Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy [PEP]
Manual for Level 1 Module © *
The manual is organised according to a logical flow of the material. First it outlines some basic principles, then moves on to muscle testing which provided the original foundations in Applied Kinesiology. Before proceeding with energy work it is necessary to check for the readiness of the system – thus some aspects of how to check for, and correct, disorganisation and reversal are considered next. Having established a psycho-energetic system that is able and willing to release dysfunctional information and allow change, it is then possible to work with the meridians. Some of the emotional and energetic properties of the meridians are detailed, along with schematic outlines of tapping procedures. Finally the evidence base is indicated.
Introductory comments and basic principles.
Outline of the three days [2 day & follow-up]
Brief comments on muscle testing
Correcting disorganised or non-polarised energy systems
Specific psycho-energetic reversals
The meridians: emotions, test points, and tapping points
Four evidence-based acupressure points
Some other energy points
The EFT procedure
Muscle testing for sequence
Allowing the meridians to speak
References and bibliography
* [not to be copied or distributed without permission]
Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy [PEP] is about listening, energetically as well as psychologically, intervening (again energetically as well as psychologically), then listening, observing and enquiring for the response. The questions we commonly ask of the client are simple: ‘what do you notice?’, ‘what comes to mind now?’, ‘what are you feeling right now?’. In this way the work closely parallels the process of verbal psychoanalytic psychotherapy, but with the added and crucial dimension of the energy system. Where it differs is that elaborate psychoanalytic interpretation is seldom required. Instead, we allow the energy system to speak, to direct our attention to the most important issues – and then we facilitate its release of toxic or dysfunctional information. The therapist is not viewed as the ‘one who knows’ but as one skilled in exploring and decoding the messages of the client’s energy system.
None of the propositions in this manual are to be taken as fixed truths. All are open to challenge and modification. They should be regarded as temporary working hypotheses. Energy Psychology approaches, including PEP, are not based on theories but upon observation, exploration, and experiment. Some of the key foundational observations were made by George Goodheart (Applied Kinesiology), Dr. John Diamond (Behavioural Kinesiology), and Dr. Roger Callahan (Thought Field Therapy). Many others have contributed in important ways to the emerging field of energy psychology, of which PEP is one strand.
We cannot claim to know or understand exactly how energy psychology methods work. We should not view muscle testing and other forms of energy checking as objectively valid. The only relevant criterion ultimately is whether the client benefits from the work done.
Membership of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology [ACEP] is to be encouraged. This was established in the USA in 1998, by a group of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and licensed social workers, in order to promote research, provide education, and develop an ethical code for the new field of energy psychology. It is an international organisation and I recommend it with confidence. The website is www.energypsych.org
It is assumed that participants in this training will have had some prior introduction to energy psychology methods, either by attending a brief workshop or by reading.
The book Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy by Phil Mollon [Karnac 2008] is a basic text for this training.
Basic principles of PEP:
All that is distressing in the mind or body is encoded in the body’s energy system. This coding can be discerned through simple and replicable procedures for energy checking.
The subtle energy system is the interface between the body and mind.
By working with the mind, body, and energy system simultaneously we activate a powerful therapeutic synergy.
The three commonly recognised systems of subtle energy are: the meridians (of acupuncture); the chakras (energy centres down the centre of the body); the biofield surrounding the body.
The energy system may not be in a position of readiness to heal. It may be in a state of psychoenergetic reversal or ‘neurological disorganisation’. These can be detected easily and are usually readily corrected with simple procedures.
Many psychological (and physical) problems are the result of trauma. The nature of the trauma, and its links to the presenting problem, may or may not be conscious. Nevertheless, procedures of energy checking will lead us to the underlying structure of the problem – a structure consisting of trauma, beliefs resulting from the trauma, and defences against re-experiencing the trauma. A traumatised person will identify with the trauma, either in part of their being or more globally. The part of the system containing the trauma becomes frozen in time. Trauma envelopes the psycho-energetic system in emotional and spiritual darkness.
The energy system will release its encodings of trauma easily provided there are no internal objections to doing so. Common internal objections are assumptions that it is not safe to do so, or that the person does not deserve to be free of these, or will lose their identity if they do so. These objections are expressed as psycho-energetic reversals, revealed rather precisely with energy checking procedures. Psycho-energetic reversals express the psychodynamics of the mind.
