Thought Field Therapy (TFT)

What is TFT ?

TFT (Thought Field Therapy) is based on the body intelligence according to Chinese medecine that have been practiced for several millenia. While taping several acupuncture points (science now enables us to follow the meridians), the body gets back its power to heal. There is no countraindication ; it can never be misused.

With TFT, anger, fear,  anxiety/stress, sadness, guilt …, all these negative emotions can be eliminated, and with them, the suffering (from frustration to trauma), the unease that prevents us from having an optimist look at life, which separates us from the others and are detrimental to our efficiency and the quality of our lives.

TFT also helps us to better live jetlags that were so difficult to handle before.

It is also very efficient to treat panick attacks, depression, obsessive compulsory disorders, anorexia, boulimia and many other predicaments …

It especially helps us during difficult transitions (break-up, mourning, divorce, retirement, lay-offs or fear of being laid off. It also helps in preventing burn-out or bore-out …

Many « bad habits » that can bother us in our daily lives come from negative emotions that TFT can help eliminate :

    • Eating too much, nibbling,
    • Drinking too much
    • Nail biting
    • Smoking
    • Obsession with technology
    • Addiction to social networks
    • Compulsive buying …

TFT is also efficient against phobias (agoraphobia, acrophobia, social phobia, fear of flying, fear of insects …). It is while helping a patient who had a water phobia that Dr Roger Callahan started to elaborate TFT (See Origin of  TFT).

Virgin Atlantic Airways uses TFT in its  « Flying without fear » program and Dr. Roger Callahan helped the actress Whoopi Goldberg, among others, to get rid of her fear of flying she could not get rid of since she had seen a plane crash.

Nota Bene : TFT is not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, mental or physical, or as a substitute for regular medical or psychological care.

Origin of TFT
It is while doing his best to treat a patient, Mary, who had a very strong water phobia, that Dr Roger Callahan, PhD in psychology, psychotherapist and researcher, started to develop TFT, in the 1970s. Mary could not drive close to the sea nor go out under the rain. Her stomach ached each time she was having a shower. Dr Callahan had a swimming pool in his garden and every week, he tried to let Mary go closer from the swimming pool. He had been trying many traditional therapies (including desensitization) for more than a year, but results were very limited. One day as she was close to the swimming pool, Mary felt sick after she had only thought about the water that was nearby. Dr Callahan asked her to tap one point of the stomach meridian. After taping for a few seconds, Mary shouted : « it’s gone ! » ; she rushed towards the swimming pool and sprayed her face. Later that day, she drove to the sea and walked in the water to the belt. She never needed any other phobia treatment. From that success, Dr Callahan carried on his researches and developped TFT.
What happens during a TFT session ?

During a TFT session, the light tapping stimulates acupuncture meridian points depending on the emotion that one wishes to eliminates. According to traditional chinese medecine that is several thousands year old, the meridian points are related to an organ and an emotion. One also stimulates the two parts of the brain through very simple exercices.

Results are usually quick and they last.

TFT presents no risk and no side-effect.

It can be practiced with everybody, from babies to elderly people, and everywhere.

What do professionals say about TFT ?

“Using your technique I was able to help, in minutes, 10 nervous executives speak… (in public) …with no trace of their former fear.”

Dr. Christopher Hegarty, Renowned and Award-winning Speaker / Trainer.

“I have recommended and used Dr. Callahan’s Five Minute Phobia Cure in my Self-Esteem seminars for many years. Now, his new Stop the Nightmares of Trauma provides us with a simple, self-help technique for past traumas. This revolutionary approach brings us one giant step closer to reducing the suffering of trauma victims throughout the world.”

Jack Canfield, Co-Author, “Chicken Soup for the Soul®” Series

“It is beyond amazing. I have never seen any treatment so powerful.”

Dr. Martin Swartz, Research Associate Professor, New York University Medical School.

“I have received ongoing feedback from many of the doctors and psychologists who have incorporated your techniques into their practice, and comments like ‘extraordinary success with the Callahan Techniques in my most chronic, difficult-to-treat cases…’ ”

Dr. Lee Pulos, President, Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

“One of the most effective and most powerful for quick clinical relief and help – and the idea of psychological reversal is one of the major discoveries in psychology?”

Gary Emery, Ph.D., Co-author, “Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective”

“TFT is extraordinarily powerful, in that clients receive nearly immediate relief from their suffering and the treatment appears to be permanent… it does not require the client to talk about their troubles, something that often causes more emotional pain and discourages many from seeking treatment… it is extremely efficient (fast and long lasting).”

Charles Figley PhD, Professor and Director, Psychosocial Stress Research Program
and Clinical Laboratory, Florida State University.

“I asked my problem patients to try your technique and in one week it has proven 100% successful for those who have used it.”
David Kerchner, Hollywood Weight Loss Centre, Ellwood, Philadelphia, USA

“I find it exceedingly rapid and applicable to a wide variety of patients.”
Dr. Patricia Carrington, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Rutgers Medical School.

“If it had been a horse race, which the investigators as well as the innovators were all at pains to deny, the TFT contingent would have won, hands down. Requiring virtually nothing in the way of personal interaction, TFT can bypass all that tedious therapeutic business of joining, empathy, history taking, reprocessing and the like, and zero in on the problem immediately at hand. With 10-minute treatments not at all unusual?”

Mary Sykes Wylie, Ph.D., Senior Editor, “The Family Therapy Networker, July/Aug, 1996.”

“For 25 years I have treated American war veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have witnessed gallant efforts to keep a job, be members of a family, overcome homelessness and resist the temptation of suicide… I am very grateful to Dr. Callahan for his discovery of Thought Field Therapy. For too long a time, my patients and I have yearned for something like this. In my opinion, this gentle action technique is easily the best approach to thorough and enduring relief from this crippling psychological disorder.”

