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The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Rowe, J. (2005). The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms. Counseling and Clinical Psychology Journal, 2(3):104.


Previous research (Salas, 2000; Wells, et al., 2003), theoretical writings (Arenson, 2001, Callahan, 1985, Durlacher, 1994, Flint, 1999, Gallo, 2002, Hover-Kramer, 2002, Lake & Wells, 2003, Lambrou & Pratt, 2000, and Rowe, 2003), and many case reports ( have suggested that energy psychology is an effective psychotherapy treatment that improves psychological functioning. The purpose of the present study was to measure any changes in psychological functioning that might result from participation in an experiential Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) workshop and to examine the long-term effects. Using a time-series, within-subjects repeated measures design, 102 participants were tested with a short-form of the SCL-90-R (SA-45) 1 month before, at the beginning of the workshop, at the end of the workshop, 1 month after the workshop, and 6 months after the workshop. There was a statistically significant decrease (p < .0005) in all measures of psychological distress as measured by the SA-45 from pre-workshop to post-workshop which held up at the 6 month follow-up.


Below, Patricia Carrington, PhD provides an introduction to Dr. Rowe's study.  This intro came from her very popular EFT oriented email list.

Click here If you wish to view Dr. Rowe's statistical findings and graphical analysis AND if you have Microsoft Excel on your computer system. 

Please note that the "Borrowing Benefits" method being used in this study aimed at very specific issues.  Of interest here is that the measuring test (SLC-90-R) was designed to assess how well the subjects fared psychologically in a much more general sense.  This study thus provides useful evidence that relief obtained by applying EFT to specific issues carried over into an improved overall psychological health....and the results held up over a 6 month period.

Borrowing Benefits Is A Powerful EFT Technique.
Do Its Results Hold Up Over Time?

By Patricia Carrington, PhD

At Gary Craigs final Flagstaff EFT Conference I watched with interest as psychologist Jack Rowe diligently sought out the participants who had signed up for his study -- most of the people in the room actually to hand them their test forms for the SCL-90- R., a highly respected measure of psychological distress. His purpose in doing this was to study the effects of Gary's Borrowing Benefits technique on the stress levels of the audience. In particular, he wanted to find out whether any effects that might emerge would hold up at retesting six months later.

The outcome of his study proved to be so promising that Jacks article reporting these results has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed, Counseling and Clinical Psychology Journal. Here, in brief, is what Jack did and what he found.

The SCL-90-R test was administered to the participating workshop members a total of 5 times: one month before the workshop; again at the beginning of the workshop; at the end of the workshop, and again one month and six months after the workshop. This test can be re-administered numerous times and retain its validity as a measure of current level of stress, one of the reasons it was chosen for this study.

What did Jack find?

The results showed a highly significant (p < .0005) decrease in all measures of psychological distress as assessed by the SCL-90-R, from pre- workshop to post-workshop. This was a striking finding although of course not surprising to those of us who know EFT. Equally important, however, were the results of the six months retesting which showed that the decreases in stress observed right after the workshop held up at this later period in the 102 participants who completed the study. Although slightly attenuated at this time they were still highly significant statistically (p<.0005), an impressive finding.

As in all other research studies, there is of course more to be done by future researchers along these lines. The group studied here was enthusiastic about EFT they had paid substantial sums to travel to Flagstaff to study with EFTs well-known founder, Gary Craig, so we do not yet know how well a less motivated group would do with the Borrowing Benefits technique, especially when studied over time. Also, there was no official "control group" used (no comparison group of similar people who did not learn Borrowing Benefits). Finally, Gary Craig himself conducted these sessions. Would another group leader have obtained similar excellent results using this technique? The answers to these questions are not yet known but they are the type of question we always find in research. What is clear is that the preliminary results are very promising indeed.

The upshot of this study is that we now have one more peer-reviewed publication which we can confidently cite when presenting EFT to groups unfamiliar with it. Our congratulations to Jack Rowe!



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