What is Energy Psychology?
In the last 35 years a number of new forms of psychotherapy have become very popular among psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and many other professionals and even non-professionals who work with human emotional, mental, physical and spiritual harmony.
Just a few of these methods are:
TFT – Thought Field Therapy
EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques
BSFF – Be Set Free Fast
TAT – Tapas Acupressure Technique
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
WHEE – Wholistic Hybrid of EFT and EMDR
Freeze Frame – from the Hearth Math Institute
HoΔoponopono – from the Spiritual teachers of Hawaii
These methods generically are called “Energy Psychology” and regardless of their different approaches have some of the following aspects in common.
Note: For the purpose of this explanation, I will be avoiding using the words patient or client, and will refer to the person receiving emotional, mental, physical or spiritual support as the “recipient”. For some of you that will mean your patient, your client, your friend or relative or your self.
1. These methods, as a rule, generate quicker and often deeper results than classical psychotherapy, based solely on discussion and analysis.
2. Most can be employed by the recipient, offering temporary, and in many cases, permanent freedom from disturbing thoughts, emotions and their psychosomatic effects on his or her body and life.
3. Analysis and discussion are, of course, used initially in order to identify the present and past stimuli, events, situations, thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are causing the personΔs present discomfort.
4. We then explain what we will be doing and why and what the recipients role and responsibility are in this process.
5. We explain the concept of SUD – Subject Units of Disturbance, in which the recipient is asked to focus on the emotional or physical disturbance and evaluate it from 0 to 10, where 0 means there is no disturbance at all and 10 means that it is extremely high. In this way, we develop the ability to objectivify the disturbance as something separate from ourselves and have a sense of how much in increases or decreases or whether the problem exists at all.
6. In most methods the first step is to help the recipient accept whatever he or she is feeling. Acceptance is basic for freeing up the energy for change. Some methods incorporate an affirmation such as “even though I have this (__________ specific emotion or problem), I love and accept myself.” This is done because recipients may feel ashamed or angry at themselves for the feelings they have. Some tend to suppress or ignore their emotions. All energy psychology methods are based on the first step of coming into direct contact with emotional disturbance, accepting that it exists and then working with directly with it as an energy pattern in our energy system. This directly refutes the fears that such methods, might cover up emotions or divert us form them. The opposite happens. The individual is asked to focus as much as possible on the emotion or disturbance in the present moment. The same technique used in the therapy session can be used by the individual alone at home or other environments.
7. The second step is to be willing to let go of the emotion or disturbance. This is not always the case. Many recipients have a subconscious need to hold on to the pain, anger or problem for various reasons that are discussed in detail in the book Free To be Happy with Energy Psychology.
8. Having established at least a partial understanding and acceptance of what we feel and also of ourselves as the creators and owners of those emotions, and a willingness to also let go of what we are feeling, we are ready for the next steps. (Notice that a willingness to let go does not mean to ignore, hate, reject, fight or destroy what we feel, but simply to let it go – as we let go of an object we are holding in our hands. We stop holding on to it.)
9. We then focus directly on the emotional or physical disturbance created by that “learned reaction” to that particular stimulus, such as an event, an interaction, a situation, an idea or even a thought in our mind about the past or future. It might even be the result of chemical or hormonal changes. We can imagine that each particular emotion or state of mind is a habituated “energy structure”, which was learned in the past and reproduces itself whenever our older programmed brain synapses are activated creating the message that we are in “danger”. In spite of our conscious beliefs, logic and wisdom, we are forced by these habituated energy fields created by our outdated, but certainly active, programmings, to feel anxiety, fear, hurt, anger, guilt and the repercussions of these emotional disturbances on our bodies, minds, relationships and happiness. This is especially true when we subconsciously or consciously believe that our security, self-worth, freedom or pleasures are in danger.
