Setting the Record Straight: Why I Broke with Roger Callahan and TFT
The topic of my 2004 split with Roger Callahan has come up on the ACEP Research discussion list and all kinds of unfounded speculation is occurring as to the reasons. To set the record straight, here is the posting I did in 2004 to the TFT Algorithm list serv, explaining my reasons. Note that the study mentioned was later published in the peer reviewed journal, The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice in 2005. In spite of the fact that TFT proponents with a vested interest in Callahan’s TFT denounced the study as “flawed” this study underwent a rigorous peer review by people without such a vested interest and was accepted for publication. The purpose of the study was to discover whether Roger Callahan’s proprietary Voice Technology sequences made a difference in results. My study clearly showed they did not, hence the expenditure of $100,000 to train in VT and therapy clients paying Callahan up to $600 for VT treatment was not warranted, as they could have gotten the same results with random sequences not requiring any special proprietary treatment.
I’m sure that many people will be shocked at the announcement I just made about
the change that will be taking place on this list. I am therefore posting what
I have just posted to the TFT Dx, which will explain the circumstances.
In August, 2001, I did a posting to the TFT Dx list serv announcing research I
was conducting on some cutting edge algorithms derived from an experimental
procedure. Recently, I did another posting [to that list serv] making one final
call for reports. I have decided that at this time, my data are conclusive and
I am ready to report the results of my research, which includes a controlled,
single blind study I conducted on these same algorithms, the summer of 2001.
Please be forewarned that the results I am about to announce are going to be
very surprising to most of you, and I believe that they completely overturn the
basic premises behind CT-TFT and causal diagnosis.
As you all know, the critical distinction between TFT and forms of most energy
psychology offshoots of TFT, is causal diagnosis, which provides a precise code
of specific treatment points. The TFT algorithms were developed through causal
diagnosis and when algorithms don’t work, individualized treatment sequences are
obtained through TFT Dx or Voice Technology. Dx and VT practitioners have
reported being able to help people through causal diagnosis, where algorithms
failed, thus it would seem reasonable to conclude that especially for such
complex cases, precise sequence was critical to the success of the treatment.
However, there are those who have challenged this notion. As most of you know,
Gary Craig, the first person to train in the Voice Technology adamantly
disagrees with Roger Callahan. He has repeatedly claimed that he can disregard
the VT and still get the same results he got with the VT. More recently on his
list serv postings, he is claiming that his success rate with EFT is close to
100% and the way he got it this high was not with causal diagnosis or dealing
with toxins, but by having the client get more specific about issues being
In 1998, Gary Craig conducted a seminar that several Dx trained people
attended. The transcript of this seminar can be downloaded from his website.
During this seminar, he had a discussion with several Dx trained people who have
very different reports about their experience getting VT support, some even
claiming that most of their clients who received VT support were not helped by
VT. Roger Callahan, however has his side to the story, that these people have
apexed or forgotten that he did, in fact, help these clients. The upshot of all
this was that some people believed Gary Craig and these Dx trainees and other
people believed Roger Callahan. Basically, what we had, as much as we hate
using this word, is conflicting anecdotes — their word against his. Although
Roger does have tapes of the session, the trainees’ interpretation and
perception of what went on is very different from Roger’s.
How is this to be resolved? In the summer of 2001, I decided that the only way
this could be definitively resolved would be to take the bull by the horns and
do a single-blind controlled study on VT vs. random sequences. I undertook to
conduct such a study. Over a period of several months, I collected data from
eight different algorithm trainings held in the US, the UK, and Australia. I
informed the instructors that I was collecting data, but I didn’t tell the
instructor or the participants that I was using a random algorithm on half the
group. Every other person got VT, and every other person got the random
sequence, and no one could hear the difference over the phone because I kept
everything else about the protocol, including all the reversal corrections, CB2,
etc. the same.
