Let’s Celebrate Thought Field Therapy’s 30 Year Anniversary!

Even 30 years after Dr. Roger Callahan published his first book using Thought Field Therapy, the proof of its effectiveness in changing lives is abundant. The research, case studies and instructions supporting the effective use of TFT and other energy psychology techniques is easily available. Tens of thousands of professionals and peers around the world have received training in its use. Dr. Callahan’s books have been translated into 12 different languages. TFT is not language, age, or culture specific and can be used universally. In service oriented communities of all kinds, exposure to TFT and energy psychology in general is becoming more and more common. Well over a hundred articles and books using the amazing discoveries of Dr. Callahan are currently available. The research reports in peer reviewed journals of the fast and lasting change from using TFT have set a new standard for effective treatment of traumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Energy psychology is now accepted for continuing education units by the American Psychological Association.

Think of all the suffering that is no longer, thanks to Dr. Callahan’s brilliant work and tenacious efforts to bring this new knowledge into our world.

As part of my celebration, I am committing to doubling the number of individuals I teach about Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy. This includes the individuals I treat in my practice and in TFT workshops I lead. I am very excited about a new one day algorithm workshop being added this year. In addition I will be teaching several Boot Camps around the country.

Please share with me any opportunities you have for reaching more individual, groups, or organizations. If there is interest, we will find a way to share the knowledge and make a world with less suffering and much more joy and peace.

So thank you Roger Callahan and members of the many communities coming from those great ideas more than 30 years ago.

Keep Tapping,



Muscle Testing and Energy Checking in Thought Field Therapy

Recently I had a discussion with a Thought Field Therapy Practitioner about developing confidence in his muscle testing and energy checking abilities, and he asked me about my confidence level.

Muscle testing, or energy checking as some refer to it, is the essential skill for doing TFT beyond the Algorithm level. Most people in the world will find the basic algorithms sufficient for most purposes. But if you are a professional or need to go to the next level, you will learn this skill for testing yourself or others in Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy approved workshops.

I remember a conversation I once had with Roger Callahan about reliability and being 100% confident, and I was surprised by his clear statement that no one, including himself, could claim a 100% success rate. While he was not shy about having the best success rate of any therapy, his understanding that the complexity of the universe made that kind certainty unattainable.

Muscle testing is not infallible. I can have a bad day or just be off and miss my own response or reading of another’s response. I can be affected by reversals or individual energy toxins that give false readings. My own expectations based on my experience with certain conditions or situations can influence my reading of a strong or weak response in anticipation of an outcome that makes sense to me. Muscle testing, or energy checking, must always be suspect and be considered in light of all the other ways we experience reality. Or, when helping others in their reality.

The felt sense, our clinical observations of other’s physical and behavioral markers, their felt sense, as well as emotional and mental formulations can all help to verify the reliability of muscle testing.

All that said, it is possible to get better and more confident with muscle testing, and one should practice his/her preferred technique a lot. Because energy checking is susceptible to the influences I shared above, you should always have a way to check yourself.

When I am uncertain, I go back to a big muscle and test something I know to be true in my life always. The bigger the muscle and the bigger the motion, the easier it is for me to read mine or another’s response. The stronger the truth being tested the easier to recognize a reversal or toxin at work. So when I’m not getting clear responses with my subtle techniques or the results are not “ringing clear”, making sense, or just not being helpful to me or my client, I use my “go-to test”…

Using my whole arm as taught in Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy, I pull up my feeling of loving my wife and check the statement “I love Diane” and always using the two test approach to checking for reversals I test the second statement “I have no feelings for Diane”. This way I can tell if something is in the way of being accurate in my testing.  Once this is sorted out I can return to more subtle testing and the issues I am working on with myself or someone else.

No, I am not 100% sure of my muscle testing all the the time. But the beauty of the Callahan approach is that we do not have to be perfect to find our way to “better” for ourselves or others. Be prepared to be surprised by the responses in muscle testing, energy checking, or any TFT protocol and you will get the information you need.

Using Thought Field Therapy to Assist With Coherence Therapy

I’m excited to share my latest adventure.