More recent traumas may contain links to earlier traumas. These may need to be tracked and their residues cleared from the energy system. This is not concerned with ‘recovered memories’ but with the energetic residues of trauma – the precise content is, more or less, irrelevant.
Encodings of trauma in the energy field can be in hidden areas – such as ‘body’, ‘unconscious mind’, ‘parts’, ‘chakras’, ‘soul’, etc. We can energy check for these. There is no specified limit to the areas that can be explored for hidden perturbations.|
The energy system responds to intention.
What is possible at the energetic level is determined and constrained by our beliefs. For therapeutic change it is often necessary to identify and modify blocking beliefs.
Energetic change may also be constrained by physical substances, or other energies, that act as ‘energy toxins’.
By being attentive to the flow of the client’s mental and energetic process, we can intervene rapidly, effectively, and deeply. We can ‘listen’ energetically as well as emotionally and cognitively. In this way, the psychoenergetic process can be directed by its own inherent structure in a manner similar to that of conventional psychoanalytic therapy.
There is no one correct or fixed way of working with the energy system. An appropriate attitude is one of playful exploration, whilst also responding to the client with maximum sensitivity and care. Work at the energy level entails a deeply ethical and compassionate stance. An attitude of judgement (along with wishes to categorise) interferes with work at the energetic level.
Day one of module
Review of history of energy psychology – the meridians and the emotions.
Initial experiences of the effects of tapping on acupressure points and working with chakras.
Thinking in terms of energy – viewing people as constellations of photons – learning to sense energy.
Becoming familiar with the main tapping points used in TFT and EFT.
Learning the rudiments of muscle testing (and other forms of energy checking and informational signalling), including self-testing.
Becoming familiar with the energy system, including checking for neurological disorganisation and general reversal.
Tapping for simple emotional issues, using the standard algorithm of EFT.
The use of ‘subjective units of distress’ – SUDs to monitor progress.
Day two of module
Learning to locate meridian sequences that underpin an experienced state of distress.
Understanding and correcting psychological reversals.
Tuning in to the various aspects of a presenting problem and the core issues underlying it. Tracking the layers of trauma.
Using the ‘9 gamut’ and understanding its significance.
Following the flow of a person’s psycho-energetic shifts.
Learning to talk and tap.
Day three of module [follow-up day]
Discussion of experiences of using energy methods.
Consolidating the understanding.
Muscle testing or energy checking
Muscle testing provided the foundation of Applied Kinesiology, from which energy psychology was derived. There is a considerable art to the technique. It is best learned through demonstration and practice. Most people are able to learn self-testing with practice. Extensive discussion of muscle testing can be found in Mollon 2008.
Some basic principles to bear in mind are:
Press lightly and sensitively – use the least pressure necessary to detect a difference in muscle tone
If necessary, coach your client’s system to give clear information – e.g. explaining that it is not a test of strength, and that if the muscle begins to give way it is OK to let it go.
Attune to each client’s particular system – each client is different, rather like driving different cars, each of which responds subtly differently.
Do not assume the muscle test is objectively correct – instead, take it as offering hypotheses for further exploration.
The appropriate attitude is a paradox of trusting whilst not assuming the test to be objectively true.
MT can provide a direct route to the unconscious mind, providing the questions are framed appropriately to allow a yes/no answer.
Correcting disorganised or non-polarised energy systems.
If an energy system is disorganised or non-polarised (states that were traditionally referred to as ‘neurological disorganisation’ and/or ‘switching’ within Applied Kinesiology) the person is not able to benefit easily from energy-based work. In such a state the person is not fully ‘present’, is not properly processing information, and may feel disorganised, detached, or depersonalised. The energy system may be out of alignment along any of the three dimensions: front back; up-down; left-right.
Non-polarisation, reversed polarisation, and up-down imbalance.
Normally the palm of the hand and the top of the head should have opposite electrical polarities, so that when the palm is held over the top of the head the muscle tests strong. If it does not, such that the palm down tests weak and the palm up tests strong, the system is in reversed polarity. A simple way of remembering is by the mnemonic ‘Palm is power, back is slack’.