I obtained the random sequences by putting cut up pieces of paper with the
initials of the treatment points into a container and drawing 5-7 points (the
number of points also randomly determined). I ended up with 24 random
Because I was expecting to have a high failure rate with the random sequences,
especially at trainings where people were sometimes presenting problems that
didn’t respond to algorithms, I had predetermined that whenever a random
treatment sequence failed to get a drop in the SUD for 3 holons in a row, I
would switch to VT, thus not depriving the person of a cure and each person,
regardless of the group they were assigned to, would get the highest quality
The results I got from this experiment stunned me. It turned out that I had
identical results for each group – a 97% success rate, success being defined as
it was in the 4 other VT studies cited by Roger Callahan on p. 51-2 of *Stop the
Nightmares of Trauma* (Callahan, Leonoff, Daniel & Pignotti), as a SUD of 1
(using a scale of 1-10) – complete elimination of all subjective units of
Note that this study was identical to the one done by Stephen Daniel (n=214)
and an additional study done by myself (n=72), where just VT was used with
algorithm trainees. These studies were adduced by Roger in support of the power
of TFT VT. Please keep this in mind, that any criticisms that people might have
on the limitations of my study (and there are indeed valid criticisms) must also
be directed at the two VT studies done by Stephen Daniel and myself. The only
difference was that this time I added a control group.
There was literally no difference between the two groups and it took the same
average number of holons to get the SUD to a 1 (3 holons). The control group
had 1 failure, someone with fybromyalgia who started at an 8 and only got down
to a 7. After 3 failed holons, I switched to VT and the VT also failed to help
this person. In the VT group, I also had one case where the SUD failed to get
to a 1, but this one was partially successful – the SUD dropped to a 3. In
short, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups
What was even more incredible was that there were individuals at that training
who had utterly failed with algorithms who were helped with these random
sequences. For example, a woman had a SUD of 10 on a trauma that she had been
trying to treat all day with the trauma algorithm. With the random sequences,
her SUD came down to a 1 and she was greatly relieved and thanked me profusely.
Once I had collected and analyzed this data, I reported my results to Roger
Callahan and he was, of course, stunned. We both were. Neither of us knew what
to make of these completely unpredicted results. What he suggested I do was to
post to the Dx list, announcing that I was doing research on some cutting edge
algorithms. This was the post I made, which I reposted here recently. The
reports I got back were overwhelmingly positive with individuals being helped
where Dx had failed.
The treatment sequences I have been been sending out to people who requested
them, where such powerful results were reported, are these randomly selected
treatment sequences. They were not derived from VT or any form of causal
diagnosis. They were not even derived from intuitive diagnosis because I
literally drew slips of paper out of a hat. In every test I have done so far,
they have performed just as well as VT.
The failures reported with these algorithms were people who had also failed
with VT, either previously or subsequently, with one exception. That exception
was myself. One day in late Sept, 2001, I was experiencing a high degree of
anxiety so I decided to try some of the random sequences. They failed to reduce
my SUD. I then called Roger and reported this to him. He quickly got my SUD
down with the VT. However, there are three additional factors to consider: 1)
Roger identified toxins I had, in addition to the VT treatment, which I hadn’t
done with the random sequences. 2) I obviously wasn’t blinded to the fact I was
doing random sequences on myself; and 3) it has been my experience and that of
several other people, that there have been times when we try to treat ourselves
and the treatment fails, whereas if we call another VT person and have them
treat us, the treatment succeeds. Therefore, these are three alternative
explanations for my treatment success.
Nevertheless, as Roger recently pointed out to me when I brought this up on the
VT list, having my very high anxiety which was bordering on a panic attack, so
immediately eliminated was a powerful personal experience for me and one which
did, at least temporarily, have an impact on my conviction that the results of
my previous controlled study were conclusive. Roger did not believe that the
results of my study were conclusive enough to overturn 20+ years of his own
personal experience to the contrary and at the time, I was convinced also and so
refrained reporting what, at the time, I considered to be inconclusive results.
There was too much at stake here because if I were to prematurely report these
results, this could completely destroy the credibility of the Voice Technology,
in some people’s eyes. If I was in error, I could potentially be putting an end
to the most powerful treatment in the history of psychology and I wanted to be
certain before doing this.
