Dr Mayer’s Contributions to Energy Psychology

Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Methods for Bodymind Health (North Atlantic/Random House, 2009) presents a comprehensive approach to healing that combines leading-edge Western bodymind psychological methods with a broad system of ancient, sacred traditions. Incorporating Dr. Mayer’s integral approach called Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, Energy Psychology draws on Chinese medicine approaches, including Qigong and acupressure self-touch; kabalistic processes; methods drawn from ancient traditions of meditation and postural initiation; and psycho-mythological storytelling techniques.

Drawing on thirty years of training in Tai Chi and Qigong, Dr. Michael Mayer shows how integrating the essences of these traditions and methods can restore vitality and give the average person self-healing tools for physical and mental health. Unlike the quick-fix books on energy restoration, this book uses timetested, age-old practices from sacred traditions in combination with well-established clinical approaches. Dr. Mayer teaches readers bodymind healing methods to treat anxiety, chronic pain, addictions, hypertension, insomnia, trauma, and other prevalent conditions. Written in a clear, intelligible style, Energy Psychology includes real-life case studies that highlight the effectiveness of his techniques.

In order to bring the healing abilities of a comprehensive energy psychology to the public, I believe that in addition to the well-known energy psychology methods such as EFT, the field of energy psychology (EP) would be well served by expanding its terrain to include Qigong and methods of energy cultivation from other traditions of meditation and postural initiation (Goodman, 1990), depth psychology, symbolic process traditions, Kabalistic methods, etc. My newest book, Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health (2009) is written to help accomplish these aims and to create a broader and more comprehensive origin myth to Energy Psychology.

Dr Mayer’s Contributions to Energy Psychology*

1.) Each Tai Chi Chuan movement (and each of many Qigong movements)  have four dimensions of purpose: self-healing, spritual unfoldment, self-defense, and changing one’s life stance psychologically (Tomio 1994, Mayer, 2004).These branches of Chinese medicine are traditions of postural initiation, and can be integrated with Western psychology, anthropology and energy psychology to make a more pluralistic, post-modern, psycho-energetic system. ( Mayer, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2012b)

2.) Proposes using phenomenologically based anchoring methods. BMHP* adds a phe-
nomenological orientation to energy psychology methods, i.e. choosing the patients
own movements at the moment of a “felt shift” to anchor new state-specific states
of consciousness as a first-choice method. The most common meridian tapping methods seen
in the most popular energy psychology techniques(the Emotional Freedom Techniques) are viewed as just one of many energy psychology methods that are part of researchers’ attempts to determine which methods are best for which people at which times in this pre-paradigmatic stage of energy psychology’sdevelopment. {Chapter 3, 4}

3.) Advocates for explaining the meaning of acu-points used in treatment. In current
energy psychology treatment, often the patient is instructed to tap on various points,
but the meaning of those points is not usually discussed in detail. Bodymind Healing
Psychotherapy proposes that “meaning” is a key healing agent, and is a significant
component of activating “the mind-body trance state.” I believe that including the
patient’s understanding helps create a mindful, connected awareness, which has many
positive consequences. {Chapter 3 and 16}

4.) Adds depth psychology methods to energy psychology with a focus on symbolic process methods, including the Mythic Journey Process. {Chapter 4 and 20}
Broadens the field of energy psychology by including Qigong. {Chapter 3 and 4}
Expands the foundation of energy psychology by introducing relevant historical
foundation material and age-old methods. {Chapter 4}
Adds to the self-touch methods of energy psychology the circle, stop, breathe, and
feel method. {Chapter 3}

5.) Adds depth psychology methods to energy psychology with a focus on symbolic process methods, including the Mythic Journey Process. {Chapter 4 and 20}

6.) BMHP (2007) broadens the field of energy psychology by including Qigong. {Chapter 3 and 4}. In the book Energy Psychology (2009), Dr. Mayer argues for a new origin myth for energy psychology which adds to tradtionally known EP tradtions such as TFT, EFT and Applied Kinsesiology. The book Energy Psychology (2009) advocates for an origin myth for EP that includes ancient traditions of postural  postural initiation such as Tai Chi.Qigong, Chinese medicine, symbolic process traditions, and traditional psychotherapies.

7.) Expands the foundation of energy psychology by introducing relevant historical foundation material and age-old methods. {Chapter 4}

8. ) Adds to the self-touch methods of energy psychology the circle, stop, breathe, and
feel method. {Chapter 3}

9. Tai Chi Chuan can be revisioned into a post-modern metaphysical system that includes the psychological felt experience of the practitioner and the personal meanings that he or she gives to the movements (Mayer, 2012b).

