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Energy Psychology: Efficacy, Speed, Mechanisms

Citation (APA style): Feinstein, D. (2019). Energy psychology: Efficacy, speed, mechanisms. Explore, 15(5), 340-351.


The most well known forms of “energy psychology” combine cognitive and exposure techniques with the stimulation of selected acupuncture points (acupoints) by tapping on them. Most clinicians who learn and utilize an acupoint tapping protocol integrate the approach within their existing clinical frameworks rather than using it as a stand-alone therapy. The method has been highly controversial, with its efficacy, purported speed, and explanatory models all questioned. Nonetheless, its utilization within clinical settings and as a self-help method has continued to expand since it was introduced more than three decades ago. This paper reviews the most salient criticisms of the method and presents research and empirically based theoretical constructs that address them. More than 100 peer-reviewed outcome studies-51 of which are randomized controlled trials-provide an evidential base for evaluating the claims and criticisms surrounding the approach. This review concludes that a growing body of evidence indicates that acupoint-based energy psychology protocols are rapid and effective in producing beneficial outcomes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and possibly other conditions. Mechanisms by which acupoint tapping might bring about these treatment outcomes are also proposed.

Copyright © 2018 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:Acupressure; Acupuncture; Emotional Freedom Techniques; Energy psychology; Memory reconsolidation; Thought Field Therapy

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