Energy Psychology–An Interview With Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D.
One of the most exciting developments in the field of psychotherapy is “energy psychology,” a term coined by Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D., one of the leading proponents of this breakthrough therapeutic approach, and the developer of a specific form of energy psychology known as Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods, or EDxTM. A licensed clinical psychologist since 1977, Dr. Gallo is a member of the American Psychological Association and Pennsylvania Psychological Association, has worked in the fields of corrections, mental retardation, child welfare, vocational rehabilitation, and chemical dependency, and has studied a wide range of therapeutic approaches, including Gestalt, client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, contextual, Ericksonian hypnosis, neurolinquistic programming (NLP), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and thought field therapy (TFT). Since 1993, he has personally trained thousands of health professionals in the techniques of energy psychology, which makes use of the body’s energy system to rapidly and effectively eliminate anxiety, depression, painful memories, trauma, cravings, and other emotional issues. In 1997, he developed EDxTM, and since that time he has been certifying practitioners in its practice and has emerged as a leading and prolific author of books and articles on the entire energy psychology field.
What is energy psychology how does it differ from traditional talk therapy?
I would say that energy psychology is a distinct force in psychology. Traditionally, when we talk about therapeutic approaches in psychology, we’re talking specifically about psychotherapy. There is a lot more to psychology than that, of course, but within the context of psychotherapy three forces have been identified: psychoanalytic, behavioral, and humanistic; and within humanistic we would include cognitive and phenomenological. The humanistic focuses on human values, and I would include the transpersonal approaches as being in line with the humanistic third force.
Energy psychology assumes the existence of a fourth force which holds that psychological problems are fundamentally energetic disruptions that cause the chain of events that result in emotions and external behavior. That’s not to say that emotions aren’t also physical — of course they are. There are chemical aspects to emotions, neurological aspects, hormonal aspects, environmental aspects, and so on, but at a fundamental level human behavior is significantly influenced by the body’s bioenergetic systems, which include the electrical activity of the nervous system, the acupuncture meridians, chakras, and the human biofield, or aura.
When a person tunes into an emotional issue or finds himself in a certain situation that elicits an emotional response, there are specific thoughts that occur. I don’t mean thought that is limit to just words, but a certain level of awareness and representations that we are calling thought. And a thought is an energetic field in the same way that there are other fields that have been identified in physics, such as gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Within this energetic thought field, whenever the field causes negative emotions, there are energetic markers, and these markers trigger a disruption in the bioenergy system as a whole, which in turn causes a disruption in your chemistry, your neurology, your cognition, your behavior, and so forth.
What energy psychology does, which is different that other approaches, is specifically target these energetic markers through the acupuncture meridian system in order to collapse them. We do this by diagnosing the markers, using manual muscle testing to identify the meridians that are out of balance due to the way the energetic field is organized. Once the meridians that are out of balance are identified, we then use various techniques, such as holding, rubbing, or tapping specific acupuncture meridian points, to rebalance the meridians. This, in turn, collapses the markers, or subsumes them, taking them out of the thought field so that the circumstance or situation of which the person has an awareness, or the recollection of a past trauma, no longer causes the negative emotion. The person is much more in the present moment, and can view the circumstance or recollection from a state of what Buddhists have called mindfulness.
In other words, the charge of the imprint that was in the field has been resolved.
Right, the charge of the imprint has been resolved. And generally the techniques that comprise the field of energy psychology tend to achieve observable and measurable results rapidly and usually without causing undue emotional distress. Again, this has to do with the thought field. Obviously thoughts are not disembodied; they have cognitive and chemical aspects to them, and during the thought process various areas of the brain are being activated energetically in the form of electricity and electromagnetism. Because of this fact, there is a very delicate balance that holds the thought in place. There can’t be too much or too little energy. What the techniques of energy psychology do, by balancing the meridians, is change the form and structure of the thought, thereby also changing its meaning. This is extremely valuable when dealing with trauma, phobia, and other psychological problems. By directing and injecting energy into the meridian points that correspond to such problems, we can change the emotional meaning they have. What is so interesting about this is that, after the treatment is completed, the person retains a clear memory of the event that caused the problem, yet the bothersome emotions that were associated with it are gone. In the past, one of the mistakes that we made was to conclude that memory was equivalent to trauma when in actuality they are different. The trauma, based on my experience, is more related to the emotion and the energy that produces that emotion, which is what energy psychology addresses.
