What is Energy Psychology?
Energy psychology (EP) is a mind-body approach to understanding and improving human functioning. Energy systems and processes exist and interact within the individual and between people. They are also influenced by cultural and environmental factors.
EP focuses on healing energy system disturbances that relate to a specific individual’s issues.
Within an energy therapy framework, emotional and physical issues are reflected in bio-energetic patterns within and around the mind-body-energy systems. Since the mind and body are interwoven and interactive, this mind-body-energy approach deals with the complex communication involving neurobiological processes, consciousness and cognitive-behavioral-emotional patterns.
“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”
-Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Medicine
EP is derived from acupuncture, yoga and other ancient systems of healing. The latest neuroscience findings indicate that non-verbal, body-oriented systems effectively help people heal. Energy healing can be useful, especially for folks that find talk therapy insufficient.
The most widely known areas of study within EP are Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). These are meridian tapping therapies. There are many other techniques in the field, and the field continues to expand to include other subtle energy systems.
Who Can It Help?
EP For Therapy
EP is used to treat psychological and emotional problems, facilitate health and wellbeing and improve human performance. It is a holistic approach effective for psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, integrative medicine and other healing modalities.
EP can be a wonderful approach to treating anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, panic attacks, specific phobias), mood and thought disorders, trauma, limiting beliefs, addictions, compulsions and stress. For many, it helps alleviate physical symptoms such as stomach issues, chronic headaches and symptoms related to auto-immune illness.
“Energy psychology techniques and procedures can bring about remarkably rapid changes in the way people feel and move through the world.”
-Bessel A. Van Der Kolk, MD Medical Director, The Trauma Center, Brookline, MA
EP For Coaching
When your body and mind are in synch and functioning well, it’s also possible to easily and quickly attain performance goals in business, relationships and more. I have used EP modalities not only to help people with emotional distress but to assist couples and business partners reach their goals.
The results from this approach can occur rapidly and have lasting effects. Many of the techniques are not difficult to learn and can be used at home for self-care. I am a firm proponent of my clients becoming increasingly more self-sufficient. My coaching and therapy motto is: “Life is not to be lived in a therapy office.” I want to provide tools that make your life better, independent of therapy.
The History Of EP
While energy psychology as a field is relatively new, the use of energetic metaphors to illuminate psychological processes is not. Sigmund Freud explained his theories using energetic concepts such as libido, repression, cathexis and catharsis in terms of the physics (Maxwell’s thermodynamics) of his time (Galatzer-Levy, 1976; Sulloway, 1992). Carl Jung related new discoveries in physics to explore his notions of synchronicity and causality in terms of quantum mechanics (Jung, 1969; Enz 2009). Energetic concepts were central to the work of Wilhelm Reich and have been retained in contemporary somatic psychotherapies (Shapiro, 2002; Pierrakos, 1990; Kurtz, 2006). Notions of “energy” play a central role in cross-cultural healing traditions worldwide, such as the Christian practice of “laying on of hands,” shamanistic practices (Krippner & Rock, 2011), Native American healing (Braswell & Wong 1994), and Traditional Chinese medicine (Hammer, 2005).
Energy has long been studied in the field of psychology, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that Roger Callahan, PhD and John Diamond, MD trained with George Goodheart, DC. Goodheart developed Applied Kinesiology and combined it with Chinese acupuncture theories to produce techniques for physical medicine. When Callahan and Diamond took Goodheart’s theories and applied them to human psychology, the first EP techniques were born.
I trained with Roger Callahan beginning in 1996. Dr. Callahan put his theories and techniques together and called them The Callahan Techniques and Thought Field Therapy. Thought Field Therapy is now declared an “evidence-based therapy,” which is the gold standard label for a psychotherapy technique. Today, there are many contributors to the development of the field, myself in included.
My background in subtle energy systems dates back to 1974 when I began studying subtle energy work with the chakras, auric fields and meditation. When I became a therapist in 1993, it was natural for me to incorporate energy based and mindfulness techniques into my private practice.
When I was first starting out, I quickly noticed that talk therapy was not sufficient enough for many of my clients. It didn’t seem to implement lasting positive changes or provide effective self-care techniques. At the time, energy psychology and energy medicine were not accepted approaches in community mental health clinics. Given this reality and my concern about the limits of talk therapy, I went into private practice in the fall of 1993 and incorporated my training and experience with chakras, biofield/auras and meridians.
By 1999, I became a founding member of ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology). I am also a past board member, co-developer and national trainer for the ACEP Comprehensive Energy Psychology certification program, which is a non-profit dedicated to upholding standards of practice and a code of ethics in the field of energy-based psychotherapeutic modalities. By 2012, ACEP became the first organization approved by the American Psychological Association to offer education for psychologists studying EP.
My colleague, and longtime friend, Marti MacEwan, M.A. LMHC and I developed the Rapid Relief Process and the associated Emotional First Aid Kit. EP began with acupuncture meridian interventions, but the field has expanded to include many other subtle energy systems. The Rapid Relief Process seeks to balance more than eight subtle energy systems. I have been working with between six and nine subtle energy systems for 25 years.
In all my experience, I’ve found that EP approaches take the least number of sessions to reduce trauma-related symptoms, and the results are sustainable over time. I continue to study everything I can about EP. I’ve used these approaches on myself after my mother died suddenly in 1991. And, I have seen clients make profound transformations around a wide array of issues. At times, this approach feels like a miracle. I will be forever grateful to Roger Callahan and my other mentors, personally and professionally, for what they taught me.
Additional Training And Experience In Energy Medicine
I have trained in many modalities of what has come to be known as Energy Medicine (EM), including Reiki, Touch for Health, Pranic Healing, Reconnective Healing and Donna Eden’s EM.
I spent seven years of my training studying Donna Eden’s EM. I also coordinated her teaching staff for many years, served as a teaching assistant in her trainings and was a staff member in her certification program.
Clients always ask me: What is the difference between EP and EM? For me, there is not much of a difference. I weave techniques from both disciplines to create a treatment plan that will best serve you. With expert guidance, it’s possible to evaluate and correct the subtle energies that are keeping you blocked. My energy work focuses on identifying your goals and specific treatments that facilitate reaching them.
Energy Healing Works
If you are suffering from relationship issues, trauma, stress or anxiety or are seeking a life, couples or business coach, I invite you to contact me or call (425) 681-1170 for a free 15-minute consultation. My offices are located in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA. I also offer online therapy and coaching sessions.
Stephanie J. Eldringhoff has been helping individuals and couples overcome trauma and anxiety for 30 years. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and hypnotherapist with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Science. She is the co creator of the Rapid Relief Process and holds advanced training in Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Thought Energy Synchronization Therapy (TEST), Advanced Eden Energy Medicine, Pranic Healing, Energy Psychology, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and more. She is a proud member of the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology and a trainer in the Comprehensive Energy Psychology Certification Program. Her private practices are located in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA. She also provides secured, confidential online therapy sessions.