Heart rate variability does not tap putative efficacy of Thought Field Therapy



Callahan (2001) has offered a series of case reports in an effort to validate the rationale and methods of Thought Field Therapy (TFT). These case reports employ subjective ratings, that is, the Subjective Units of Distress (SUD) rating scale as well as a gross measure of heart rate variability (HRV). My criticisms center around (a) inappropriately strong inferences given exclusive reliance on case reports, a potentially biased sample, and lack of appropriate controls; (b) misinterpretation of statistical artifact as systematic effect; (c) lack of systematic evaluation of HRV changes; and (d) erroneous interpretation of HRV. Callahan's article provides no evidence for the efficacy of TFT nor does it provide evidence for the credibility of TFT's rationale. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 57: 1187–1192, 2001.