10. The next step is to do something that changes our energy state while we are focused on the particular emotion, disturbance, physical pain or discomfort, desire or belief. This is done in various ways, depending on the particular technique and also the various versions of each technique. Below are some of the possibilities that can be employed alone and also in combination with the others. When any of the below mentioned techniques successfully change our emotional state in relationship to specific stimulus, that then changes how we react emotionally, chemically, hormonally and electronically to that specific situation. This means that our hypothalamus excretes different peptides and our brain creates new neuro-net synapses in relation to the same stimuli, which until now disturbed us. When this is done a number of times, this new more positive perception and reaction become our new norm. Here are some of the ways in which we can change the energy while focused on that, which bothers us.
a. Tapping on specific acupuncture points on the head, face, fingers and upper chest that cause a movement and alteration of the present energy structure we are focused on. The habituated energy structure is forced to change because of the movement in energy caused by the tapping on these specific points. This is used specifically in the methods TFT, EFT, BSFF and WHEE.
b. Placing our hands in a focused way on certain acupuncture points and energy centers also causes energy flow and a change in our energy state and emotions. This is used in the TAT method and can be in the Sedona Method.
c. Moving the eyes to the right and left or tapping on the right and left sides of the body can have the same effect. Used in EFT, EMDR and WHEE.
d. Breathing with a specific focus creates a similar result. (Freeze Frame, HoΔoponopono, Sedona.)
e. Changing our emotional state and heart rhythms by focusing on someone or something we love or feel gratitude towards also creates a change in our energy structure. (Freeze Frame, HoΔoponopono and Sedona.)
f. Bringing to mind or verbally expressing affirmations and alternative perceptions of the stimulus that is disturbing us can also change our state. This can also be done in combination with tapping or rubbing certain points or holding our hands over certain energy centers. (All of the above mentioned systems include this as an alternative.)
g. Simply letting go of what we feel as well as the needs that create our feelings is used in the Sedona Method and HoΔoponopono.
h. Positive visualization of how we would like to be and react towards certain situations can be used in conjunction with any of the above – usually after the emotional disturbance has been reduced or eliminated.
11. The next step for some of these methods is to now, having reduced or eliminated the old energy response, to program a new one. This is called Reprocessing in the EMDR and WHEE methods, and Choices in EFT. It is also used in TAT and Sedona. In this stage we now seek to introduce a new way of perceiving that, which until now was disturbing us. This is the essence of human harmony, maturity and evolution – the ability to allow our perceptions of ourselves, others and life itself change and evolve. With these forms of energy psychology we enable ourselves and our recipients to dissolve the old faulty energy fields so that we are now free to install our new updated version of reality on the hard drive of our mind.
12. Attempts to reprogram the mind solely with analysis and discussion is slow and limited and is much like recording a new song on an old cassette without erasing the previous recorded one. When we play the cassette (the mind chatter) we hear both songs (new and old). With energy psychology we are able to first erase the old songs before we record the new ones.
All of these methods can be combined with each other and all other forms of psychological, mental and spiritual support including analysis, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, psychodrama, gestalt, dream analysis, regressions to the past, hypnosis and spiritual study as well as all forms of energy work such as massage, physical therapy, reiki, spiritual healing an reconnection. In addition many thousands of doctors and psychiatrists around the world are now using them in their healing practices, as you can verify at the following internet addresses.
Here are some web addresses for further investigation of these methods.
TFT – Thought Field Therapy (http://www.tftrx.com/callahan.html)
EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques (http://www.emofree.com)
BSFF – Be Set Free Fast (http://www.besetfreefast.com/)
TAT – Tapas Acupressure Technique (http://www.tatlife.com/)
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
WHEE – Wholistic Hybrid of EFT and EMDR
Sedona Method (From Lester Levenston and Hale Dwoskin) (http://www.sedona.com/)
Freeze Frame (From the Hearth Math Institute) (http://www.heartmath.org/)
Ho’oponopono (From the Spiritual teachers of Hawaii)