Science & Research

Hope for PTSD: Research Shows Tapping Can Help (Often in 10 Sessions or Less!)

Written by: Nick Ortner

Unfortunately, trauma is quite common. And many people will experience at least one (if not more) traumatic event in their lives – whether that be related to a childhood experience, accident, combat, natural disaster, assault, abuse, injury, or something else.

Healing from these experiences takes time, and many people are left deeply wounded and affected by trauma for many years to come. In fact, it’s not uncommon to develop something called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, after having been through this kind of experience.

It is estimated that about 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during any given year.[1]  Clearly, PTSD is a serious issue. For the many people living with this life-altering condition, effective treatment strategies are deeply needed!

Fortunately, the research is becoming more and more clear that Tapping works extremely well at helping people resolve their PTSD symptoms… so that they can heal and move forward in their lives with greater ease! 

Today, I want to highlight an important major review study that helped demonstrate just how effective Tapping can be for PTSD treatment. 

Please note: As always, if you are experiencing any physical or mental health concerns, consult with a doctor, therapist, or other qualified health practitioner. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

A meta-analysis study: a scientific gold standard

In 2017, researchers conducted what is called a meta-analysis study on Tapping for PTSD.[2]

A meta-analysis is a type of study where researchers take data from a bunch of different studies on the same subject, analyze all of the data together, and use statistical methods to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of a technique. This kind of study is considered a gold standard in research techniques. 

In this 2017 meta-analysis on the effectiveness of EFT Tapping in the treatment of PTSD, the researchers gathered data from seven different randomized controlled trials (want to read up on a few of these studies? Click here!). All of the studies included in the analysis were considered high-quality studies that met American Psychological Association (APA) standards. 

The researchers analyzed all of the combined data from these seven studies and used statistical techniques to draw conclusions about how well Tapping works for PTSD. 

What did the results of this meta-analysis show?

When analyzing all the data in the meta-analysis, the researchers came up with a statistical measure of effect size. In psychological research, an “effect size” helps us understand how well an intervention works compared to control.

With the particular statistic calculated in this study, anything over 0.8 is considered to be a large effect size. In this case, the effect size was found to be quite high… at 2.96![2] This means that treatment with EFT is considered to have a very large effect when it comes to PTSD.

In other words, the data showed that people who received EFT Tapping treatment improved much more than the people who were in the control groups (who didn’t do any Tapping). This suggests that Tapping is very effective, provides a significant benefit, and really works!

That’s such an encouraging result! When pooling all the available data from high-quality studies, the researchers were able to confirm that people with PTSD respond REALLY well to EFT Tapping as a treatment option.

What’s more, the researchers were also able to compare EFT against other standard treatments for PTSD like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). When looking at the data, the authors saw that all three treatments had similar effect sizes.[2] This suggests that all three of these treatments were comparable in terms of effectiveness.

It’s really exciting to see that in this rigorous analysis of the data, EFT Tapping proved to be just as effective as these other well-known and well-respected treatment options for PTSD.

The researchers also noted that Tapping was shown to be effective in a variety of age groups and demographics. 

Tapping practitioners see amazing results in their clients with PTSD

After the 2017 meta-analysis on Tapping for PTSD was published, another group of researchers wanted to hear from real-life EFT Tapping practitioners about their experiences in treating people with PTSD. So, they took a group of 448 practitioners and surveyed them.[3]

The survey findings from this study showed that most practitioners find that even complex PTSD can be remediated in less than 10 EFT sessions. And 89% of the practitioners said that less than 10% of their clients make little or no progress with Tapping treatment.[3]

It appears that most people with PTSD get better when they are treated with EFT Tapping. And in most cases, it only takes 10 sessions or less for people to find relief and improve. 

Can you believe that? It’s pretty remarkable how powerful this technique seems to be for PTSD!

The research is clear: Tapping is an effective PTSD treatment option 

Clearly, there’s a lot of evidence to back up the use of Tapping for PTSD treatment. 

In fact, experts in this research recommend that Tapping should be used a first-line treatment option for PTSD.[4]

Here’s what the authors of one study concluded about the benefits of EFT Tapping for PTSD:

        “Studies of EFT in the treatment of PTSD show that

         (a) time frames for successful treatment generally range from four to 10 sessions;

         (b) group therapy sessions are effective;

         (c) comorbid conditions such as anxiety and depression improve simultaneously;

         (d) the risk of adverse events is low;

         (e) treatment produces physiological as well as psychological improvements;

         (f) patient gains persist over time;

         (g) the approach is cost-effective;

         (h) biomarkers such as stress hormones and genes are regulated; and

         (i) the method can be adapted to online and telemedicine applications.”[4]

If you are curious to learn more about what the researchers have learned about using Tapping for PTSD, check out this research paper: Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD Using Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). 

And if you want to read about how Tapping can specifically help young people with PTSD, go here (spoiler alert, Tapping is considered one of the top treatment choices!).

Getting support

The research I’ve highlighted today suggests that Tapping belongs among the first-line treatment options for PTSD. 

It appears to work really well for healing from PTSD, and it has the potential to help SO MANY people find relief from such a difficult and life-altering condition. 

If you or someone you know is affected by PTSD, I encourage you to learn more about Tapping and to give it a try. You may want to work with a Tapping coach or therapist to guide you on your journey for personalized support.

 You can also head to The Tapping Solution App to start your Tapping journey. We’ll teach you how to Tap, and help you make the most out of our vast library of Tapping meditations. 

We’ve even got specific categories like the Military/Veteran Support Collection or Crisis Support: First Aid Kit Collection for you to explore – which are always FREE to use for anyone who needs them!

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

References 

  1. “How Common Is PTSD in Adults?” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp
  2. Sebastian B, Nelms J. The Effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Explore (NY). 2017 Jan-Feb;13(1):16-25.
  3. Church D, Stern S, Boath E, Stewart A, Feinstein D, Clond M. Emotional Freedom Techniques to Treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans: Review of the Evidence, Survey of Practitioners, and Proposed Clinical Guidelines. Perm J. 2017;21:16-100.
  4. Church D, Stapleton P, Mollon P, et al. Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD Using Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). Healthcare (Basel). 2018;6(4):146. Published 2018 Dec 12.


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