By John Hartung & Phyllis Stein
Telephone-mediated psychotherapy is a resource for persons who have difficulty accessing office visits because of geography, economic restrictions, or fear of stigma.
In the present report, phone-delivered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) was compared with EFT provided in a therapy office while subjects in both conditions also received concurrent standard care. Forty-nine veterans with clinical PTSD symptoms were treated with 6 one-hr sessions, either in an EFT coach’s office (n = 25) or by phone (n = 24).
In each condition, some subjects were treated immediately, whereas others received delayed treatment after a 1-month waiting period. No change in PTSD symptom levels was reported by either the phone or office delayed-treatment group following the wait period, whereas both groups improved significantly after EFT treatment.
Differences in benefit were found between phone and office delivery methods. Significant improvement in PTSD symptoms was found after 6 phone sessions but after only 3 office sessions. A 6-month posttreatment assessment indicated 91% of subjects treated in the office and 67% of those treated by phone no longer met PTSD diagnostic criteria (p < .05).
Results suggest that although less efficacious than in-person office visits, EFT delivered via telephone is effective in remediating PTSD and comorbid symptoms in about two thirds of cases.
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