Another simple test for general or massive reversal is to muscle test the person saying “I want to be well”. This should test strong. “I want to be sick” should test weak.
I find this can usually be corrected simply by asking the person to tap the side of the hand and say “Even though my energy system is reversed, I completely accept myself” – i.e applying one of the basic corrections for psychological reversal discovered by Dr. Callahan.
Sometimes there will be no difference between palm down and palm up. This would indicate a disorganised system – it can usually be corrected by the following procedure.
Basic unswitching procedure
This will usually correct many forms of disorganisation or lack of tuning/alignment in the system.
The person holds a finger in their umbilicus, pressing gently upwards. Then he or she thumps the thymus in the centre of the upper chest, breathing in and exclaiming Ha Ha Ha as they breathe out.
Then (still holding umbilicus/navel) the ends of the collar bones are rubbed.
Then tap under the nose.
Then tap centre of the forehead.
Then tap the base of the spine/tail bone.
Then repeat with the opposite hands.
Hold two fingers to end of collar bone under throat – first on one side, then on the other. Muscle test to check the arm remains strong.
Then hold knuckles to the same place, first on one side then on the other. Muscle test to check the arm remains strong. Correct using the collar bone breathing exercise below.
Collar bone breathing correction.
This correction is based on a method originally developed by Dr. Roger Callahan. Hold whichever of the above finger or knuckle positions tests weak. Start tapping on the ‘gamut’ point on the back of the hand between the knuckles of the little finger and the next finger.
Breathe in all the way and hold.
Force in a little more, hold.
Breathe out half way, hold.
Breathe out all the way, hold.
Force out a little more, hold.
Breathe in half way, hold.
Repeat for any other positions that test weak.
Have the person look at a large X drawn on a piece of paper. This should muscle test strong. Looking at parallel lines downwards should muscle test weak. This may be corrected by the basic unswitching procedure described above, or by the ‘9 gamut’ procedure described below.
The 9 gamut procedure.
This was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan, and incorporated by Gary Craig as a routine component of Emotional Freedom Techniques. It may help to correct many forms of disorganisation. The name refers to the fact that a gamut of nine different actions are performed whilst tapping the same point on the thyroid/triple warmer meridian.
Tap the back of the hand, between the knuckles of the little finger and the next finger. Keep tapping throughout.
Look down to right.
Look down to left.
Roll eyes in a circle.
Roll eyes in a circle the other way.
Hum a few notes.
Count a few numbers.
Hum a few notes. [These last three can be reversed as counting, humming, counting – but the first must always be repeated after the second (for reasons unknown)].
Other corrections for ‘neurological disorganisation’.
For other commonly used forms of correction, including cross crawl and Cooks Hookups, see Feinstein 2004, Gallo 1999, or Mollon 2008.
Note: there are many ways of correcting disorganisations and reversals in the energy system. Practitioners find their own preferred techniques, but may vary these according to the client.
This will interfere with muscle testing and with energy work. Test by muscle testing whilst the client tugs a strand of hair or pinches the skin on the face. If this tests weak, the person may be dehydrated. Invite them to drink some plain water.
Specific psycho-energetic reversals
It was Dr. Callahan who originally identified specific energetic resistances to recovery from particular problems – and he coined the term ‘psychological reversal’. He found that a person may muscle test weak to the statement “I want to be over this problem” and strong to “I want to keep this problem.” He also found that sometimes a person’s system would release most of the perturbations but then seem to stick; at this point the person would muscle test weak to “I want to be completely over this problem” and strong to “I want to keep some of this problem”. He called this a ‘mini reversal’. What he called a ‘level 2’ reversal, concerning the future, would be revealed by testing weak to “I will be over this problem”. ‘Recurrent reversals’, which continually reappear, moments after correcting, are often due to the presence of substances that are acting as ‘individual energy toxins’. Full details of Callahan’s views and methods in relation to reversals can be obtained from a Callahan Techniques TFT training: www.tftrx.com . The workshop in PEP does not seek to teach these.
Since Dr. Callahan’s pioneering work, many practitioners have noted psychodynamic motivations and core beliefs underlying reversals. For example, commonly a person may muscle test weak to one or more of the following statements:
It is safe to be over this problem.
I deserve to be over this problem.
I will still be me if I am over this problem.
I will benefit from being over this problem.