How did energy psychology originate?
The development and use of energy work goes back at least five thousands years, when the Chinese discovered the existence of the meridian system and found that it communicates energetic information throughout the body. The Chinese call this energy Qi (“chee”), and in India it is known as Prana, while in Japan it is called Ki. All three terms mean “life force” or “life energy.”
The roots energy psychology itself began in the early 1960s, with the development of applied kinesiology, or AK, by chiropractor George Goodheart, D.C. AK is a unique method of evaluating physiological functions by means of manual muscle testing. Eventually Dr. Goodheart and other AK practitioners discovered that when people placed their attention on an issue in their lives that was troubling them, their muscles would momentarily weaken. In the 1970s, John Diamond, M.D., influenced by Dr. Goodheart, found an interrelationship between specific meridians and emotions, and that this could be evaluated by muscle testing. He also found that meridian imbalance could be corrected by having the patient make specific statements or affirmations or by tapping at the center of the chest over the thymus gland. He called that procedure the thymus thump.
By 1979, Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, found that when clients tapped on specific acupoints, it helped eliminate negative emotions, such as anxieties, phobias, and painful memories. It was Dr. Callahan who provided the majority of the initial clinical work about this tapping technique. In the 1990s, a number of other practitioners, including myself, developed additional methods of accessing the acupuncture meridian system to effectively treat psychological problems. I coined the phrase “energy psychology,” and today there are a variety of approaches in this field, such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy (CT_TFT), Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), and my own approach, known as Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods, or EDxTM.
And all of these approaches access the meridian system to diagnose and treat psychological issues?
Correct, and the use of specific affirmations, body postures, and breathing exercises might also be used.
In your books, you describe the energy tapping sequences as algorithms. What do you mean by that?
The algorithm is the specific sequence that you employ in order to achieve the desired outcome. A formula or recipe would be another way of describing it.
Do specific formulas correspond to specific types of issues?
Yes, although not in all cases. For example, we have found that among a very high percentage of people who have phobias, the meridians that tend to be out of balance include the stomach meridian, the spleen meridian, and the kidney meridian, and so the algorithm that we would use to treat such cases would most likely involve energy points along those meridians. The process involves first identifying the problem and having the person think about it and rate it in terms of its distress, zero to ten, for example, and then using the appropriate algorithm to treat the problem. After that, we do follow-up by rechecking the distress rating, and work on any further issues that may come up until resolution is achieved.
What types of issues is energy psychology effective in treating?
There are two categories of problems for which energy psychology is particularly effective. The first category is comprised of life events caused by energy imbalances or disruptions, and the second category has to do with what are called psychological reversals.
Problems or issues in the first category often occur when specific meridian points are impacted by traumatic life events. This results in energy imbalances which lead to the creation of painful memories or feelings of inadequacy, shame, and so forth. At the onset of such traumas, some of the energy flowing through the meridian can become depleted, creating an imbalance in the system that leaves you unable to resolve the problem and vulnerable to similar problems in the future. Every situation we encounter in life becomes embedded in our nervous system, and although we may forget particular events, our body remembers them. For example, if a person is mugged, his or her natural and appropriate reaction at the time might be fearfulness. In some cases, these feelings of fear will pass once the traumatic event is over, but for most people the trauma will create an energy imbalance that can perpetuate feelings of fearfulness indefinitely and inappropriately, eventually to the point of phobia or perhaps a personality disorder. When this occurs, even though you are no longer in a threatening situation, you may find yourself placing limits on your lifestyle and being overly cautious in your interactions with other people because of the energetic imprint that was created in your field at the time the mugging occurred.
