Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a therapy that has a little similarity with EFT but has been established longer and has a very well-established evidence-base as a therapy for the treatment of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is recommended as a treatment in the NICE guideline for PTSD.
The first controlled comparison of EFT for PTSD has now been published in a peer-reviewed journal by a team led by Thanos Karatzias and Theresa McGoldrick in NHS Fife. A Controlled Comparison of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Two Psychological Therapies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing vs. Emotional Freedom Techniques, Karatzias et al, was published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in June 2011. In this research EFT was compared with EMDR.
The researchers observed significant therapeutic gains at post-treatment and follow-up in an equal number of sessions for both the EMDR treatment group and the EFT treatment group. They observed similar treatment effect sizes in both treatment groups, albeit with a slightly higher proportion of patients in the EMDR group achieving clinically significant improvement. With only a very slight difference in effect results, it would seem reasonable to conclude from this study that EFT has the potential to be equally as effective as EMDR for the treatment of PTSD. That is based just on a research paper; anecdotally practitioners of both modalities often favour EFT and have found positive change to be more easily and quickly achieved with EFT.
EFT has a number of significant advantages over EMDR: