Psychology Today Critique of Havening ADT and My Reply

You can read the feature on Havening ADT by  Christian Jarrett Ph.D editor of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog in Psychology Today here

I actually attended the Havening ADT event that Jarrett refers to and I feel compelled to respond to what strikes me as a fairly feeble piece of journalism.

I think Christian Jarrett should talk directly to Dr Ruden and ask him for more information especially with regard to the thousands of patients that Dr Ruden says he has treated over the last ten years. I was convinced both by the significant positive effects that patients experienced in the demonstrations and also by the effects I personally experienced and witnessed other delegates experiencing.

I also think that Jarrett’s superficial comments about ‘touchey’ therapies and his clumsy and erroneous conflation of Havening with EMDR and TFT shows that he has not read Dr Ruden’s book carefully. To the extent that EMDR and TFT work they are clearly not ‘tapping’ into the same neurological mechanisms as havening. Dr Ruden suggests that havening generates a delta wave similar to that experienced in slow wave sleep and that when this is done as the patient re-experiences the original traumatising event, phosphorylated receptors on synapses within the pathways to the amygdala become phosphotased, releasing the trapped fear and rage for good. Ruden specifically dismisses tapping (EFT and TFT) as generating any similarly specific and enduring effect.

As for the idea that CBT is somehow based on more robust scientific evidence I am sceptical. I have no doubt that CBT has some benefits for some people and there is certainly plenty of research supporting this idea, but I suspect the primary drive behind CBT is economics. It is cheap, easily understood and fits the conventional, rationalist model of ‘talking therapies’.

The reality is that ‘mental illness’ and the workings of the unconscious are anything but rational and that appeals to ‘reason’ often do as much harm as good in my experience. If everyone could ‘think’ their way out of a ‘mental illness’ I am sure many more would jump at the chance but it just isn’t this simple. Personally I will use anything and everything to help my patients get well (even CBT) but I would far rather do something that has a palpable and immediate effect than torture people in pain with the sterile rigidity of CBT. Certainly more research, especially longitudinal follow ups on people treated with havening will help clinch this either way but Jarrett’s dismissive approach does a great disservice to someone whom I found to be honourable and authentic. Next time, Dr Jarrett, I think you should go on the course and read the book properly before trotting out this kind of idle and speculative critique.

I am currently treating people using Havening ADT and will be following up everyone I treat on a regular basis over the next few years. If you would like more information or want to book an appointment follow these links.

For other posts/features on this topic go to When the Fear Goes Away and Havening ADT

About Harvey Taylor

Hi. I'm Harvey Taylor. I moved to Shrewsbury in September 2021. These days I am mainly focused on creating art, writing and telling stories for children and adults, performing mad poetry and delivering public speaking. You can find some of my old, and most of of my recent output at There will also be any updates there about upcoming events. I also created Richard the Bear and soon there will be more Richard the Bear stories and art available at this site too. I also look after an elephant called Uncle Oojah who celebrated his 100th anniversary on 18th Feb 2019. Check out
This entry was posted in anxiety, havening adt, Panic Attacks, Phobias, PTSD, social anxiety and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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