Divorce or the loss of a loved one are other life events that can create such imprints, as are the changing dynamics of families and communities, which can leave us feeling socially disconnected or that no one cares about us. Some evidence suggests that energy imbalances can even be passed on from one generation to another, with the energy field of the new generation carrying the imprints of traumatic life events experienced by its parents or other ancestors.
The other category of problems involves psychological reversals, meaning that a person’s energy is literally reversed. Such psychological reversals can result in negative, limiting, or false beliefs leading to self-sabotaging behavior. People dealing with issues in this category will often persist in behavior or actions that they know are bad for them, yet they can’t stop themselves because their behavior or action seems like the right thing to do or at least they are compelled. The result is that they create situations that are the exact opposite of what they truly desire, hence, the term “reversal.”
For the most part, psychological reversals are situation-specific, meaning that they only affect certain areas of your life, such as your ability to attain a particular goal, overcome a particular phobia, or get along with a particular person. All of us at one time or another experience situations created by psychological reversals. Some of the most common have to do with strong feelings of shame or guilt, or they can be related to a lack of self-acceptance. For example, if there is a part of ourselves that we don’t accept, then we may unconsciously sabotage our ability to achieve a goal we consciously desire. It’s my belief that psychological reversals and the sabotaging beliefs they engender are a primary reason why many of us experience difficulties in certain areas of our lives, even though we have the skill and ability to achieve our goals in those areas. When psychological reversals are present, they must be addressed before balance in the meridians can be restored fully.
Based on what you’re saying, is it accurate to say that an energy imbalance can also perpetuate a negative or false belief by affecting one’s thinking?
Very much so. It’s well known among scientists that each time a person has a thought, a chemical presence or reaction occurs and neuropeptides, the biochemical correlates of thought and emotion, become detectable, not only in the brain, but throughout the body. What this means is that our thoughts have a real embodied, physical presence. Moreover, an electromagnetic-like field can also be detected whenever a person thinks. Dr. Callahan named this energetic manifestation of a thought a “thought field.”
When there is a disturbance in the thought field caused by either physical or emotional trauma, negative emotions are created. According to the theory of energy psychology, this disturbance affects one or more specific acupuncture meridian points, which in turn triggers the physiological, neurological, chemical, hormonal, and cognitive events that result in our experiencing negative emotions. Such disturbances cause energy imbalances that we experience as depressions, fears, addictive behaviors, and so forth.
What is important to emphasize is that whenever a disturbance occurs within a thought field, it always corresponds to a specific energy point on the body, which is why energy psychologists have been able to correlate meridian points with specific problems and develop the protocols to effectively treat them.
If someone comes to you wanting to start therapy but is unable to identify exactly what the underlying causes for his or her problems, how would you go about diagnosing and then treating such a person?
The person hasn’t been feeling good and doesn’t know why. He doesn’t exactly know what it is that he’s feeling, but it’s interfering with his life in some way. Is that what you’re asking me?
First of all, let’s look at some of the ways such a person might be treated by other forms of therapy, so you can see the contrast in how energy psychology works. For example, if you were a therapist coming from a cognitive point of view, you would try and figure out what it is that the person is thinking or telling himself, and why, and then you would explore whether those thoughts and beliefs were accurate or grounded in actual reality. If you were a psychiatrist, you might first put the person on medication in order to help him cope with his depression or anxiety, and then employ one or more psychotherapeutic processes to go deeper into the issue. But when such a person comes to see me, although I might be doing the standard kind of DSM-IV diagnostic stuff to try and get a sense of what category the problem falls under — that’s really just part of doing the interview and getting the person’ history — I would explain to the person that in my experience a lot of times problems like this can be resolved by treating an energy system in our bodies. I would then explain how thoughts are a type of field, and that when disturbances are created in that field problems of a psychological nature can arise, and that I have found that we can remove the fundamental cause of these disturbances using the procedure of energy psychology.
After that, there are a number of ways we can proceed. The first thing I would do is check to see if the person’s energy system is prepared to accept the treatment, assuming that there isn’t a psychological reversal, for which I would also check. There are various methods for determining and resolving that. But if the person’s system is ready to treatment, depending on the nature of the problem, I might have my own insights into his problem, based on my clinical experience, and proceed by using a specific sequence of “energy tapping” in which the person would tap, rub, or hold certain meridian points which experience has shown me are associated with the problem. In some cases, that might be all that is required to resolve, or start to resolve, the problem.
