The energy therapies adapted and built on Dr. Goodheart’s work by applying AK to the emotional arena. Emotions are energy and therefore emotions can be muscle tested through the electrical system of the body. TFT differs from traditional AK, however, because most of Dr. Callahan’s techniques do not utilize muscle testing except minimally. Instead he developed several algorithms of tapping certain acupressure points while thinking of a problem such as an addiction or a phobia. This method often allows the body to return to homeostasis and therefore the craving is reduced or the fear is alleviated. Not only is it a highly effective system for many problems, but recent studies have shown that it is quicker and more effective than cognitive- behavioral therapy. However, many repetitions of the treatment often are necessary.
Emotional Freedom Technique is an offshoot of thought field therapy. It was developed by Gary Craig, a minister and personal trainer. There seems to be very little difference between EFT and TFT. EFT taps all the meridians so that the affected meridian becomes balanced. EFT also varies the affirmations used in TFT.
Dr. Scott Walker, a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist, developed Neuro Emotional Technique™ or NET in the early 1980s. He developed his system independently from Dr. Callahan and within the same time frame. Both men were influenced by Dr. John Diamond who worked with meridian systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s and developed behavioral kinesiology. Dr. Diamond stressed the use of positive verbal affirmations to change meridian systems.
All of the energy systems have great merit and are quite effective. What makes NET™ or Neuro Emotional Technique™ vastly superior and versatile is the tailored muscle testing that is the standard in this technique. Individual muscle testing makes pin point diagnosis of a problem possible.
Dr. Callahan was a cognitive behavioral therapist before becoming an energy therapist. Possibly because of this, practitioners of TFT often stress the theoretical importance of operant and classical conditioning or stimulus and response learning to explain why energy therapy is effective. Conditioning is certainly one of the main ways through which energy therapies work, but it is not the only component.
The theoretical basis behind NET™ is not only behavioral in nature, but psychodynamic. Freud’s concept of repetition compulsion is one of the central tenets of NET™. Freud believed that when a trauma is not fully processed or relieved an individual will develop a maladaptive symptom or behavior pattern in a fruitless attempt to resolve the original problem. A present stressor is more likely to become a trauma if it is similar to an event that was traumatic to an individual in their past. When the earliest trauma is relieved at the basic energy level, most present traumas collapse in response. Not addressing this earliest pain is the most common reason for psychological reversal, which shows up with much greater frequency in the other systems for energy rebalancing. Therefore, NET™ seems to be more thorough in its approach, although it is still relatively unknown by mental health practitioners and the general public compared to TFT or EFT.
The world continues to shrink through amazing advances in technology and communication. In the past knowledge was often encapsulated by individual cultures. The brilliance of Eastern and Western thought is now beginning to mingle. The scientific method of the West is now being applied to some of the techniques of the East. There have been several studies in Florida universities and South America where TFT has been proved effective and NET™ is now under extensive study at Oxford University. It will not be long until these recently discovered energy systems will take their place as accepted and respected treatment modalities.
Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC has practiced psychotherapy for over thirty years and is the owner operator of www.asktheinternettherapist.com since 1998 and www.hypnosistapes4health.com. He is the author of eight mental health educational videos and DVDs and is currently writing a book on distance counseling. Jef is State Licensed in General Counseling, Marriage/Family, and Substance Abuse in Arizona and is a certified hypnotherapist. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. In his private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jef specializes in ADD, love addiction, hypnotherapy, dysfunctional families, codependency, and trauma. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET™, TFT, hypnotist, and Applied Kinesiology. Jef received his B.A. in Psychology, History, and Teaching from the University of Washington and his Masters in Counseling from the University of Oregon.