Around that same time, I made a move to the west coast from NYC and this
further took my mind off the study I had conducted. I thought very little about
the study until very recently. However, during that time I had been
increasingly having a number of doubts and misgivings about a number of aspects
of TFT, Voice Technology and even HRV. I will be outlining these in a separate
posting, which will more clearly help people to understand the process I went
through which culminated in my changing my mind about the meaning of my results
and what must appear to all of you to be my radical change in my opinion of TFT
and VT. I began to once again think about the study I had conducted, the
summer of 2001 and to reconsider.
What I ended up doing was discussing my study and my results to two PhD friends
of mine, who were not TFT trained who have a high expertise in research and
asked their opinions of my data. These were people who I trusted to hold what I
told them in confidence until such time I chose to release the data, and they
have kept their promise.
The opinion of both of these people is that the data from my controlled study,
which had 66 people, were conclusive, in terms of falsifying the claim that the
VT provides precise treatment sequences which are critical to the success or
failure of treatment. A sample that size with the p values being what they were
yielded highly conclusive results. I then remembered that from everything I had
learned in my research training, this was correct. I also was running my data
with smaller numbers and noticed that as my sample grew, the numbers got more
and more alike. If a sample any bigger was needed to get statistical
significance, that could hardly be considered clinically significant. A robust
treatment as VT was claimed to be, should have gotten large clinically
significant differences, even with a small number of people.
Note, that even though there was a success rate of 97% in both groups, this
does not prove that either is efficacious. There were a number of serious
limitations to my study which precludes drawing this conclusion. What my study
does conclusively show is that there is no difference between the VT and random
sequences derived from drawing treatment points out of a hat.
Had there been any truth to the claims of the VT being a precision treatment on
a par with hard science, there should have been a difference between my VT group
and my control group. Some people would be expected to be helped by the random
sequences, but there should have been a sizeable number who were not helped and
needed VT. This isn’t what the facts have shown, ladies and gentlemen. My data
show that there is no difference between the VT and random sequences that
anyone, regardless of training level, could randomly determine.
To summarize, I have decided that in spite my previous tremendously high
enthusiasm for and investment in the Voice Technology, I am forced by the facts
of reality I am faced with, to conclude that no longer need to use it. I
cannot, in the face of these results, in all good conscience, continue to use
VT. Thus, I have decided that I no longer will be accepting any new VT clients.
I am announcing my results publicly and will leave it up to each person to
decide how best to interpret them.
When I first became acquainted with TFT, I was highly skeptical. However, I
have always been open to evidence and the truth has always been more important
to me than being “right” or “wrong”. At that time, I had been debating Roger
and other TFT proponents on a list serv, but when Roger offered me evidence, in
the form of an algorithm, I tried it and when I saw the results, I announced
that I had been wrong in my negative judgment against TFT. You all know the
rest of the story. I became one of the most passionate advocates of TFT and of
Voice Technology. However, now, the facts of reality have presented me with
another correction and I have to, once again, say that I have been wrong.
During my life, I have repeatedly found myself coming to conclusions that have
surprised me. I could never have predicted my involvement in TFT and I never
could have predicted the conclusions I have now been forced to come to about the
Roger has repeatedly pointed out that this is the way of the scientist is to be
completely open, as much as possible to the facts of reality and to strive for
objectivity. This is how I have always lived my life and this openness, to me,
is the ultimate spirituality. My path in life has always been to follow the
facts of reality, as best as I can determine them by rational thought, wherever
that takes me. While it saddens me to have to have a parting of the way with
Roger on this issue, I must continue to live by the principle of truth and
loyalty to my values, above all else. Roger said in a posting to the VT list
that I am passionate about truth and he is correct in his assessment of me.
I also want to state, for the record, that in my opinion the secrecy behind the
VT proprietary procedure is the antithesis of scientific openness and is the
biggest mistake Roger Callahan has ever made. I am now of the opinion that the
VT is not at all objective — far from it.
I intend to write up this research and attempt to have it published in whatever
forum I can publish it. All I can do is present you with my data and what my
interpretation of it is. The rest is up to you and I will respect whatever
conclusions people come to.
Monica Pignotti, MSW