The Promise of Energy Psychology

Is This the Dramatic Healing Secret We Have Been Waiting For?

The emergence of Energy Psychology (EP), including methods such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), TFT (Thought Field Therapy), PSYCH-K, and Matrix Reimprinting (to name a few) means that, for millions of people suffering from phobias, self-limiting beliefs, and even major emotional and/or physical traumas, expensive and often ineffective traditional therapies can be eschewed in favor of more affordable (or free)—and very often spectacularly successful—“new” methods that can achieve better results in a fraction of the time.

Energy psychology describes a collection of novel psychological interventions that “balance, restore, and enhance human functioning by stimulating the human subtle energy system,” which includes the acupuncture meridian system, chakras, and nadis. “These techniques… have been observed to catalyze rapid, dramatic, and lasting changes in feelings, beliefs, mental states, and behaviors,” as well as physiology and biochemistry. Thus, EP techniques involve “stimulating energy, whether by tapping, touching, or intention” (J. Freedom, “Energy Psychology: The Future of Therapy?”, Noetic Now, August 2011, http://noetic.org/noetic/issue-thirteen-august/energy-psychology/). EP therefore traces its roots not just to Chinese medicine and qi gong but also to the work of modern pioneers, such as chiropractor and founder of applied kinesiology George Goodheart, Australian psychiatrist John Diamond, and Thought Field Therapy founder Roger Callahan.

In short, EP modalities use both psychological interventions and energetic interventions together (EFT is a Form of Energy Psychology, http://www.setfree.co.nz/about-eft/eft-is-a-form-of-energy-psychology/). The result is something far greater than the sum of the parts: EP techniques, claim adherents, offer a uniquely powerful way to address and heal the subconscious mind from which around 95% of our thoughts and behavior originate. Cognitive neuroscientists estimate that our conscious minds contribute roughly 5% of our cognitive activity, meaning that the vast majority of our actions, emotions, decisions, and behaviors result from the unobserved workings of the subconscious (B. Lipton & S. Bhaerman, Spontaneous Evolution, Hay House, 2011, 33). Consider the sobering fact that during the first six years of life, most of our beliefs about ourselves and the world are formed and adopted into our subconscious quite passively, according to what we experience and observe—all before we have developed critical thinking faculties that would allow us to reject self-defeating notions before we adopt them as beliefs that then shape our thoughts and actions, and the kind of lives we lead (Spontaneous Evolution).

 

EFT and TFT

For psychological issues rooted deeply in intense emotion (more so than at the mental level), EFT, TFT, and Matrix Reimprinting (which developed from EFT), the evidence suggests may be more effective more of the time than virtually any other therapies. Scientific research combined with voluminous anecdotal reporting suggests monumental potential for future applications of EFT and TFT.

Developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig, EFT arose from TFT (Thought Field Therapy), which was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan and articulated and popularized by him through the 1970s and 1980s. What Callahan did was make the serendipitous discovery that tapping on a sequence of acupoints (acupuncture points) on a female client with an extreme phobia of water, produced profound relief and resolution—far beyond what an educated Western medical professional could ever have hoped for, based on their knowledge at that time (and for those stuck in the mainstream allopathic mindset, this largely still holds true).

Callahan’s client could not even look at water without acquiring a splitting headache, and because the approach of systematic desensitization was making such little in-road into the problem, Callahan changed tack and tried tapping on acupoints instead (a method from applied kinesiology). After only one minute of this, the woman knew immediately—without Callahan even needing to test her—that her fear was gone. (The Future of Therapy?)

From this initial epiphany, Callahan went on to develop an elaborate and complicated system of specialized algorithms—each custom designed to treat a particular problem; and to this day he insists that the body’s energy fields respond differently to different tapping sequences (which is probably true), and thus, for maximum results, each malady requires its own condition-specific tapping algorithm. Callahan has a list of professional advocates with impressive credentials who rave about the wonders they have seen TFT work. (See the Frequently Asked Questions about Thought Field Therapy (TFT) at: www.RogerCallahan.com/faq.php.)

The story gets more interesting, however, when Gary Craig enters the picture. Craig was one of Callahan’s students many years ago, at a time when Callahan was charging individuals a whopping $100,000 each to learn TFT. Craig—having paid the money and learned under Callahan—simply asked himself whether such amazing results could be obtained through simpler, easier-to-apply, and essentially random tapping sequences (rather than specialized algorithms). So Craig tested his hypothesis out, and the results he got were impressive. No matter the order in which Craig stimulated the acupoints on his subjects, significant therapeutic benefits were obtained. Craig decided that the world needed this information, and he began giving his knowledge and methods away to the public for free (This is the essence of the story as relayed by Australian EFT Master Peter Graham to a group of us in 2011.) Thus, EFT was born into the world—condition-specific tapping algorithms and hefty tuition fees be damned!

