Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy (PEP) is the outcome of one psychoanalyst’s encounter with energy psychology.
It is an open-ended exploration of the human energy field – the information-carrying interface between psyche and soma – and how to work at this interface to resolve trauma, anxiety, and emotional conflict. Through such explorations, the essential continuity of mind and body is vividly revealed – the body being an expression of the deeper aspects of mind. Also demonstrated through such work, are the astonishing intelligence, perception, and non-sensory sources of knowledge of the human psycho-energetic biofield, far beyond those normally attributed to the conscious and unconscious minds. These qualities and capacities are harnessed in Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy (as in many other modalities of energy psychology). Whilst conventional psychoanalytic psychotherapy addresses conscious and unconscious mind, PEP and related modalities also draw upon the guidance of higher aspects of Self, as well as the deeper wisdom of the body.
Phil Mollon has been immersed in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for 35 years, but around 2000 discovered the rapidly evolving field of energy psychology (largely through the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology ACEP), and found that it revealed a realm of the human system that is deeper than the Freudian unconscious mind – the psycho-energetic biofield, where the basic procedural rules of thought, emotion, and behaviour are patterned.
All that is distressing or conflictual in the psyche is encoded as informational patterns in the meridians, chakras, and other parts of the mind-body energy system.
The fundamental principle of these sequential codes was discovered in 1979 by clinical psychologist Dr Roger Callahan, who developed Thought Field Therapy. Building on earlier work by chiropractor George Goodheart and psychiatrist Dr John Diamond, Callahan found a reliable procedure to discern the sequential codes of any state of distress, by working with the body’s capacity to signal these through subtle variations in muscle tone. Callahan also discovered states of the psycho-energetic biofield that were organised against resolution of a state of suffering – which he called ‘psychological reversals’. These could also be described as ‘internal objections to change’, or expressions of unconscious conflict (often involving anxiety, shame, and guilt) – although Callahan did not explore such motivations. The fundamental discoveries by Dr Callahan (and his predecessors), and his development of simple, reliable, and replicable procedures for detecting and resolving the energetic codes of distress, provided the basis for realising the crucial principle of PEP: that all the conflictual and pain-laden areas of the psyche are expressed as information in the body’s energy fields. By working at this deeper level of the psycho-energetic biofield, it is possible to detect the ‘software’ that is running the system and modify this much more easily.
At the same time as stimulating the meridians and chakras in specific sequences (unique to the individual and the issue being addressed), the client is commonly asked to ‘speak of whatever comes to mind’ – thereby allowing the meridians and chakras to speak! This allows the PEP work to resemble a conventional psychoanalytic psychotherapy session, with the addition of ‘tapping whilst talking’. The flow of psychoenergetic material is followed free-associatively and dynamically, just as in psychoanalytic talk therapy.
Discernment of the informational coding of meridian and chakra sequence can be done in various ways, from direct ‘muscle testing’ to more remote forms of sensing. These are teachable and learnable skills.
Whilst some tentative theories and hypotheses as to the mode of action of energy psychology can be entertained, it is part of the spirit of PEP to remained grounded in the truth of unknowing. We do know that energy psychology methods are remarkably effective for a variety of conditions (Feinstein 2012), but we do not know exactly why and how (Feinstein 2010).
The work of William Tiller, an eminent materials scientist and emeritus professor at Stanford University, reveals that beyond our conventionally recognised physical world, there are various higher dimensions that operate according to different principles. Unlike the physical world, these higher realms are responsive to intention. The human energy system operates at one of these higher dimensions, as does the psyche when we enter certain meditative states. Energy psychology modalities engage these higher dimensional realities, which respond to healing intention, and this is probably part of the reason for their effectiveness.
In his teaching, Phil Mollon emphasises there is no one correct way of working psychoenergetically. Each practitioner is obliged to follow their own path of enquiry and exploration, finding the way of working that is most suited to them and their client – a journey that is both unknown in its destiny yet also bounded by an ethical and professional discipline. As such, there are no fixed protocols for PEP work. The PEP ‘non-protocol’ can be found here:
Dr Mollon is a member of the Board of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) http://www.energypsych.org/ with responsibility for Ethics. He is Presedent -Elect and will become President in January 2017.
For more information on PEP, how to train in PEP, and energy psychology in general, go to http://www.philmollon.co.uk/
Training in PEP methods are also included in the Converging Streams training.
Phil Mollon’s book on PEP is Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy (Karnac 2008). His earlier book on energy psychology – EMDR and the Energy Therapies (Karnac 2005) – may also be of interest.
“The term Psychoenergetics was coined by the Russians in the Soviet era of 1950-1970. This was done to provide a strongly materialistic flavor to the fields of parapsychology and spiritual-related phenomena in order to make research in these areas palatable to the communist party’s worldview.” [William Tiller 2007 p xiv]
Feinstein, D. 2010. Rapid treatment of PTSD. Why psychological exposure with acupoint tapping may be effective. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 47 (3) 385-402
Feinstein, D. 2012. Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders. Evidence of efficacy. Review of General Psychology.
Mollon, P. 2005. EMDR and the Energy Therapies. Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Karnac. London.
Mollon, P. 2008. Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy. Inspired by Thought Field Therapy, EFT, TAT, and Seemorg Matrix. Karnac. London.
Tiller, W. A. 2007. Psychoenergetic Science. A Second Copernican Scale Revolution. Pavior. Walnut Creek, CA.