I attended the Coherence Therapy two day immediate intensive training with Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Sarah Bridges in New York City. First, I am offering a very appreciative thank you to Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, and Sara Bridges. With over 40 years of experience in helping individuals of all sorts make changes in life it was wonderful to find myself among professionals speaking a common language and sharing a common perspective.

Coherence Therapy provides a comprehensive model of the process of helping make deep and lasting change in a way that allows the other models I have learned and practiced over the years to be organized with ease. And I learned some new things. And I practiced some new things. And I experienced my own Symptoms in a new way — to all those who were there — thank you.

With a greater understanding of Coherence Therapy is it clear to me that Thought Field Therapy is valuable in all the steps of the Coherence Therapy process.

Using TFT to eliminate the overwhelming upset makes fully identifying symptoms at an experiential level (Step One) deeper and more complete. The Discovery Phase (Step Two) which is about connecting the symptom to its purpose in the emotional learning process that is not conscious but very adaptive. This and the Integration Phase (Step Three) are both served well by having TFT to allow the process without overwhelming emotion blocking access to the high levels of the mind. The Integration Step includes repeated, explicit experiences of the emotional truth of the symptom as conscious material. The Transformation Sequence (Step Four) occurs when two constructs of reality are in juxtaposition in your experience.

An autumn moment while running through Central Park | Thought Field Therapy Center Blog

An autumn moment while running through Central Park

Being able to address the events in your life that cause emotional upset is a fast and effective means of activating the disconfirming knowledge necessary for you to create a new way to process the events and end the upsetting symptoms. This process works without TFT, but having TFT skills expands  Coherence Therapy’s range of applications.

Please share any of your thoughts about these ideas in the comments, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

From a Clinician’s Perspective

I remember Roger Callahan discussing the fact that human beings must make sense out of their experiences as he explained the apex problem (attributing change resulting from TFT to other factors), a problem so common in those changed by Thought Field Therapy. The apex problem is understandable in those who have limited experience with TFT or unwilling to accept a new explanation not fitting their worldview.  How do we help others with world views different than our own to accept the power of Thought Field Therapy and integrate it with their way of helping?  This is one of the more challenging problems practitioners face.

I am a psychotherapist in private practice, with a specialty in traumatic stress recovery and over 40 years in the business of helping.  I have been studying and using Thought Field Therapy since 1996.  I am fascinated with understanding how it can be used in all approaches to understanding and improving psychological, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Is Thought Field Therapy a counteractive technique and approach or is it a transformational change process?  For those of us who attended last year’s Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology conference and/or have been exposed to the brilliant work of Bruce Ecker in Therapeutic Reconsolidation Process in Coherence Therapy, these are familiar terms.

Simply put, the change you seek can come in incremental and specific changes to thinking, feeling, and behavior without undoing past implicit memories and their accompanying schemas (meaning making mental structures).  Or, change can come in a comprehensive and inclusive shift in your perception and understanding of the world and your relationship to it. Thought Field Therapy makes the tasks of change faster, easier, and safer.

In post-traumatic response work,  is the change happening because we have erased the implicit (meaning “making”) memory associated with an event or have we just blocked the specific reaction to a trigger?  The answer to this question matters and informs your next step in helping in larger lifestyle and growth oriented approaches.  It also matters in how you explain the mechanism of action to avoid the apex problem and encourage continued use of Thought Field Therapy in other areas of change in those you help.  I think of Thought Field Therapy as transformational change because it becomes impossible to go back to the old ways once you tap and your experience and understanding of past events is changed permanently.  This may explain the rapid change we see in other areas of people’s lives using Thought Field Therapy.

How do you conceptually formulate how we change?  And how does Thought Field Therapy fit in your worldview or theoretical model?  Join this discussion by leaving a comment below.

OR come take or retake the Boot Camp with me in Atlanta. I have training and experience in many approaches to helping including EMDR, family systems, cognitive therapy, one eye integration, coherence therapy, and many others.

Every boot camp is a bit different because the instructors draw on their own experience and training in the demonstrations, explanations, applications, and discussions in the workshop.

But the main objective for all boot camps is always the same – you will build the knowledge and skills to use Thought Field Therapy.  Teaching TFT is one of my most favorite things to do, and integrating it into theoretical models is just a little extra fun but not necessary to making Thought Field Therapy work for you.