But if I did not know what was causing the problem, then I would take a more diagnostic approach. I might, for example, employ muscle testing and have the person extend his arm straight out from his body, parallel to the floor. What this does is isolate the middle deltoid muscle in the shoulder. I should point out that there are a number of muscles that can be used for this purpose. I could just as well isolate a muscle on the hand, for example, but working with the arm and the deltoid muscle is fairly common. I would then check the muscle in the clear, meaning that the person is simply holding his arm out parallel to the floor, and by applying a bit of pressure to the arm I would get a strong response. Now if I don’t get a strong response then I have to do certain kinds of adjustment to make sure I get a strong response, and there is a whole category of things that I could do there, but let’s assume that we have a strong muscle. Now I have the person think about the issue that bothers him, and after he’s identified his feeling, I ask him to rate it on a zero to ten scale, with ten being most distressful, and zero being the absence of distress. This is the Subjective Units of Distress scale, or SUD. So let’s say the rate his distress as an eight. As he continues to think about his problem and I again apply pressure to his arm, in the vast majority of cases, this will cause the muscle to go weak. It’s not really that the muscle is weak, but that the energy that supplies the muscle becomes interrupted because there’s kind of an incongruence caused by the person thinking about his issue, whatever it might be. As he does so, he doesn’t feel a sense of harmony; there is a disruption. And the disruption is not only affecting the nerves themselves, but, more fundamentally, it is affecting a meridian or a series of meridians, which in turn disrupts the cerebral hemisphere, which in turn disrupts the muscle.
If the muscle tests weak, then I know I have discovered at least part of the cause of the person’s problem. Now what I do is look for what are referred to as alarm points to cancel out the weakness. Let’s say, for example, that there is an alarm point over the stomach between the navel and the bottom of the sternum. If the person puts his hand over this point, and now the muscle goes strong, I know that the stomach meridian is involved in the problem. There are then a number of different places where I could have the person tap, one of which is directly under an eye, and represents the first point of the stomach meridian. I find sometimes I have to use other points, but a high percentage of the time, if I have a person tap that point for a period of time, if the stomach meridian is the only meridian that is out of balance for the person, this will bring the meridian back into balance and the person will find that the emotional charge of the issue will change.
While the person taps that point, I have him rate the SUD once more, and if it is only the stomach meridian that was out of balance, then invariably we find that the charge has come down and that the emotion has changed. Usually people will say things like, “I think it’s less,” but as they try to decide what the SUD might be, a lot of times they will say, “You know, it’s really hard to focus on it. I really can’t quite bring it back to mind.” They can still recall whatever precipitating event may have caused the problem, but there is no longer an emotional charge surrounding it.
At this point, there are a number of other procedures that I might employ, such as the brain balancing procedure, which can bring the charge down even further. It also makes it easier to tune in other aspects of the problem, if they exist. Usually a particular problem will have different features. We may have balanced one meridian, but there may still be another significant meridian that is involved, or a cluster of meridians. In such cases, we would then repeat the process I’ve described, continuing to balance the additional meridians or meridian clusters in order to achieve a complete resolution. At that point, the person is then able to discuss whatever the problem may have been, and once the treatment is completed the person will almost invariably have a higher level of awareness regarding the issue. It seems to come from more of a spiritual place, affording the person with a clearer vision that is more rational and in touch with his or her deeper feelings. For example, if, as part of their issue, they were really angry with somebody, once we resolve the problem usually the person will regard the other person in a more understanding way.
In other words, the person no longer takes the other person’s behavior personally.
Right. It’s like you are no longer trapped in negative ego. You’re no longer trapped in insecurity. Instead, you now view the situation from a place of serenity. That’s what this therapy often does.
How many sessions are typically required before the person achieves such results?
