|Claims||Tapping on meridian points on the body, derived from acupuncture, can release energy blockages that cause negative emotions.|
|Related fields||Acupuncture, acupressure|
|Original proponents||Roger Callahan|
|See also||Tapas Acupressure Technique, Emotional Freedom Techniques|
|This article is part of a series on|
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a fringe psychological treatment developed by American psychologist Roger Callahan.Its proponents say that it can heal a variety of mental and physical ailments through specialized "tapping" with the fingers at meridian points on the upper body and hands. The theory behind TFT is a mixture of concepts "derived from a variety of sources. Foremost among these is the ancient Chinese philosophy of chi, which is thought to be the 'life force' that flows throughout the body". Callahan also bases his theory upon applied kinesiology and physics. There is no scientific evidence that TFT is effective, and the American Psychological Association has stated that it "lacks a scientific basis" and consists of pseudoscience.
Callahan terms his treatment "Thought Field Therapy" because he theorizes that when a person thinks about an experience or thought associated with an emotional problem, they are tuning into a "thought field." He describes this field as "the most fundamental concept in the TFT system," stating that it "creates an imaginary, though quite real scaffold, upon which we may erect our explanatory notions".
Perturbations are said to be precisely encoded information contained in the thought field; each deformation of a person's thought field is connected to a particular problem, and is activated by thinking about that problem. Callahan maintains that these perturbations are the root cause of negative emotions and that each perturbation corresponds to a meridian point on the body. In order to eliminate the emotional upset, Callahan says that a precise sequence of meridian points must be tapped. He posits that tapping unblocks or balances the flow of qi.
Callahan states that the process can relieve a wide variety of psychological issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction, and phobia.A typical treatment session lasts up to fifteen minutes, and is not repeated. Callahan has also stated that TFT can treat or prevent physical problems, including atrial fibrillation. In 1985 in his first book on TFT, he wrote that specific phobias could be cured in as little as five minutes.
Callahan also asserts that his most advanced level, Voice Technology (VT), can be performed over the phone using an undisclosed "technology". Training for the advanced VT is provided by Callahan. The fee listed on Callahan's website for this training is $5,000. Thought Field Therapy in the media: a critical analysis of one exemplar[ clarification needed ].
There is concern by clinical psychologists of the adoption of TFT as an unvalidated and pseudoscientific therapy by government bodies and the public at large.
In 2000, an article was published in the Skeptical Inquirer which argued that there is no plausible mechanism to explain how TFT could work, and described it as a baseless pseudoscience.
A 2006 Delphi poll of psychologists on discredited therapies, published in an APA journal, indicated that on average, participants rated TFT as "probably discredited".The sample included both practicing clinical psychologists and academic psychologists. Devilly states that there is no evidence for the claimed efficacy of power therapies including TFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and others such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and they all exhibit the characteristics of pseudoscience. Lilienfeld, Lynn & Lohr also use TFT as an example of a therapy that contains some of the hallmark indicators of a pseudoscience. Specifically, they note its evasion of the peer review system and absence of boundary conditions.
Previous studies performed on TFT have received criticism in the medical literature. For example, an exploratory study done by Charles Figley,a psychologist who endeavored to find more effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He examined four novel therapies with a six-month follow-up evaluation (using measures that were not used immediately post treatment) and did not conduct statistical significance testing to compare the therapies. The authors stated that "In contrast to conventional psychotherapy research, the SCD methodology is not meant to compare the various treatments, and thus does not necessarily meet the criteria proposed for empirically validated treatments, although it does meet some of those criteria," and also stated that "Unfortunately, because of problems with client screening and data collection, the study fell short of reaching its goals. Moreover, the nature of the study precludes comparison of the approaches, and such a comparison was never planned."
The authors also noted that because they did not prescreen participants for PTSD, not all participants necessarily met the criteria for PTSD. The authors acknowledged that the study of TFT and the other three methods were incomplete, and noted that "these treatment approaches appear to be promising in helping clients remove the most painful aspects of their traumatic memories." The authors noted that all four approaches warranted further study.
A controlled study on Thought Field Therapy Voice Technology published in the peer reviewed journal The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice,which showed no difference between the TFT VT and randomly selected tapping sequences, which provides evidence against Callahan's assertion that precise sequences derived from his claimed specialized technology make a difference in result.
Much evidence adduced in support of TFT by Callahan and other proponents comes from uncontrolled case reports that were not peer reviewed. For example, Diepold and Goldstein demonstrated that TFT altered the brain patterns of a single traumatized subject.
In 2001, in an unprecedented move, the Editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology agreed to publish, without peer review, five articles on TFT of Callahan's choosing; these were: Callahan, 2001band 2001c; Pignotti & Steinberg, 2001; Sakai et al., 2001; and Johnson et al., 2001. In lieu of peer review, critiques were published alongside each article.
