What is Energy Psychology?
After twenty years as a clinician in the NHS and in private practice as a therapist I found I was in need of re-energising my practice. So, I began exploring and training in the various branches of energy psychology (EP). I was interested by their claims to be able to alleviate psychological distress rapidly, gently and effectively.
The pioneering writings of Phil Mollon, psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and clinical psychologist proved to be a reassuring guide to the various modalities of these new and initially strange sounding approaches.
Underlying all of them is the utilisation of energy to help to clear the impact of trauma. Trauma is broadly defined and covers both situational trauma such as rape and developmental traumas such as deprivation and abuse of all kinds.
Energy psychotherapy is a developing field which integrates body and mind
We now know that trauma is held in the body and so the most effective methods for treating trauma are those which include the body. Energy psychotherapy is a developing field which integrates body and mind and is particularly powerful in working with trauma and releasing PTSD. EP brings together western psychotherapy with eastern ideas about the therapeutic effects of moving energy in the body. EP is fast gaining recognition as a gentle and effective treatment and growing numbers of therapists are learning to integrate these methods into their practice.
Energy psychology abounds with acronyms such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy,) TFT (Thoughtfield Therapy,) PEP (Psychoanalytic Energy Therapy). Some methods utilise the meridian system (EFT AND TFT); others the chakra system, AIT (Advanced Integrative Therapy).
A key component of AIT and some other energy psychology approaches is muscle or energy testing, through which it has proved to be possible to access the unconscious, or to put it another way, the vast storehouse of information that is held in the body and the energy system.
I have used these methods both with adolescents and adults. “It’s weird but it works" one cut-off angry teenage girl commented after we did an energy treatment on a horrible sexual assault at school. After the treatment, she immediately became much more emotionally available to her mother and this relationship was restored.
The client experiences the rapid relief of anxiety, psychosomatic pain or the fading of longstanding traumatic memories
I now use energy treatments with all my clients. I have found that any initial reservations quickly dissolve when a client experiences the rapid relief of anxiety, psychosomatic pain or the fading of longstanding traumatic memories. I work with a wide range of clients from short term work for recent crises such as recovery from divorce; those needing long term psychotherapy and therapists who wish to work on core issues which continue to trouble them.
Like many of my colleagues in the energy psychology network I have trained in a number of different modalities over the past eight years.
Converging Streams now offers an eclectic training for mental health professionals. There is a five day foundation training on offer in London, Leamington Spa, Swindon and Oxford.
Advanced seminars are held in London and include topics such as Archetypes and working with the psychogenic illness. It is also possible to do a one year training which leads to accreditation by Converging Streams as an energy psychotherapist.
Finally, there is a growing evidence base for the efficacy of energy psychology methods, ranging from thousands of anecdotal reports to randomised controlled studies. Most recently, research by Staffordshire University in an NHS Mental Health Trust supported the use of EFT for problems with anger and depression. The Converging Streams website contains more detailed information on the growing evidence base for energy psychology.