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 The State of Energy Psychology Research  

 

Updated January 2018

 

    

While energy psychology as a field is still relatively young, its evidence base continues to grow in both quantity and quality. As of January 2018 over 100 research studies, meta-analyses and review articles have been published on EP methods in peer-reviewed journals. These modalities have been researched by more than 100 investigators in at least 7 countries. 

 

Over fifty randomized controlled trials have documented efficacy for these methods. 


Four recent meta-analyses (a systematic review and analysis of individual studies) have also been completed. Three of these have demonstrated large average effect sizes, and the fourth demonstrated a moderate effect size for these methods.

 

The results of these studies have been published in more than 15 different peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease and the APA journals Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and Review of General Psychology. While questions about mechanism remain - specifically how these techniques work -  a robust and growing body of research continues to document their efficacy.

 

NREPP, The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices in the U.S., a division of SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has reviewed the research on TFT (Thought Field Therapy, the original EP modality), and found it to be effective for treating symptoms of post traumatic stress. You can read more about it here.

 

The next frontier of EP research involves exploring the mechanisms of action of these modalities and investigating concurrent physiological changes using such tools as gene chips, qEEG and fMRI scans, and neurotransmitter assays.

 

"The discussion of mechanisms of treatment is interesting, especially since we don't really know how any psychotherapy works. Theoretically, each method has its formulation, but underlying physical mechanisms are harder to discern. And when an explanation of mechanism of functioning is discovered, it just gives rise to questions about the next lower level of analysis. Therefore it is remarkable that physiological mechanisms are already being discovered for energy psychology, even though it is younger and stranger than more established methods….”

 

(An anonymous APA reviewer, in his review of David Feinstein’s article, "Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy,”  published in the Review of General Psychology, 2012.)

 

 

Science of Energy Psychology Quick Facts
 

The scientific evidence for energy psychology, energy medicine and energy healing keeps growing. We have prepared a quick facts sheet with key information. This is a valuable summary for you to use with colleagues, clients and your own education. Download the Quick Facts sheet.

 

 

 

Review of the research
Click here to read a summary of theoretical articles, review and meta-analyses

David Feinstein has written a comprehensive review of research in energy psychology. It was published in November, 2012 in The Review of General Psychology, a peer-reviewed APA journal, and is still worth a read. Read the article

 

 

 

How the research section is organized
We’ve done our best to organize our research section to meet diverse needs. Many articles are listed in several sections. We hope you find it helpful. If you know of a study that you don’t see listed, please email John Freedom.

 

 

Organized by scientific rigor 
Research studies in this section are categorized in order of increasing scientific rigor (or the hierarchy of evidence). They range from case studies to randomized controlled studies to meta-analyses. Search now

Organized by specific condition/category

These studies look at the effectiveness of energy psychology in treating different conditions such as trauma, addictions, stress, depression, anxiety, athletic performance and more. Download the PDF

Clinical case studies

These are studies of one individual in a clinical setting. They are formal reports using established pre and post intervention assessments. Download the PDF
Review articles 

This document contains abstracts of recent discussions, review articles and meta-analyses of EP modalities published in peer-reviewed journals.

 

They review the studies that have been completed and draw general conclusions about the characteristics of the method. Download the PDF

Complete list of EP studies
This document includes all EP studies with abstracts from 1990-2017, organized in reverse chronological order. Download the PDF

 

 
Science of Energy Healing - Online Course

18 CE/CME/CNE available


Learn the science from leaders in the field in this online course. Faculty includes

Bruce Lipton - Dean Radin - Gary Schwartz - Cassandra Vieten - Dan Siegel

Rupert Sheldrake - Shamini Jain - David Feinstein - Dawson Church

William Bengston - Jim Oschman - Beverly Rubik

 

You can study at your own pace through videos, audio files, transcripts and summaries. Learn more.

 

Energy psychology – selected references

Just want to look at the major research articles in this field? This is the place for you. View selected references



Energy medicine – selected references
Energy medicine is closely related to energy psychology. View selected references

 


Conduct your own energy psychology study

We need more research studies on the effectiveness of energy psychology, and you can help.

  • Learn how to conduct a single subject research study. Learn more

  • Want to conduct a larger EP study? View and download the updated Requirements and Recommendations for New EP Research Studies.

 

Support more energy psychology research
Many EP studies have been performed by teams of dedicated (and often unpaid) volunteers. A great need exists for money and expertise to perform the next level of research, including replication of published studies, and to pay for lab tests, gene chips, and data analysis. ACEP has provided over $75,000 for energy psychology research.  ACEP only pays for direct costs and does not pay indirect costs when awarding their grants. Please help ACEP support EP research - Donate now

 

 

 

Questions or suggestions about our research section?
Please contact John Freedom
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