Energy psychotherapy is a powerful but gentle way of accessing and healing emotional trauma and distress by re-balancing our energy flow. It works on the principle that emotional disturbance is held in the body as well as the mind, encoded in the human energy system.
By accessing the energy system through a variety of techniques, energy psychotherapy allows us to eliminate these encoded patterns, alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and the underlying negative core beliefs.
It is particularly effective for symptoms of trauma and PTSD, whether associated with a single major incident or through a history of relational trauma, such as rejection, bullying or emotional or physical abuse.
What does it involve?
Energy psychotherapy draws on ancient Eastern knowledge of how energy flows in the body, via energy centres (chakras) and meridians (as used in acupuncture and tai chi). The various techniques involve the client tapping on specific meridian points, or touching energy centres in a sequence, while repeating a simple phrase that captures the essence of the trauma.
A technique called muscle testing, derived from the field of applied kinesiology, is used to guide the work and provide immediate feedback as to how the body's energy system is responding. It involves the therapist applying gentle pressure to the client's outstretched arm while making enquiries about the nature of a particular issue. If the arm muscle stays strong this indicates a 'yes' response, and if the arm becomes weak, this indicates a 'no' response. Muscle testing allows us to tap into the inherent wisdom of our mind-body-energy system, which is often outside our conscious awareness.
The value of energy psychotherapy is becoming more widely recognised and there is a growing body of research to demonstrate its effectiveness. I offer energy psychotherapy as part of my integrated approach to counselling and therapy. There is no obligation to work in this way, but I am always happy to discuss whether it is something you would like to consider.
I am also a member of MEET in Oxford, a low-cost trauma focused therapy service, that offers EMDR and Energy Psychotherapy to people unable to afford private therapy fees or access appropriate NHS services. Please CLICK HERE if you would like visit the website.
Energy Psychology is now supported by a substantial body of contemporary research with over 60 research studies, including multiple randomised controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals, confirming the efficacy of these treatments. Taken as a body of knowledge, these findings suggest that Energy Psychology meets the criteria for evidence-based treatment. See the ACEP website for more information on the research.
In one study*, researchers measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol before and after treatment. Eighty-three participants were divided into three groups: the first group received an hour of EFT tapping; the second group received an hour of psychotherapy ("talk" therapy); the third group (control group) received no treatment. The EFT tapping group demonstrated a 24% decrease in cortisol levels, which was significantly better than the second and third groups which showed the regular decrease in cortisol levels that happens over time. The study findings showed that EFT tapping significantly reduces cortisol, so balancing activity between the sympathetic and parasympathetic regions of the brain to produce an emotionally balanced state which best supports health and well-being.
*(Dawson Church, Garret Yount, Audrey Brooks, The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2011).