(by Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP)
Do you remember the Wikipedia scandal when Jimmy Wales called us lunatic charlatans? Well the radical skeptics are at it again. This time it was in Forbes online magazine.
The commentary was titled, “You Won’t Believe The Government Is Supporting This Crackpot Mental Health Therapy”.
It bemoaned the fact that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the U.S. government, now lists the energy psychology approach of Thought Field therapy (TFT) as evidenced based. This is a huge step toward creating greater acceptance of this approach. Click here and then search under TFT.
The commentary was co written by Scott O. Lilienfeld, a well-known radical skeptic and Dr. Sally Satel, who I have not heard of before, but apparently is in the same camp. You can and should read the article for yourself. But before you read the article, read my earlier blog on the six anti-scientific strategies used by radical skeptics. Then read the Forbes article and see them played out. How many can you find? Leave a comment below.
I wrote a response to the Forbes article, along with 18 other people. All those responses were unanimously against Satel and Lilienfield. It is very hard to access the comments , so I include my response here with two changes. I’ve corrected the number of published articles and the percent of positive findings.
This article claims to be scientific, yet it is completely the opposite. Notice the inflammatory language use of the word “crackpot”. Lilianfield continues to be one of the virulent naysayers who refuse to accept any data that disconfirms his story. There have been numerous research articles published in refereed scientific journals that support TFT and other related approaches. Now a completely independent NREPP* has reviewed the research and found that TFT is evidenced based. Instead of updating the database in their heads, Lilianfield and now Satel continue to tow the true “anti-believer” line. They continue to use the “it’s placebo” argument. NREPP has a series of rules it uses to evaluate programs. And those rules are the same for everyone. TFT passed those rules. Therefore, according to Lilianfield and Satel, NREPP must be faulty. It could not possibly be that Lilianfield and Satel are in error.
There are now as many as 90+ published studies on TFT and related “tapping” approaches. 99% of them have found significant positive results. This data is not consistent with the placebo narrative. But no amount of data will change their long-standing opinion. Perhaps a reasonable business example might be senior executives at Blackberry saying, “The iPhone phenomena is not real! It will be a flash in the pan”!
Actually, we should be feeling good about this. It is far better to be attacked than ignored. We are in fact making headway. And the article in Forbes has the taint of desperation. Can you smell it?
Remember to see how many anti-scientific strategies you can find in their opinion piece and post your findings below!
Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP
ACEP Executive Director
Want to learn more about the latest science that supports energy psychology and explore new body-mind healing methods? Join us at the 18th International Energy Psychology Conference, June 2-5, 2016. Learn more.
*National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, which is created by SAHMSA