For a more extensive outline of reversals see Mollon 2008.
Through trial and error, Dr. Callahan discovered three ways of resolving psychological reversals: 1. tapping the side of the hand (small intestine meridian – reasons unknown); 2. making a statement of self-acceptance; 3. using the Bach flower remedy ‘Rescue Remedy’. He now mostly uses simply tapping the side of the hand. Gary Craig incorporated a routine broad correction for reversals in his ‘set up’ procedure at the beginning of rounds of EFT: “Even though I have this problem [state the problem] I completely love and accept myself”.
In order to target the precise nature of the motivation behind the reversal, it is helpful to state this in words, whilst tapping the side of the hand: e.g. “Even though I feel it is not safe to be over this problem, I completely accept myself”. The words can be varied. For people who cannot say “I accept myself”, the wording “I accept that is how I feel” also works well.
Practitioners of EFT often have the client rub the neurolymphatic ‘sore spot’ on the left side of the chest whilst making the reversal statement. I do not particularly recommend this since it is unpleasant to rub that area.
A general persistence or rapid recurrence of reversals may indicate the presence of energy toxins that need to be removed or neutralised. [This is a specialised area not covered in this module].
The meridians: emotions, test points, affirmations, and tapping points.
In working with the meridians it is useful to know the test points, or ‘alarm points’ traditionally identified within applied kinesiology. These are, in most instances, distinct from the meridian tapping points, or ‘treatment points’ used in TFT and EFT. Usually the tapping points are the start or ends of the meridians, but other points along the meridian can be used as well.
John Diamond’s 1985 book provides photographs illustrating the test points (which are also illustrated in other texts, such as Feinstein 2004, p 261 and Gallo 1999 p 78).
The different meridians seem to link to different emotional states – an association first outlined by John Diamond. However, these meridian-emotion links should not be considered fixed. There is an inherently fluid (and somewhat elusive) quality to the meridians.
The meridians do not follow any known anatomical pathway – yet do seem to inhabit the physical body in a relatively predictable pattern.
John Diamond derived particular affirmations to correct disturbances in each meridian. Whilst not widely used, these are included here for interest. Tapping can be used to install positive ideas, as well as to remove negative/dysfunctional information.
Tapping on meridians appears to have been introduced by Callahan.
The following meridians have test points bilaterally (either side) of the body:
Test point: the hollow of the shoulder: “the first intercostal space on the anterior paraxillary”. [Diamond 1985 p 102]
Diamond calls this the meridian of humility.
Negative emotions linked to the lung meridian include: disdain; scorn; contempt; haughtiness; false pride; intolerance; and prejudice.
Diamond affirmations: I am humble/tolerant/modest.
Tapping point: outer side of thumb, side of nail.
Test point: an inch or two below the nipple: “in line with the nipple at about the costal border, usually just above it” [Diamond 1985 p 112]
Diamond calls this the meridian of happiness.
Negative emotion: unhappiness.
Diamond affirmations: I am happy/have good fortune/am cheerful.
Tapping point: the same as the test point.
Gall bladder meridian.
Test point: an inch or so up from the base of the ribs at the front, under the nipple but an inch or so to the side: “at or just below the junction of the ninth rib and the costal border.” [Diamond 1985 p 118]
Diamond calls this the meridian of adoration.
Negative emotions include rage and fury.
Diamond affirmations: I reach out with love/with forgiveness.
Tapping point: outside the eye, on the bony ridge at the side.
Test point: on the side, where the waist bends: “tip of the eleventh rib” [Diamond 1985 p 123].
Diamond calls this the meridian of confidence.
Negative emotions are to do with realistic anxieties about the future.
Diamond affirmations: I have faith and confidence in my future; My future is secure; I am secure.
Tapping point: side of body, on bra strap or opposite male nipple.
Test point: in the vicinity of one of the kidneys: “tip of the twelfth rib” [Diamond 1985 p 129]
Diamond calls this the meridian of sexual assuredness.
Negative emotions are to do with sexual indecision.
Diamond affirmations: I am sexually secure; My sexual energies are balanced.
Tapping point: end of collar bone under throat, either side.
Large intestine meridian
Test point: an inch or so under the navel, and a couple of inches or so to one side: “approximately six centimetres lateral to the umbilicus and two centimetres below” [Diamond 1985 p 133].
