Why Use Energy Psychotherapies?

I have explored many of the energy psychotherapies for some time now, with varying results.  However, I have observed that those clients of mine who are willing to use an energy approach consistently, make faster, longer lasting progress.  That is, those who are willing to use techniques such as EFT or TAT on their own, generally get more out of our work together.

But there are also those who do not think we should avail ourselves of such practices.  Here is a link to an article looking at the reasons one national organization does not approve continuing education credit for energy psychotherapy:

Fortunately, I am not limited by this board’s opinion.  I am someone who explores to find what actually works – for myself, my family, and for my counseling clients – and then puts it to use to benefit those who seek change, growth and well-being.


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How to get rid of the “Yips”

I came across this story about a professional athlete who was losing his ability to perform adequately in major league baseball. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a pitcher with the Red Sox, who developed the “yips” when he needed to throw the ball. He turned to a therapist specializing in helping athletes with performance issues – a therapist who had added EFT to his tools for helping athletes consistently offer their best.

Have a look at Jarrod’s story: http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/mlb/columns/story?columnist=edes_gordon&id=6103972.

So, why do I care about what professional athletes are doing? Well, many of us have similar problems, but it shows up as a fear of public speaking, test anxiety or an inability to drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Tapping works with these problems too!

I have used EFT, and other energy approaches, to help clients get free of their fears. My only real questions are why more therapists are not offering it, why more people are not giving it a try. The evidence of success is there, yet some people still say, “I don’t really believe in things like that.”

Tapping (EFT) is not about belief – it is about using the energy systems within one’s own body. But it is also about doing something different, something outside our frame of reference, and about facing success.


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Is CAM for you?

When working out last week, I overheard a group of women talking about some of the things they love doing for themselves:  a yoga class, a  massage, or an acupuncture treatment.  They seemed to classify such activities as gifts to themselves, and yet, there was recognition that these ‘gifts’ were also preventative health care.

So many recognize the value in what is now grouped as CAM – complementary and alternative medicine – but we have not communicated this value to our health insurance carriers.  Do insurance companies not recognize the benefits that these women have already accepted and claimed for themselves?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has within it another agency: the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).  NCCAM  is the federal agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.  “According to a nationwide government survey released in December 2008, approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over and approximately 12 percent of children use some form of CAM.” (http://nccam.nih.gov/news/camstats/2007/, 2/18/2011)  Their website states that the current NCCAM approach has added emphasis on bringing the methods of effectiveness and outcomes research to the real world where public use is extensive, and facilitates integration of effective CAM and conventional practices into the interdisciplinary health care system at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD.

With public use of complementary and alternative approaches already at 38 percent of the adults in this country, I can’t help but think that managed health care has missed an opportunity to reduce health care costs.

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Organic Treatment for Depression

I recently read an article discussing the benefits of organic food, things, etc.  That got me thinking:  how about an organic approach to depression?

When we use a medical model for mental health issues, we tend to end up with a pharmaceutical solution.  An “organic” solution, according to Wikipedia, could not include synthetic chemical inputs, genetically modified organisms, irradiation, or the use of sewage sludge.  Okay, that last one is not likely to be a problem.  It is the first one that is rarely given much thought.

Well, is there an organic approach?  Of course:  psychotherapy.  Nothing at all added; just talk.
Last week on the NICABM (www.nicabm.com) series on women’s health, Joan Borysenko referenced the work of Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., who reported in The Emperor’s New Drugs his findings that anti-depressants have no more effect than placebos in treating depression.  In fact, he states, “The belief that antidepressants can cure depression chemically is simply wrong.” (Kirsch, Irving (2010). The emperor’s new drugs. p.5. New York: Basic Books.)

But is talk alone enough?  Sometimes.  However, that’s where energy psychotherapy comes in.  We can use meridian therapies, hypnosis, or EMDR –  tools that do not add chemicals to the body; tools that do help us create change without side effects.

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Training and Certification Options

There are so many different certifications that interest me!  Advanced certification in hypnosis, and EMDR.  Certification for any of the meridian therapies.  Mind-body medicine.  Gestalt therapy.  Comprehensive energy psychology.  And each certification program offers specialized  training and expertise to the participant.

But, it requires a lot of time and money to take all of these continuing education programs.  I see real value here, but not necessity.

I have chosen to be trained in a few methods that I am excited about and can use with confidence.  My approach to therapy has evolved with the addition of each technique making up my therapy tool kit.  The more I explore these different skills, the more I see overlaps and complementary aspects – and see how they relate to the work of the theorists I studied in graduate school.

No one will offer therapy quite the same way I do, nor will I do it quite like anyone else.  We therapists match our clients’ needs in the moment by drawing on all of these different, unique approaches, offering a blend that is unique to the clinician providing therapy.

So, how many certifications are necessary?  What do you think?

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More Thoughts on Energy Psychotherapy

Recently when talking with friends, I shared some of the theories put forth by people like Gregg Braden and Bruce Lipton.  One said, “do you really believe in all that stuff?”

If I did not hold the awareness that there is much out there we do not yet understand, I would have missed the opportunity to see a client release the posttraumatic stress of a rape in only two sessions.  I would not have been able to facilitate the release of deep-seated depression in another  through tapping and eye movements over just a few weeks.  I guess it is still conventionally accepted that these are not typical, but to those of us who have been open to the training, it is becoming ordinary.  How can anyone reject the potential of tools that help us release old traumas – or depression or anger or fear – quickly and relatively easily?

Not long ago a friend told me that my passion for energy work is exhausting.  It saddens me that my “passion” for finding effective treatment tools such as EMDR and EFT is seen by so many therapists as beyond their reach.  They lack the time, or energy, or money, or sufficient interest to learn how to make this available to their clients.  And I cannot imagine approaching therapy without these tools.

I am always looking for those who share my enthusiasm – or at least my curiosity.

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Medication versus Counseling For Depression

I sat next to a lady at a luncheon today whose daughter suffers from depression and anxiety. This educated, professional woman had not been given the information that her daughter could be getting more than just a pill to treat her disorders. I am appalled when I hear stories like this!

One of my favorite success stories is a young woman who started on antidepressants in her teens. Over the years, she would get better temporarily, and then slip back into depression. The doctors would increase her dosage and sympathize with her plight. After a decade of this, she said, enough! – and found me. We spent a year and a half helping her to learn how to feel, manage, and appreciate her emotions. She turned her life around, and is now happy and successful.

So, why do doctors frequently prescribe antidepressants without encouraging counseling? Before I even started graduate school, research showed that the best approach for treating depression is medication plus counseling. How did the doctors lose sight of the knowledge that antidepressants don’t teach a depressed person how to handle the ups and downs of life? Antidepressants don’t teach anyone how to manage the loss of a job, or how to get past a love affair that has gone bad, or how to manage the grief of losing a loved one. They do, however, suppress the symptoms long enough for someone to get temporary relief – and have an opportunity to gain self-awareness and growth through counseling.

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