Life is Different Without Pain – Thought Field Therapy Can Transform Your Life

Transforming Your Life with Thought Field TherapyThe Boot Camp I lead this last Saturday and Sunday was, as always, a joyful experience for me. I tell people that I am a really good psychotherapist and a really good teacher, but right now in my life seeing a person learn TFT is a major delight. Having Thought Field Therapy (TFT) transforms people’s lives. This transformation can come with ending chronic overwhelming emotional or physical pain. Life is different without pain. This transformation comes sometimes when one’s expectations about what is possible in their lives or in the world are challenged and exceeded after just two days.

Hope always results from knowing that the world is not the rigid and fixed structure we thought it was. This transformation for individuals sometimes is a subtle shift that occurs when we no longer have to fear our emotions, feelings, and reactions. TFT makes our actions in life less reactive and more intentional.

I also saw again the power of forgiveness – another major delight in my life. After all else to resolve a major issue of injustice and it’s impact on her life had failed, standard TFT protocols worked. She was able to make a statement of self-forgiveness never before possible releasing negative emotions and releasing the debt that is owed after terrible violence.

All this to say– thanks to the participants, Joanne and Roger Callahan, and all who support me in this work –you make our world a better place.

Announcement – I am Writing a Book on Forgiveness

I am just back from the Association for Energy Psychology (ACEP) Conference and I want to share some of the positive energy and thoughts I brought home. The closing speaker was Jack Canfield, an author, coach, and force for positive change in our world. He reminded us that who we surround ourselves witah profoundly influences how we feel and what we do.

The last few days I choose to surround myself with over 500 individuals sharing the value of bringing healing to their daily lives and to those they serve. The feel of the meeting and the place was positive and energizing.

Being able to share these thoughts and see your responses on this blog is another way to surround ourselves with more of that positive energy that carries us forward.

My workshop on forgiveness was well attended. The feedback from it was very positive. I got comments like, “You covered a complex issue in ways that put it into context in my life” and they let me know they were going to use forgiveness more productively for themselves and those they help.

Getting to forgiveness is worth the efforts. The final slide was:

A State of Forgiveness–

  • My body feels relaxed and energized
  • My emotions are positive
  • My thoughts are fluid and expansive
  • My heart is open, light, and connected
  • My soul is free

Based on the responses from this conference, from my recent webinar on forgiveness, and the decisions on this blog last year, I’ve decided to write a book on forgiveness and would love to hear more of your thoughts and stories about forgiveness. Call or write anytime.

Dr. Bray

Tapping to Turn on Your Healing Series #3

Grieving With Purpose – Tapping Through Bereavement

Grieving is complex and demanding work. When the feelings overwhelm and shut you down you cannot heal. You are stuck in a place of pain and sorrow…

With Thought Field Therapy, you can overcome the pain and get unstuck.

And, the journey doesn’t have to be long.

Coming to mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity is the first task anyone faces suffering bereavement. Let me help you discover a fresh perspective in dealing with death and loss.

The next Webinar in the Tapping to Turn on Your Healing Webinar Series will go beyond the basics to understanding of complex issues and allow yourself to feel joyful again.

If you have suffered a loss, give your grief purpose and direction using some simple Thought Field Therapy (TFT) techniques. I will help you be strong enough to explore your emotions and recognize the unique aspects of your personal grief.

You don’t have to feel this way. With Thought Field Therapy, you will experience immediate relief from your pain and become an active participant in creating your life journey.

The Webinar will be on April 16th 6:15 – 8:45 Pacific, and includes a FREE 15 minute consultation and specialized tapping pattern, as well as a free chapter, focused on grieving, from the eBook version of Dr. Bray’s Book.

AND, register by April 2nd to receive WHOLE eBook, titled No Open Wounds – Heal Traumatic Stress NOW.

Click here for more information and to sign up!

Heal Traumatic Stress NOW with this new video!

We are now offering the first Tapping to Turn on Your Healing Webinar as a recorded session, with a free workbook with tapping instructions!