EFT’s bread and butter involves repeatedly tapping a selection of acupoints while tuning in to the feelings (and even the colors and textures) sensed in the body that are stemming from a particular memory, unpleasant current emotion, or old trauma. The idea is to decrease the intensity of the sensation down as close to zero (on a scale of zero to ten) as possible, zero being complete resolution (no emotional charge) and ten being maximum intensity. (This “subjective units of disturbance/distress” [SUDs] self-reporting scale was developed by psychologist Joseph Wolpe in 1958.) In short, energy psychology techniques such as EFT and TFT systematize the use of acupoints into a structured stress and trauma reduction routine—and unlike pharmaceuticals, they actually heal.

In 2003 a scientific study by the Australian psychologist Dr. Steven Wells, et al., detailed phenomenal success in using EFT to treat clinically diagnosed phobias of small animals such as snakes, spiders, bats, and mice. The pre-EFT intensity of the phobias were measured by taking into account several factors: increases in pulse rate while contemplating the feared object; the number of steps they could walk towards the feared creature; written stress questionnaires. Subjects were then briefed for half an hour on the treatment method, including receiving a brief EFT session. The subjects then had their phobias tested again. On every measure, fear had dropped dramatically, and some subjects could even walk right up to the animals that had normally triggered phobic reactions.

One woman with a previously crippling fear of cockroaches followed her 30-minute EFT session by immediately walking into the nearby room harboring a cockroach in a jar, picking it up and examining it closely. She found that her newfound confidence and self-esteem permeated all areas of her life. Six months later, a follow-up study showed that subjects still had much reduced phobic reactions to the objects of their fear. This study was later replicated by Harvey Baker’s research team of New York’s Queen’s College (D. Church, The Genie in Your Genes, Energy Psychology Press, 2009, 223–5).

Numerous studies in energy psychology have repeatedly shown its potency, evincing the ability not just to reduce or eliminate phobic responses but pain and anxiety, too.

Another study involved taking brain scans of subjects with generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety and depression, for instance, have specific electronic signatures. EEG readings of participants’ brains taken through twelve energy psychology sessions show enhanced wave-frequency ratios and less dysfunction, especially in the frontal lobes—which are involved in higher mental functions, including humor appreciation, personality, self-awareness, and emotions in general (P. Shammi and D. Stuss, “Humour Appreciation: a role of the right frontal lobe”, http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/122/4/657.full, 1998). Subjects’ brains which were treated simply with antidepressants showed no such improvements; and the group treated with the more widely known cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) required more sessions to achieve similar results to the EFT group, and the effects were not as durable, as revealed by a one-year follow-up (The Genie in Your Genes).

In further support of these findings, in February 2013, Dr Dawson Church, et al. reported the results of a study of 59 U.S. veterans with clinically diagnosed (severe) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These were published in the respected Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. In this randomized controlled study (the “gold standard” of scientific research), 30 veterans in the EFT group received six separate one-hour-long EFT sessions (concurrent with standard care), while the control group (n = 29) received no EFT treatment. Measures of the breadth and severity of psychological distress for veterans in the EFT group plum- meted. After six sessions, fully 90% from the EFT group no longer qualified as having PTSD. In contrast, a month after the initial tests, only 4% of the control group no longer registered as having PTSD. After the wait period, the control group then also received EFT. Again the results were stunning, with huge drops in clinical symptoms.

For the 49 subjects (of the original overall sample of 59 participating veterans) who actually did receive EFT treatment in the end, fully 80% of them remained free of manifest PTSD symptoms (they were “subclinical”) six months later. Church reported: “This is the best result for PTSD ever obtained in a clinical trial for any therapy” (Church, et al., “Psychological Trauma Symptom Improvement in Veterans Using Emotional Freedom Techniques: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: February 2013, Volume 201, Issue 2, p. 153–160). To put this in perspective, many traditional therapists wrongly believe that PTSD is incurable.

In fact, EFT’s more complicated “big brother”—TFT—has achieved results at least as remarkable. A volunteer team of EP practitioners who traveled to Kosovo to treat survivors of the Serbian massacre using TFT was able to report that remaining survivors experienced complete recovery from “the post-traumatic emotional effects of 247 of the 249 memories of torture, rape, and witnessing the massacre of loved ones” that were treated. Kosovo’s surgeon general wrote in glowing terms of the achievements of the international EP team, lauding their efforts. Additionally, in formal follow-ups at an average of five months later, all those treated remained free of relapse (The Genie in Your Genes, 312–313).

