What is it about?

In a blistering critique of a paper on energy psychology published in this journal in 2023, three prominent psychologists questioned the efficacy, mechanisms, and even ethics of energy psychology treatments (in this issue). This reply to that commentary counters their assertions, point for point, reviewing the substantial empirical evidence and describing the neurological mechanisms that produce the strong clinical benefits. Finally, the reply notes: “Where evidence is showing that a therapeutic modality is outperforming standard treatments for a range of psychological conditions, reducing cortisol levels, catalyzing the expression of beneficial genes, lowering blood pressure, reducing pain, and producing durable outcomes, it is not compatible with ethical practice to claim in a public statement that those benefits do not exist.”

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Why is it important?

Proponents of energy psychology (also known by its most popular format, the Emotional Freedom Techniques, or simply EFT), along with more than 175 clinical trials in peer-reviewed journals, suggest that the method is effective with a wide range of clinical conditions, produces durable outcomes, and is unusually rapid. With the world-wide incidence of anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other psychological ailments on the rise, innovations that promise more effective treatment are needed, and substantial evidence suggests that energy psychology is such an innovation.


When energy psychology was introduced to the clinical community in the 1980s, it was presented with strong claims of substantial benefits, but with no peer-reviewed research supporting those claims. In addition, the methods (such as tapping on acupuncture points and eye movements that engage various brain regions) look strange, nor is it obvious how they might help produce therapeutic gain. Understandably, the approach was met with strong skepticism. The dialogue in this issue of the journal provides an update, with postulated mechanisms of action and substantial empirical support.

David Feinstein

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The real reasons energy psychology is proving to be durable: Rejoinder to “Acupressure in psychotherapy as an unsinkable rubber duck, reply to Feinstein (2023)”., Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, June 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/int0000328.
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