Depending upon what type of problem you’re treating, resolution can sometimes be thoroughly achieved with one brief treatment. Traumas are usually resolved that way. Other conditions, such as phobias, can also sometimes be resolved in one session. It depends upon the complexity of the phobia. Sometimes they might require several treatments. Like agoraphobia, for example, which is a much more extensive phobia. I might need to treat a person with that condition for a longer period of time, perhaps a few months. I’ve worked with people with agoraphobia that had been in treatment for years and never got over it, and within a matter of one to three months, they’ve been completely cured using this approach. On other occasions, I’ve also achieved spectacular results resolving long-term, problems in a single session, again, particularly with traumas. One session is usually all that is required.
Let me give you an example of an interesting case I had regarding a phobia. A woman came to me who suffered from a fear of flying. She and her husband were wanted to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary by flying to Puerto Rico and then taking a cruise down to the Caribbean. Approximately 25 years prior to her coming to me, she and her husband had flown to Florida, and during the return flight home there was a stop-over and she had a panic attack on the plane as they were landing. It was so bad that when they when they landed she refused to get on the connecting flight. They had to rent a car and drive the rest of the way home because she was so panicky. After that, the woman refused to ever fly again, but now she wanted to resolve that, so she came to see me.
In my experience, it is an oversimplification to view a phobia like this simply as a fear of flying and to say that’s all it is. There are many aspects that led to this fear, all of which have to be considered and addressed. For example, there could be flight turbulence, there could be anxiety during take-off or during the landing, there could be the fear that comes with knowing that you’re way up there in the air and thinking about the plane crashing, or there could be a claustrophobic experience of being around so many people in close quarters and not having the ability to get of the plane while it’s in the air. And there could be other things involved, as well. So, during the course of four sessions with this woman, we treated every possible aspect that we could think of. In the process, she was able to really get in touch with the disruptive emotion. Each week, I’d treat several aspects and then I’d see her the following week and we would treat other aspects and check on the results of the previous ones. And after four sessions, she and her husband went on their trip. When they returned, she had left a message on my answering machine, saying, “I had a wonderful time. I slept on the plane. I’d do it again.” This is an example of a type of phobia that usually requires more than one session to completely resolve. In such cases, you would certainly want to follow up with the person. This is also true of people with panic attacks. Usually there has to be some follow-up. One way to treat them, incidentally, when they are in the field, so to speak, is over the telephone. I’ve resolved panic attacks by verbally guiding them through the treatment over the phone many times with people.
Another area in which more than one session with EDxTM or other forms of energy psychology is usually required has to do with people who want to quit smoking, or have some other addictive urge. They need to repeat the treatment any time the urge arises. But I find that if they stay with the program, after awhile they completely lose the urge for cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or whatever else they may be addicted to. With severe addictions like alcohol and drugs, however, I strongly recommend that people also get involved in support groups if they can, and to avail themselves of the other things the field of psychotherapy has to offer.
There are a wide range of other conditions for which energy psychology can provide benefit, too. I’ve found it to be very effective for treating posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, irrational feelings of guilt, loneliness and rejection, and anger and rage, and I’ve also found that with some people it can be helping in relieving certain conditions of physical pain. I’ve also found that we can use this therapeutic approach to quickly alleviate negative core beliefs. I also find that energy psychology is very effective for children. Children tend to be far more receptive to it than many adults are; they think it is kind of cool.
You mentioned energy psychology’s effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. How effective is it for cases of rape or sexual abuse?
It can be very effective. As an example, one woman I treated had been raped when she was 13 years old. As a result, she developed an extremely negative self-image and eventually began abusing drugs and alcohol. She was chronically depressed and exhibited suicidal tendencies, and was not very successful in her occupation or in her relationship with her husband. Before coming to see me, she had repeatedly sought other forms of treatment for her problem, but without results.
She was 32 when she came to see me, and as I began discussing her situation with her, she initially and quite understandably became very emotional. I helped her calm down, and then had her briefly think about the rape event and to rate its level of distress. On a scale of zero to ten, she told me it was 100. Then I had her take her attention of the memory, and had her tap specific energy points about her head and body. As she did so, her energy system became more harmonious, and within ten minutes she was able to recall the rape without feeling distress. She still vividly recollected what had occurred, but it no longer disturbed her.
