Phil Mollon Ph.D. DCEP

Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy [PEP]

Meridian Sequence:

the secret that is in danger of being lost

All energy psychology approaches work with the human energy system, in its various components such as meridians and chakras, but most do not emphasise the importance of meridian and chakra sequences. For example, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Advanced Integrative Therapy/Seemorg (AIT), and Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) all work with a standard energy procedure, which varies only according to the content of the thoughts that are activated.

In one way, this is surprising. Back in 1979 (or thereabouts), Dr Roger Callahan discovered that thought fields of distress have specific meridian sequences that reveal their energetic coding. By tapping the correct and specific sequence, the prison cell of the old pattern of distress simply dissolves - and a door to freedom opens just like it would if the appropriate code is tapped on a combination lock. According to this principle, a method such as EFT might be expected to be just a highly inefficient derivative of Callahan's Thought Field Therapy. The problem is that methods such as EFT, that are not concerned with meridian (or chakra) sequence, seem to work much better than expected. Another principle seems to come into play. As far as I can understand, it seems to be the case that if: [1] there is an intention to transcend a state of distress; [2] the internal objections to doing so are addressed; and [3] the energy system is stimulated - then the distress will usually clear rather rapidly. This seems to be the basis of the astonishing effects of energy psychology methods. 

However, I fear that Dr Callahan's original discovery, of the crucial importance of meridian sequence is in danger of being lost - particularly as EFT becomes ever more popular. This troubles me greatly, since Callahan's original observation of how to find meridian sequences seems to me to be of profound significance. By using a simple muscle testing procedure, it is possible to reveal and demonstrate the meridian coding for a thought field of distress in a clear and tangible way. The thought field can be literally seen and palpated in the body's energy system. 

For some reason, even many practitioners of Callahan's TFT seem not to have fully grasped or become fluent in the use of this procedure - and instead rely upon the 'off the shelf' algorithms of commonly occurring sequences for different states of distress. Although the procedure is actually very simple, it seems almost always inherently confusing on first encounter. 

When I teach energy psychology, I like to demonstrate the Callahan procedure by asking a volunteer to think of something distressing that he or she would like to feel better about, but not to tell me what it is. I then use Callahan's procedure to find the meridian sequence that underpins this thought field of distress, and I ask the volunteer to tap the sequence as it emerges. Participants are commonly startled and perplexed that the state of distress collapses without the 'therapist' knowing its content. Of course, in clinical practice we would be interested to know the content, but for the sake of the demonstration, this process reveals how it is possible to detect an energetic 'coding' for a 'thought', address this coding, and cause distress to dissipate rapidly. The clinical (as well as scientific) implications of this are immense. For example, we can take a thought whose full content is unknown - such as 'the roots and origins of this problem', and find its energetic coding. Even though the content of this 'thought field' may remain unknown, it is cleared at the energetic level and this results in a discernable shift in experience and subsequent behaviour. When working in this way, I like to 'invite the meridians to speak', through the simple strategy of asking the client to 'speak of whatever comes to mind' as he or she is tapping on an emerging meridian sequence. 

There are, of course, various refinements of Callahan's original meridian diagnostic procedure, even to the extent of not needing to muscle test the client directly. For a schematic outline of the principles behind finding meridian sequence, click here - but the procedure needs to be learned through appropriate tuition. I should add that I am not a teacher of Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy - and I do recommend learning from a skilled teacher of TFT.