P001 New Perspectives on Trauma Treatment

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David Feinstein Comment Board: New Perspectives on Trauma Treatment


Tune in to hear David Feinstein present the evidence for Energy Psychology (EP), following the article on the topic that he wrote in the November/December issue of the Networker. Energy Psychology is one of psychotherapy’s most controversial methods—is it truly effective? Feinstein will describe why and how EP has come to be regarded as controversial in context, and how to understand the practice of tapping as an effective method.

In his article, Feinstein asks rhetorically, before embarking on his story:  “What could possibly have possessed a wizened, seen-it-all therapist like me to embrace an approach that much of the world of orthodox psychology considers the latest incarnation of snake oil?”

Find out the answer in his article, posted online here, and then listen to him speak in a one-on-one conversation about his experiences with EP and how to integrate it into clinical practice.

After listening to Feinstein’s presentation, please take a moment to comment here and share your thoughts. What did you think about EP before this presentation? What do you think now? Have you ever had any personal experiences with EP? Did you learn anything new today?

11.08.2010   Posted In: P001 New Perspectives on Trauma Treatment   By Psychotherapy Networker
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    • Not available avatar 11.10.2010 07:08
      Enjoyed David's presentation. Have used EFT for many years (about 12) first for myself and then for clients. Have found it extremely effective in treating anxiety and panic and in nicotine addiction. It can really raise functioning of clients who are open to its use.
      • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 07:15
        Do you have any references to look at for protocol in using EFT for nicotine addiction?
    • Not available avatar 11.10.2010 08:10
      I actually didn’t know much about Energy Psychology at all, but this presentation has really made me think. The anecdotal evidence and supporting research seem really strong. I just read David Feinstein’s article, too. The article and presentation really helped put everything into perspective. This is all really interesting and I think I’ll look much more closely into this, now.
      • 0 avatar Lian Yeow 11.16.2010 16:54
        This is my first time too and I really like David Feinstein's presentation. I have not read the article yet but will do so soon. I went to the website and think this is really interesting.I like the idea of tapping....
    • 0 avatar Rozanne Miller 11.10.2010 08:29
      This was great! It's the first one I actually got to attend at the time it was held. I found the information meaningful and confirming of previous theoretical and practical learning I have done. I've just begun receiving acupuncture treatments, myself, and I have a question. Has any work been done to determine whether or not, using acupuncture itself has the same, more or less benefit in working with PTSD, including using the talking through aspect of the traumatizing experience, once the amygdala has done it's work? Anybody doing that?
    • 0 avatar David Feinstein 11.16.2010 13:17
      Responding to RozanneM: I know of only one study that directly compares tapping acupoints with needling them. 78 anxiety patients received a standard Energy Psychology protocol with half randomly assigned to the stimulation of the acupoints using needles and the other half using tapping. The tapping group did better, with 78% showing improvement while only 50% in the needling group showed improvement. The study was conducted in Argentina by Joaquin Andrade, a physician who is also well-trained in acupuncture. It is reported in a book but was never submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. The finding does not surprise me because the tapping allows the clinician more moment-to-moment flexibility in tracking and adjusting to what is occurring in the client. A number of studies also show acupressure and acupuncture to both be effective for a variety of psychological conditions. These are summarized in http://mechanisms.EnergyPsychEd.org. David Feinstein
    • Not available avatar 11.16.2010 13:23

      I enjoyed having a review of EFT. I've used it for years with both for my clients and myself. Found that it's a great tool for any sort of anxiety. I have not applied it as much to PTSD as I have EMDR so it was nice to see the study results. I really appreciate how easy it is to teach and to practice. I was surprised a bit by the talking thru aspect as that isn't always necessary to assist with information processing in EMDR. Any reason this is different in EFT? Thanks.
      • 0 avatar David Feinstein 11.16.2010 15:40
        Responding to the question about the use of talking: As with EMDR, focusing on the traumatic memory or triggering cue while doing the physical intervention appears to block the stress response, allowing the hippocampus to then begin to process and integrate the experience. Little talk is required. The extended use of talking while tapping allows an entirely different level of intervention where self-concept, dysfunctional beliefs, and other cognitive aspects of the client's inner life can be efficiently addressed. -- DF
    • Not available avatar 11.16.2010 14:18
      I have an opportunity to contribute to the training of local chinese counsellors in China and can see how culturally appropriate EFT would be in the treatment of PTSD here - am encouraged by the Rhwandan orphanage results.
      Mara Moreau
    • Not available avatar 11.16.2010 15:22
      I use EFT regularly as part of my psychotherapy practice, and apply it in all sorts of complex cases. I have replaced pure EMDR with EFT together with bilateral stimulation for resolving a trauma or a traumatic pattern of several traumas, and have been very impressed with the rapid results, and the holding of the improvement. It's also empowering to have people use it on their own.

      Nora Hagen, MD
    • Not available avatar 11.16.2010 16:06
      I would have found it more interesting if results from rigorous studies were available. I learned TFT, but stopped using it when I read that research didn't show it had any effect.
      • 0 avatar David Feinstein 11.17.2010 03:06

        Psychological Trauma in Veterans Using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial (download from www.stressproject.org/documents/ptsdfinal1.pdf);

        Treatment of PTSD in Rwandan Genocide Survivors Using Thought Field Therapy. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 12(1), 41-50.

        Energy Psychology: A Review of the Preliminary Evidence. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 199-213.
    • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 00:20
      As I newly licensed clinician, I am eternally grateful to the supervisor who introduced me to EFT. I have been using EFT for three years, and I have added EMDR as well. While both are powerful tools, the EMDR is limited to my sessions. With EFT, my clients continue on their own, empowered by a tool they can use anytime.

      While I recognize and understand the need for research, the overwhelming amount of anecdotal information should be enough to bring more therapists to the energy psychology table. That it is being presented in this forum is a giant step forward.
    • 0 avatar Pamela O'Brien 11.17.2010 01:09
      The use of EFT is not to my knowledge a reimbursable clinical intervention by Medicare or some Medicaid payors unless the co-occurring use of CBT or other form of so-called talk therapy is documented in the public setting. Feinsten offered an example of the use of EFT with complex PTSD, but it would be helpful to know if more research has been done in this area in order to counter APA and third party opposition as well as help more clients without access to private funds.
      • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 07:24
        I cannot say that I have ever relied solely on any therapeutic approach or tool. I see medicaid clients, and we use EFT, but progress notes will reflect my foundation of CBT -- while noting as an intervention that "we tapped for" a specific emotion. My supervisor equated EFT with a CBT approach as the clients' subjective views of themselves are changed.
    • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 02:24
      This was my first exposure to EFT. If I'd like to find out more about using the techniques, what is the best way to proceed? Read David's book? I'm about to go for EMDR training in 2011. Is training required for EFT?
      • 0 avatar David Feinstein 11.17.2010 03:05
        Various training programs are available. Nationally-focused programs are offered by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP, www.energypsych.org) and by the main EFT organization (www.EFTUniverse.com). For a solid introduction to the practice of Energy Psychology, I can recommend Promise of Energy Psychology with enthusiasm but with no pretense of objectivity. David
    • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 06:12
      This was a fascinating exposition of an idea that makes perfect sense to me, although I was not previously aware of its clinical use. Thank you.
      Caryn, Oxnard, CA
    • Not available avatar 11.17.2010 13:42
      I was fortunate to volunteer to be a subject in a workshop David conducted over a decade ago. He combined Personal Mythology and Energy work to help me deal with a childhood trauma. The work he did has withstood the test of time as I have memories and feelings of the loss but no trauma.
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