for some students decreasing their fear of failure; however, further research is required.
Reynolds, A. E. (2015). Is Acupoint Stimulation an Active Ingredient in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)? A Controlled Trial of Teacher Burnout. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment 7(1), 14-21.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) has been the subject of much research over the past decade, with many studies of conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression showing significant treatment effects. In addition to elements drawn from established cognitive and exposure therapies, EFT uses the manual stimulation of acupuncture points (acupressure) through fingertip tapping. This study investigated the utility of EFT to address professional burnout in a population of school teachers. Participants were K–12 full time, public school teachers. They were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which has three scales: Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment. EFT was compared to a control condition that used sham tapping on a location on the forearm that does not include any acupuncture points. To reduce the possibility of cross-contamination between the two conditions, the study did not randomize participants within a single population. Instead, to minimize contact between experimental and control participants, the two samples were drawn from different school districts with similar demographic profiles in the same county. One hundred teachers were randomly selected from each district, of which 126 completed all assessments. Data analysis revealed that on all three indicators of burnout measured, EFT was significantly superior to the sham tapping control (p > .05). The results are consistent with earlier dismantling studies and indicate that acupoint tapping is an active ingredient in the therapeutic results obtained from EFT and not a placebo. EFT is inexpensive, easy to administer, and could be added to teacher mentor and retention programs to improve resiliency. A positive impact on teachers whose level of burnout is either negatively affecting the educational environment or has caused them to consider leaving the profession will help nurture and retain valuable assets for student learning. Boath, E., Stewart, A., & Carryer, A. (2013). Tapping for success: A pilot study to explore if Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can reduce anxiety and enhance academic performance in university students. Innovative Practice in Higher Education,
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as tapping, is an emerging psychological intervention that has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including exam stress and public speaking anxiety. Participants were a convenience sample of 52 3rd year Foundation Degree level students undertaking a Research Methods Module. The module included an assessed presentation, which was known to generate anxiety among students. The students were given a 15 minute assignment workshop. They then received a 15 minute lecture introducing EFT and were guided though one round of EFT focusing on their anxiety of public speaking. The students were assessed using the Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) pre and post EFT. The students were instructed that they could continue to use EFT at any time to reduce their anxiety regarding their assessed presentation. Immediately following their presentation, the students were invited to take part in a brief face- to-face interview to identify those who used EFT to explore their use of and feelings about EFT and to identify those who had chosen not to use EFT and explore their reasons for not choosing to use it.
Forty Six of the total sample of 52 students (88%) participated in the research. There was a significant reduction in SUDS (p=p<0.001), HAD (p = 0.003) and HAD Anxiety Subscale (p<0.001). There was no difference in the HAD Depression Subscale (p=0.67). The qualitative data were analyzed using a framework approach which revealed the following three themes: helpfulness of EFT in reducing anxiety and staying calm and focused; Using other complementary therapy skills; and their reasons for not using EFT.
Boath, L. Stewart, A., & Carryer, A., (2012). Tapping for PEAS: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in reducing Presentation Expression Anxiety Syndrome (PEAS) in university students. Innovative Practice in Higher Education
Presentation anxiety is one of the most common fears that people express. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is also known as tapping is an emerging complementary therapy that has been used to treat a variety of phobias. Participants were a convenience sample of 25 3rd year Foundation Degree level complementary therapy students undertaking a Research Module. The module included an assessed presentation, which was known to generate anxiety among students. The students were given a 15 minute assignment workshop .They then received a 15 minute lecture introducing EFT and were then guided though one round of EFT focussing on their fear of public speaking. The students were assessed using the Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) pre and post EFT. Immediately following their presentation, the students were invited to take part in a brief face to face interview to explore their use of and feelings about EFT. Twenty one of the total sample of 25 students (84%) participated in the research. There was a significant reduction in SUDS (p=0.002), HAD (p = 0.048) and HAD Anxiety Subscale (p=0.037). There was no difference in the HAD Depression Subscale (p=0.719). The qualitative data were analysed using a framework approach which revealed 3 themes: nerves, novelty and the practical application of EFT. Despite the limitations of the study, the results suggest that EFT may be a useful addition to curricula for courses that include oral presentations.