Just as importantly, not only was she much calmer, but her view of herself changed dramatically as well, becoming far more positive and no longer self-degrading. As I continued to work with her, she came to many profound conclusions about herself and ceased being depressed and suicidal. Once the energetic imprint of the trauma was removed, she made very rapid progress. Resolution of the trauma occurred after only one treatment. We resolved many other problems over the course of follow-up visits. The woman then went on to complete her college education and graduate school, and is now a licensed psychotherapist.
Given the effectiveness of energy psychology that you’re describing, do you see it as a stand-alone approach, or can it be integrated with other methods within the field of traditional psychotherapy?
In many instances, energy psychology is effective as a stand-alone approach, including as a self-help measure in some cases. But certainly it can also be integrated with other types of therapeutic approaches. Let’s take cognitive therapy, for example, certain aspects of which I think are very valuable, particularly for problems that don’t involve a really emotionally charged issue. It is very useful for helping people to understand the logic or illogic of their thoughts and beliefs and to act more rationally. For example, if someone experiences anxiety each time his is around a group of people, cognitive therapy might help them see that the anxiety is related to what he worries people might be thinking about him, or whether he’ll do something to embarrass himself. These are anxiety-provoking thoughts, or anxiety-charged thoughts. And generally what people do when they are made aware of them is say, “You know, I really can’t control what people think, and what do their thoughts have to do with what I am anyway.” In cognitive therapy you’re trying to get a person to that point through rational discussion and so forth.
With energy psychology, by having a person tune into the discomfort they feel around a group people, and then removing the charge from that, they can arrive at the same insight that is sought in cognitive therapy. If we remove the energy disruption, the emotion changes, and the person moves to a more rational position and is feeling calmer about it. I think that’s a wonderful time to do some cognitive therapy. The person is going to receive it very well, and be able to discuss things about his worthwhileness and so on without still being burdened by the emotional charge, and that makes the outcome that much more successful. So yes, I think energy psychology used in conjunction with other forms of therapy can be extremely valuable.
Let me also add that, although I do believe there remains a need for traditional therapy, there are certain aspects of it that I don’t think are necessary. For instance, I don’t think it’s necessary for a person to emotionally relieve a traumatic event in order to achieve a catharsis and resolution. It’s not necessary to go through that in order to feel better. In addition, while it certainly can be worthwhile to change your thoughts or beliefs about a distressful event or life experience, in my experience often simply changing or balancing the person’s energy field is all that is necessary to produce a positive change in their thoughts and outlook.
I also think energy psychology represents, in many cases, a viable alternative to the medications which are increasingly being prescribed for people with psychological issues. Many people cannot tolerate such medications, and for many others, although the medications may help them to cope, they do not bring about a cure. As an example, one of my clients was a woman who suffered from social phobia and anxiety who had been on medication for twelve years. The medication relieved her symptoms to some extent, but they did not cure her condition. After a few months of EDxTM energy treatments, her condition was completely resolved and she no longer needed to be medicated.
Earlier you mentioned that energy psychology helps people be free of negative ego. Given that, it seems to me that it could also have benefits for people who aren’t necessarily psychologically disturbed, but who are simply looking to increase their self-awareness or self-actualization. Would you agree?
Yes, definitely. Even if there is something that isn’t what we would think of as a real psychological disturbance, energy psychology can be a worthwhile exploration. For instance, it’s useful for eliminating mental blocks and is very effective for balancing out the lower moods that we all go through from time to time. In addition to psychotherapy and psychopathology, it’s applicable to a wide range of other areas, such as education, physical health, sports, peak performance, and improving relationships, and I can see it being used as a real complement to self-actualization processes.