The critics agreed that each of the five studies contained serious flaws that rendered them uninterpretable by them. They pointed out flaws which included: selecting only successful cases; focusing on a diversity of problems; failure to use a control group; failure to control for placebo effect, demand characteristics and regression to the mean; lack of valid assessment measures; use of the SUD[ clarification needed ] as the only measure of efficacy other than HRV[ clarification needed ]; using an out of context physiological measure (HRV) in an inappropriate manner; and lack of a credible theory. One of the critics, Harvard psychology professor Richard J. McNally, noting the lack of evidence for TFT, stated that “Until Callahan has done his homework, psychologists are not obliged to pay any attention to TFT.” Psychologist John Kline wrote that Callahan's article “represents a disjointed series of unsubstantiated assertions, ill-defined neologisms, and far-fetched case reports that blur boundaries between farce and expository prose”.
One of the original authors of the non-peer reviewed studies later retracted her conclusions and has reversed her earlier favorable position on TFT.The only other studies adduced in support of TFT are ones that were reported on in Callahan's newsletter, The Thought Field, and an uncontrolled study on Voice Technology consisting of radio show call-ins in a proprietary archive of a journal of collected papers on applied kinesiology. Callahan's claims about the TFT Voice Technology having unique properties and being on a par with hard science were not supported in a controlled experiment that used random sequences vs. TFT Voice Technology.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that aims to reduce symptoms of various mental health conditions, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective means of treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. CBT focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions and their associated behaviors to improve emotional regulation and develop personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. Though it was originally designed to treat depression, its uses have been expanded to include many issues and the treatment of many mental health conditions, including anxiety, substance use disorders, marital problems, ADHD, and eating disorders. CBT includes a number of cognitive or behavioral psychotherapies that treat defined psychopathologies using evidence-based techniques and strategies.
Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques that deal in part with the unconscious mind, and which together form a method of treatment for mental disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Sigmund Freud, whose work stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Freud developed and refined the theory and practice of psychoanalysis until his death in 1939. In an encyclopedia article, he identified the cornerstones of psychoanalysis as "the assumption that there are unconscious mental processes, the recognition of the theory of repression and resistance, the appreciation of the importance of sexuality and of the Oedipus complex." Freud's colleagues Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung developed offshoots of psychoanalysis which they called individual psychology (Adler) and analytical psychology (Jung), although Freud himself wrote a number of criticisms of them and emphatically denied that they were forms of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions by neo-Freudian thinkers, such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Harry Stack Sullivan.
Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase happiness, and overcome problems. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. Numerous types of psychotherapy have been designed either for individual adults, families, or children and adolescents. Certain types of psychotherapy are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders; other types have been criticized as pseudoscience.
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A mental health professional is a health care practitioner or social and human services provider who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual's mental health or to treat mental disorders. This broad category was developed as a name for community personnel who worked in the new community mental health agencies begun in the 1970s to assist individuals moving from state hospitals, to prevent admissions, and to provide support in homes, jobs, education, and community. These individuals were the forefront brigade to develop the community programs, which today may be referred to by names such as supported housing, psychiatric rehabilitation, supported or transitional employment, sheltered workshops, supported education, daily living skills, affirmative industries, dual diagnosis treatment, individual and family psychoeducation, adult day care, foster care, family services and mental health counseling.
The Journal of Clinical Psychology is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering psychological research, assessment, and practice. It was established in 1945. It covers research on psychopathology, psychodiagnostics, psychotherapy, psychological assessment and treatment matching, clinical outcomes, clinical health psychology, and behavioral medicine.
Charles Figley is an American university professor in the fields of psychology, family therapy, psychoneuroimmunology family studies, social work, traumatology, and mental health. He is the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health and Graduate School of Social Work Professor at Tulane University. He was a full professor and Traumatology Institute Director at the Florida State University (FSU) College of Social Work. Figley became a Purdue University Full Professor in 1983 with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychological Sciences.
Although modern, scientific psychology is often dated from the 1879 opening of the first psychological clinic by Wilhelm Wundt, attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before. The earliest recorded approaches were a combination of religious, magical and/or medical perspectives. Early examples of such psychological thinkers included Patañjali, Padmasambhava, Rhazes, Avicenna and Rumi.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to abnormal psychology:
Psychology encompasses a vast domain, and includes many different approaches to the study of mental processes and behavior. Below are the major areas of inquiry that taken together constitute psychology. A comprehensive list of the sub-fields and areas within psychology can be found at the list of psychology topics and list of psychology disciplines.
Scott O. Lilienfeld was a professor of psychology at Emory University and advocate for evidence-based treatments and methods within the field. He is known for his books 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, Brainwashed, and others that explore and sometimes debunk psychological claims that appear in the popular press. Along with having his work featured in major U.S. newspapers and journals such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Scientific American, Lilienfeld made television appearances on 20/20, CNN and the CBS Evening News.
Adrian Wells, CPsychol, is a British clinical psychologist who is the creator of metacognitive therapy. He is Professor of Clinical and Experimental Psychopathology at the University of Manchester, U.K. and is also Professor II of Clinical Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Psychosensory therapy is a form of therapeutic treatment that uses sensory stimuli to affect psychological and emotional health. In addition, psychosensory therapy is a group of therapeutic techniques that involves applying sensory inputs to treat various behaviors, mood, thoughts, symptoms, and pain. Psychosensory therapy has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine in addition to energy psychology. Some important figures in psychosensory therapy include chiropractor George Goodheart, psychiatrist John Diamond, clinical psychologist Roger Callahan, and Ronald Ruden.