For Immediate Release
NOTE: More than 80 news sources have carried some version of this press release, either on-line or in print. They included Reuter’s, Forbes.com, Yahoo, AOL, and Marketwatch, along with specialized sites such as Healthcare Industry Today and even Pharmaceutical Industry Today.
Truthout Interview: The American Psychological Association Is
Blocking the Most Effective Treatments for PTSD
In the wake of enormous controversy about its role in the participation of psychologists in the use of torture to extract information from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and in other parts of the world, an interview just carried by Truthout reveals a new round of criticism that has been directed toward the American Psychological Association (APA). Growing numbers of highly regarded mental health professionals are expressing concern that the APA is actively blocking therapists from learning techniques that have been shown to be highly effective in helping people who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions. The APA’s 11-year policy, which bans psychologists from receiving continuing education credit for studying the approach, known as “Energy Psychology,” was recently re-affirmed after being challenged by the international Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP). ACEP is comprised of 850 therapists and researchers who are adapting techniques from time-tested healing disciplines such as acupuncture, yoga, and meditation to assist with a wide range of psychological issues.
Dr. John Diepold, a New Jersey psychologist and an APA member since 1981, explains that “The APA’s recent ruling to again deny psychologists continuing education credit for learning one of the most important recent innovations in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder is highly questionable at this time when hundreds of thousands of our returning soldiers, as well as victims of domestic traumas, are suffering from PTSD and more effective treatments are desperately needed.” Dr. Diepold is one of a growing number of APA members who share this concern. Some 75 of the organization’s members have started a petition to form a new APA division that is dedicated to the study, practice, and dissemination of the new approach.
According to Pennsylvania psychologist, Carole Stern, ACEP’s President-elect, “As disheartening as it has been for us as psychologists to realize that our professional organization did not take immediate and decisive ethical steps with members who participated in the government’s use of torture, the harm being done by the APA’s position here is actually much more far-reaching. Some 5 million people in the United States suffer with PTSD, including more than 300,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. PTSD is a debilitating and agonizing affliction, and the early evidence is showing Energy Psychology to be much quicker and more effective than existing treatments. To block therapists from learning it is unconscionable.”
ACEP has been actively attempting to get the APA to lift its ban for more than a decade. Because emerging research on Energy Psychology supports ACEP’s position, the controversy has been gaining increasing attention. Studies using the method with individuals suffering from PTSD have shown striking outcomes. As a result, the method is finding its way into conventional health care settings and receiving growing popular attention. More than a million people have obtained a guide book for using Energy Psychology on a self-help basis, and clinical trials are being conducted by Kaiser Permanente, Walter Reed, and Britain’s National Health Service,
ACEP’s current President, Gregory J. Nicosia, a psychologist and an APA member since 1977, notes: “The APA’s criteria for appropriate CE content are clear and straightforward. By any reasonable reading of our applications or of our 80-page appeal brief, we have met these criteria many times over. In blocking the dissemination of this approach, the APA is following a different agenda than its own rules. I have no idea what that agenda might be, but the bottom line is that it is hampering one of the most important clinical interventions for treating trauma that has appeared in recent years from reaching those who are in desperate need and could benefit from it most.”
Clinical psychologists are increasingly speaking out about being blocked by their own professional organization from learning or promoting the approach. Meanwhile, those who are responsible for the treatment of returning soldiers have been more open-minded than the APA, with the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs having solicited testimony about the approach and 25 military hospitals participating in studies to investigate its effectiveness. In the Truthout interview, California psychologist and ethics expert David Gruder stated: “The [APA] should be shouting from the rooftops about this new clinical development. Instead it has persisted for over a decade in putting up roadblocks.” Read the entire Truthout interview.
Additional background information and research citations. Printable Version (pdf)
Read an excellent paper about Energy Psychology in one of the APA’s own flagship journals.
For questions or to arrange an interview with Dr. Gruder or another leading Energy Psychology practitioner, contact:
Dondi Dahlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Medicine Institute
777 East Main Street
Ashland, OR 97520
541-482-1800 ext. 1
What You Can Do
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