Over the past several decades, research into the field of neurobiology has revolutionized the way many clinicians view traumatic experiences and emotional distress. The brain’s limbic region (“fight or flight”) is receiving much more attention from researchers as one of the main centers of the brain that becomes distressed during and after a traumatic incident.

Clinicians were frequently finding that after years of “talk therapy,” some of their patients continued to experience the same anger, anxiety or distress they felt during an original traumatic event. While the patients might have more insight about the event, they just didn’t seem to be less upset. Other clients couldn’t figure out the origin of their distress, and frequently knew their reaction was “irrational,” but they couldn’t seem to release it by trying to be logical. Research shows that the area of the brain most distressed by a traumatic event is the limbic region. However, the area of the brain engaged in talk therapy is primarily the neo-cortex region — the storage area for logic and reasoning. But as anyone can tell you when you are upset, you are usually not too logical, so healing does not occur by simply engaging the neo-cortex region of the brain, or in simpler words, by trying to “talk” and “reason” your way through to the other side of a trauma.

Many of the newer therapies used today help to quiet down the limbic structures. While these modalities involve some “talking” to a therapist to get to a place where the patient can focus on the distress, the treatments also involve using eye movements, tapping specific areas of the body, using an acupressure hold, or some other intervention aimed at quieting down the body and mind.

Energy Psychology
Energy Psychology (EP) constitutes a large family of therapeutic approaches grounded in mind/body theory. EP modalities include work with selected aspects of the human energy system — the meridians, acupoints, radiant circuits, chakras, and biofield — to enhance therapeutic outcomes for clients.

Clinical outcomes with EP have been reported for over the past decade citing such remarkable effects including relief of trauma, reduction of anxiety, and resolution of phobias.

As yet, there is not sufficient documentation in research literature to validate or generalize from these experiences, although we hope this will change in the near future. EP is a new and innovative discipline that cannot guarantee efficacy or make any claims for specific client populations. Any specific EP method should only be considered for client intervention by practitioners who are adequately trained, and who understand the legality of the particular EP method’s use as it relates to the scope of their practice, as provided for by the governing state licensure regulatory agency.

Find an EP practitioner in your area.
Find a New York Capital Region EP practitioner.

Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
This method was developed by Dr. Roger Callahan. Many other EP methods such as EFT, BSFF, EDxTM, TAB tftetc. were developed by people who initially trained with Dr. Callahan and then created their own methods using Callahan’s education as a foundation.

At its basic level, TFT involves teaching a patient how to tap on meridian points in a specific sequence to resolve emotional issues such as anger, grief, trauma, etc. It is a self-help tool for people to use whenever they feel distressed, and it is a powerful tool for clinicians to use with clients, especially when processing traumatic material.

There are three levels of TFT training. Learn more

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Gary Craig developed this method of putting all the meridian points together and creating one basic treatment after he studied TFT with Dr. Callahan. Craig is credited with spreading the word about this method to hundreds of thousands of people primarily via the Internet. Learn more

Touch & Breathe (TAB)
This method was developed by Dr. John Diepold, Dr. Sheila Sidney Bender (co-author with Mary Sise of The Energy of Belief: Psychology’s Power Tools to Focus Intention and Release Blocking Beliefs) [link] and Victoria Britt, MSW, after they studied with Dr. Callahan. TAB uses the same meridian points along with a gentle breath. This method is employed in The Energy of Belief. Dr. Bender and Mary Sise also added some modifications to TAB which further enhance the process. Learn more [store link].

Be Set Free Fast (BSFF)
Dr. Larry Nims developed this method after he studied with Dr. Callahan in the early 1990s. Larry was very interested in the power of the subconscious mind and developed a series of affirmations which a person could say as they tapped the meridian points used by Dr. Callahan. Larry is a strong proponent of forgiveness and has incorporated that into his healing protocol. Learn more

Tapas Accupressure Technique (TAT)
TATTapas Fleming, a licensed acupuncturist, developed this method. Fleming discovered that having clients hold the front and back of their head in a specific pose would calm the body and mind down and produce a shift in the emotions around a problem or distressing belief. Her protocol involves a six-step process to access the core of the belief, and then replace it with a different belief. Learn more

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
This method, developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, is not considered EP. It involves having a client think of a distressing event and then having the clinician move her hands back and forth in front of the client’s eyes, while the client focuses on the image. It can also be done with hand taps or bi-lateral sounds. Over the past fifteen years there has been much research into this method, especially for traumatic incidents. To use this modality, one must be a licensed clinician and go through the EMDR institute. Learn more