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A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing vs. Emotional Freedom Techniques

Citation (APA Style): Karatzias, T., Power, K., Brown, K., McGoldrick, T., Begum, M., Young, Y., Loughran, P., Chouliara, Z., and Adams, S. (2011). A controlled comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of two psychological therapies for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing vs. Emotional Freedom Techniques. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (2011), 199(6), p 372-378.

Abstract

The present study reports on the first ever controlled comparison between eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and emotional freedom techniques (EFT) for post-traumatic stress disorder. A total of 46 participants were randomized to either EMDR (n = 23) or EFT (n = 23). The participants were assessed at baseline and then reassessed after an 8-week waiting period. Two further blind assessments were conducted at post-treatment and 3-months follow-up. Overall, the results indicated that both interventions produced significant therapeutic gains at post-treatment and follow-up in an equal number of sessions. Similar treatment effect sizes were observed in both treatment groups. Regarding clinical significant changes, a slightly higher proportion of patients in the EMDR group produced substantial clinical changes compared with the EFT group. Given the speculative nature of the theoretical basis of EFT, a dismantling study on the active ingredients of EFT should be subject to future research.

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, emotional freedom techniques

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