Diamond calls this the meridian of self-worth.
Negative emotion: guilt.
Diamond affirmations: I am basically clean and good; I am worthy of being loved.
Tapping point: side of index finger, next to thumb, base of nail.
The following meridians have test points down the centre of the body:
Test point: centre of the chest level with the nipples.
Diamond calls this the meridian of relaxation and generosity.
Negative emotions include: regret and remorse; sexual tension; jealousy; stubbornness.
Diamond affirmations: I renounce the past; I am relaxed; My body is relaxed; I am generous.
Tapping point: side of middle finger, opposite thumb, base of nail.
Test point: just under the ribs in the centre under the chest: “tip of xiphoid process below sternum” [Diamond 1985 p 149]
Diamond calls this the meridian of forgiveness.
Negative emotion: anger.
Diamond affirmations: I love; I forgive; There is forgiveness in my heart.
Tapping point: inner side of little finger, base of nail.
Test point: in the centre, around the area of the stomach: “halfway between the xiphoid process and umbilicus” [Diamond 1985 p 154]
Diamond calls this the meridian of contentment and tranquillity.
Negative emotions include: disgust; disappointment; bitterness; greed; emptiness; deprivation; nausea; hunger.
Diamond affirmations: I am content; I am tranquil.
Tapping point: under the eye.
Thyroid/triple heater meridian.
Test point: an inch or two below the navel: “one third down an imaginary line between the umbilicus and symphysis pubis” [Diamond 1985 p 164]
Diamond calls this the meridian of hope.
Negative emotions include: depression; despair; grief; hopelessness; despondency; loneliness; solitude. Feinstein links it with the fight-flight response.
Diamond affirmations: I am light and buoyant; I am buoyed up with hope.
Tapping point: back of hand, between the knuckles of little finger and ring finger.
Small intestine meridian.
Test point: “two-thirds down an imaginary line between the umbilicus and symphysis pubis.” [Diamond 1985 p 178]
Diamond calls this the meridian of joy.
Negative emotions: sadness and sorrow.
Diamond affirmations: I am full of joy; I am jumping with joy.
Tapping point: side of hand – ‘karate chop’ area.
Test point: just above the pubic bone: “just above the symphysis pubis” [Diamond 1985 p 182]
Diamond calls this the meridian of peace and harmony.
Negative emotions: restlessness; impatience; frustration.
Diamond affirmations: I am at peace; I am in harmony; Conflicts within me have been resolved; I am balanced.
Tapping point: corner of eyebrow and nose.
The Conception/Central and Governing Vessels.
These are not organ-related meridians, but are regarded more as vessels collecting energy that has passed through the organ meridians. The governing vessel may be linked to embarrassment and the central vessel to shame. In addition the governing vessel may be concerned with ‘governance’, the sense of executive control of the system and of one’s life; thus, feelings of helplessness may show up in the governing meridian.
Test point for governing vessel: “slightly above the midpoint of the upper lip” [Diamond 1985 p 188]
Negative emotion: embarrassment.
Tapping point: same as the test point.
Test point for conception/central vessel: “slightly below the midpoint of the lower lip” [Diamond 1985 p 190].
Negative emotion: shame
Tapping point: same as the test point.
NB ‘Unzipping’ the central meridian has a weakening effect.
Steve Reed has drawn together evidence from scientific studies, using hi-technology equipment including fMRI scans, showing that the following points have a demonstrable effect of relieving distress and altering brain function (beyond placebo) even though this cannot be explained according to conventional paradigms.
Large intestine 4: between the thumb and index finger, about an inch or so back into the webbing of the hand.
Stomach 36: below the knee – move your finger down to the bump just below the kneecap – the point is just under this bump.
Extra point 1: directly between the eyebrows.
Ear relaxation point: inside the top of the ear, slightly forward of the top midpoint.
For more information about these points and the REMAP process, go to www.remap.net
Fingers around the ears.
At certain times I find the following position helpful (although I am not sure why): hold the fingers around the ears, lightly resting on the skull.
