Applying the Radical Exposure Tapping protocol in the treatment of trauma-related emotional reactivity: A phenomenological case study

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Emil Barna, Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy, counsellor and psychotherapist, Australian College of Applied Psychology, and Denis O’Hara, PhD, Professor of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Australian College of Applied Psychology. 



This study aimed to investigate the phenomenological experience of an individual engaged in the Radical Exposure Tapping (RET) protocol (MacKinnon, 2014) for trauma-related emotional reactivity. A single case study design was selected to allow for a comprehensive investigation of the participant’s experience following the administration of the RET protocol. Qualitative methods, including interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2009; Smith & Osborn, 2015), were used as the participant’s experience was of primary importance. Data analysis revealed three superordinate themes resulting from the process of the RET protocol—emotional experiences, memory processing, and vulnerability—with each theme comprising various interrelating subordinate themes. Findings suggested the usefulness of the RET protocol in the reduction of trauma-related emotional reactivity for the case study participant, with relevant limitations discussed. More, however, needs to be known about the outcome reliability and mechanism(s) of change for the RET protocol in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology.


Keywords: radical exposure tapping, EMDR, EFT, trauma, PTSD, case study, interpretive phenomenological analysis


Address for correspondence:
Emil Barna

Denis O’Hara