If you are still suffering from traumatic events in your past (crime, war, abuse, disasters, or sudden death of a loved one), you can do this yourself, right now. You don’t have to wait for a doctor or anyone else to eliminate the overwhelming emotional upset from triggers.

Click here for more information!

Take advantage of the simplest and most affordable opportunity to learn what TFT is all about.

Activating Broader and Deeper Levels of Healing at the 16th Annual Conference on Energy Psychology

talking is not enough, activating broader and deeper levels of healingI will be doing a presentation on using TFT and EP for emotional, relational, moral, and spiritual forgiveness at the 16th Annual Conference on Energy Psychology.

I am looking forward to Keynotes by Donna Eden with David Feinstein, Jack Canfield, Bruce Ecker, Rollin McCraty, and Karen Newell with Eben Alexander.

The conference will be Thursday, May 29, 2013 – Sunday, June 01, 2014 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ. I hope to see you there.

For more information about the conference visit ACEP – Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology

Dr. Bray

Transform Fears Into Hopeful Visions for Your Future and Get Your Life Back.

ptsdAre you…
  • Drinking or self-medicating too much?
  • Not sleeping? Do you see ugly pictures or feel jumpy at the wrong time?
  • Do you find it difficult to remain calm and relaxed?
  • Are you running away from or avoiding reminders?
  • Are you isolating yourself from others because you think they will not understand, or you may harm them?

Are you living on the edge of terror?

Isn’t It Time for Something Different?

It seems like every day I read about a new wonder drug up for FDA approval to cure PTSD. I am constantly reading about more drugs, more studies and more money being thrown at the problem but…I read few true success stories. Many people have “tried it all” and yet they still suffer the effects of past traumatic events.

There are still so many people suffering. So many people hoping for a miracle cure or for someone to come along that will fix it all.
Isn’t that what you REALLY want?

What you don’t realize, is that you have the power to get your life back.

I want to prove that to you. That’s why I created Tapping to Turn on Your Healing, a 90 minute live Webinar where I will show you how to convert emotional pains from the past into controllable memories, think more clearly and improve your relationships.

Not a lot of people know this, but there is a very simple and safe, fast and easy technique that will allow you to manage negative emotional triggers and truly begin to heal.

If you’ve been reading my blog or perhaps read my book, then you know that Thought Field Therapy is often the missing link in the healing process.

You’ll walk away knowing how to use Thought Field Therapy to begin healing. Plus I’ve thrown in some extra bonuses for those who take advantage of this offer right now – at no additional charge – that will continue to guide you on your journey…to your life.

And it’s a completely safe, non-drug, non-invasive technique that anyone can learn to do themselves, anywhere, anytime with absolutely no negative side effects.

You can take control of your negative emotions…enjoy being with your loved ones and friends…and find the joy in your life again.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here for more information!





Check Out These TED Talks

TED Talks LogoThanks to all of you who have learned TFT (Thought Field Therapy) and who care enough to make our world better by doing something different.  Being different is not easy, especially when we feel at risk for being called out as less-than-scientific or being out of the mainstream.  You are not alone in your feelings about the risks you face in doing the messy work of helping, healing, and creating healthy families and communities.  Here are links to a  couple of Ted Talks I found fun and useful in accepting – we are different.

Oreos – Say it Isn’t so!

oreo cookiesA study done here states that Oreo cookies can be as addictive as cocaine. The body and the brain can only work with the materials we give them in forming the emotions and sensations that drive our behavior.  If, as this study suggests, a substance activates the same parts of the brain as when using cocaine then it makes sense that the substance will be addictive or powerful in our behavioral choices.  What is your Oreo? There is help with TFT. Tapping changes the emotions and sensations that make unhealthy demands for those substances so we can gain control and choose other behaviors.

TFT Boot Camp – Norwegian Style

Thought Field Therapy NYC training boot campLeading TFT Boot Camp is one of my favorite ways of sharing the knowledge and skills of Callahan Techniques.  All but one of the graduates from this bootcamp were Norwegian and not a psychotherapist in the lot of them.  Pastors, teachers, a physical  therapist, and crisis interventionists all learned the skills of Algorithms and Causal Diagnosis.

Integrating TFT with a new culture and finding ways to help the members of their communities is always part of the adventure of growing TFT.

