A couple of years ago, we wrote about an intriguing but kind of fringey therapy involving tapping different body parts as a way to treat post-traumatic stress syndrome and chronic pain.
Called “Energy Psychology,” “Emotional Freedom Technique” or simply “tapping,” the practice uses exposure and desensitization to “defuse” painful emotions associated with trauma. By tapping a series of acupuncture points on the body, and repeating certain phrases related to the negative event in an accepting way, the emotional intensity of the bad memory deflates, the theory goes, and the grip of trauma melts away.
Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Rick Leskowitz, director of the Integrative Medicine Project at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and a longtime practitioner of the technique, called it “the most impressive intervention I’ve encountered in 25 years of work.”
Now, it seems, tapping is getting a bit more respect.
The influential American Psychological Association, which for years had opposed continuing education credits for programs in Energy Psychology, changed it’s position. In November 2012, the APA granted one group, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, a two-year approval to sponsor continuing education courses for psychologists. The approval will likely help boost the number of practitioners able to offer Energy Psychology, Dr. Leskowitz said.
In addition, two new research articles by Dawson Church — one an overview and another on the results of a clinical trial evaluating Emotional Freedom Techniques for PTSD in war veterans receiving mental health treatment — have been released, offering further evidence for the effectiveness of the practice. (The overview piece is scheduled for publication in August but will be available online shortly.)