Inspiration

Tapping Research: EFT Found to Be Effective Intervention for Young Adults with Suicidal Ideation

Written by: Nick Ortner

Content warning: This article discusses sensitive content, including suicidal ideation. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

I want to start by acknowledging that this is a sensitive subject that may bring up intense emotions. It isn’t a topic I post about lightly, and at the same time it is one that I feel is important to make space for. 

My aim today is to share some recent findings from very promising research that have the potential to provide hope and healing to those affected by suicidal ideation. These research findings add more to what we already know about the resources and tools available to help and support this serious mental health concern. 

The study I will be discussing today was conducted by researchers in India who wanted to know whether or not EFT Tapping could help support young people living with suicidal ideation.[1]

The authors based their study on a large body of existing research proving Tapping to be effective for depression, trauma recovery, anxiety, and much more. They theorized that if Tapping was so effective in these other situations and conditions, then it may also have positive benefit in the context of suicidal ideation. 

How the study worked

This was a small study, with only eight participants in total. The participants were between the ages of 22 and 33, and all of them had been assessed as having suicidal ideation (thoughts of suicide).[1]

All participants were thoroughly evaluated for the severity of their suicidal ideation along with other factors before the study began. Some of the most common issues the participants struggled with included hopelessness, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and guilt. 

For the experiment, each participant went through an initial individual EFT session with a trained practitioner. They were taught how to practice Tapping, using their most pressing issue as the focus of the session. The Tapping session was conducted until the individual’s immediate distress level was minimized. 

After the initial session, the participants were told to practice on their own consistently for three weeks to build a habit around Tapping. During that time, the researchers stayed in contact with the participants via phone and provided feedback as needed. 

After the initial Tapping session and then three weeks of Tapping practice on their own, the participants were assessed again.

What did the researchers find?

The findings of this study were quite remarkable, with the before-to-after comparison showing striking results. The amazing thing was that for every single participant, all signs of suicidal ideation were gone after the three-week Tapping intervention. Every single one of them improved.

In the researchers’ own words: “Post-intervention assessment results showed absence of suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior in each and every participant.”

For all of the participants in the study, a Tapping intervention led to complete resolution of suicidal ideation – and that change happened after only a few short weeks. 

Amazing, right?

The authors remarked that beyond the improvement in suicidal ideation, the participants also reported additional benefits like increased self-love, self-esteem, self-awareness, emotional balance, and tolerance.

Promising takeaways offer potential for healing

This was a small, uncontrolled study with only eight participants. And researchers can only conclude so much from these types of small-scale studies. But when every single one of the participants comes in with suicidal ideation and leaves three weeks later without it, that is something to pay attention to! That points to something very, very powerful and important!

At least from these preliminary findings, it seems that Tapping just might have the potential to be an extremely effective intervention for people struggling with suicidal ideation.

My hope is that researchers will continue to explore the effects of Tapping on serious and complex mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Because the more evidence-based tools we can gather for these mental health conditions, the better. If EFT Tapping really can be established as an effective and efficient technique for a serious concern like suicidal ideation, it could be a real game changer for so many. 

It feels so hopeful to know that more and more people are beginning to recognize and learn about this powerful tool that has the potential to provide help and support to those who need it.

For now, I will keep spreading the word about these kinds of hopeful, promising research studies as much as possible. And I hope you will, too! 

Until next time… Keep tapping!

Nick Ortner

Where to get immediate support

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). 

You can learn more about the warning signs here, and read about effective, evidence-based interventions here. 

References

  1. Patel V & Pandey N. Effectiveness of EFT on suicidal ideation among young adults. International Journal of Indian Psychology. 2021;9(3). doi: 10.25215/0903.192


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