Research Paper By Ayeda Ravindran
(Executive Coaching, INDIA)
According to Wikipedia,
Coaching, when referring to getting coached by a professional coach, is a teaching or training process in which an individual gets support while learning to achieve a specific personal or professional result or goal.
Given that the definition of coaching in itself covers a wide range of topics, the areas of coaching are as wide. From life coaching, spiritual coaching, parenting coaching, wellness coaching, to executive coaching, leadership coaching, goal setting coaching and more, the field of coaching runs the gamut of the human experience.
As a new discipline, Coaching borrows from various disciplines like consulting, adult learning, program management and psychology. These fields provide a variety of tools and processes to the coach to assist their clients in gaining perspective, overcoming their blocks to achieving their goals and creating a plan based on action. One of the fields this paper is going to explore is the area of Energy Psychology as a tool for the coach to help the client get to a future oriented goal and action plan.
Merv Rogers, MCC, founder of Enable My Energy says,
When Energy Psychology approaches are taken out of a clinical and purely therapeutic context and then merged with the power of coaching, the possibilities for personal transformation are endless.
II. What is Energy Psychology?
According to Candace Pert, author of “Molecules of Emotion”
there is a biological underpinning to each of the emotion states we feel. Hormones, peptides and neurotransmitters, what she calls the:”molecules of emotion,
influence mood and thought. But significantly, mood and thought can also impact and alter the chemical and cellular events. For example, research has shown that a mind-body technique like meditation can have a significant impact on chemical levels in the body and can alleviate anxiety and depression more permanently than medication.
Energy psychology applies principles and techniques for working with the body’s physical energies to facilitate desired changes in emotions, thought, and behavior (Feinstein, Eden, Craig, 2005). There is a significant correlation between past emotional trauma and current mental blocks. According to proponents of Energy Psychology, these blocks can be addressed by manipulating points on the body to release stuck energy. An example of how this is done can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL8oYcXWZVs
This revolutionary concept has undergone many changes and variations since it was first propounded by psychologist Roger Callahan and Australian psychiatrist, John Diamond. Callahan called his technique Thought Field Therapy or TFT. There are currently twenty seven variations of Energy Psychology. These include Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), and the Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT). Each of these routines take only a short time to perform and can often result in miraculous dissolutions of long standing phobias and blocks.
These therapies are distinctly advantageous over traditional medication and psychotherapy for the following reasons.
- They are non invasive
- They do not require long sessions of therapy and re traumatization of the client
- They are highly focused on the issue at hand
- They have no side effects
- They can be self administered
Albert Einstein propounded the theory E=MC² (Energy equals Mass, times the speed of Light squared), we see that Mass and Energy are interchangeable, and that neither space nor time are absolute. The premise of Energy Psychology is built on the principle of Energy. It is a practice that is based on the manipulation of the physical points on the body to impact the biochemistry of the brain.
According to Donna Eden,
Energy is all there is. We are a latticework of subtle and electromagnetic energies.
Psychological and physiological issues can be resolved by manipulating this energy. Gary Craig, founder of EFT, believes that when an organism is subjected to an emotional trauma, it acts like a screwdriver thrown into an electrical circuit. This causes an imbalance in the energy system and manifests as fears, phobias, blocks or a changed world view, which causes the client to view the world through a filter of their experience.
Our mind and body are constantly making connections between external stimuli and the state of our being. This is an encoded defense mechanism that has evolved over the millennia. The problem arises when the defense mechanism gets so strong that it holds the individual in a state of stasis and does not allow them to grow or evolve.
III. Energy Psychology application in coaching
As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Our conditioning through the early years and beyond creates a set of unconscious beliefs and drivers that determine the course of our lives. David Feinstein calls this a “personal mythology”. He goes on to say,
If your brain recognizes a similarity between a distressing situation from your past and what you are seeing or hearing in the moment—even though there is no current threat or danger—the same distress signals that you experienced in the earlier situation can become activated.
It is here that the synergy of coaching and energy psychology becomes very evident. Coaching assists the client to formulate clear goals and desires. Energy Psychology tools help to remove the barriers if they are emotional or energetic, in achieving those goals. The following is an illustration of the application of this process from my own coaching practice. The techniques used in these examples are EFT and TAT.
Client 1- Dr X was a 39 year old male, and an accomplished and well renowned surgeon in his area.
Problem- He was feeling the pressure to be married. He had been feeling lonely for many years, and the social and familial pressure to be married was also weighing heavily on him. He came to me to explore what prevented him from achieving his stated desire to being married.
The client came to the first session, looking for an action plan to implement to help him find a life partner. Our initial session started off as a purely intellectual exercise. I noticed that the client had some difficulty in getting in touch with his emotions. Every situation was examined from a logical and unemotional viewpoint. . I suggested that we explore EFT and TAT, as a way to release any emotional charge he might be unwilling to acknowledge, During the course of our sessions, he had many revelations, particularly to do with his relationship with his mother. From his early childhood, his natural personality of being fun loving and a prankster had been repressed. His mother was extremely authoritarian and fun was something that “our family does not do”
These were extremely emotional issues for the client, and he was able to realize that he was in a constant state of war between himself and his desire to please his mother, which he had not wanted to acknowledge. We worked on releasing the emotions that came up using EFT and TAT techniques. After the first session, the client reported a feeling of peace and harmony in all aspects of his life. The underlying stress related to the pressure of needing to be married had dissipated. This led to the client coming up with his own action plan and he now felt that he would be able to put his profile up on a dating site.