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People ask me why I switched from studying and practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy to energy psychology and HBLU. The simplest answer is that I saw the improvements it makes in my life and the lives of people close to me. I love psychology. I love what I do and I love to help people. I love to see results that are fast, easy, replicable and permanent.
In 2000 I saw Francine Shapiro give a keynote address about EMDR at the Renfrew Centers annual eating disorder conference. She presented 2 cases and showed video of several sessions spaced a few weeks apart. I was energized by her excitement and I could see how valuable EMDR was to trauma treatment. I read a few of her books and found myself a local EMDR therapist.
I was no stranger to therapy. Therapy had become my career after years of therapy to treat my teenage depression. My own therapist had been a mentor of sorts and a surrogate parent. Mark, my EMDR therapist had a laid back spiritual aspect. He was deeply involved EMDR as a trainer and was in the process of writing a book.
In about six months I felt I had made as much progress as I would have in two years of traditional therapy. I was happy with the results of my EMDR treatment and I went on to get level one and two certified. The rapid process EMDR allows can be too fast for some clients. I used it with clients that were carefully screened and selected but I didn’t feel comfortable using it with everyone.
When the dust settled after 9/11, I was left exhausted from the trauma and treating traumatized people. Depression and insomnia had set in and I needed help. I began seeing a psychoanalytic therapist. She suggested I get analytic training, and because I felt she was so effective, I took her advice.
I began taking classes at an Object Relations Institute on Long Island. This helped me ease back into regular classes and reading. I took classes there for about two years before my therapist convinced me to attend the same psychoanalytic institute she had studied at. By the end of the three-year program, I was certain I had made a good choice for myself. I felt I was growing and doing good work. I could see my education paying off in the growth I saw in my clients.
A whole new way of seeing therapy
It was nearly ten years before I’d take the weekend seminar in EFT that would change the way I practice therapy.
Tapping was weird to me. I had never heard of it before the weekend seminar. I was sure I was on the right track and I couldn’t imagine working this technique into my toolbox. Still, I was drawn to it. My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to know what other peoples’ enthusiasm was about.
I met Judith Swack at an energy psychology conference in 2015. I later learned she was the recipient of that year’s award for contributions to the field of energy psychology. I attended her seminar about Attachment/Detachment trauma because attachment was an area of interest to me and I felt like a fish out of water with all the talk of energy and spirituality and tapping.
Dr. Swack chose a member of the audience at random to be the receiver of an HBLU session. I, like my new colleagues, watched in amazement as she did an impromptu therapy session about this woman’s attachment trauma. She used muscle testing, a common addition to energy psychology, to find the exact year and event that had caused this woman to detached from her mother. She asked pointed questions, allowed the client to elaborate when necessary, and guided the client in energy interventions that brought her objective self-report of distress on a scale of 0-10 from 8 (which is very high) down to a comfortable 1. By the end of the session, the woman expressed a new understanding and empathy toward herself, her mother, and the situation. She listed the insights, or “learnings”, she received.
I was fascinated by the process. It was so clean and elegant. And fast. I ran into Judith during the break and introduced myself. She gave me some information and encouraged me to call for a free initial consultation. I did and a few weeks later, I was seeing her regularly for HBLU sessions.
I admit, nothing about HBLU was comfortable or familiar to me in the beginning. Not the language, the concepts, the muscle testing or the interventions. I couldn’t remember my first few sessions and had to refer to the notes I’d taken on the sessions. I struggled to let go of my conscious beliefs and to accept that my “phobias” would not necessarily resonate for me because, by definition, they are unconscious.
There were many times, at the beginning of my HBLU treatment when my muscle testing revealed something I did not agree with or even understand consciously. It created dissonance in me that made me argue for the supremacy of my conscious mind. Of course, I know that the unconscious is the holy grail of therapy. When we can discover the unconscious and make it conscious, we are able to create insight and change. In previous therapy, I had gained a lot of insight, but a change was slow to come.
Healing from the body level up or “HBLU” is a cutting-edge healing modality. It is organized and methodical. I have new clients read about HBLU ahead of the first session and complete a written biography. This not only saves time but allows the client to think about the issues that are bringing them into treatment. I teach clients how to muscle test. We access their deepest wisdom in order to reach unconscious material that you ’re are not readily aware of. Your intuition is where all the real stuff is going on.
Next, HBLU makes use of a lovingly collected list of intake questions that help us prioritize, diagnose and treat interference patterns. This is because the clients’ inner wisdom, not their conscious mind, leads the treatment. Goals are set and methodically worked toward by unblocking the buggy personality traits, trauma, phobias, limiting beliefs and sabotage that are interfering.
The use of energy in mental health treatment allows you to process not just the thought, but also the feeling and the chemical reaction that’s holding memory in place. This has been such a personal journey that I’m going to write about some of my own experiences, not only because they illustrate the method, but also because they are common issues faced by many people.