I was glad that my book recently translated into Swedish was available to help with some of the finer points. Thanks to all who were there and I looking forward to learning more.

Hope of Healing by Robert L Bray

Wounded Warrior ProjectFor over 35 years I have researched, taught, and treated people in the field of traumatic stress recovery – my world focuses on making a difference in keeping people alive and living fully.

The information I will share with you and the simple technique – which you have probably never seen – will make a difference.  Acting to end isolation and hopelessness in the day-to-day experience of your brothers and sisters in arms makes a big difference in his or her survival. The greatest risk for suicide and self-destructive behavior comes with an overwhelming sense that you are alone and that change is not possible.

You’re not alone. Those who are suffering often find themselves at their worst moments lost and wondering: who will understand, who will care, who can stand to see me and hear me again in this horrible place one more time? The answer is: someone in this room. Never doubt the value and importance of the Wounded Warrior Project and these events and programs. You as a community are addressing the problem of isolation that comes from overwhelming traumatic stress.

Hope comes also from knowing there is a way to make change.  Having worked with thousands of people over the years I know that the first change must be an end to the overwhelming emotional upset that’s blocking healing.

Those men and women you love who suffer from PTSD say the same things to me in the counseling office that they say to you. And if we listen closely we hear what is stopping from healing.  Things like–

“I close my eyes and see only that face and then the face disappears as I focus on drawing the blackout curtains in my mind tightly– trying to blind myself from seeing that face and everything else. Then everything is gone except for the ache in my body demanding a stiff dose of something very strong.”

Let’s call this man John. But we could call him by most any name as what he is experiencing is common to so many.  He has intrusive images that freeze him in a moment in the past that is so overwhelming he wants only to numb his body and mind.  This made it impossible for him to cope. The good news is he is now able to close his eyes to sleep.

He was able apply one of the techniques to end his images and the need for the strong stuff.

That was one of the changes for John. Here is another problem we hear when we listen – an all too common complaint:

“Out of nowhere that sound penetrated my ears and surges through my body. After an instant I feel and see what my body has done. If it is a good day, I have frozen for a moment and I’m able to come back without scaring myself or anyone around me.

On a bad day, the next instant after the sound crashes through me, I find myself in a defensive stance or aggressive posture. And then, there is the pounding of my heart and the twist in my guts. And, then the looks of those around me – that startled look of bewilderment because they don’t get the danger signal. I struggle to grab onto a thought of what to do in this moment but the thoughts are drowned by this flood of sensations– it’s as though my mind has been blown wide open.”

John also had a classic exaggerated startle response and until he resolved the problem of staying in the here and now, where it’s safe – instead of the there and then – when no one was safe.  It happened so much he was avoiding places and events that are a part of any normal life.  After using this non-drug and non-cognitive, talk free technique, his body was much less easily triggered.

The needed changes and the healing often require getting to the parts of the brain and body that don’t respond to words. Using the techniques John could recover quickly and reduce the occurrences of jumping out of his skin.

And if you are trusted enough you may hear the frustration of living with these symptoms of  traumatic stress: John talked about it.

“I try to tell people about this loss of control and my struggle to sleep or work and to love or just be ok with people around me – but the more I talk, the more the images and thoughts flood my brain. It’s almost as though the feelings I am having carry me out of the room and away from everyone. But sometimes my body just stops feeling altogether and with it the ability to make my words have meaning.  I just can’t see how I can be together with anyone.”

If you live with the experiences that John described and they are happening once in a blue moon it is not an easy way to live. It is not any way to live if this happens every day.

The casualty rates from these current wars will not be known for decades. Leaving the field of battle does not mean the dying is over.

The numbers we read in the newspapers and hear from government reports are painful and scary enough, but they do not tell the whole story. These reports say that for vets, a death by suicide happens at the rate of one every 65 minutes.

But, this does not count all those who died – you know the ones – those without a note – counted as an accident but clearly suicide by motorcycle, or suicide by cop, or suicide by noncompliance with the medications that keep them alive.

Nor do these numbers count the ones who die unintentionally by their own hand because they quit paying attention. There are so many ways to bring an end to the intolerable pain and suffering.