Carl Johnson, PhD, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology, Program for Homeless Veterans, Martinsburg, West Virginia

“I have been trained in a traditional medical, psychiatric, psychoanalytic and psychopharmacological model and I can state clearly – If I had only one therapy to use it would be Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy. It’s the best therapy in history!”

Luanne Ruona, MD, Director, Center for Holistic Therapy, Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA

“This (training) was a pinnacle for me. It expanded, reviewed and integrated what I had already learned and provided many new things for me to learn”

Rita Weinberg, PhD, Professor of Psychology at National-Louis University, Wheeling Campus, Wheeling, Illinois

“TFT is not just the most powerful tool in traumatic stress reduction; IT SAVES LIVES. I have used TFT to intervene with a suicidal client and it worked. Thank you Dr. Callahan for sharing this with the world.”

Bruce Ramsay, CTR, CISM, Program Director, First Nations? Emergency Services Society of B.C.

“What’s fascinating about TFT is it’s quick, painless and its success rate is almost unbelievable… anywhere from 80-97%… which is really unheard of in the field of mental health in any type of treatment over this whole century.”

Shad Meshad, President, National Veterans Foundation and Founder / Author of the National Veterans Centre Programme, USA

“Here we have patients and family members going through acute and chronic medical, surgical and psychiatric problems. I am using Callahan Techniques on a daily basis for rapid treatment of trauma of various kinds. These rapid treatments are far superior to traditional crisis intervention techniques in that the client / patient receives amelioration of the problem in minutes rather than days, weeks or months.”

Dr. M. Marie Green, Clinical Social Worker, McKay-Dee Hospital, Ogden, Utah, USA.

A few studies on TFT

Following studies were made on TFT :

  • Blaich (1988) f ound that readers increased their reading speed up to 45% while using Dr Callahan’s treatment and tapping the side of the hand (karate point) for psychological inversion.
  • Yancey (2002) found that college students, who used TFT to eliminate feelings of anger and violence, had better results at school and better relationships with their family and friends. Adults who used TFT to help college students to have better results during tests, eliminate stress, have better relationships with their family and friends, go over violent feelings and increase their self confidence. They used it for themselves, their families and friends to eliminate stress.
  • On 714 participants treated by 7 therapists for 1,594 problems, statistical tests per pairs showed a significant reduction of stress on a scale of 1 to 10 (Sakai et al, 2001)
  • TFT significantly reduced the needle phobia measured on a scale from 1 to 10 before the treatment and one month after it (Darby, 2002).
  • TFT significantly reduced the fear of public speaking as measured on a scale of 1 to 10 and on the speaker’s anxiety scale (Schoninger, 2004).
  • On 105 survivors in Kosovo who had 249 traumas, 103 noted the disappearance of 247 traumas. The presence or absence of the  “bad moment”, or traumatic moment, has been used because of cultural taboos which forbid using the scale from 1 to 10. Results last for around 5 months (Johnson, 2001).
  • 31 immigrants to the United States showed a significant reduction of post-traumatic stress according to the post-traumatic Checklist and the 1 to 10 scale between the moment before the TFT treatment and 30 days afterwards (Folkes, 2002).


Blaich, R. (1988). Applied kinesiology and human performance. Selected papers of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, (Winter), 1-15.

Darby, D. W. (2002). The efficacy of Thought Field Therapy as a treatment modality for individuals diagnosed with blood-injection-injury phobia. Dissertation Abstracts International, 64 (03), 1485B. (UMI No. 3085152)

Folkes, C. (2002). Thought Field Therapy and trauma recovery. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 4(2), 99-104.

Johnson, C., Shala, M., Sejdijaj, X., Odell, R., & Dabishevci, D. (2001). Thought Field Therapy: Soothing the bad moments of Kosovo. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(10), 1237-1240.*

Sakai , C., Paperny, D., Mathews, M., Tanida, G., Boyd, G., Simons, A., Yamamoto, C., Mau, C., & Nutter, L. (2001). Thought Field Therapy clinical applications: Utilization in an HMO in behavioral medicine and behavioral health services. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(10), 1215-1227.*

Schoninger, B. (2004). Efficacy of Thought Field Therapy (TFT) as a treatment modality for persons with public speaking anxiety. Dissertation Abstracts International, 65 (10), 5455. (UMI No. AAT 3149748)

Yancey, V. (2002). The use of Thought Field Therapy in educational settings. Dissertation Abstracts International, 63 (07), 2470A. (UMI No. 3059661)

*The Journal of Clinical Psychology articles were not peer reviewed and were published with invited critical reviews.

What is the difference between TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) ?

In 1995, Gary Craig created EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Gary Craig was a student of Dr Roger Callahan and TFT in 1991 ; Gary Craig was  looking for a way to sum up the technique and to make a fit for all technique.

The two methods are efficient, as are other tapping methods because they all come from TFT.

EFT chose to change or eliminate several things. In EFT, meridians are tapped from top to bottom for any emotion.

TFT uses a diagnostic that is specific to each person, situation, and prevailing emotion at the very moment (guilt, anger, fear …) : it works on a made to measure basis.

With TFT, you do not need to speak of the incident of negative emotion precisely to have good results : the sequence is performed silently while thinking of the emotion (it is a thought field therapy) and the helper does not need to know anything about the situation the client lived for the sequence to be efficient ; those who wish to talk about it during the session can also do it. The helper’s training and experience allows him/her ready to hear it.

With EFT, one must say sentences outloud which reveal the difficulties the client lives, which is not the case with TFT.