Weight loss is another area in which energy psychology can be effective. Not all cases of being overweight are due to poor diet or metabolic imbalances. Often there is an underlying component, as well. For example, one of my clients was an overweight middle-aged man who had tried numerous diets without success. Using the diagnostic methods of EDxTM, I was able to determine that he suffered from feelings of loneliness and rejection. After one session with me, he found the motivation he needed to successfully lose weight, and through using the techniques I showed him on a regular basis he accomplished his goal and was able to keep the weight off.
That would certainly be an example of how energy psychology lends itself to self-care. How useful overall is it as a self-care approach?
Ideally, I would say that it is best to work with someone who has been extensively trained in this field, especially for serious psychological issues. But there are many instances where energy psychology is appropriate as a form of self-care. In fact, I wrote one of my books, Energy Tapping, to teach people how to apply energy psychology methods without the assistance of a trained therapist. As I said, to treat a problem, specific meridian points need to be stimulated, and through years of experience and testing, we have determined the algorithmic patterns that are most effective for a variety of issues, such as phobias, depression, anger, shame, guilt, loneliness, rejection, trauma, and painful memories.
Who is trained to do this work? Is it limited to people within the psychiatric field only, or do you train other health professionals, as well?
The vast majority of people I train are psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, and counselors, but I’ve also trained a certain number of holistic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and hypnotherapists. I’ve also trained a number of people that are performance coaches who want to apply energy psychology in that area. They’re not really treating people with psychological problems as much as people with blocks who want to be performing at a higher level.
Overall, my training is geared to people who already have a knowledge base in the health field. I may also provide trainings for the general public, but I would structure it differently and emphasize the self-help aspects of the work. Which I think is a legitimate thing to do. But in general, I think that people with a background in mental health diagnosis and who already has psychotherapeutic skills are going to be much better at doing this than somebody who doesn’t have that kind of background.
Do people who take your training receive an accreditation or certification of any sort?
Yes. I do different types of trainings, and have personally trained a few thousand professionals. One of the trainings I conduct is called The New Energy Psychology, which is an overview of energy psychology and some of the elements that comprise it, and I teach the algorithms and some of the other approaches that are involved. This course is primarily about the meridian-based approach, but I also discuss things such as chakras and biofields, and the science and research that supports this.
I also conduct an EDxTM Practitioner Certification Training, which consists of four levels of training and is for professionals wishing to learn the Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods. (I also refer to EDxTM as an aspect of Psycho-Energetic Psychotherapy or PEP.) I recommend that before people take this training that they have either attended The New Energy Psychology training or have studied some other form of energy psychology. Both trainings are very hands-on, and as the participants are practicing the methods, I’m observing their work. They also have to do an individual project, which involves either providing me with a case study or conducting some other form of research. A number of interesting things have resulted from the case studies. For example, one of the participants has written a book about EDxTM integrated with yoga, and another person created an audio tape based on a technique I call the Healing Energy Life Process, or HELP, which combines meridian balancing with visualization, affirmations, and certain body postures that you assume to balance the energy system. She developed that into a professionally engineered tape which a lot of therapists now use and make available to their patients, who then work with it at home. In addition, each participant must take an objective test at the end of the training. If they completed all of this successfully then they become certified EDxTM practitioners.
Do you provide referrals to those you certify?
Yes, I list certified practitioners at my website. There’s going to be a bunch of them listed there before long and if people call my office I refer to them because they’re the most qualified.
Additionally, I’m now allowing practitioners whom I certify teach the certain levels of the EDxTM certification training. My goal is to get enough people out there who can teach levels one and two, and then eventually a certain select group who can teach the entire four levels of certification training. My intent is to make sure that there are people out there that can provide this training in an appropriate effective manner so that I don’t have to be the only one who is doing that, and that the work can be carried on without me. To ensure its long-term integrity, in other words.
What do you think the future holds for energy psychology?
Because energy psychology is so efficient and effective, I think it will eventually be applied extensively in a variety of areas, in addition to the fields of therapy. These include medicine, education, business, sports, and other areas of performance. The applications truly appear to be limitless.
In the field of medicine, for example, energy psychology can serve as a useful complement. We all know how greatly stress impacts physical health and can significantly impede the healing process and lead to additional illnesses. I foresee the techniques of energy psychology being used by physicians to help their patients gain more personal control over their health by more effectively dealing with stress issues, particularly those that have a strong emotional component.
