A revolutionary new tool to improve men's mental health
Posted September 23, 2010
When I began training as a psychotherapist in 1965, I wanted to save the world. Well, if I were telling the whole truth, I’d say that I really wanted to save myself. I wanted to understand why I did the things I did and felt the things I felt. And if I were being completely honest I would tell you I became a psychotherapist because I wanted to understand why my father tried to commit suicide when I was five years old and what I, or anyone, could have done to help him.
Although I still work with men, women, and children, I specialize in treating men. O.K., another bit of self-disclosure. I really became focused on helping men when my first wife and I divorced in 1976 after 10 years of marriage. She got custody of our two children and I was left with a lot of rage, doubts, and blame.
“How come the courts assume that she would be a better parent for my boy and girl, just because she’s a woman?”
“How come most of our friends are now her friends?”
“Why do I have to be the one to leave our home and live in a raggedy-assed apartment?”
“How am I going to live without her?”
“Will my kids ever forgive me?”
It took me a long time to forgive her, forgive our friends, forgive “the system,” and most of all forgive myself for my raggedy-assed behavior and uncontrolled rage. It took even longer to heal myself.
How I Found Energy Psychology
Shortly after my wife and I were married we moved to the country. We couldn’t afford our own house, so we rented a cottage in the back of a country estate. The owners had a number of horses which they rode through the hills when they weren’t working.
The horses were easy-going, but when our friends visited with their two year old son, disaster struck. While we were talking and drinking wine, the little boy wandered into the corral and was kicked by one of the horses before we could catch him. He was unconscious when we rushed to him and we called an ambulance.
While we were waiting, the boys mother held him in her lap, and with tears running down her cheeks she held her open hand over his head and run it back and forth about 3 inches from his body. I asked her what she was doing and she just said, “energy healing.”
Quite frankly I thought she was nuts and trying to save her child with some kind of voodoo magic when he really needed real medical care, but there really wasn’t anything else we could do. By the time the ambulance arrived, the boy was conscious again and seemed to be fine.
Never-the-less, we all went to the hospital to get him x-rayed and checked out by “real doctors.” The Mom felt confident that he was fine, that her “energy healing” had done the job. The doctors confirmed that the boy was OK and I forgot all about the experience until years later when I heard about the work of David Feinstein, Gary Craig, and David Gruder.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with Gary Craig
I learned about EFT from an acupuncturist I had gone to for shoulder pain. I wanted help in the worst way, but I couldn’t tolerate the needles. Even though she assured me that they wouldn’t hurt (and in fact they didn’t hurt), I still got light-headed and nearly passed out. You now can fully understand why I dropped out of medical school. I faint at the sight of blood and needles.
I was immediately drawn to EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) because the founder, Gary Craig, was a hands on kind of guy. He says, “I am neither a psychologist nor a licensed therapist. Rather, I am a Stanford engineering graduate.”
Craig describes EFT this way: EFT is a powerful new discovery that combines two well-established sciences so you can benefit from both at the same time:
- Mind-Body Medicine
- Acupuncture (without needles)
In essence, EFT is an emotional version of acupuncture wherein we stimulate certain meridian points by tapping on them with our fingertips. This addresses a new cause for emotional issues (unbalanced energy meridians).
Properly done, this frequently reduces the therapeutic process from months or years down to hours or minutes. And, since emotional stress can contribute to pain, disease and physical ailments, we often find that EFT provides astonishing physical relief.
- Here are some of the important features of EFT:
- There is no long, drawn out, “tell me your life story” feature to EFT.
- There are no pills.
- There is no painfully relived past traumatic events.
- It takes a fraction of the usual time and is often done in minutes.
- Though it takes practice to do it well, anyone can learn how to use it effectively.
This was my kind of medicine—men’s medicine—no needles, no drugs, no long talks about the past, and its quick. Of course, these are aspects that make it attractive to women as well.
Energy Psychology with David Feinstein
Candace Pert, the neuroscientist who was one of the discoverers of the brain’s opiate receptors, remembers David Feinstein when she was working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in the 1970s. “Dr. Feinstein was there conducting research on psychotherapeutic innovations.”
Thirty years later Feinstein has turned to the intersection of psychotherapy and energy medicine. Recently he led a team of twenty-seven health and mental-health professionals to bring the new tools of energy psychology to psychotherapists.
His research demonstrated that energy psychology builds upon conventional psychotherapies. It works within the context of established psychological principles such as the key role of early experiences in shaping our current emotional and behavioral patterns.
“But energy psychology,” he says, “also has a special card in its deck.” Stimulating energy points on the skin, paired with specified mental activities, can instantly shift your brain’s electrochemistry to:
- Help overcome unwanted emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, jealousy and anger
- Help change unwanted habits and behavior
- Enhance your abilities to love, succeed, and enjoy life
What Is Energy Psychology?
According to David Gruder, Ph.D., Founding President of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, “Some truly exciting new upgrades in the field of psychology have been unfolding over the last several years, which are beginning to align psychology with the stunning discoveries that have been made over the past 75 years in the field of quantum physics.”
Energy Psychology is at the forefront of the innovations leading the way into twenty-first century psychotherapy and self-help processes. Energy Psychology is also helping align psychology with parallel developments in the field of Energy Medicine.
Energy Psychology is the name of an emerging family of interventions newly-emerging methods that show promise in providing rapid, reliable and lasting treatment of a broadening range of psychological and spiritual issues. Areas of effectiveness appear to range from phobias, trauma and limiting beliefs, to peak performance and creativity.
Most Energy Psychology methods are adaptations of some of the standard-of-care practices used by nurses (Healing Touch), chiropractors and physiotherapists (kinesiology), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupressure).
Energy Psychology methods are believed by many in the field to work through directly intervening with and rebalancing aspects of our personal energy system, known as the “Human Vibrational Matrix.” Just as we have a circulatory system, a nervous system, an endocrine system and a lymphatic system, we also appear to have an additional system that helps regulate all of these.
This system seems to be of a more electromagnetic nature. It has been well-known to practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years and has been becoming known in the western medical community through the emerging field of Energy Medicine.
The Human Vibrational Matrix may include over a half dozen inter-related systems. The best-known aspects of the Human Vibrational Matrix include the multi-layered electromagnetic envelope surrounding and permeating the body (the Biofield), centers of bioenergy concentration (the Chakras) and electromagnetic energy-information pathways (the Meridians and their associated acupoints).
Energy Psychology methods use these systems to help people rebalance themselves with psychologically distressing issues, and to upgrade themselves to peak performance and peak states of being. A somewhat oversimplified way to think about Energy Psychology procedures is to view them as acupuncture for the emotions, but without the needles.
Some of the highest profile Energy Psychology methods include Emotional Freedom Techniques (TFT), Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Healing Touch (HT) and Brain Gym, among many others.
Methods such as HeartMath, Donna Eden's Energy Medicine, and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), among others, are close relatives of Energy Psychology methods. These methods are but a small list of the much larger family of Energy Psychology methods.
These methods and innovations have already been applauded by the likes of self-help gurus Wayne Dyer & Tony Robbins, self-esteem expert Nathaniel Branden, renowned physicists such as William Tiller, best-selling microbiologist Candace Pert and epigenetics biology pioneer Bruce Lipton.
Jed Diamond is director of MenAlive, a program dedicated to healing men and the women who love them. He is the author of 7 books including Male Menopause and The Irritable Male Syndrome. For more information, or to sign up for his newsletter, visit MenAlive.com.