Thought Field Therapy, or TFT, is an alternative treatment developed by an American psychologist, Roger Callahan, Ph.D. Its proponents say that it can heal of a variety of mental and physical ailments through specialized "tapping" with the fingers at meridian points on the upper body and hands.

Uses of the treatment
Callahan states that the process can relieve a wide variety of problems including psychological trauma, phobias, anxiety, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictive urges, and depression. He has also said in a recent interview on National Public Radio that "TFT can successfully treat physical illnesses such as Malaria in as little as 15 minutes".[1] In an article on his website, Callahan has also stated that TFT can successfully prevent heart problems that may lead to sudden death, and that TFT has successfully stopped atrial fibrillation.[2] In 1985, in his first book on TFT, he said that specific phobias could be cured in as little as five minutes [3]. He also asserts that his most advanced level, Voice Technology (VT) can be performed over the phone using an undisclosed "technology".

Training program and fees
Training for the advanced VT is provided by Callahan. The fee listed on Callahan's website for this training is $120,000. Trainees must sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose the trade secret behind VT.[4][5][6] Gary Craig, the first person to train in VT stated that although he paid $100,000 for the training, "I am uncomfortable, however, with the inaccurate portrayal of VT. I do not find it as advertised and I grow increasingly ill at ease with the many questions I get from the public." and "The core "secret" behind VT is in the public domain and can be learned at a weekend workshop for a few hundred dollars. Many people reading this use VT routinely without knowing it. Had I known this when I first took VT, I would have objected strenuously. As it was, it took me quite awhile before I finally learned that I had spent $100,000 for something that I now know is used routinely by many practitioners in this profession."[7]

Less than 0.05% of the tens of thousands of TFT practitioners worldwide have chosen to train in and use VT and instead use predetermined algorithm treatments for which self-help training is available from around $250. If the common algorithms fail, individuals are encouraged to see a therapist trained in the more expensive "diagnostic" techniques that use specific individualized treatment sequences which Callahan says will help most people not helped by algorithms [8] and VT demonstrations are done at many of the algorithm trainings. If the lower level methods fail, Callahan recommends the VT.

On Name of Treatment and Practices
Callahan gave his treatment the name "Thought Field Therapy" because he theorizes that when we think about an experience or thought associated with an emotional problem, we are tuning into a "thought field," which he describes as "the most fundamental concept in the TFT system" and which "...creates an imaginary, though quite real scaffold, upon which we may erect our explanatory notions" [9]. Perturbations are said to be precisely encoded information contained in the thought field, which become activated whenever a person thinks about a problem. Callahan maintains that these perturbations are the root cause of negative emotions and that each perturbation corresponds to a meridian point on the body (he calls this an isomorphism). In order to eliminate the emotional upset, Callahan says that a precise sequence of meridian points must be tapped on. He theorizes that tapping unblocks or balances the flow of Qi [10]. The sequences can be determined by two of Callahan's proprietary "causal diagnostic" techniques: 1) an in-person method using muscle testing (Applied kinesiology) and 2) the Voice Technology, as described above. There is concern by clinical psychologists of the adoption of TFT as an unvalidated and pseudoscientific therapy by government bodies and the public at large.[11] The British National Health Service is adopting the use of TFT into the service from 2007 as a Complementary and Alternative practice.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Energy Psychology. The Official Guide to Energy Psychology is Jon Mejia. Jon C Mejia is a researcher of neuroscience advances and author. He has invested hundreds of hours interviewing men and women from all walks of life examining the effect and cost of anxiety disorders both at the personal and the societal level. Jon’s investigation in this field led to his co-writing “Why Act Like a Mouse When You’re Really a Cat?”, an exploration of the workings of the mind based on the many interviews and stories he collected in the course of his research. Jon is also the co-creator of The Simone Zone™, a revolutionary approach to handling a wide variety of issues, including phobias and other anxiety based conditions utilizing a thought-based technology. This process currently has a patent pending

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