Brandon A. Gaudiano, Ph.D.1
Lily A. Brown, M.A.2
Ivan W. Miller, Ph.D.1
Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Butler Hospital1
University of California, Los Angeles2
Abstract: Proponents of energy psychology techniques, such as Thought Field Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques, have sought “empirically supported therapy” status despite an unsupported and implausible theoretical basis and claims in response of representing a pseudoscientific movement. Two major reviews of the supportive evidence which has accumulated over the past 30 years have been published recently. This current status report describes the history, theory, techniques, claims, and implications of the energy psychology movement, examines support for its theoretical base, it’s current outcome study support, and offers conclusions and recommendations as to its research and clinical prospects. It is concluded that there is scant support for the radical theories underlying energy psychology techniques, and that empirical support for their efficacy is methodologically weak, and has not been able to demonstrate an effect beyond nonspecific or placebo effects, or the incorporation of know-effective elements. The only dismantling studies to date have been disconfirmatory. Further research is highly unlikely to be scientifically productive, and scientist practitioners are advised to continue to adhere to well-established cognitive and behavioral principles.
Keywords: energy psychology, critical think- ing, evidence-based practice, Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques
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