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Thought Field Therapy

Thought Field TherapyThought Field Therapy or TFT is one of the main schools of thought encompassed under the banner of Energy Psychology. Like all of the forms of Energy Psychology it was adapted from Applied Kinesiology and the principles inherent in Chinese medicine and the Meridian System which have been practiced for thousands of years.

It is the brainchild of behavioral psychologist Roger Callahan Ph.D. He became aware of Applied Kinesiology while studying with Dr. Diamond in the mid 1980’s. Dr. Diamond was the originator of Behavioral Kinesiology, which combined positive verbal assertions with tapping of the Meridian System to effect change.

TFT works in a similar way to all of the Energy Psychologies, including Neuro Emotional Technique™, and EFT among many others. Callahan noted that when a client thought about an area of his or her life that was upsetting the electrical system or chi would temporarily weaken. This could be demonstrated by either client subjective report or through the technique of muscle testing, a test borrowed from Applied Kinesiology.

Applied Kinesiology tests the Chi or energy by taking a strong indicator muscle, almost any major muscle, and asking the client or patient to lock that muscle while the practitioner tries to challenge the strength of the muscle to see if it will hold its position. The practitioner might ask a client to hold their arm straight out in front of them and lock it, while the clinician with an open hand firmly pushes down on the arm right above the wrist.

The body consists of water and electricity. It is believed that muscle testing checks to see if the muscle has enough electrical activity in it to hold. It appears that Chi is essentially the same as this electricity. Dr. Goodheart, the father of Applied Kinesiology or AK, first demonstrated therapy localization. Therapy localization occurs when the therapist tests a strong muscle alone or in the clear. Then either the client or the therapist touches another part of the clients’ body to test if a change of muscle strength occurs. If it does, then dysfunction is assumed to be present in the localized area.

Chiropractors who practice AK routinely test or challenge a vertebra in the neck or the back, and if the muscle goes weak then they can assume that the vertebra is misaligned. They then put the vertebra back in and retest. When the muscle is strong it is assumed the vertebra is back in alignment. The client routinely reports feeling much better.

In Callahan’s system muscle testing is used infrequently and instead the client is asked to think about their problem or state it out loud while they tap a series of acupressure points which make up an algorithm. The points are located on a number of different meridians or rivers of energy in the body. Each meridian is affiliated with a different emotion. Therefore there are several different algorithms for different problems.

Then the client is asked to tap on the gamut point, another acupressure point, and to go through nine eye movements and vocalizations that roughly correspond to NLP positions. Afterwards the client repeats the original algorithm. At the end the client is directed to continue to hold the thought or emotion and look up slowly from the floor to the ceiling.

Callahan’s main contribution to the field of energy therapy, however, is in his postulation of the psychological reversal points on the chest or Lung-alarm points. He realized that often clients consciously wanted or believed one thing while subconsciously wanting or believing in its opposite. Therefore, the client would often subconsciously sabotage themselves. Rubbing these points while a client makes self-acceptance statements resolves these conflicts.

Thought Field Therapy, like all the energy psychology systems, tends to work quickly, painlessly, and more completely than traditional talk therapy due to its targeting of the more primitive parts of the brain. However, energy psychology is best used in conjunction with insight oriented therapy for the most complete results.



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