The numbers we are given often lie – the loss felt by those who love these human beings tells the true story. A story you all know better than most and – that numbers can never portray with any accuracy.

But we do not have to just wait and see what happens—we can change the suicide rate. We can change individual lives and the lives of their families. There is hope.

When you hear someone say “I have tried everything – meds, inpatient, outpatient, individual and group therapy, – and it just make me worse” , then hopelessness is setting in.  Don’t back away. Don’t join them in giving up. Affirm your connection and caring and find something that works.

So rather than just talk about hope to be better let me show you a simple, fast, powerful and safe way to be better with the one of the techniques I mentioned before.

You can do this yourself and you can share this with anyone because it does not make things worse. You don’t have to wait for a doctor or anyone else to eliminate the overwhelming emotional upset from triggers. The worst it can do is make you feel little silly the first time you do it.

Tune into yourselves for a moment. Whatever your feeling – just rate whatever discomfort. Rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. One being no discomfort at all and 10 being the worst discomfort you can imagine. Don’t work at this too hard.

Thought Field Therapy Steps for Traumatic Stress

Wounded Warrior Project

Video instruction at www.rlbray.com Click on Try TFT

Step One. (SUD) As you focus on the problem, determine your Subjective Units of Distress by rating the upset on a 1 to 10 Scale (1= no upset, 10=worst).

Step Two. Using your fingertips tap about ten times each:  (LOCATION OF POINTS ON NEXT PAGE)

  • Side of Hand,
  • Under Nose,
  • Beginning of Eyebrow,
  • Under Eye,
  • Under Arm,
  • Under Collarbone,
  • Little Finger,
  • Under Collarbone,
  • Index Finger,
  • Under Collarbone.
  • Step Three.  Do the 9 Gamut Series. While continuously tapping the gamut spot:
  1. Close eyes
  2. Open eyes
  3. With your eyes look down and left
  4. With your eyes look down and right
  5. Whirl your eyes in a complete circle in one direction
  6. Whirl your eyes in a complete circle in the other direction
  7. Hum a couple bars of any tune
  8. Count to five
  9. Hum again.

Step Four.   Using your fingertips tap about 10 times each: (LOCATION OF POINTS ON NEXT PAGE)

  • Side of Hand,
  • Under Nose,
  • Beginning of Eyebrow,
  • Under Eye,
  • Under Arm,
  • Under Collarbone,
  • Little Finger,
  • Under Collarbone,
  • Index Finger,
  • Under Collarbone.

Step Five. Think about the problem in the same way again, rate your upset 1-10 as in step one.

  • Repeat steps Two through Five until:
  • Your SUD rating is a 1or 2, then go to Step six
  • Or your SUD rating stops changing seek more help

Step Six: The floor to ceiling eye roll while continuously tapping the gamut spot and holding your head level,  roll your eyes on a vertical line from the floor to the ceiling over 6-7 seconds.

Now pause.

Now notice what you feel in your body – go back and rate it on the one to ten scales.  Most of you will notice that it is improved – less discomfort. For a few it may not have changed – that only means that you needed a different tapping pattern. And Thought Field Therapy has a lot more it can do for you.

What we just did is Thought Field Therapy. Tapping on Meridian treatment points in a specific order to alleviate overwhelming emotional distress. With over 35 years in the field of traumatic stress this is the best tool I have found to make it possible to deal with all of those horrible symptoms which stops anyone from being able to think, process, understand, and move forward with their life. When you are overwhelmed by feelings and sensations you can’t think. When you can’t think you don’t make good choices. When you’re making bad choices it hurts you and it hurts those who love you.

There is good published research on the effectiveness of TFT.  The self-help and clinical applications are well developed.  Getting this knowledge to those who need it and to those who help your brothers and sisters is going slow but it is getting out.

If you want more info, go to my website or search the internet.  Thought Field Therapy is not the all that you need to be completely recovered from traumatic stress, but it does give you a very good response to the give up statement of  “I have tried everything – nothing works for me”  Very few people have been exposed to this cutting edge approach and tried Thought Field Therapy.

Please, for yourself and others, remember:

You are not alone!

There is much more to be done to be better!

Thank you for your time and for holding the Hope for Healing.