Applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Thought Field Therapy in Kurdistan region of Iraq: A retrospective case series study of mental-health interventions in a setting of political instability and armed conflicts

Citation (APA style): Seidi, P. A., Jaff, D., Connolly, S. M., & Hoffart, A. (2021). Applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Thought Field Therapy in Kurdistan region of Iraq: A retrospective case series study of mental-health interventions in a setting of political instability and armed conflicts. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 17(1), 84-91. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2020.06.003

Abstract

Background: Mass violence, atrocities, and political upheavals have affected the prosperity and psychological health of the people of Iraq. Those living in the Garmian region of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are among those most affected. While there is an urgent need for mental health interventions in this region, mental health resources are scarce, and only a small percentage of the population in need receive mental health care. Despite the high burden of mental illness, and the general demand by the community and local authorities for social and psychological services, effective validated cost-effective interventions tailored to address the cultural and social problems are scarce. This retrospective case series study, which is based on the lead author’s experiences in the Garmian region, aims to describe the results of using two mental health interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Thought Field Therapy.

Methods and findings: The files of 31 clients that met criteria of the study were selected using purposive sampling. The results showed that, of the 13 clients who received Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, one improved and others showed either no change in symptoms, deterioration of symptoms, or dropped out of treatment. All 11 clients who received only Thought Field Therapy showed improvement in their symptoms. Seven clients who received Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and showed no improvement received Thought Field Therapy, and showed improvement finally. While the results of preliminary experience with Thought Field Therapy in the Garmian community is encouraging, conducting randomized controlled trials with follow-ups and comparing Thought Field Therapy with other therapeutic approaches is needed to substantiate these findings.

Conclusion: We found that Thought Field Therapy had positive results in reducing anxiety disorders and trauma-related symptoms, as compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Keywords: case series, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, thought field therapy, TFT

Click here for access to the full article