Abstract: Energy Psychology (EP) comprises a set of innovative and powerful techniques that can be used to enhance treatment progress and outcomes for addiction and co-occurring disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article identifies the limitations of the current addiction treatment paradigm and presents a variety of ways in which one dual diagnosis treatment program for women addresses these limitations with the EP approach. Research on EP and its mechanism of action is presented, along with specific examples of how the tools are used at the treatment facility, case studies, client and therapist feedback, treatment guidelines, and outcome data. Data for 123 clients in the program collected over a 3.5-year period include reductions in mental health symptomology during treatment as follows: depression scores from 79% at intake to 16% at last survey, p < .001; anxiety scores from 73% to 8%, p < .001; trauma symptoms from 76% to 30%, p < .001; suicidality from 53% to 11%, p < .001; binge eating from 33% to 11%, p = .01; and compensatory eating disorder behaviors from 41% to 11%, p = .074. The evidence presented indicates that EP can be a very empowering and effective adjunct to treatment for co-occurring disorders, particularly for emotional self-regulation, cognitive restructuring, and trauma processing. The data and clinical results from Avery Lane are consistent with those derived from meta-analyses, clinical trials, and experiences at other treatment centers. This body of literature demonstrates that EP is a powerful, evidence-based approach that sets the standard for effective addiction treatment.
Citation:Popescu, A. (2021). Trauma-Based Energy Psychology Treatment Is Associated with Client Rehabilitation at an Addiction Clinic, Energy Psychology Journal, doi 10.9769/EPJ.2021.13.1.AP
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Craig’s Notes: This is the largest scale study performed to examine the effectiveness of energy psychology methodologies, such as EFT, TFT. TAT and BSFF. The program offers all the traditional gold-standard substance abuse treatments such as motivational interviewing (MI), MAT, CBT, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), relapse prevention, process groups, and 12-Step and other self-help groups, in addition to a variety of complementary alternative modalities
This study reported on 123 women who received treatment including EP modalities (residential treatment periods average 30-90 days) for women who have co-occurring substance abuse and mental healh disorders) at the Avery Lane Clinic in Novato, CA over a 3 1/2 year period. EP tools are incorporated into group and individual therapy sessions. The author facilitates two EP groups per week, one for residential and one for outpatient clients. In the groups, clients learn the science behind tapping and how it works and engage in group tapping exercises on a variety of topics relevant to sub- stance use and mental health treatment.
Personally I have been hoping for more published documentation for the effectiveness of EFT and tapping modalities given the plethora of anecdotal successes I have heard about with practitioners working with individuals suffering from various types of addictions.
“The EP tools may be readily used in conjunction with other standard treatments to address the Four C’s of addiction: craving, compulsion, loss of control, and continued use despite consequences.”
“Clinical application of these tools at Avery Lane has shown that when clients can reduce the emotional distress that triggers their substance use, they can effectively curtail their addictive behaviors, including releasing the idea that the alcohol or drug will make them feel better, reminding themselves they have other choices, and engaging in positive self-talk and affirmations. The tools are therefore taught to the clients to use as coping skills for emotional self-regulation. The EP techniques are also utilized in therapy to treat the underlying roots of presenting issues, which are often unresolved trauma or upset from the past that keeps getting retriggered in the present.”
Regarding the demographics of the women studied: “Overall, the population treated is a group of severely impaired, dually diagnosed women, the majority of whom have had previous courses of treatment, and who are dealing with a number of serious mental health and substance use disorders, especially depression, anxiety, trauma, suicidality, eating disordered behaviors, and PTSD. “
Here are some of the highlighted results:
- Depression scores reduced from 79% at intake to 16% at last survey, p < .001
- Anxiety scores reduced from 73% to 8%, p < .001
- Trauma symptoms reduced from 76% to 30%, p < .001
- Suicidality from 53% to 11%, p < .001
- Binge eating from 33% to 11%, p = .01
- Compensatory eating disorder behaviors from 41% to 11%, p = .074.
- Seventy-seven percent of all clients successfully completed treatment compared to a national average of 42%
The author also discusses the implementation of tapping into an integrated in patient and outpatitent dual diagnosis facility and offers some detailed client case studies. While the study results do not offer extensive insights into decreased substance abuse and decreases in post treatment recidivism, many encouraging elements are offered.
Of course its important to note that no follow up was performed to measure progress with the participants and no control groups were established for comparison.
That being said, it is my personal hope that this paper will encourage further exploration of the inclusion of EFT and other EP modalities into the treatment of addictions and more published papers on the subject to facilitate greater acceptance of such methodes into addiction treatment centers and practices.