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Energy psychology is a newer treatment method for mental health symptoms and disorders. Because of its young age, many people might not know what this treatment approach is all about. Learning about energy psychology can help you know whether it is the right treatment for you.
What Is Energy Psychology?
Energy psychology is a newer modality to help people feel a greater sense of calm in their bodies and minds. Energy psychology combines cognitive and exposure therapy methods with somatic psychotherapy. Most energy psychology approaches involve the client stimulating specific acupuncture points in the body while thinking about or imagining a stressful or traumatic event. Most commonly, people tap with their fingers on these acupuncture points.
The theory behind these energy psychology methods is that while someone is thinking about or experiencing certain feelings related to a stressor, tapping the acupuncture point will decrease their arousal surrounding this event. Consequently, they reprogram their somatic response.
Energy Psychology Techniques
Thought Field Therapy
Dr. Roger Callahan began researching and developing Thought Field Therapy (TFT) in the 1970s. During a TFT session, the individual recalls an upsetting or traumatic memory while tapping on specific parts of the body. Dr. Callahan created algorithms that specify the tapping sequence someone should use.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Growing out of TFT theory, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has been discussed as an energy psychology technique since 1995. Researchers and practitioners have developed a specific protocol for EFT, also known as tapping. EFT uses a combination of cognitive therapy, exposure therapy and somatic stimulation of specific acupressure points on the upper body and face.
During an EFT session, participants tune into their thoughts and reactions to a specific stressor or traumatic experience. They pair this exposure to the event with affirmations and tapping on the particular acupuncture points.
Tapas Acupressure Technique
With the Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), individuals apply pressure to specific points around the eyes, nose and behind the head. They sit in the TAT pose and work through a protocol that involves moving their attention and focus from images of the identified problem or stressor to more healing thoughts and images.
The Benefits of Energy Psychology
Energy psychology is a new field with ongoing research. A growing amount of research has shown that people experience relief when engaging in energy psychology for a variety of issues, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Weight loss
Energy psychology offers a lot of benefits to those who learn about it and give it a try:
- Easy to learn
- You can practice it at home
- It can be done individually or guided by a therapist, coach or doctor
- Low risk for problems associated with the techniques
Is Energy Psychology Effective?
More and more research is being conducted in the field of energy psychology. As the body of research grows, more support shows that the different techniques provide rapid and effective treatment for various issues, diagnoses and problems. The research has shown:
- EFT can effectively treat depression.
- TFT can reduce symptoms of agoraphobia as effectively as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
- TFT can be used as effectively as social support groups for weight loss.
- Energy psychology interventions and protocols can effectively treat traumatic responses to natural disasters.
- Energy psychology can effectively treat anxiety, depression and PTSD in a shorter period of time than other modalities
Criticisms of Energy Psychology
Criticisms of energy psychology discuss the limited research conducted to support the claims that supporters have made about it. Some have criticized that the initial proponents of energy psychology claimed the effectiveness of the protocols before conducting or publishing research. In other words, they had no research to back up their claims.
Some critics have questioned the quality of the studies conducted regarding energy psychology, such as how the participants were selected and interviewed for the studies. Critics have suggested that some research has not used a large enough population sample. Other critics have reported that the studies have shown poor compliance with the actual treatment manuals. Further criticism has suggested that the researchers were biased because they were supporters of energy psychology.
Despite these criticisms, research continues in the field of energy psychology. People continue to show an interest and report having relief of symptoms when using energy psychology modalities.
The Nobu app can provide answers and support if you or someone you know experiences mental health symptoms. You can access free mental health support, including articles, coping skills, journaling prompts and goal setting. You can also connect to a mental health professional and begin online therapy sessions for an added fee. The app is available for download on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.
Take Control Of Your Mental Health
- Feinstein, D. “Energy psychology: Efficacy, Speed, Mechanisms.” Science Direct, September–October 2019. Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. “What Is Energy Psychology?” Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Mollon, P. “Thought Field Therapy and Its Derivatives: Rapid Relief of Mental Health Problems Through Tapping on the Body.” Primary Care and Community Psychiatry, January 2007. Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Bach, et al. “Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health.” February 19, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Feinstein, D. “Energy psychology: A Review of the Preliminary Evidence.” Psychotherapy, June 2008. Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Nelms, J. & Castel, L. “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Nonrandomized Trials of Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for the Treatment of Depression.” November–December 2016. Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Irgens, A., et al. “Thought Field Therapy Compared to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Wait-List for Agoraphobia: A Randomized, Controlled Study with a 12-Month Follow-up.” Frontiers in Psychology, June 2017. Accessed December 9, 2022.Feinstein, D. “Uses of Energy Psychology Following Catastrophic Events.” Frontiers in Psychology, April 2022. Accessed December 9, 2022.