Friday, November 22, 2013

Wiki EFT - Wiki's Most Vitriolicly Biased Entry?

I am sickened by the subjectivity and bias of the Wikipedia webpage on Emotional Freedom Technique. Where is their objectivity and neutrality?

This article is a trusted resource for the general public. When it discusses therapies, it is being used by the public to make therapeutic choices. It may even be used by health professionals to make therapeutic recommendations. As such, Wikipedia carries a responsibility to fairly represent this therapy in contrast to the alternatives.

Everything that is said, of course is true but for the sake of being unbiased, let us put that INTO PERSPECTIVE; not just a convenient fragment of the truth but the whole of the truth as demanded by any court of law.

CBT (including RET) is the only psychological therapy to meet the standards required. There are even questions as to whether pharmaceuticals meet those standards other than in terms of short term symptom relief, which is really bad Evidence Based Medicine. The quality of evidence for the original versions of other psychological therapies (before they started to borrow more from CBT) was generally low. The therapies themselves fail to show anything but customer satisfaction. Any positive, objective effects come down to the individual therapist client relationship.

The academic leaders of the EFT community are doing what they can to collect adequate, high quality evidence to make this an Evidence Based Therapy. They are obeying the scientific process. They are following the higher standards of clinical evidence that many scientific papers published in top journals do not live up to. Nor do many journals on 'counseling'. In fact, it is still accepted practice to publish second or third rate evidence in the best medical journals, including case reports.

Criticism over failure to meet the highest quality study design in Evidence Based Medicine must be put into this perspective. These standards are incredibly high and rarely achieved, especially in psychology. Clinical treatment decisions often have to be made by using moderate quality evidence as an indicator rather than demanding cast iron proof where high quality studies are not available.

It happens in real world medicine where the stakes are high. I remember the license being granted for the prevention of osteoporotic hip fractures to a drug with quite horrible side effects. It was made on the basis of a 5% p-value ( NB this article has been checked for objectivity) after 42 previous studies had failed to show statistical significance.

In contrast, I have never heard of an EFT side effect. Benefit - probable but not completely proven or defined. Risk - none identified as yet.

That is a really good equation for a first line treatment for non-life threatening conditions and symptom control.

Yes, CBT/RET has better evidence. It also cost more and is not necessarily available. There is more stigmatisation and seeing a clinical psychologist can be socially unacceptable for the patient, especially in milder states.

Teaching EFT as a psychological tool for self-help is not only empowering but is a really useful weapon in the therapist's armoury to discourage dependency and increase patient responsibility. The general culture of passive aggressive dependency is a major factor and root cause in many mental health issues.

In my experience, the EFT process can give the patient the power and self confidence to confront their underlying issues and enter into a state of self-analysis and deep catharsis.

In many ways, EFT can be seen as a CBT self help tool. It promotes the central concepts of CBT perfectly. It promotes the belief that we can control our emotions and moods rather than be their helpless victims. It confronts the dangerous societal belief that we should let our moods rule us rather than taking conscious control over our lives.

This means that EFT is culturally healthier than any of the other psychological therapies that have also failed to produce gold standard clinical evidence. Avoiding dependency is the major issue of psychoanalysis so it should be considered approximately neutral despite the fact that many patients attempt to create it. Generic counselling promotes emotional domination and all but encourages dependency. Pharmaceuticals certainly promote dependency. Used indiscriminately, they relieve the symptoms and allow the patient to resist the major internal and external life changes that CBT uses to such clinically proven effect in long term therapy.

So do you recommend the therapy that generally promotes the models of the gold standard psychological therapy, CBT, or those that sabotage its fundamentals?

As for this Wiki page's attitude towards a lack of scientific basis, I am truly appalled. This represents the worst of the now discredited culture of Theoretically Based Medicine that Evidence Based Medicine is trying to eradicate for its corrupt use in creating a pharmaceutical monopoly, the proven dangers of prioritising the use of therapies based on laboratory theories over real life evidence and the lost opportunities in health of discarding therapies which produce evidence that they do work in real life just because the Skeptic Society does not like them. It breaks the precious fundamentals under which science should be practiced by promoting theories, that are in fact nothing more than subjective opinions of how the evidence should be explained backed by subjective reputation, over the hard evidence. It is the subjective exclusion of evidence for emotions and vested interest when theories should be accepted or rejected on the basis of their performance in explaining the entirety of the available evidence. It is a corruption of the Noble Scientific Ethic of Objectivity.

The depth and scale of this problem cannot be overemphasised but nobody dare talk about it for fear of offending the emotions of the Skeptic Society. The get physiological fight or flight reactions when anything disagrees with their indoctrinated norms and fight it or flight it through over-criticism. This is how they react to anything new but anything old and accepted causes physiological relaxation. They doze off and anything passes them by without them even noticing. It is hardly the recipe for the inquiring mind that the mindset of science demands.

And watch them get emotionally offended at the very possibility.

If they had the emotional freedom that The Noble Scientific Ethic demands, they would take this warning about the well known but insidious effects of the subconscious mind and its emotions on rational, conscious thought very seriously. They would be proactive in erasing these emotional responses as a part of their sacred quest for objective truth about the universe that we live in.

I recommend EFT every time to improve academic objectivity.

When it comes to the mechanism for EFT, I do not care and Evidence Based Medicine does not care. I am objective enough to admit I do not know.

What we know for sure is that a part of the effectiveness of EFT does come from the fact that it mimics the CBT process but with greater independency. Quite what the tapping does, I do not care and nor does Evidence Based Medicine. We do not care if it is just a ritualistic ploy to motivate and give confidence for the patient to do their personal CBT work. It works. That is good enough for us.

I feel that EFT has been pushed into coming up with explanations of mechanisms that sound scientific. The word 'Energy' comes up for New Age acceptance. So everybody goes off looking for electrical mechanisms.

I am happy with the concept that the tapping and eye movements are some sort of mysterious communication with the subconscious mind that science does not yet understand.

Ask a sceptic what the mind is and how it speaks and hears words.

Ask a sceptic what consciousness is.

Ask a sceptic where the subconscious mind is.

The answers to those questions shows just how little empirical science knows about the subject and that they have no right to comment, let along dismiss EFT.

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