The ear itself is considered to contain a map of all the meridians, as does the foot. Sandi Radomsky, in her ‘allergy antidotes’ work, often uses ‘soft lasers’ moving rapidly over the entire surface of the outer ear as a rapid and effective procedure to relieve sensitivities – see www.allergyantidotes.com
Top of the head
Some years back, Gary Craig and others who use EFT incorporated tapping on the top of the head – not a specific meridian point but a meeting point of several meridians.
Tapas Fleming’s points
Tapas Fleming, a California Acupunturist, developed the following pose that is used as part of the Tapas Acupressure Technique:
Thumb and third finger lightly hold the bladder 1 points, in the corner between the eye and the nose; the middle finger rests on the third eye chakra; the other hand rests on the occipital area at the back of the skull.
For further information about this method see www.tatlife.com
Judith Swack finds this position helpful for many problems: one hand holds the forehead, the other hand holds the back of the skull; whilst doing so, the head is allowed to move in whatever way it feels inclined to. For information about Judith Swack’s work see www.jaswack.com
The basic EFT procedure – a simplification of TFT without sequence or muscle testing.
In 1995, Gary Craig, having previously trained with Roger Callahan, presented a simplified version of TFT, eliminating muscle testing and concern for sequence of meridians. He wrote a simple manual and created some inexpensive training videos. The information was made available through his website: www.emofree.com .This website and the method he called Emotional Freedom Techniques has become popular beyond his wildest initial imaginings, despite never having advertised. At first glance, EFT would seem to be nothing more than a degraded version of TFT. However, Gary Craig’s contribution has been to focus on how and where to target the method, focusing on the various details or aspects of an emotional problem, as well as the beliefs related to it, and the networks of previous traumas that may be holding the presenting problem in place. His personal style includes a highly skilled form of ‘talking and tapping’ with much playful reframing and morphing of the issue; this is easier to grasp by observation than verbal description.
The basic EFT procedure is as follows:
Take a history in the normal way.
Identify issues to target with EFT. These might be recent or past traumas, recurrent anxieties, physical or emotional pain etc. Be aware that the presenting problem may be the surface of a number of complex strands of emotional and psychodynamic problems. Core beliefs can also be targeted, especially if these can be linked to recurrent messages given by caregivers in childhood, or to formative traumatic experiences.
If appropriate, ask the client to generate a movie-like mental sequence that captures some representative aspects of formative early experiences that have contributed to the presenting problem. EFT is applied at each point in the sequence where the client experiences any emotional intensity.
If a trauma or anxiety, or other distressing event is targeted, ask the client for a Subjective Unit of Distress/Disturbance (usually 0-10).
Provide an explanation of EFT that is appropriate and acceptable to the client – e.g. to say that it is a psychological application of acupressure, or simply that it has been found that tapping on certain areas of the body helps to loosen the fixed patterns of thought and distress that have become established. Clients will often readily accept the statement that talking alone is often insufficiently helpful, since their experience tells them that this is true.
Find an appropriate form of words to refer to the problem – using, as far as possible, the client’s own words.
Begin the ‘set-up’ – tapping side of hand (or ‘sore spot’ neurolymphatic reflex) whilst having the client say “Even though I have this problem (name it) ... I completely accept myself”. This combines two functions, of correcting any psychoenergetic reversal that might be present, and also activating the relevant thought field.
Have the client tap through the EFT sequence (i.e. tapping on all the meridians), whilst using a short ‘reminder phrase’ at each point.
Proceed through the ‘nine gamut’ sequence: whilst continually tapping the back of hand on the ‘gamut spot’ between the knuckles of the little finger and next finger, close eyes, open eyes, look down to right, down to left, eyes roll in a circle, circle other way, hum a few notes, count, hum again (or count, hum, and count again).
Repeat EFT sequence.
Repeat until SUDs have dropped to 0.
If the SUDs are not dropping, consider the possibility that the client has shifted aspects and is now preoccupied with another thought or emotion or memory. Apply EFT to this new aspect.
If the SUDs are not moving, use words that may address other or deeper aspects, voicing thoughts and fears that may relate to the client’s deeper anxieties and feelings.
Let the process flow – tapping and talking, throwing out words and phrases that might relate to the client’s concerns – and also picking up, mirroring, and amplifying, words that the client voices.
If the SUDs seem to be stuck at around 2 or 3 (a minireversal), use the phrasing “Even though I still have some of (this problem) …
Or “Even though I have some remaining ….”
