Conventional talk therapy (CTT) typically involves talking about events and experiences within a supportive therapeutic relationship. CTT is often unstructured and does not necessarily include specific goal setting. Therapists typically focus on listening and reflecting.
By conventional therapy we mean conventional talk therapy and much of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is usually goal-oriented and focused, concentrating on thoughts and behaviors. In a classic CBT session, a therapist might listen to how a client talks to himself or herself. The therapist would then explain to a client that their negative emotional condition is a result of distorted thinking and demonstrate "better thought patterns" to use. To improve one's condition through the CBT model, the client is supposed to consciously practice the new thought pattern/behavior.
Energy psychology methods are more focused, goal oriented and active than conventional therapies. They work with the body’s energy systems (e.g. meridians, chakras) to create a change in your perception and experience.
Most non-energy psychotherapies engage only thought and emotion. However, energy psychology activates emotion, cognition, the physical body and energy system within a single session. This may be why energy psychology approaches appear to work more quickly than conventional psychotherapy.
For example, an energy psychology practitioner using EFT or other tapping-based techniques might have the client focus on the "distorted thoughts” while tapping on a series of energy points on the body. After a round of focused tapping, the client reports the changes that have occurred in thoughts related to the stressful event or emotion. In many cases, the therapist then helps the client trace these thoughts to earlier experiences that are the roots of the distress being experienced in the present. Another round of focusing on the stressor while tapping on energy points is done. This is repeated on all aspects of an issue until the client no long feels distress when thinking about it.
Another unique aspect of energy psychology is identifying and resolving "reversals." While we do not completely understand how and why they come about, reversals act as forms of resistance and self-sabotage. It is common for EP therapists to use the analogy that a reversal is like "your wires being crossed." The felt experience of a reversal varies. It ranges from "being into experiences that ought to feel bad" (i.e. addictions) to "just not being motivated" to make progress toward some goal (e.g., losing weight, making more money). Energy psychology includes methods to easily identify the root of these issues and resolve them, often very quickly.
Energy psychology practitioners also use conventional approaches
This does not mean that people who use energy psychology methods have abandoned the useful aspects of conventional approaches. In fact, many EP practitioners use both. In a recent ACEP poll, 73% of respondents stated that they also use "good old fashioned talking.” 50% of those who responded use some sort of CBT method; 45% use some aspect of mindfulness therapy; 30% use traditional coaching approaches.