Inspiration

Research: Tapping Ranks as One of the Most Effective Treatments for PTSD in Young People

Written by: Nick Ortner

I have young kids. And like most parents, I oftentimes wish I could wave a magic wand so that nothing bad would ever happen to them. It is heartbreaking whenever we witness children in distress or in pain!

But the truth is that all kids and teens will go through stressful times, and many will even experience traumatic events at some point while growing up. In fact, it is estimated that about two thirds of children report experiencing a traumatic event by age 16.[1] For some kids, those stressful, traumatic events can have lasting impacts. 

So, what can we do to support children and adolescents who have been affected by trauma? How can we help our young people to heal from catastrophic events and tragedies? Well, you might have guessed it – we can turn to the power of Tapping!

Research confirms that Tapping is an evidence-based, effective treatment approach for helping young people heal from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Kids and young adults living with PTSD need better support 

Children are very resilient, and most of the time their reactions to stress are brief and resolve fully. But sometimes, children can develop ongoing difficulties (including PTSD symptoms) after a traumatic event that can interfere with their daily lives for years to come.

Unfortunately, children and young people with PTSD symptoms aren’t always getting the support they need and deserve.

The American Psychological Association itself shares that “Most children with distress related to trauma exposure and in need of help do not receive psychological treatments… For those children who do receive services, evidence-based treatment is not the norm.”[1]

Clearly, more evidence-based ways to support children and young people to heal from PTSD is a big need in our world that isn’t currently being filled effectively.

So, what can we do about that? It turns out we can look to Tapping for support. EFT Tapping has been proven by the research to have the potential to help fill this vital need; an exciting 2020 study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry suggests it to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD in young people.[2]

Study compares common treatment options for PTSD

A group of researchers compared the various types of treatments for PTSD in children and young people. They wanted to know which were most effective and which were least effective, according to the published research so far.

And so they conducted what is called a meta-analysis study, which means they used a systematic method to combine data from multiple scientific studies and analyze them all together.[2]

In this 2020 study, the researchers compared the effects of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, EFT Tapping, child-parent psychotherapy, meditation, play therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and other common treatment options for PTSD. In total, they included 32 different trials in their analysis which involved 17 types of interventions and over 2,000 participants. 

After they analyzed all of the combined data from these studies, the authors were able to compare the effectiveness of the various types of treatment options for PTSD in young people. 

EFT Tapping ranked near the top of most effective treatments

The results showed that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) had the biggest positive effect out of all the interventions included in the study. CBT also had the largest base of evidence to support it, with several high-quality studies to back it up. This makes sense, as CBT is a very well-established treatment option that is known to work well for PTSD symptoms.

But here’s the exciting part. Guess what ranked second in terms of effectiveness in treating PTSD in young people? EFT Tapping! The authors of the study concluded that “Results suggest a large positive effect for emotional freedom technique.”[2] 

The authors do note that further research is warranted, as the findings related to Tapping were based on only limited evidence. More data to analyze would be helpful for us to better understand the true impact of EFT Tapping for helping kids and young people to deal with trauma.

But even with the limited data so far, these findings are extremely exciting. This study was published in a very respected journal, and for EFT Tapping to come second out of all the different interventions included in the analysis says a lot!

Putting Tapping into practice leads to amazing results!

Now we might not be able to wave a magic wand to protect all the children in the world from tragedy, as much as we might wish to. But when we find something that works, and something that fills such an important need, we can shout it from the rooftops! And that’s why I wanted to share this research with you today.

Tapping is a therapeutic tool that has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of so many kids, teens, and young people who have faced unimaginable tragedy and trauma. 

It is effective, evidence-based, easy to implement, and super accessible, making it a very powerful option when it comes to helping our youngsters who are suffering from the long-term effects of trauma.

I’ve seen firsthand just how much transformation can occur in kids who have been affected by stress or trauma as they learn to Tap. And I am so, so encouraged to see all of those positive benefits now reflected in the scientific research as well!

Through our work with The Tapping Solution Foundation, we have made it our mission to spread the healing power of Tapping to the people who need it most – including kids and teens. 

We have been hard at work for years introducing Tapping to schools, in hospitals with kids affected by cancer, and more. And the results have been so incredible to witness! If you want to hear just one of the many inspiring stories of healing through Tapping, check out this blog post.

If you want to learn more about how to support children and young people through stress and trauma, you can check out these articles in our Parents, Kids, and Teenagers category. And for even more resources, head over to The Tapping Solution Foundation website where you can find answers to all your questions. 

References

  1. Children and Trauma: Update for Mental Health Professionals. American Psychological Association. 2008. https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/children-trauma-update
  2. Mavranezouli I, Megnin-Viggars O, Daly C, et al. Research Review: Psychological and psychosocial treatments for children and young people with post-traumatic stress disorder: a network meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2020;61(1):18-29. 


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