Jain, S., & Rubino, A. (2012). The effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for optimal test performance: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 4(2), 13-24. doi:10.9769.EPJ.2012.4.2.SJ
Test anxiety causes, effects and interventions have been widely studied. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of a single brief intervention—Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)—to support the ability to shift attention appropriately to achieve optimal levels of both test anxiety and test performance. The sample consisted of 150 undergraduates from three universities in the Inland Northwest USA with debilitating test anxiety who were randomly assigned to 3 different groups. Group 1 learned EFT, Group 2 learned Diaphragmatic Breathing (DB), and Group 3 served as a no-treatment control. Participants in the two experimental groups received two 2-hour lessons. The Sarason RTT, SA-45 and Westside instruments were administered as pre- and post- measures, with a second follow-up at the end of the semester. Subsequent ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in both the diaphragmatic breathing and EFT groups on most measures, with gains maintained on follow-up.
Benor, D. J., Ledger, K., Toussaint, L., Hett, G., & Zaccaro, D. (2009). Pilot study of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR and EFT (WHEE) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Treatment of Test Anxiety in University Students. Explore, 5(6). Objective: This study explored test anxiety benefits of Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR (WHEE), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Participants: Canadian university students with severe or moderate test anxiety participated. Methods: A double-blind, controlled trial of WHEE (n = 5), EFT (n =5), and CBT (n = 5) was conducted. Standardized anxiety measures included: the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-21).
Results: Despite small sample size, significant reductions were found for WHEE on the TAI (p < 0.014-.042) and HSCL-21 (p < 0.029); on the TAI (p < 0.001-.027) for EFT; and on the HSCL-21 (p < 0.038) for CBT. There were no significant differences between the scores for the three treatments. In only two sessions WHEE and EFT achieved the same or better benefits as CBT did in five sessions. Participants reported high satisfaction with all treatments. EFT and WHEE students successfully transferred their self-treatment skills to other stressful areas of their lives.
Conclusions: WHEE and EFT show promise as effective treatments for test anxiety. Sezgin, N., Ozcan, B., Church, D., (2009). The Effect of Two Psychophysiological Techniques (Progressive Muscular Relaxation and Emotional Freedom Techniques) on Test Anxiety in High School Students: A Randomized Blind Controlled Study. International Journal of Healing and Caring, Jan, 9:1.
This study investigated the effect on test anxiety of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy with somatic and cognitive components. A group of 312 high school students enrolled at a private academy was evaluated using the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), which contains subscales for worry and emotionality. Scores for 70 demonstrated high levels of test anxiety; these students were randomized into control and experimental groups. During the course of a single treatment session, the control group received instruction in Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR); the experimental group, EFT, followed by selftreatment at home. After two months, subjects were re-tested using the TAI. Repeated covariance analysis was performed to determine the effects of EFT and PMR on the mean TAI score, as well as the two subscales. Each group completed a sample examination at the beginning and end of the study, and their mean scores were computed. Thirty-two of the initial 70 subjects completed all the study’s requirements, and all statistical analyses were done on this group. A statistically significant decrease occurred in the test anxiety scores of both the experimental and control groups. The EFT group had a significantly greater decrease than the PMR group (p < .05). The scores of the EFT group were lower on the emotionality and worry subscales (p < .05). Both groups scored higher on the test examinations after treatment; though the improvement was greater for the EFT group, the difference was not statistically significant.
Yancey, V. (2002). The use of Thought Field Therapy in educational settings. Dissertation Abstracts International, 63(07), 2470A. (UMI No. 3059661)
This study explored how thought field therapy (TFT) was used in educational settings by students and adults, its effects, and possible difficulties. TFT is a self-help technique developed by Dr. Roger Callahan for the treatment of traumas, phobias, and the psychological pain caused by other upsetting experiences (Callahan & Callahan, 2000). Studies have shown that students and educators are challenged by the myriad of difficulties with which they must deal in the process of teaching and learning (Bell, 1998; Carter, 1994; Darling-Hammond, 1990). A qualitative methodological approach that included in-depth interviews and a focus group was utilized In-depth interviews were carried out with adult participants by and through the use of electronic e-mail. The adult participants were chosen because they have been trained in TFT, and because they use TFT with students. They lived in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. The focus group participants were middle-school students between the ages of 11 and 14 who attended a community program in the northeastern part of the United States. The students met prior to the focus group meeting for instruction in TFT. After using TFT for a week, they met in a focus group to discuss how, when, and why they used it and their feelings about using TFT.
The findings from the student group showed that students used TFT (a) when confronted with violent situations and when they became angry, (b) when dealing with difficulties in relationships with friends and family, and (c) to help them to be better students in school. Students also reported that they liked TFT and found it easy to use. The adults indicated that they used TFT (a) with students to help them reduce stress, improve test scores, improve relationships with family and peers, reduce their feelings of violence, and improve their self confidence; and (b) for themselves, their families, and friends to relieve stress and reduce tension.
