Talk is not enough. Have you ever wondered why simply understanding a problem and analyzing it with friends or family doesn’t make it go away? Sometimes a new perspective can resolve things but I have found in over 20 years of clinical work that insight alone does not truly change our responses to problems. Often times, we continue to feel and respond to situations in an “irrational” way, even when we know better intellectually. We think to ourselves, “I know I shouldn’t be thinking and feeling so anxious about this, but I can’t help it!” It’s so frustrating. The reason is because emotional experiences and fear responses are encoded both physically in the body, as well as neurologically in deep areas of the brain (the limbic system), not the logic centers. Researchers have found that fear is established unconsciously and that the amygdala (in the limbic system) is one area associated with fear responses. Trying to use logic to talk ourselves out of our fear response doesn’t work well because logic is occurring in another area of the brain (the prefrontal cortex). We must access the deeper, less conscious areas of the brain to change any fear-based pattern. Most all psychological problems are a fear-based problem.
Energy psychology (EP) is a new, different, mind-body approach that helps access these core levels of subconscious and physiological responses. EP focuses on the relationship between our bioenergy systems (or the electrical system of the body) and the processes in cognitive functions. Many of the tools in EP allow practitioners to effectively identify and resolve the root cause of a problem (fear conditioning), even when it is not fully conscious.
EP modalities have been researched by more than 100 investigators in 7 countries. As of 2014, over 60 research studies have been published on EP. Thought Field Therapy (TFT), the grandfather of energy psychology, was listed as an evidence-based practice in the SAMHSA registry (NREPP). It was found to be effective or promising in 6 different areas. TFT is the primary energy psychology methodology I use to clear out core psychological issues that are conscious or even subconscious.
As a therapist, I discovered EP methods by sheer happenstance. Years ago when I was working at a large hospital, a client started using EP methods in conjunction with our traditional talk-therapy. Another clinician outside of the hospital was showing my client how to use EP (mind-body) methods. Within only a few months, this individual was making bewildering progress on her depression and anxiety symptoms. I could not believe it! I decided to investigate EP methods and have since studied the numerous techniques and approaches at length. In my work, I have found that these techniques help fundamentally change not just how someone thinks about a problem, but also how they physiologically and subconsciously respond to a problem.
More and more celebrities are now using and touting the benefits of EP methods as well. Dr. Mark Atkinson is one of the leading experts on healthcare and mind-body medicine. As a medical doctor, he advocates the use of EP with an integrative, holistic approach to health and healing. Celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Oprah, Fernando Alonso (two time Formula 1 world champion), and numerous NFL and professional athletes are using these innovative approaches to improve their sports performance at the mind-body level. See Resources for more information.