Preface to Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy

Perhaps as many as five millennia have passed since the idea emerged throughout the globe, but especially in India and China, that our bodies possess energy systems of utmost relevance to our health and consciousness. We can only speculate as to how these inspirations arose, but increasing evidence abounds that the ancients were correct. This and related understandings gave birth to meridian and chakra therapies, yoga, and more.

The idea for this volume came out of a number of significant events that spanned several decades at the close of the last millennium. First and foremost was the discovery, about thirty-five years ago, that the integral interconnection between body and mind can be observed indirectly via manual muscle testing. In concert with this new view was the finding that mind and body are energetically interconnected and that psychological problems can be treated through the body’s acupuncture meridian system, as well as through other little known bodily systems, including neurovascular and neurolymphatic reflexes (Goodheart, 1987). These discoveries led to the development of several kinesiologically-based approaches that address physical and psychological conditions via energetic means (Callahan, 1985; Diamond, 1978; Thie, 1973). Also emerging during this time period was the new field of psychoneuroimmunology that additionally revealed a holistic interconnection.

After studying these and related systems, I published Energy Psychology (1998), Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods (2000), Energy Tapping (2000), and The Neurophysics of Human Behavior (2000) in order to communicate these findings to a wider professional community and to the public as well. In those books I used the term energy psychology to designate this newly evolving and burgeoning field. After attending several conferences on various approaches to energy psychology, I decided to invite key proponents to write chapters for a source book that would further assist in defining, cross-pollinating, and advancing the field of energy psychology. Thus we give you Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy: A Comprehensive Source Book, in which we explore the various permutations of energy psychology theory and practice. Cases are included, and when possible, empirical studies are cited. Since we are all trying to find our way through this energy maze, differences of opinion and theory (sometimes radical) abound.

Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy is divided into four parts, containing chapters by key proponents in the field. A brief synopsis of each chapter follows.

In the Introduction I discuss a paradigm shift, rooted in physics, that views psychological function and dysfunction from the standpoint of bioenergy factors. This new view challenges prevalent psychological theories that focus on behavioral, cognitive, neurologic, systemic, and/or chemical parameters to the exclusion of the underlying energetic component.

Part I provides an overview of approaches to energy psychology. In “Thought Field Therapy: Advancements in Theory and Practice,” John H. Diepold, Jr. significantly expands on the theoretical underpinnings and clinical applications of thought field therapy and presents models of diagnosing treatment sequences that are contrasted with the algorithm approach. He also he offers several conceptual models for involving a “dynamical energy systems approach” to understanding this evolving paradigm-challenging method of psychotherapy.

In “Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods,” I cover the history and development of these methods and introduce a wide range of diagnostic and treatment protocols. Both global and more precision-oriented aspects of the system are explored and the relevance of integrating thought recognition and protocols that do not involve tapping on acupoints into the overall psychotherapeutic process is also highlighted.

Tapas Fleming’s chapter on the “The Tapas Acupressure Technique,” traces the roots of energy healing in traditional Chinese medicine and yoga as applied to today’s psychological field. She cites applications ranging from trauma-induced stress to allergies and pain and outlines the basic steps for achieving stress reduction and a balance of yin and yang energies to attain wellness. She also explains how to use her technique to help groups of people deal with traumatic events.

In “Healing From the Body Level Up,” Judith A. Swack describes her holistic system that addresses the somatic, psychological, and spiritual aspects of an issue simultaneously. Using what she calls the Standard Balance Protocol, she integrates biomedical science, psychology, applied kinesiology, NLP, and energy based healing systems such as thought field therapy, emotional freedom techniques, and Tapas acupressure technique with original research on the structure and healing of complex damage patterns.

In “Instant Be Set Free Fast,” Larry Phillip Nims discusses his method, involving a basic four-step algorithm, developed from Callahan’s original model of energy therapy. Nims’s development of his approach over the past ten years has led to a radical departure from the theory and practice of many other energy therapies. These key departures (especially treating subconscious processes without tapping on meridian acupoints) are addressed and his psychodynamic theory of how and why the energy therapies work is presented.

Nahoma Asha Clinton details her system of Seemorg Matrix Work, a synthesis of energy psychology, trauma work, analytical psychology, self-psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and spiritual principles in “Seemorg Matrix Work: The Transpersonal Energy Psychotherapy.” She explains her theoretical underpinnings with the use of clinical examples drawn both from her practice and those of other therapists. Then, utilizing a longer case presentation, she exemplifies the structure of treatment including many of the protocols and core belief matrices with a client who has received multiple diagnoses.