Treatments by international teams working with post-disaster victims in Kosovo, Rwanda, the Congo, and South Africa tallied the treatment outcomes of 337 individuals. Treatment focused on reducing severe emotional reactions evoked by specific traumatic memories [such as those in the above Kosovo study]. Following the energy psychology interventions, 334 of the 337 individuals were able to bring to mind their most traumatic memories from the disaster and report no physiological/affective arousal. Twenty-two traumatized Hurricane Katrina caregivers… reported a reduction [on the SUDs scale] from a mean of 8.14 to 0.76 on 51 [emotional] problem areas [after one 15-minute EP session]…(EFT Is a Form of Energy Psychology, http://www.setfree.co.nz/about-eft/eft-is-a-form-of-energy-psychology/)

Along with drastic improvements in emotional maladies, it is true that many physical symptoms also spontaneously improve or vanish through the use of EP. Darkfield analysis by one doctor of a patient’s live red blood cells showed significantly decreased clumping of red blood cells immediately following the use of EFT, as compared with the obvious clumping seen beforehand. In the accompanying images, red blood cell clumping is problematic because it means less surface area for oxygen from the lungs to bond to the cell surface for transport around the body. Hence, more spacing between red cells is ideal for maximizing oxygen uptake. The bottom image was taken a mere 12 minutes after the initial image. Only 12 minutes and two rounds of EFT with the conscious intent of producing an even cell distribution were required to produce this effect. In contrast, if red cell clumping can be reversed at all using mainstream, allopathic methods, it normally takes months (The Genie in Your Genes, 312–313). On top of that, the conventional medical mindset denies that intention can produce such striking effects on typically unconscious physiological processes, thus further disempowering millions of people around the world.

The list of physical complaints and symptoms that have reportedly been remedied or reduced with EFT is virtually endless: PMS, lupus, failing eyesight, headaches, allergies, carpal tunnel syndrome, cancer, MS—you name it (www.emofree.com). At the 13th International Energy Psychology Conference held in Reston, Viriginia in 2011, it was reported that then-current research was additionally demonstrating the effectiveness of EP on “test anxiety, food cravings and weight loss maintenance, public speaking anxiety, optimal test performance, and psychosomatic conditions such as psoriasis, tinnitus, and fibromyalgia.”

The day when EFT gains widespread mainstream appeal and acceptance is edging ever closer. In November 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) accepted and published a summation of validated studies by ACEP showing the effectiveness of EFT—a reversal of the position held by the APA for the previous 13 years, in which it refused to acknowledge EFT’s effectiveness (P. Graham, Tap 4 Peace Newsletter, February 2013). Matrix Reimprinting (MR) is an outgrowth of EFT and was developed by EFT Master Karl Dawson. It, too, is producing some extraordinary healing results in diverse areas. The basic premise of MR is that we all exist in a unified field (the “Matrix”) and that when our psyche is traumatized, part of it dissociates/splits off and lingers in the Matrix, essentially remaining as a version of oneself that is frozen in time, never growing older. This entity is an “ECHO” (Energy Consciousness Hologram). (Shamanism agrees that this splitting/dissociative process occurs under trauma and seeks to resolve the problem through “soul retrieval.” Spirit Release Therapy, on the other hand, uses hypnosis to locate dissociated parts of the psyche and reintegrate them.)

In an editorial in Energy Psychology Journal, Church further elaborates on the potential socioeconomic benefits of a wider employment of EP practices, stating that a projection of results from multiple studies into depression, anxiety, pain, and PTSD, “suggests that [America] would save at least $65 billion annually by adopting EP interventions in primary care.”

EP practices have a habit of working where nothing else will—and that is, in fact, the unofficial motto for EFT. Profit-driven pharmaceutical companies—whose business models are geared towards perpetual disease management—stand to lose a lot of business in the long run as we embrace EP, and the benefit to society from healing millions of the “walking wounded” around the world will be incalculable. Health care costs will dive, and billions of dollars will be saved and redirected elsewhere; and that’s just the beginning. The incidence of otherwise inevitable diseases that could be nipped in the bud well in advance of the advent of physical symptoms using EP is huge. Disease-induced suffering can be slashed, and the collective quality of life quotient increased significantly.

 

Copyright 2012 and 2017, Brendan D. Murphy, co-founder of Global Freedom Movement. Murphy is a leading Australian researcher, thinker, and public speaker, as well as advocate and facilitator of accelerated, conscious evolution through DNA activation. He is author of The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science and Spirituality, Vol. 1, available at www.BrendanMurphy.com.

By Brendan D. Murphy