What is energy psychology?
Energy psychology is based on the premise that there is a mental, emotional, spiritual and physical connection for wellness, viewing them as a single holistic system.
This is in contrast to other areas of psychology that view the mind and body as very separate systems.
It is a field that is still expanding and is growing in popularity.
Energy psychology vs energy medicine
Energy psychology uses the concepts of energy medicine including thoughts, emotions, and behaviours having an energetic aspect, but energy psychology connects to the sub-conscious mind so you are able to access these inner beliefs where they are first created.
It uses human energy fields to eliminate the root cause of common health conditions and what is making them feel unwell. It is based in scientific facts such as the bodies electromagnetic fields aiming to release blocked energy through psychosomatic techniques.
This form of therapy relies on the idea that unseen energies called “vibrations” flow through all living things. It uses the power of the mind to heal the body and works with the natural intelligence of our bodies and minds to promote health, wellness, and vitality. It has been used in many different areas of life, such as health, sports, education, and business.
Ten years ago I was in a bad place. At the time I had been on anti depressants for a few years and started seeing a psychologist which was what my GP had recommended. A year later on with talk therapy and I was still in the same position I’d been in twelve months before. I wanted to get out of my situation and all the while the psychologist kept taking me back into it in order for me to make sense of it. I was not impressed and didn’t go back.
I’d taken up yoga and really enjoyed it, so decided on taking a yoga and meditation teacher training course. It changed my life and explored the complementary therapy techniques further.
I weaned myself off anti-depressants with the help of a new GP. Three months into the course, I was introduced to Energy Psychology and haven’t looked back since. I completed a diploma in Energy Psychology learning so much about myself and at the end of this I became a Grace Method Practitioner, working with hundreds of people to balance and empower them to understand themselves.
How does it work?
Many so-called ‘physical’ issues often have an emotional mind and body component, something we now recognise as Biopsychosocial understanding of disease. This does not mean it’s ‘all in your mind’ – it means the problems are physical and real but they will respond to emotional healing and social connection.
The autonomic nervous system connects our emotional (survival) brain with our body organs to either allow healing and rest or breakdown and threat. This understanding is the hidden link where mind and body connect via emotions which have a resonance that is felt throughout the body, but emotions that were felt in childhood are stored.
These have to be dealt with to heal effectively as if this resolution is missed then further suffering, sometimes for years, is inevitable
Energy psychology is a body of alternate psychological approaches using clinical techniques, which claim to have the capacity to access repressed memories and emotions. The goal of this form of treatment is to release energy that has been trapped in the individual’s psyche. This energy is then used in order to balance the patient’s bioenergy field, which in turn can be seen as a means to heal health conditions.
For example, a client that is struggling with a mood disorder when seeing a psychologist may be prescribed medication to reduce stress. However, Energy Psychology would work with the client to access the subconscious brain, which is the ruler of our beliefs and habits.
The language of the subconscious brain is emotion. Emotions are a form of energy and we hold them in the body at cellular level. If an emotion isn’t dealt with when it is felt, it is pushed down and ignored. As we live, the more we ignore our emotions, the symptoms get worse. By accessing the subconscious brain and addressing the emotions directly, the energy is freed and allowed to flow – reducing symptoms.
“Energy psychology treats the cause, not the symptoms.”
The client would then be given the tools to create new habits, and empower them to manage the stress on his or her own.
Types of energy psychology
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy, which has been around since the 1980s, that is used to treat anxiety disorders and traumatic events. EMDR was originally designed to help veterans who were experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after seeing combat. Since 2014 it’s being utilised as part treatment for any trauma related problems caused by child abuse/neglect such as Dissociation Disorder & PTSD in children.
It consists mostly with eye movements during therapy sessions, which allows clients “to gain control over their thoughts. This process can aid them towards healing through processing” A person undergoing this type of Therapy could have various symptoms: flashbacks or nightmares; avoidance behavior involving memories about past traumas – avoidance may even be seen when watching certain movies, etc.
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is an energy psychotherapy developed by Dr. Roger Callahan for the treatment of emotional and physical problems. The goal of TFT is to help people with phobias, anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, depression, and behavioral problems.
TFT is based on the principle that mental stress depletes our energy field. When we encounter a stressful situation or feel fear in response it takes more than just thought; there’s also emotion attached.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of therapy developed by American psychologist Gary Craig which utilizes tapping along with spoken word to reduce stress and emotional distress.
The person undergoing the treatment is usually asked to tap on meridian points on their body, while repeating specific phrases that usually consist of “I’m releasing my stress” or “I’m releasing this emotional block.” Tapping can also be done to different parts of the body for other emotional issues.
The Grace Method is based on using emotions to access the subconscious mind you are taken back to where the original negative belief was taken on, often in the first seven years of life when your framework of beliefs is programed into your subconscious.
The emotion or energy is freed, allowing it to flow. The neural pathways rewire as you no longer hold those same beliefs, and change is instigated. The circuit that kept repeating is no longer firing and old beliefs are replaced with new ones to move your life forward. As a Grace method practitioner, I guide you through this powerful technique to raise your frequency and create the change.
Treatment begins similarly to any other form of psychotherapy with the therapist and client developing trust and rapport and zeroing in on problems. The therapist starts by identifying a particular trigger, which is a thought, image, or memory that sparks upsetting or anxiety-producing feelings, and then asks the patient to rate how distressing that trigger is on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest distress.
The next step varies depending on the type of therapy used, but all are focused on the trigger that has been agreed upon by both the client and therapist.
The client learns to not respond to the emotions evoked by painful or upsetting thoughts or memories as they free the emotion or energy.
After the process is complete, the therapist has the client rate the trigger again, perhaps describing physical symptoms as well, with the aim to reduce the number on the scale.
Benefits of energy psychology
- Energy psychology is a therapy that helps people with issues such as anxiety, phobias, insomnia, panic disorder, ADHD, grief, trauma, overwhelm, exhaustion, chronic pain, relationship problems and so much more.
- It allows for the patient to control the session and help themselves heal.
- This therapy does not rely on drugs or analysis like traditional therapy.
- Low risk: Energy psychology techniques also appear to be safe and may help promote relaxation. Some proponents have described it as having many of the same benefits of acupuncture but without the needles.
- Increased quality of life
- Decreased stress
- Improved physical health and well-being
- Increased concentration and focus
- Increased productivity
- Decreased depression
- Increased self-esteem
- Increased life-satisfaction
- Improved relationships
History of energy psychology
Energy psychology originated in the late 1980s in the United States and Europe. It was developed by psychologist Roger Callahan after he had an unprecedented success with eliminating pain in a woman who had been suffering from migraines for 20 years. The concept was initially viewed as a new, holistic approach to mental health treatment.
The term energy psychology was first used in 1983 by Dr. Peter A. Agre to describe a psychological approach that integrates ideas from the fields of cognitive psychology, psychotherapy and neuroscience.
Dr. Agre and Dr. Christiane Northrup established the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, California in 1998. This institute was the first to establish the scientific basis for the field of energy psychology.
Since then scientists have published numerous papers on this subject. In 2008 an international conference entitled “Energy Psychology: Exploring New Frontiers” took place at Harvard University Medical School (Harvard Center) where leading scholars discussed evidence supporting its effectiveness.
The American Psychological Association endorsed Energy Psychologist as a new psychological sub-field that would be considered by APA members when seeking professional help concerning their mental health issues if they felt it could benefit them emotionally or mentally.
Although it is still considered a new form of healing, research looks promising as a useful and effective way to help many health conditions. I know first hand how effective it can be.