Then have the client tap to “remaining ….”.
Always test the result. Ask the client to think vividly of the previously troubling situation and to try to locate any distress.
Treatment of complex cases (‘personality disorders’ etc) simply involves the application of the EFT (or TFT) method to each of the numerous issues (anxieties, traumas, emotional pains and injuries) – i.e. to the multiple thought fields - that will emerge in the course of psychotherapy. In this way, EFT will be combined with a more conventional psychological therapy (cognitive, psychoanalytic etc).
Some common algorithms used in TFT and related methods
For trauma: eye brow (next to nose); collar bone.
For anxiety: under eye; under arm; collar bone.
For claustrophobic anxiety: under arm; under eye; collar bone.
For anger: inside little finger.
For rage: outside eye.
For guilt: index finger.
For shame: chin.
For self-consciousness and embarrassment: under nose.
More extensive outlines of algorithms are found in Callahan 2001 and Connolly 2004.
Using muscle testing to locate the relevant meridians.
This is best learned through demonstration and practice. Basically the procedure involves muscle testing the meridians whilst the client thinks of the problem. With practice it is possible to proxy test, using one’s own energy system to read that of the client. Dr Callahan’s own original procedure should be learned from a Callahan Techniques TFT workshop: www.tftrx.com
Allowing the meridians to speak.
In this procedure one begins by muscle testing ‘in the clear’ – the muscle should test strong. Then a meridian alarm point is found that makes the muscle test weak. The client is asked to tap on this meridian and to speak of whatever comes to mind. Following this another meridian is found that causes the muscle to test weak. This too is tapped on – and so on. The resulting flow of free-associative material will usually be highly pertinent to the client’s current preoccupations and difficulties.
Evidence for the efficacy and clinical effectiveness of Energy Psychology methods includes the following:
· Thousands of brief case studies
· Systematic clinical observation studies
· Randomised controlled studies
· Brain scan data
· Studies of effects on Heart Rate Variability
· Field studies of treatment of PTSD in disaster areas
· Audio-visual recordings showing behavioural change.
· A large 14 year audit in South America, incorporating numerous randomised, controlled, double blind trials.
· Uncontrolled pilot studies
These are extensively described and discussed in Mollon 2008 and Feinstein (in press). Despite the emerging evidence, there is a tendency for those who are entrenched in conventional paradigms to dismiss this work essentially because it does not fit their view of how the world is. Rupert Sheldrake, the biologist whose work on morphic fields has greatly influenced energy psychology, has established a website for scrutiny of some of the regular figures of academic authority who seek to ‘debunk’ non-conventional perspectives: www.skepticalinvestigations.org
One of the strengths of energy psychology approaches is that feedback (evidence) is rapid. Muscle testing will provide immediate information about shifts in the system. We also continually monitor the client’s subjective experience. If progress in resolving an issue is not apparent, we consider why this might be. We follow up hypotheses, continually exploring and testing. An attentive and enquiring stance is most appropriate to the work.
Callahan, R. J. 2001. Tapping the Healer Within. Contemporary Books. New York.
Connolly, S. M. 2004. Thought Field Therapy. Clinical Applications Integrating TFT in Psychotherapy. George Tyrrell Press. Sedona, AZ.
Diamond, J. 1979 Your Body Doesn’t Lie. Eden Grove. Enfield. [1997 edition]
Diamond, J. 1985 Life Energy. Paragon House. St. Paul, MN.
Feinstein, D. 2004. Energy Psychology Interactive. Rapid Interventions for Lasting Change. Innersource. Ashland, OR.
Feinstein, D. (in press). Energy Psychology: A Review of the Preliminary Evidence. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training.
Gallo, F. 1999. Energy Psychology. Explorations at the Interface of Energy, Cognition, Behavior, and Health. CRC Press. Boca Raton.
Hover-Kramer, D. 2006. Creating Right Relationships: A Practical Guide to Ethics in Energy Therapies. Behavioral Health Consultants. Cave Junction, OR.
Mollon, P. 2005. EMDR and the Energy Therapies: Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Karnac. London.
Mollon, P. 2008. Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy: Inspired by Thought Field Therapy, EFT, TAT, and Seemorg Matrix. Karnac. London.