A Controlled Comparison of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Two Psychological Therapies for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) vs. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Karatzias, Thanos PhD; Power, Kevin PhD; Brown, Keith FRCPsych; McGoldrick, Theresa BA; Begum, Millia MRCPsych; Young, Jenny BA; Loughran, Paul MSc; Chouliara, Zoë PhD; Adams, Sally MSc



The present study reports on the first ever controlled comparison between eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and emotional freedom techniques (EFT) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 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.

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: June 2011 – Volume 199 – Issue 6 – pp 372-37