Energy Psychology Is Not Just Tapping:
Psychology As The First Human Science
By Dr Silvia Hartmann
In 2000, Joaquín Andrade, M.D. and David Feinstein, Ph.D. noted in their paper entitled ENERGY PSYCHOLOGY: Theory, Indications, Evidence that:
Despite its odd-seeming procedures and eye-raising claims, evidence is accumulating that energy-based psychotherapy, which involves stimulating acupuncture points or other energy systems while bringing troubling emotions or situations to mind(1) is more effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders than the current standard of care, which utilizes a combination of medication and cognitive behavior therapy.
(1) “Energy psychology," "energy-based psychotherapy," and "energy therapy" all refer to the therapeutic modality represented, for instance, by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. Earlier therapeutic modalities within psychology and psychiatry that focus on the body's energy systems extend back at least to Wilhelm Reich and are seen in contemporary practices such as bioenergetics and Gestalt therapy.
In many contexts and circumstances, it is still believed that tapping therapies, the descendants of Thought Field Therapy, can be used interchangeably with the idea of energy psychology or even “energy based psychotherapy” and that these and other techniques which work by stimulating certain points on the body at the same time as bringing troublesome emotions to mind are in essence a replacement of the “non-contemporary practices” such as the work of Wilhelm Reich, Gestalt therapy and so forth.
Psychology, which stems from the Greek and translates to “the study of the soul” (and not of the mind, as many erroneously assume) has already the energy paradigm in its title and structure; curiously, it doesn’t have the energy paradigm in its “scientific practices” where it is held that the very existence of such a thing as energy is entirely unproven and essentially, to be disbelieved.
It is indeed curious how a study of the soul could get by without considering such an organ which can transcend physical death and continue life in another, non material dimension without taking energy into the equation; and it is likewise curious that people who work with the energy paradigm, i.e. the theory that there might be more to life than can be currently measured directly, have to resort to that second edition of “energy” to set themselves apart from those who are attempting to study the soul without it by the addition of “energy” to “psychology.”
The fact remains that energy psychology, far from being confined to “odd-seeming procedures” or “therapeutic modalities represented by” any one organisation at this time, is a vast field which includes all and any modality at all which is designed to affect changes on a human being in any shape or form with the inclusion of the energy paradigm.
When any person talks to or touches another whilst having energy in mind, we are immediately in the realms of energy psychology.
Indeed, this goes even further; one person might simply hold the intention of affecting the energy system in mind and say or do nothing at all and it is still energy psychology, as the definition of energy psychology is to consider questions relating to the study of the human soul, mind, behaviour and emotion, the human condition indeed, from an energy inclusive standpoint.
The problem with the energy inclusive paradigm is that energy related behaviour in human beings and evidence for the existence of the additional layer that is the energy dimension is so vast, so overwhelming, so information dense that to reduce it to statistics was considered to be too difficult, and it was deemed a good way to proceed with less information, reality reduction to the proverbial black box mind of a metaphorical pigeon.
For example, if one was to design a questionnaire and put it to all 8 billion people alive on this planet today, asking if they engaged in some form of religious, spiritual or superstitious practice during a single month of their lives, we would get a lot of information in return.
What this information would show is that statistically, the entirely overwhelming majority of people across all potential divides of gender, age, race, economic status and so forth engage in energy practice and on a regular basis.
From such a study it could be deduced that there is “some thing” about the energy paradigm which is essentially human, directly related to the human condition - even if all 7,969,987,890 who did engage in some form of energy based practice are entirely mad, just hallucinating, or just not educated enough in the ways of science to know better.
To me, such a notion is entirely preposterous as well as deeply insulting to human beings at large; as a proponent of the energy paradigm as a reality, and a provable reality at least as far as it concerns the cause and effect of human emotion, thought and behaviour, of course, it would be.
The point I am making here is that energy psychology and its applications to human emotion, thought and behaviour is vast.
There are practices which are absolutely in the realms of energy psychology, such as prayer behaviour, belief behaviour, the effects of enlightenment experiences, being “born again,” societal mind shaping and behavioural shaping behaviours and effects, which have been ongoing since the dawn of human civilisation.
