The State of Energy Psychology Research
Updated on April 4, 2016
Energy psychology (EP) modalities have been researched by more than 100 investigators in at least 7 countries. As of 2016, over 80 research studies have been published on EP modalities; out of these only one has not shown efficacy. There have been 43 RCTs published on energy psychology approaches. Four meta-analyses have also been completed. Three of these have demonstrated large effect sizes and the 4th demonstrated a moderate effect size.
The results of these studies have been published in more than 15 different peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease and the APA journals Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and Review of General Psychology. While many important questions remain to be answered, a great deal of groundwork is in place.
The next frontier of EP research involves exploring the mechanisms of action of these modalities and investigating concurrent physiological changes using such tools as DNA microarrays (gene chips), MEGs (magnetoencephalograms), fMRI and PET scans and neurotransmitter and hormone assays.
"The discussion of mechanisms of treatment is interesting, especially since we don't really know how any psychotherapy works. Theoretically, each method has its formulation, but underlying physical mechanisms are harder to discern. And when an explanation of mechanism of functioning is discovered, it just gives rise to questions about the next lower level of analysis. Therefore it is remarkable that physiological mechanisms are already being discovered for energy psychology, even though it is younger and stranger than more established methods….” (An anonymous APA reviewer, in his review of David Feinstein’s article, "Acupoint Stimulation in Treating Psychological Disorders: Evidence of Efficacy,” published in the Review of General Psychology, 2012.)
Review of the research
David Feinstein has written the most recent and comprehensive review of research in energy psychology available. It was published in November, 2012 in The Review of General Psychology, a peer-reviewed APA journal. Read the article
How the research section is organized
We’ve done our best to organize our research section to meet diverse needs. Many articles are listed in several sections. We hope you find it helpful. If you know of a study that you don’t see listed, please email John Freedom
|Organized by scientific rigor
Research studies in this section are categorized in order of increasing scientific rigor (or the hierarchy of evidence). They range from informal, anecdotal reports to randomized controlled studies. Search now
Organized by specific condition/category
These studies look at the effectiveness of energy psychology in treating different conditions such as trauma, addictions, stress, depression, anxiety, athletic performance and more. Download the PDF
Clinical case studies
These are studies of one individual in a clinical setting. They are formal reports using established pre and post intervention assessments. Download the PDF
These articles gather all the evidence for a method or a condition. They review the studies that have been completed and draw general conclusions about the characteristics of the method. Download the PDF
|Complete list of EP studies
This document includes all EP studies with abstracts from 1990-2016. The document is organized in reverse chronological order. Download the PDF
Science of Energy Healing - Online Course
18 CE/CME/CNE available
Learn the science from leaders in the field in this online course. Faculty includes
Bruce Lipton - Dean Radin - Gary Schwartz - Cassandra Vieten - Dan Siegel
Rupert Sheldrake - Shamini Jain - David Feinstein - Dawson Church
William Bengston - Jim Oschman - Beverly Rubik
You can study at your own pace through videos, audio files, transcripts and summaries. Learn more.
Energy psychology – selected references
Just want to look at the major research articles in this field? This is the place for you. View selected references
Energy medicine – selected references
Energy medicine is closely related to energy psychology. View selected references
Conduct your own energy psychology study
We need more research studies on the effectiveness of energy psychology, and you can help. Learn more
- Learn about the suggested EFT protocol for research purposes by clicking here
Conduct a literature search
Want to conduct a more extensive literature search on energy psychology and energy medicine? Learn more
Support more energy psychology research
Many EP studies have been performed by teams of dedicated (and often unpaid) volunteers. A great need exists for money and expertise to perform the next level of research, including replication of published studies, and to pay for lab tests, gene chips, and data analysis. Donate now
Questions or suggestions about our research section?
Please contact John Freedom