The concept of energy psychotherapy may be unfamiliar to most and easily dismissed as something ‘new age’ sounding. However, in reality, working with body energy to heal trauma is neither a new concept, nor one that is apart from mainstream clinical psychotherapy.
First off, what is energy psychotherapy? In brief, it is a directive method of working with the mind and body simultaneously with the goal of healing blockages caused by traumatic experiences. It is referred to as energy psychotherapy as the parts of the body where trauma gets ‘stuck’ or blocked are the energy circuits referred to in Chinese medicine – meridians and in Hinduism – chakras.
So what exactly is trauma and how does it affect us? Trauma is defined as being damage to an individual’s psyche which comes about from a severely distressing event. Trauma can be a single event, or a repeated or enduring event but what they all have in common is that the individual’s ability to cope – to process and make sense of the experience – is completely overwhelmed. The problem with trauma is that until it is resolved, it tends to repeat itself either through a direct re-experiencing of the original traumatic event, or through more psychosomatic symptoms such as panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety. In short, trauma can be debilitating.
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In traditional psychotherapy, it is only the mind and emotional system that gets activated. In energy psychotherapy, the mind, emotional system, body and energy system are all activated which can lead to significant resolution of trauma in a relatively short period of time. The NHS currently endorses psychological treatments derived from more complex theories of energy psychotherapy with good results. These include EMDR, EFT and TFT. However, whilst each of these approaches can be helpful, none are as profound a way of working to systematically clear trauma as energy psychotherapy.
Energy psychotherapy, in the form of AIT – Advanced Integrative Therapy – is offered through Brighton and Hove Psychotherapy. AIT is a method of working available solely to clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, which is non-intrusive and gentle. It has been shown to both greatly reduce trauma related symptoms and help resolve the deeply seated unconscious trauma that is triggering these symptoms.
Image by Sam Jahara