Just as indigenous people and their traditions and beliefs were simply discarded as being “less civilised, less advanced, less intelligent and therefore, less true” by Elizabethan explorers of the day, so called “modern psychology” has tried to explain away the effects of the energy paradigm on human emotion, thought and behaviour for all the wrong reasons.
It makes no sense why anyone would dance around a sick person with feathers and sing to them without the energy paradigm in mind; with it, the behaviour is entirely explicable, logical, obvious, normal and natural.
Indeed, we then might ask how to improve the song and dance to get better results; or what other benefits accrue from such practices - or in other words, deal with human behaviour, human emotion and human thought in a truly scientific manner.
Energy psychology - or just psychology, the real study of the human soul or spirit - is not only inclusive in so far that it includes the invisible yet sensible worlds of energy and how people respond to these; it is also inclusive in the methodology used to affect a change on the energy levels.
Tapping techniques on certain meridian points are the tip of a vast iceberg of ways and methods to change the conditions in the human energy body. Many of these methods are already known and have been in operation for millennia; with a modern approach, we can take these methods and instead of simply declaring them to be nonsense or primitive, to observe them, study them, and improve upon them.
These methods include all spiritual practice, all superstitious practice; all human emotions and relationships to each other and the world around them; but also the vast fields of human communication, language, symbols, metaphor, measurements and methods to describe and symbolise reality absolute.
Indeed, any time any human being - from any civilisation, from anywhere in the world - does anything at all, feels or thinks anything at all, the energy psychology paradigm is in action to both investigate what is happening and why, as well as to consider methods, ways and means to improve on existing structures and conditions.
In essence, real psychology - the study of the human soul - is the first and foundational science without which all other sciences cannot properly evaluate their own methodology and therefore, their own results.
Without understanding “how people work” we have to remain entirely baffled why some scientific research is being conducted in preference to other scientific research; why certain papers are published and others which appear equally valid or important are not published; why and how scientific instruments come into being, and what presuppositions they have in their very structure; why and how essential information is getting lost from one generation to the next; and why and how we have arrived at the systems of notation which are being passed unquestioned and unchallenged from one generation to the next.
Energy psychology is real psychology in the true sense of the name of the field - the study of the human soul, of the human condition.
It is a paradigm shift not just for psychology but for science and as such it is both vast and extremely frightening to those who are unused to considering complexity.
However, it is simply true that human beings are vast and complex, each one, in their unique experiences and the cause and effect of what they feel, think and do; and in combination this complexity increases exponentially as human beings interact with each other in families, groups, societies, and so forth; then it increases again as we take into consideration the relationships of humanity and the transmission of ideas across generations and time.
A field that wishes to study the human condition needs to learn to be unafraid by that task and instead, to be delighted at the multitude of opportunities that present themselves here to learn something new, to find out many different ways to improve the experience of human beings on Earth today, and most importantly, to help make sense of why people do the things they do.
I would also like to propose that when we begin to consider the similarities of human experience, rather than chunking down into ever more details, we begin to find structures that are content free - basic principles that apply across the board to all human beings by virtue of their design.
These structures are the precious prizes of any real psychology, for in the understanding of these underlying structures lies the understanding of psychology itself - which then goes on to unlock all the other sciences, religions, medicines, relationships and practical doings of humanity.
What we call today energy psychology, which in fact is the beginnings of a real psychology, is a vast field that is and has to remain inclusive of all and every approach that seeks to understand the interplay between energy and human emotion, thought and behaviour.
This applies to all methods, whether they come into operation in sickness or in health; whether they are prophylactic in nature or remedial; whether they are designed to influence mind, body or spirit; whether they are old or new; whether they are physical, non-physical or a combination of both; whether they intersect with other fields or not.
If ever you get awed by the sheer complexity of this, please take heart and remember that we are involved in the greatest topic of scientific study there is - to find out more about human beings, how they work; the study of the human soul, the first science, real psychology.
When you remember that this is about people, understanding how people work, and how and what affects the human condition, we can move anything in the right direction with a calm and logical enquiry; we can use inclusive evidence procedures and Venn diagrams to seek out the real structural similarities shared by all human beings; and we can share our honest findings with each other to build a whole new idea of what human beings are and what they can achieve for the 3rd Millennium.
Dr Silvia Hartmann
March 21, 2011