What is Energy Psychology, What’s It For & Does It Work?

What is Energy Psychology?

“All of life is electrical,” according to Nobel Prize winner (Chemistry, 1993) Rod MacKinnon, a biophysicist at Rockefeller University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Energy Psychology is a family of breakthrough integrative wellness tools that combine time-honored methods from Traditional Chinese Medicine (as well as from India) with mainstream psychological principles to produce remarkable results. Commonly known as “tapping,” the most well-known member of the Energy Psychology family is EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques.

Aspects of our energy system (now often referred to as the Human Vibrational Matrix) include the electromagnetic envelope surrounding and permeating the body (the Biofield), centers of energy concentration (the Chakras) and energy information pathways (the Meridians and their associated acupoints), in addition to a number of lesser-known (and hence less researched) components.

Energy Psychology methods are non-invasive yet, according to the research that has been published in peer-reviewed professional journals, unusually potent. These integrative mind/body techniques appear to help resolve blockages and enhance peak functioning through rebalancing and optimizing our body’s electrical system. They are not only powerful but easy to learn. For all of these reasons, Energy Psychology methods may well prove to be the most useful self-help, coaching and psychotherapy procedures of the 21st century.

What Does Energy Psychology Help With?

Energy Psychology methods appear to assist with a wide range of psychospiritual issues through directly intervening with and rebalancing aspects of our personal energy system. They seem to be particularly effective at helping people:

  • Neutralize distress and limiting beliefs
  • Resolve trauma and other baggage
  • Harvest gifts from undesired or undigested life experiences
  • Upgrade the capacity for peak performance and peak states of being
  • More effectively manifest intentions

The most well-known Energy Psychology methods include Emotional Freedom Techniques (TFT), Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Healing Touch (HT) and Brain Gym, but there are many others as well. Time-honored methods like Acupuncture and leading edge methods such as HeartMath®, Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine, and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), are examples of Energy Psychology’s many close relatives.

Do Energy Psychology Methods Really Work?

There is an increasingly broad and deep body of research indicating that they do. If you’d like to read a recent review of what’s been verified so far in published research, click here.

Nonetheless, some who are insufficiently knowledgeable about, or insufficiently trained in, these methods — and some who are threatened by methods that don’t match their preconceptions about how healing happens — have tried to discredit Energy Psychology methods. Though the most vocal of these individuals talk as though they are experts in these methods, almost all of them know very little about them, or they have a personal ax to grind that blinds their objectivity.

In Dr. Gruder’s opinion, you would be wise to take their allegations with a grain of salt, no matter how much they spin their arguments to sound legitimate.

In reality, multiple research articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals from the American Psychological Association and other professional organizations.  These studies overwhelmingly indicate that reliably positive results can be obtained using Energy Psychology methods. You can also find information on research into the most well-known member of the Energy Psychology family of methods (Emotional Freedom Techniques — EFT — also  known as “tapping”) by clicking here.

In addition, the mainstream and conservative American Psychological Association recognizes Energy Psychology methods as sufficiently credible to award Continuing Education credit for psychologists being training in them. In fact, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, which Dr. Gruder co-founded and was first president of, is an APA-approved Continuing Education provider. (ACEP is also an approved Continuing Education provider for social workers, marriage & family therapists, professional counselors, nurses, acupuncturists, and more.)

For more information about various Energy Psychology methods and the research evidence that points to their effectiveness, look at the research page on the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology website. ACEP is the world’s leading instructional and certifying organization in the Energy Psychology field. It supports research, training, and ethically responsible uses of Energy Psychology methods, and promotes collaboration among innovators, researchers, and practitioners of all the various Energy Psychology methods.

How Might Energy Psychology Methods Work?

The answer to this question continues to be researched. Here is one possible explanation. Just as we have a circulatory system, a nervous system, an endocrine system and a lymphatic system, we also appear to have an additional system that helps regulate all of these. This additional system, which has been well-known to practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, appears to be primarily electromagnetic, which is why it’s often called our energy system.

Energy or not, this system is the foundation on which acupuncture works. And according to the World Health Organization, as well as many others, there’s little doubt that acupuncture works. But, being able to state definitively how Energy Psychology methods work is probably still a way off. However, keep in mind that aspirin works even though to this day HOW it works is still largely a mystery.

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