Saturday, April 29, 2017


As a child, I suffered from phobias, I vividly remember feeling terrified going through tunnels or looking out from high-rise buildings. Even at that young age, I knew these fears were irrational, although that insight couldn't control my phobias.

Years later, when I was a graduate student in psychology, I would sometimes drive my classmates a little crazy: while they'd seek diversions on Saturday nights, I wanted to discuss and debate what we had studied that week. Somehow, I knew there was more to resolving psychological distress than what I was learning. Throughout my  professional career, I continued to be curious, always searching for answers. I'm reminded of Albert Einstein's response when he was asked how he had made his remarkable discoveries about nature. "By thinking of practically nothing else my whole life," he answered. I was the same way with psychological issues. I was passionate about learning everything I could, exploring new ideas and theories about the origins of psychological illness and its treatment, Nothing interested me more. 

Even so, I never felt tied to one particular school of thought in psychology or related fields, and still don't Over the years, particularly following that initial positive experience with my patient Mary, I focused my research in a number of directions that I thought might help explain what had happened not only with Mary, but also with literally thousands of subsequent patients. As Thought Field Therapy(TFT) took form, I drew from many disciplines. TFT, in fact, lies at the confluence of quantum physics, biology, meridian (acupuncture) therapy, the Eastern understanding of the mind-body's natural energy system, and , yes, clinical psychology. I had no formal training in acupuncture, but I explored it on my own. I've often said that if I have been formally  trained in all of these fields, I probably wouldn't have made the discoveries I did, since I went on this adventure alone, following the path wherever it led. Call it the power of ignorance. 


Along the way, a psychiatrist colleague, Dr. Harvey Ross, introduced me to a muscle-testing procedure that had been developed by  Dr.George Goodheart, a chiropractor. Dr.Goodheart called his field of study applied kinesiology. 

In the test, Harvey had me extend my left arm horizontally to the side, and as he tried to push it downward, I was able to resist his effort, feeling quite strong despite the pressure he was applying.

But then he asked me to think of something upsetting. I chose to focus on the image of my home being destroyed by fire. As I did, Harvey pushed again on my outstretched arm using the same force as before.  This time, with the negative thought prominent in my mind, I could NOT keep my arm up. I felt powerless. At that moment, I realized that this was the best demonstration of the mind/body interaction I had ever seen and experienced!

  Soon thereafter, I began to ponder the question: if there were a way to maintain my strength while concentrating on a problem, might this indicate that the problem was losing its intensity? 


Acupuncture taps into the human body's energy system. This ancient Chinese healing system, at least 5000 years old, is based on the premise that by stimulating the flow of energy, chi, qi in Chinese, the body's own healing network can be activated. Although Thought Field Therapy is much more powerful than acupuncture, producing highly predictable and immediate results, it assesses the same energy system by tapping on the skin surface some of the identical points on the body into which acupuncture needles are inserted. TFT uses the fingers to tap, no needle is needed. Upon tapping certain acupoints in a particular sequence, a few times, psychological problems can be eliminated. One of the major differences between TFT and the discipline of acupuncture is that TFT approach also incorporates a technique called thought tuning as part of the therapeutic process. With its other unique features, TFT is capable of producing much more powerful healing than acupuncture. 


Research in the field of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) has shown the effects that certain eye movements can have on accessing memories and possibly promoting stress reduction and relaxation.  All human experience, according to NLP theorists, is encoded in a series of systems that correspond to the sensory network (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) through which one relates to the world. partially influenced by NLP notions regarding eye movements, as I developed TFT's algorithms, or "recipes," I included some eye movements that contribute to its overall efficacy.


My study of several other disciplines also contributed to the evolution of Thought Field Therapy. For example, as I began to witness the amazing improvements in my patients who used TFT, their "quantum-type leaps" led me to study quantum theory for possible explanations for their dramatic transformations. The writings of quantum theorists like David Bohm helped me understand why TFT was capable of producing such meaningful changes, patient after patient. i was also intrigued by split-brain research suggesting that humming sounds might provide access to the right brain.

  Taken together, research in all of these disciplines contributed to and supported what i has been discovering on my own, ultimately leading to the fine-turning of TFT. 

  Again, Thought Field Therapy is like no other psychological treatment in terms of the foundation on which it is built -- not to mention its record of success. Winston Churchill once said, " People stumble over the truth frequently, but most just pick themselves up and carry on as if nothing happened." 
Fortunately, when the truth about the causes and treatment of psychological distress crossed my path, I took it to heart. The result: Thought Field Therapy.

Next blog post is about the specifics of TFT and the science that supports it. 

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