Eighty years ago, if you had wanted therapy in order to deal with a deep-seated psychological condition you would have had to go to a Psycho-Therapist or Psycho-Analyst 2-3 times a week for an hour at a time, for a number of years and be prepared to spend a lot of money. But today you could go to a Meridian Therapist and experience a major shift in feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour in one session. There are some case studies which demonstrate this amazingly speedy effect, which is shown to last over time. This is on the dramatic end of the spectrum, to be sure and such change could take more than one session, but it is possible depending on the client, the problem and the therapist, to get very good results in weeks or months. How can we explain such an acceleration in the speed at which therapy can help people toward major change?
There appears to a natural speeding up of developments in all human life. This phenomenon has been experienced in many theatres of human life and endeavour: for example, the pace of technological change especially in the areas of electronics, the chip and communications technology are outstripping both the market demand for these products and services and the ability of a majority of the population to learn and adjust to their use. From the beginnings of therapy in the early 20th Century to early in the 21st Century there has been an explosion of therapeutic approaches; you have only to browse through the programme of the Festival of Mind Body and Spirit which takes place in London every May, to become aware of the myriad ways in which one can deal with or be helped to deal with mental, emotional, spiritual and physical issues. So how has this phenomenon affected the development of therapy?
THE OLD PARADIGM
Folk cultures have always been rich in the treatment of mental and physical conditions. But in the West it was Freud who devised a psychotherapeutic method, which eventually became professionalized and institutionalised as a therapy in the form of Psychoanalysis. Out of this grew the modern process of Psychotherapy, based on helping clients gain insight into repressed feelings and internal conflicts by bringing them into consciousness. Some brief shorter term therapies have evolved which focus on more current contemporary concerns.
The model of therapy devised by Freud, Psycho-Analysis was primarily a talking therapy which could last for years involving 2-3 sessions a week. This gave rise to modern Psycho-Dynamic Therapy based on the principle that in childhood people experience repression of natural feelings and instincts which result in irrational, defensive or destructive behaviour in adult life, and also experience what can be crippling emotional conflicts which cause disturbed behaviour. This therapy is a talking therapy which involves bringing repressed feelings and conflicts into consciousness and enable the client to gain insight into their origins usually in childhood.
2 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an amalgamation of Behavioural Therapy (developed by Wolpe Bandura et.al.) and Cognitive Therapy (evolved by Ellis, Beck, Meichenbaum et.al.) Originally Behaviour Therapists working on a practical level would only focus on helping clients substitute positive actions for negative ones, as in dealing with phobias, like fear of spiders. Very useful developments like Assertion Training, and Relaxation Training have evolved from Behavioural Therapy.
Cognitive Therapy is based on the idea that thoughts have a great influence on feelings and actions, and that if you change the former you change the latter, and has shown considerable success in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy focuses on changing both maladaptive beliefs and self-limiting behaviour, and constitutes another "talking therapy" which can bring about significant change over shorter periods of time than the standard for of Psycho-Dynamic Therapy.
Humanistic Therapy is also a "talking therapy" in which the attitude of the Therapist is held to be very important and a key aspect is drawing the client out in an exploration of the individuals thoughts, feelings, goals and solutions. It is significantly the only therapy which is based on the belief in the individual's natural tendency to growth and self-actualisation and also acknowledges and validates the spiritual aspect of their being.
It is also holistic in that it recognises the interaction of the four aspects of human life - sensing, feeling, thinking, intuiting and combines well with other holistic therapies.
There also are a number of effective therapeutic methods, which do not lend themselves to easy categorisation, but also involve a significantly verbal approach eg. Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, NLP.
THE NEW PARADIGM
There is a new set of therapeutic approaches which is based on completely different assumptions about the nature of human beings, how they get ill and how they get better, Dr Charles Figley of Florida University when researching the most effective therapies for the victims of the Oklahoma bombing identified the following power or energy therapies.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing ( EMDR) This method was discovered accidentally by Dr Francine Shapiro. It involves the client focussing on the feeling or belief that they want to change; the Therapist stimulates the brain's information processing system by getting the client to make rhythmical eye movements. Reliable research has shown that EMDR was twice as effective in half the time as traditional methods. It renders completely unnecessary the "psycho-archeology" of delving into decades of psychological material.
