Setting The Record Straight

An article that appeared last November in the journal of Research on Social Work Practice (Gaudiano, Brown, and Miller,2012) presented energy psychology and its “energy meridian techniques” as falling within pseudoscience, having no research support, and no credible theory backing it. Besides ignoring substantial evidence to the contrary on all three assertions, the paper went on to suggest that the proponents of EP lack critical thinking ability, promote erroneous health beliefs, and should be made to undergo additional training and education to help them overcome their “affinity toward controversial therapies.” Along the way, the authors also leveled personal attacks against leaders within the field of EP.

ResearchOnSWP_journalFour practitioners and researchers in the ACEP community have written a powerful rebuttal that decimates the arguments presented in the paper: Eric Leskowitz, MD (Harvard Medical School), Mary Sise, LCSW (former ACEP President), Phyllis Stein, PhD (Washington University School of Medicine), and Anthony Tranguch, MD, PhD (Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons). Their paper is currently under review by the journal that published the original paper.

Gaudiano et al. argued that energy psychology methods, such as EFT or TFT, don’t have research support. This clearly ignores the many recent studies that have shown EP to be effective for helping clients with a variety of issues. It is ironic that Gaudiano, Brown, and Miller (2012) label EP as pseudoscience, when they themselves did not bother to do look at the research of the last ten years. Furthermore, Gaudiano has been “skeptical” of EP since 2000. The current article cites the same few articles that so-called “skeptics” have been citing for many years despite evidence to the contrary. In another ironic turn, it is Gaudiano, Brown, and Miller who appear to succumb to uncritical thinking, namely maintaining a conclusion despite overwhelming new data to the contrary.

We certainly hope the Journal of Social Work publishes this paper, because it corrects unsubstantiated and unfounded claims about EP. Such claims, if allowed to stand, can insidiously become accepted as truth in people’s consciousness. That is why we’re pointing to this rebuttal and asking that you share it with others in the field.


  1. Really amazing that the reviewers have not,picked up on the two reviews of EFT demonstrating its effectiveness in some areas published last year (Feinstein,2012; Boath. et al. 2012). I am currently doing a research project with social work students and EFT has significantly reduced their anxiety around a skills lab assessment. These students are also telling us that they are using EFT to help them when they are on placements too. Wonder what this journal would make of that?

  2. Victoria Reeve says:

    In Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science, Dr. John Ioannidis is quoted as saying that as much as 90% of the published medical information that allopathic doctors rely on is incorrect – including the so-called “gold standard” of the peer-review process. Obviously, the “peer review” process at the Journal of Research on Social Work Practice falls into this 90%; either it is unaware of its inherent bias against what they don’t understand, or it practices incredibly sloppy science, or both.

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