Sakai, C., Paperny, D., Mathews, M., Tanida, G., Boyd, G., Simons, A., Yamamoto, C., Mau, C., & Nutter, L. (2001). Thought Field Therapy Clinical Applications: Utilization in an HMO inBehavioral Medicine and Behavioral Health Services. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(10), 1229-35.
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a self-administered treatment developed by psychologist Roger Callahan. TFT uses energy meridian treatment points and bilateral optical–cortical stimulation while focusing on the targeted symptoms or problem being addressed. The clinical applications of TFT summarized included anxiety, adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression, anxiety due to medical condition, anger, acute stress, bereavement, chronic pain, cravings, depression, fatigue, nausea, neurodermatitis, obsessive traits, panic disorder without agoraphobia, parent–child stress, phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, relationship stress, trichotillomania, tremor, and work stress. This uncontrolled study reports on changes in self-reported Subjective Units of Distress (SUD; Wolpe, 1969) in 1,594 applications of TFT, treating 714 patients. Paired t-tests of pre- and posttreatment SUD were statistically significant in 31 categories reviewed. These within-session decreases of SUD are preliminary data that call for controlled studies to examine validity, reliability, and maintenance of effects over time. Illustrative case and heart rate variability data are presented.
Emotional freedom techniques: Stress and anxiety management for students and staff in school settings.Gaesser, A. H. (2020). C. Maykel & M. A. Bray (Eds.), Applying psychology in the schools. Promoting mind–body health in schools: Interventions for mental health professionals (pp. 283-297). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0000157-020
A feasibility study of Emotional Freedom Technique taught in the curriculum for secondary school students, to reduce stress and test anxiety and enhance coping skills. The International Journal of Healing and Caring Ledger, K.E. 2019.
Objective: This 2008 Feasibility Study explored the impact of teaching Emotional Freedom Technique(EFT) as part of class curriculum for Secondary School students, as a self-care tool for reducing stress and test anxiety and for enhancing coping skills.
Participants: Canadian students at a Secondary School taking Planning 10 courses, with combined Grades 10, 11 & 12, (n = 138) participated in the study. All students received the EFT training as part of class curriculum, and completed all the questionnaires.
Results: Putting together a research proposal, designing the study; jumping through the hoops of permissions, and institution rules; carrying out the interventions; collecting the data andreporting the results are all monumental tasks. Things can go wrong at any juncture, and often do. However, the one issue I didn’t think would occur was that the Quantitative Data would be virtually useless. I was also surprised by the wide range of response and results of the various Class Groups, as detailed below, given that they were all offered almost identical EFT training.
Due to unfortunate circumstances, none of the Quantitative Data could be considered clearly valid. There were two main reasons. 1. The Principal Investigators were not notified that many of the students would not be taking exams during the trial period and approximately 25% of the foreign students did not have to write exams at all. This meant that collecting data on Test Anxiety was irrelevant for many. 2. Contamination of the Quantitative questionnaires occurred with some students checking off multiple choice answers in “patterns” on the answer checkboxes, and it was not clear how many other students had done this, but perhaps not in as blatant a manner as to be detected. This data loss was exceedingly disappointing for all involved.
Fortunately, valuable findings were still gleaned from student responses to the item Qualitative Questionnaire, submitted anonymously by all students at the end of EFT Study. Perhaps because these surveys encouraged both positive and negative feedback and could not be tracked to individuals, the students appeared to be more open and direct - (sometimes brutally). But they offered useful and constructive information on many levels. Most encouraging was that 67% of students recommended that EFT be taught in schools; 63% indicated they could benefit from learning EFT in smaller groups, and 33% indicated they would be interested in having 1:1 assistance from a Counsellor using EFT.
While some students were resistant to the EFT classes, the majority shared clear examples of how they had taken their EFT skills into coping with: homework, studying, assignments, and sports and arts performances. In addition, some were able to expand their use of EFT to family and social relationships, and other issues outside the school setting, which was clear evidence of enhanced coping skills.
Conclusions: The teaching of EFT in schools can benefit some students; particularly those who are motivated to learn it due to need or interest. It is recommended that more research, investigation and refinement of teaching EFT in schools, to a range of grades; to whole classes and to smaller groups of students seeking specific help for anxiety and stress be undertaken.