In “Dynamic Energetic Healing: Trauma and Soul Work at the Origins,” Mary Hammond-Newman and Howard Brockman highlight the steps to healing in their model based on process-oriented psychology, human development, shamanism, as well as energy psychology strategies and regression work. Dynamic Energetic Healing is a dynamic model that combines meridian therapies, manual muscle testing, and regression to the Energetic Origins™ of a client’s issue. Arnold Mindell’s process-oriented methods and his construct of shifting realities in combination with energy psychology theory and strategies, create an expansive model for healing mental and physical illnesses as well as for clearing “blocks to discovering one’s soul’s purpose.”

Part II covers integrative approaches that combine modalities into a unified treatment plan. In “Incorporating Biofield and Chakra Concepts into Energy Psychotherapy,” Dorothea Hover-Kramer notes how concepts of working with the human biofield and energy centers have become known in mainstream healthcare settings over the past 30 years through the practice of therapeutic touch and healing touch, (both are highly visible in the nursing literature and have a strong research base). Hover-Kramer addresses three aspects of the human vibrational matrix-meridians, biofield, and chakras in terms of their psychodynamic functions and treatment applications. She also provides self-help principles for clients and energy hygiene for therapists who are at risk for vicarious traumatization. Case examples identify situations in which a biofield or chakra intervention may be more helpful than meridian work.

Brian Grodner’s “Using Hypnotic Language Patterns to Enhance Energy Psychology Therapy: Optimal Energy Techniques” integrates the use of energy psychology with hypnosis, hypnotic language, and neurolinguistic programming to promote synergistic change. He emphasizes how language shapes and influences (and is shaped and influenced by) our energy, emotions, and internal processing and how it can be used to facilitate and enhance every step of energy therapy.

In “The Integration of Energy Psychology with Hypnosis: Beyond Positive Cognition,” Lee Pulos discusses the purpose of hypnosis as one of re-educating and reprogramming the subconscious. Following the resolution of psychological issues by using emotional freedom techniques and thought field therapy, specific hypnotic procedures can be applied to create a symptom-free future. Techniques for identifying subconscious “road-blocks” are also described.

Observing that there has been a rapid increase in the number of practitioners trained in both EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and the energy psychotherapies, John Hartung and Michael Galvin describe ways to combine these modalities to increase their effectiveness in “Combining EMDR and Energy Therapies.” Topics include correcting psychological reversals prior to initiating and during EMDR; muscle testing with EMDR; EMDR along with energy therapies to limit the severity and disruption of abreaction, dissociation, “looping,” and blocking beliefs; treatment of addiction; using one method to further client receptivity to use of the other; self-use of EMDR and the energy techniques; and, among others, energy training for paraprofessional crisis teams for use in residential programs with EMDR clients.

Philip Friedman’s “Integrative Energy and Spiritual Therapy” focuses on shifting from a path strewn with fear, grievances, and energy imbalance to one of love, forgiveness, and energy balance. His approach uses empirically derived assessment tools, muscle checking, intention and inner guidance and integrates 30 techniques including meridian energy tapping/holding, chakra holding/releasing, creating and intending, meditation, imagery, relaxation, trance, and hypnosis to name but a few.

Part III explores the special applications of energy treatment methods with a wide variety of challenging conditions. In “Use of Hypnosis and EMDR Combined with Energy Therapies in the Treatment of Dissociative Disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, Eating Disorders and Phobias,” Lillian Gross and Harold Ratner discuss the treatment of conditions that are frequently difficult and traumatizing for the patient. They describe working with patients who were previously unresponsive but who experienced rapid transformations with the combination approach.

Willem Lammers’s “Inner Child, Inner Parent Resolution (ICIPR): Meridian-Based Treatment Focused on Archaic States and Introjects,” describes the use of meridian-based psychotherapy techniques with introjects (inner parent) and archaic states (inner child). Experience has shown that noncontextual treatment for symptoms that have their roots in early childhood tends to relapse after a short period of time. Lammers has developed a number of methods that address the complexity of early childhood wounds and are especially useful in the psychotherapy of trauma, fear, and addiction.

In “Integrating Past and Present: The Early Recollection Technique,” Mary Wheeler draws upon her background in Adlerian psychology to bring together energy psychology into a traditional treatment method. Core beliefs are healed through uncovering their origins in early recollections in a way that does not retraumatize the client. A step-by-step process is presented that describes how to heal the traumatic events that shape our beliefs about the world and ourselves.

Marie Green records a variety of venues for “Energy Applications in Medical Settings.” Hospitalized patients in various areas of the hospital (medical, surgical, oncology, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, cardiology, nuclear medicine, and emergency) can benefit from energy psychology methods that shorten hospitalization or treatment time and improve outcomes.