In the area of education, energy psychology can help students overcome psychological barriers to their education, such as lack of motivation, learning blocks, and anxiety of testing. It can also help children who are exposed to violence or other trauma, either in school or in their neighborhoods, so I think training school psychologists and counselors in energy psychology would be a very worthwhile endeavor.
And in the field of sports and performance, energy psychology can easily be taught to athletes and performers to help them reduce anxiety and rid themselves of self-sabotaging beliefs that can cause mental errors. It can also serve as an effective means of regaining and maintaining one’s focus in crucial situations.
How do you see energy psychology being applied in the business field?
I see it being used as an effective means of coping with job stress, as well as enhancing worker creativity, improving morale, and reducing the incidence of relationship problems amongst worker. In addition, I believe that managers who are trained in the methods of energy psychology will be better able to establish and energy balance within themselves, which in turn will have a positive trickle-down effect on the workers they manage, thus benefiting the entire organization.
Locating and Tapping Your Energy Meridian Points.
The following exercise is adapted from Dr. Gallo’s book Energy Tapping, and is intended to make you more familiar with the location of various energy meridian points used by practitioners of energy psychology. Practicing the exercise can help you resolve emotional issues by balancing your energy.
Begin by thinking of an issue that causes you a minimal amount of emotional discomfort. (In the beginning, do not focus on a more complex, serious issue.) As you think about the issue, on a scale of zero to ten, rate it according to the level of distress it causes you, with zero equal to no discomfort, and ten equal the highest degree of emotional distress.
Now lightly tap five times on each of the following points, using two fingertips: the point inside your left eyebrow, the point just behind the side of your left eye, the point under your left eye (located in the middle, just below your eye socket), the point midway between your nose and upper lip, the point just below your lower lip, the point on the inside of your left upper collar bone, the point inside your upper armpit, the point just under your upper left breast, the point inside your left pinkie finger (just opposite the nail), the point inside your left middle finger (just opposite the nail), the point inside your left index finger (just opposite the nail), the point inside your left thumb (just opposite the nail), the point on the back of your left hand (located approximately one inch below the crease between your ring and pinkie finger), the point on the side of your hand (located just above the outer wrist), the point on your forehead (just between your eyebrows), the point in the middle of your upper chest (between your collar bones), and the point known as the sore spot (located approximately two inches below the collar bone in the center of the upper chest; you will know you’ve located it because it will be sore when you press into it).
Once you complete this tapping sequence, think once more about the emotional issue you selected and once more rate it on a scale of zero to ten, according to level of discomfort. Most likely it will now be less discomforting than before. If the discomfort isn’t completely eliminated (zero), you may need to tap the sequence one to three more times. (If you still don’t experience a change in discomfort, it may be due to a psychological reversal.) Don’t be surprised if you find that the issue you selected is now only a vague event in your mind and that, even if you try to really bring it into focus, it still no longer upsets you. You may also find that you now feel calmer, more relaxed, and more energized. (You can also use this tapping sequence whenever you find it necessary to relax.) With practice, you will find that this tapping sequence can be effective for handling a variety of emotional issues or problems.
Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D.
Gallo & Associates Psychological Services
40 Snyder Road
Hermitage, Pennsylvania 16148
Books by Dr. Gallo
Energy Psychology: Explorations at the Interface of Energy, Cognition, Behavior, and Health (CRC Press), 1998.
Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy (editor) (W.W. Norton & Company), 2002.
Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods. (W.W. Norton & Company), 2000.
Fred P. Gallo & Harry Vincenzi. Energy Tapping: How to Rapidly Eliminate Anxiety, Depression, Cravings, and More Using Energy Psychology. (New Harbinger Publications, Inc.), 2000.
Mark Evan Furman & Fred P. Gallo. The Neurophysics of Human Behavior: Explorations at the Interface of Brain, Mind, Behavior, and Information. (CRC Press) 2000.
The Healing Energy Light Process (HELP) (audiotape available from Psychological Services).