Many methods of personal and spiritual development have come from the East; as we know these include Yoga, Tai-Chi, Acupuncture, Shaitsu and others. A common element among others in all these is that they recognise and work to free trapped energy within the body. This energy called ki, chi, or prana and moves through 12 major meridians.
3 Thought Field Therapy.
A Clinical Psychologist called Roger Callahan learnt about Kinesiology and used it with a client with whom he had been working for many years on her fear of water. In one session of tapping on the end of a meridian points on her face she was completely cured. Inspired by this Callahan went on to experiment and derived a number of different sequences of meridian point to tap for the treatment of different conditions. This approach was so successful that Callahans practice folded because he was resolving clients problems so speedily. Then along came Gary Craig a student of Callahan's and an Engineer by profession, who using his professional perspective, simplified the TFT process by creating one sequence of tapping which catered for all conditions. This he called the Emotional Freedom Technique. In the West Kinesiology has combined western empiricism with Chinese medicine and created a science and therapy to improve mental and physical health, based on testing and balancing this energy. (See Donna Eden: Energy Medicine, Piatkus 2001)
4 Emotional Freedom Technique.
Is based on the "discovery Statement". The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system. A thought or memory triggers this disruption which, in turn, is experienced as physical or psychological pain. But the magic thing about EFT is, that properly applied, it can not only remove the pain but also remove or modify the negative thought or memory which triggered off the initial imbalance. There have been many reports of people who have been successfully treated with EFT that they have forgotten that they ever used to behave in a certain way or that they ever experienced a particular negative thought or feeling. Whereas talking therapies have attempted to modify the thoughts and feelings of millions of people throughout the world, with unpredictable results, it is this power of EFT and other energy based therapies to directly intervene to rebalance the energy system.
Basically the Meridian Therapist teaches the client to contact the problem feeling or condition. They are then asked to score the strength of the feeling, thought or condition on a scale of 0 -10 and to repeat this aloud while tapping on the sequence of 14 meridian points. After each round of tapping they score the strength again and continue until it reduces to 1 or 0.
Another very valuable aspect of EFT is that one can also make positive statements about oneself, score the strength of them, and do a sequence of tapping in order to raise the score.
The advantages of EFT are that it is simple, effective, potentially fast acting, capable of personal use for self development purposes and long lasting.
The main difference between the two paradigms of conventional therapies and energy therapies stems from the level of energy at which and with which the Therapist works. The orthodox Therapist primarily focusses on the level of mind and emotion, whereas energy therapies work at the level of subtle energy which influences and is affected by subtle energies. The higher level of the subtle energies is demonstrated by the fact that when they are balanced a mental and emotional balancing takes place. Energy therapies take a holistic perspective in that they see the human aspects of body, feelings, mind and spirit as an interacting unity. Intervening in this system at a higher level can be more efficient and effective.
Bryan Craig is professionally trained as a Social Worker, Counsellor and Trainer, with over 20 years experience. Having learnt a wide range of techniques and approaches in his own growth and as a Counsellor and Therapist he describes himself as an Integrative Therapist undertaking general counsell ing and specialising in bereavement and trauma in which he has specialist qualifications. He has trained in Emotional Freedom Technique uses it in his own development and in his work with clients. He is the resident Counsellor at London's Inner Potential Centre in Fulham, where he is also an experienced and popular Presenter. Bryan has created and run a number of Workshops at the Centre including: Find Your Inner Worth, Towards Your Life Purpose, The Good Karma Workshop, Spiritual Counselling and Creative Grief. He is known for his warm sensitive approach and his innovative and creative style. His passion for helping others develop their own innate potential led him to devise a Personal Research Project and Workshop called Tools for Transformation which enables participants to identify those life events and learn practices/exercises which have most effect on their state of being using a newly devised Consciousness Map.
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