Loretta Sparks’s chapter on “Addiction and Energy Psychotherapy” offers a comprehensive approach to treating addiction that utilizes a three-stage developmental model of recovery incorporating energy psychotherapy at every stage. The recovery needs of the individual suffering from the addictive disease as well as his or her family are addressed. She describes the powerful impact of trauma on the formation of addictive processes and the necessity of treating the associated stress and anxiety. The chapter is full of practical suggestions to facilitate the recovery process.

In “Multiple Pose Applications of Tapas’ Acupressure Technique with Special Populations,” Jane Wakefield discusses the development and use of her variations of the Tapas acupressure technique using distinct hand poses to promote healing in the treatment of dissociative identity disorder, personality disorders, head injury, and children suffering from various psychological maladies. She also explores the plausible electromagnetic basis of these procedures.

Part IV is host to the outermost frontiers of energy psychology, where contributors propose highly speculative-and creative-underpinnings to the nature and function of energy in relation to psychological issues and dynamics. In “EMDR and Subtle Energy: A Proposed Mechanism of Action,” Rick Leskowitz draws on 12 years of experience with energy healing to formulate a mechanism of action for EMDR (and all phenomena that involve subtle energy interactions) that integrates neuroscience with energy dynamics. Partly speculative, his chapter is a step towards a fuller understanding of energy-based therapies.

John A. Frisco’s chapter on “Duct Tape, Goggles, and Correcting Hemispheric Imbalances” integrates John Diamond’s work on behavioral kinesiology with the neuropsychological research of Frederic Schiffer on the dual mind hypothesis. Theoretical insights on the embodiment of energy fields are offered, with special attention given to the role of cortical hemispheric dominance and meridian pathways. The use of lateralized visual field goggles is presented to illustrate the phenomenon of hemispheric energy along with a proposed protocol for the treatment of recurring psychological problems.

In “Using the Biomonitor-An Energy Gauge for Mind and Body,” Hank Levin discusses how the clearing biomonitor-a relatively simple version of galvanic skin response (GSR) instrumentation-can be used to explore and observe the direct effect of mental “pictures” on a person’s feelings, behavior, and body, specifically in relation to the energy attending the mental picture associated with arousal. Its utilization drastically reduces the time it takes to come to an understanding of the spiritual significance of an individual’s issues.

In “Radiant Circuits: The Energies of Joy,” Donna Eden and David Feinstein focus on an energy system associated with feelings of joy, the awakening of psychic abilities, and the channeling of healing energy. Distinct from meridians, chakras, or biofields, their appearance is described by people who see energy as having a radiant quality. And they, in fact, bring a radiant, joyful, uplifting vibration to all they touch. The radiant energies are a limited, precious resource, and it is the body’s design that, like hyperlinks, they jump to wherever they are most needed. Recognizing their unusual characteristics, the ancient Chinese physicians called them the “strange flows” or “extraordinary vessels.” They are significant for working with psychological issues because a person cannot feel joy if the radiant energies are not flowing and cannot move through life in an integrated manner if the radiant energies are not connecting and harmonizing the other energy systems. This chapter includes a wide array of precisely described exercises designed to develop one’s radiant energy system and thus greater intuition, inner joy, and psychic ability.

In “Grounding Energy Psychology in the Physical Sciences,” Mark Evan Furman discusses some of the principles and foundations of a cross-disciplinary branch of science that has redefined psychotherapeutic intervention in neurophysical terms and provided a physiology-based foundation for understanding the relevance and effectiveness of energy psychology methods. Cognitive neurophysics is a branch of science that studies the effects of information processing on cognitive neurodynamics, as well as the relatively stable, recurrent, cognitive patterns that emerge as properties of these dynamics. Psychotherapeutic intervention is defined as the systematic reorganization of “energy patterns” and their relative stability, resulting in a qualitative change in the “state of motion” within the energy landscape of the neurocognitive system. This change in the state of motion both permits and constrains the development of the relatively stable, but transient and recurring “energy structures” commonly referred to as behaviors, thoughts, perceptions, and emotions-collectively thought of as mind. Such energy landscapes can be visually and mathematically modeled by using a system of algorithms referred to as NeuroPrint, providing the practitioner with the ability to understand, predict, and change human behavior with greater precision.

This volume closes with a discussion seminar that I participated in with James V. Durlacher, developer of acu-power; Scott Walker, developer of neuro-emotional technique (NET); and several participants at the second annual energy psychology conference in Las Vegas, Nevada: “An Energy Psychobiology Trialogue: The Body Docs’ Perspective.” The interesting discussion focuses on acu-power, neuro-emotional technique, energy diagnostic and treatment methods (EDxTM), thought field therapy, manual muscle testing, biofeedback, and quantum theory. Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D
March 17, 2001

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