10. Energy Psychology would be more viably broadened and deepened, by drawing from its less mechanistic root system in transpersonal psychotherapy. The origin myth of EP in traditions of muscle testing, applied kinesiology, and acupoint algorithms (which only encompass a small part of Chinese energy medicine) limits its healing methods in this pre-paradigmatic phase of EP’s development. The book Energy Psychology: Self healing Methods of Bodymind Health gives a more encompassing perspective on how transpersonal psychotherapy can broaden and deepen the EP tradition. See the link to this article for a brief overview: http://acepblog.org/2015/01/09/transforming-energy-psychology-into-a-comprehensive-transpersonal-psychotherapy/

* Chapter numbers above are keyed to the book (Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, 2007) and can be ordered and downloaded as individual chapters from this website. All of the above can also be found in Dr Mayer’s new book, Energy Psychology, see below:


This scholarly and eminently readable book integrates Eastern and Western forms of self-healing techniques and examines the capacity of various approaches that put human beings at the center of their own self-care. I applaud Dr. Michael Mayer for his monumental work, which hopefully foreshadows the shape of body-mind approaches for years to come.

—Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Medical Director, the Trauma Center, Boston University School of Medicine, and former professor of psychiatry, Harvard University“

Michael Mayer gives us the breadth and depth of energy psychology and helps us see how it can be part of all of our healing.

—James S. Gordon, MD, founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine,
former chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, and author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression

Energy Psychology is a thrilling blueprint for the integration of body, mind, and spirit. This book rewrites the origin myth of psychology and transforms the very ground of psychology by adding Eastern energy practices, storytelling, kabbalistic techniques, and imaginal processes to psychology’s roots. It takes the radical perspective that all psychology is energy psychology; and when we expand our scope of vision this way we discover a fertile field for revitalizing our primordial Selves and reclaiming our self-healing abilities.

—Larry Dossey, MD, author of Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing

Publications Related to Energy Psychology:

Mayer, M. (1996). Qigong and behavioral medicine: An integrated approach to chronic pain. Qi: The Journal of Eastern Health and Fitness, 6(4), 20-31.

Mayer, M. (1997a). Psychotherapy and Qigong: Partners in healing anxiety. Berkeley, CA: The Psychotherapy & Healing Center.

Mayer, M. (1999). Qigong and hypertension: A critique of research. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 5(4), 371-382. (Peer-reviewed).

Mayer, M. (2000). Bodymind healing qigong (DVD). Orinda, CA: Bodymind Healing Center.

Mayer, M. (2003). Qigong clinical studies. In W. B. Jonas (Ed.), Healing, intention, and energy medicine (pp. 121-137). England: Churchill Livingston. (Peer-reviewed).

Mayer, M. (2004a). Qigong: Ancient path to modern health (DVD of keynote address to National Qigong Association). Orinda, CA: Bodymind Healing Publications.

Mayer, M. (2004b). Secrets to living younger longer: The self-healing path of qigong, standing meditation and Tai Chi. Orinda, CA: Bodymind Healing Publications.

Mayer, M. (2004c). What do you stand for? The Journal of Qigong in America, Vol. 1, Summer.

Mayer, M. (2004d). Walking meditation: Yi Chuan Qigong. The Empty Vessel: A Journal of Contemporary Taoism, Summer.

Mayer, M. (2005). Qigong: An age-old foundation of energy psychology. The Energy Field, Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Vol. 6, (4), Winter.

Mayer, M. (2007). Bodymind healing psychotherapy: Ancient pathways to modern health. Orinda, CA: Bodymind Healing Publications.

Mayer, M., (2008). Mind-Body treatment for anxiety and panic disorders. California State Journal of Oriental Medicine, Summer.

Mayer, M. (2009a). Energy psychology: Self-healing practices for bodymind health, Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic/Random House.

Mayer, M. 2009b (Winter) Bodymind Healing in Psychotherapy: Towards an integral, comprehensive energy psychology, The Energy Field: The International Energy Psychology News and Articles, p.13. Available free online: www.bodymindhealing.com.

Mayer, M. (2009c) Energy Medicine, The Qigong Institute, Article available online, http://qigonginstitute.org/html/papers/EnergyMedicine_EnergyPsychExcerpt.pdf

Mayer, M. (2010) Hypertension: An Integral Bodymind Healing Approach, Natural Standard, February, (Peer Reviewed).

Mayer, M. (2012). The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician : Stories and Practices for Troubled Times (Bodymind Healing Publications, 2012).

Mayer, M. (2012b). Tai Chi Chuan: A Postmodern, metaphysical point of view, Tai Chi Chuan & Oriental Arts, Summer, 2012, www.taichiunion.com.

Mayer M. (2015). Transforming energy psychology into a comprehensive, transpersonal psychotherapy, Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology Blog. Available at this link.

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