From Abracadabra to Zombies
reader comments: thought field therapy
21 Feb 2000
Thank you for adding TFT to the Skeptic's Dictionary and for linking to my site.
I only have a couple points of clarification:
1) I'm not sure if TFT can be exactly characterized as a cognitive therapy. Callahan doesn't say this at all. I have simply made the observation that TFT contains some techniques that are common in cognitive-behavioral therapy like imaginal exposure and rational responses. However, these techniques are utilized in an apparently incidental way and are not integrated in what would be conceptualized as a cognitive approach. As another example, newer brief psychodynamic therapies employ what looks like CBT techniques but they would never characterize it as such. I also make this assertion because TFT is very reminiscent of EMDR which some say is CBT with eye movements. (Eye movements of course being shown to be superfluous). In any event, saying it's a cognitive therapy may be giving it too much credibility. There is no empirical evidence to support that it works anywhere near as good as other cognitive behavioral approaches.
2) Even though the one web site says that Callahan is a cognitive psychologist he actually has claimed in repeated places (and to me personally) that he has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Syracuse.
3) Callahan claims to have told Mary to tap under her eye because is supposedly connected to the stomach energy meridian. This was prompted when Mary complained of stomach discomfort associated with water.
4) He commonly claims even higher success rates than 85%:
"I had to make further discoveries which increased my success rate from about 3% with that one under the eye treatment to about 98% success today."--Callahan (recent email from SSCPnet listserv)
These are just some minor points but I don't want Callahan to use these trivialities against you in the future.