American Psychological Association Standards and EFT

EFT has benefited from a sustained research program over the past decade. One of our goals has been to meet the standards for “empirically validated treatments” published by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 12 Task Force, as well as the “evidence-based practice” standards of the US Government’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). You can read more about these standards, and about the many clinical trials of EFT, on our research page.

A critical review of 50 peer-reviewed clinical outcome reports and systematic studies of EFT and TFT led to the following statements in a paper that is scheduled to appear in a major peer-reviewed APA journal, Review of General Psychology: “A literature search identified 50 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues. The 17 randomized controlled trials in this sample were critically evaluated for design quality, leading to the conclusion that they consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association were also applied and found to be met for a number of conditions, including PTSD” (Feinstein). References for these claims are found in the paper, which is well worth reading in full.

Here’s what this new development does and doesn’t mean. Publication of an article in an APA journal does not mean that the APA certifies that EFT has attained evidence-based status. Although EFT Universe, Energy Psychology Journal, and other energy medicine organizations have many positive contacts with APA divisions and officers, the CE (continuing education) department of APA does not allow its CE sponsors to offer continuing education credit to psychologists who receive training in EFT.

What the report does mean is that we have taken an important step toward EFT’s acceptance by the wider professional community. We can refer others to a single article in which all the current research is summarized. When considered together, and compared to APA and other evidence-based standards, we have a measure of the progress we’ve made toward meeting these demanding criteria.