Trends in meridian-based psychotherapy—a review of research on Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Citation (APA Style): Kim, S-Y., Yin, C-S., Choi, In, W., & Kim, J-W. (2013). Trends in meridian-based psychotherapy—a review of research on Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Journal of Oriental Neuropsychiatry, 24(1). 89-100.


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to investigate the research regarding Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and to understand the trends in meridian-based psychotherapy.

Methods: Every article relevant to EFT was obtained from Pubmed and Korean journal databases. Keywords used for searching included “EFT” and “Emotional freedom technique.”

Results: 1) 5 reviews, 11 randomized controlled trials, 3 controlled trials, 1 single group comparative study and 4 case studies were identified. 2) Anxiety disorders were most frequently studied. Other studies included insomnia, depression and pain symptoms. EFT interventions used many different protocols and assessed with various tools. 3) Review articles indicated that meridian-based psychotherapies, such as EFT, are based on the meridian theory of oriental medicine. They evaluate EFT positively for its effectiveness on psychiatric conditions. 

Conclusions: EFT is increasingly studied and used in clinical practice in various fields. Objective evaluation tools and standardized intervention protocols are needed for the development of a new guideline for EFT.

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