It’s our pleasure to bring to you an exclusive interview with Dr. Fred P. Gallo, PhD, DCEP, a Clinical Psychologist, Author, and the founder of Energy Psychology. Learn about his fascinating journey, the way Energy Psychology can be used in pain management, his amazing books, and much more, in the latest edition of MysticMag interviews.
Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about your professional background?
I’m Dr. Fred Gallo I. I have a private group practice in Hermitage, PA. As for my background education-wise, I got my AB, a bachelor’s degree, in philosophy and psychology from Duquesne University. Then I studied philosophy in Graduate School for a while. After that, I went on to get my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and my PhD in human development. I am a licensed clinical psychologist.
Originally, I worked for my father in his refrigeration and air conditioning company when I was a kid. However, that was not my calling. After graduating from Duquesne, where I majored in philosophy and minored in English, psychology, and history, I had a severe accident in which I almost died. It happened the day after I graduated from college when a big car hit my little Volkswagen bug, causing me to have a ruptured spleen. It was touch and go for a few days, and my injuries interfered with my plans to go to Graduate School in psychology at that time. I had to focus on recovering from my injuries.
During my recovery, I took a detour and taught at a parochial school in the Pittsburgh area. I taught English, French, drama, civics, and spelling. After teaching for a year, I traveled across the United States for a while. Then, a synchronistic event occurred when I received a call from an institution where I had previously expressed interest in working with adjudicated delinquent youths. The call came while I was back home attending my grandmother’s funeral. They offered me a job, so I went from Pennsylvania back to California, packed my belongings, and returned to work at that institution as a counselor.
Eventually, I got accepted to Graduate School at the University of Dayton, majoring in Clinical Psychology. I also I went to Kent State University, and eventually got my doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. My educational journey involved studying different approaches such as client centered therapy, existential phenomenology, gestalt therapy, Ericksonian hypnosis, and neurolinguistic programming (NLP). After completing my studies, I worked for several agencies, taught NLP for a period, and eventually settled into my private practice.
At one point, I got bored and I started looking for something that would help people with trauma. I investigated eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Around the same time, I discovered the work of Roger Callahan, who developed a tapping therapy called Thought Field Therapy (TFT). I also delved into psychology of mind (POM) and integrated these approaches into my practice. Over time, I had the opportunity to teach TFT across the U.S. and Canada, and I published a book titled “Energy Psychology” where I introduced emotional freedom techniques (EFT), applied kinesiology, and other methods I developed, such as energy diagnostic and treatment methods (EDxTM).
The publication of my books in German created a ripple effect, and I was invited to Germany. This led to significant interest in my work throughout Western Europe. Eventually, I wrote two more books, and my teachings spread further. I continued to explore and integrate different approaches into my practice, aiming to help people with trauma, many other conditions, and facilitate healing.
I traveled and taught these approaches extensively, developing my approach more and more. I found that not only working with clients but also teaching other professionals how to do this work helped me to further develop it. I traveled to various places throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, parts of Africa, and Fiji. Anthony Robbins, a motivational speaker, discovered one of my books and found it helpful. He invited me to Fiji and other places, and we got to know each other. After that, I went on to publish more articles and books.
What is Energy Psychology and how does it address the relationship of energy systems to emotion, cognition, behavior, and health?
Energy psychology recognizes that bodily energy systems are fundamental to psychological health and disturbances. It is related to physics, particularly quantum physics, where energy is considered a fundamental substrate. Similar to David Bohm’s concept of active information, subtle markers of information get activated, leading to cascading effects.
When dealing with psychological issues like trauma, panic disorder, and depression, there are thought processes, chemistry, brain structures, hormones, but fundamentally, there is active information that we call perturbations. They correlate with acupoints in the meridian system and other aspects of the energy system, such as the biofield, chakras, and heart energy.
In tapping therapies like Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), we locate specific points to tap. Tapping is one technique used. The person tunes into the issue, recalling the traumatic event and the associated emotional component, which is the trauma they are stuck in. Through tapping on specific points, such as the tip of the eyebrow, under the arm, or under the collarbone, which corresponds to bladder meridian, stomach meridian, kidney meridian, and spleen meridian, the person can recall the event without being bothered by it. It becomes distant, and they feel unhooked from the trauma. The same approach is helpful for other problems such as phobias, depression, etc.
When unhooked, individuals are more present and able to align with their true values, take action, and live their lives as they desire. Previously, they were constricted and psychologically reversed, which is a term used in energy psychology. There’s psychological reversal and what I call psychological forward. Psychological reversal takes us away from health, happiness, and living life according to our desired values. It is common for all of us to get stuck at times, but energy psychology helps us move forward towards psychological health and fulfillment.
One of the ways we deal with being stuck is a mindfulness exercise. Let’s say a person is depressed and we find that they’re reversed. We would have them tap at specific locations while saying something like this: “I accept myself even though I’m depressed, and I choose to feeling better.” And when we do an assessment, such as by muscle testing, we find that there’s a reduction in depression. But the other way is just simply noticing what happens with the person. You find that the sensations, the hopelessness, all of that starts to dissipate as you do other aspects of the treatment.
What specific services do you offer?
I have a private group practice. I have another psychologist, a counselor, an office manager, and a secretary. I specialize in treating trauma, depression, anxiety, phobias, etc. It is very intriguing that we use these kinds of methods to help people with chronic pain too. Physicians who work with pain management often refer to me to do an evaluation, where I can see if some of these energy psychology techniques could be useful for them. A lot of times the person who is being treated finds that the pain reduces, dissipates, or that it doesn’t matter so much anymore, and that they’re able to somehow step back from it.
I also teach. I was just in Baltimore. Last week I taught a course in treating chronic pain and I taught a one-hour presentation called “If you meet the toolbox on the road, kill it – Accessing wisdom”, which is a play on the Zen koan “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him”. When teaching, it’s important to identify what techniques are useful. You got to peel back the curtain and see what’s what. It’s about the relationship, about listening, about being present and inspired, and then offering an understanding or a technique if it’s needed.
In summary, I do evaluations, treatment, and teaching. On top of that, I also write books and articles at times.
What is the difference between different levels of advanced Energy psychology practitioners/trainers?
The approach I developed is Advanced Energy Psychology and it’s related to Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), but it involves many other things, too. It’s an advancement. Not that there’s any problem with those other approaches, they’re great, but my approach brings in other elements, as well, especially other techniques as well as focusing on the person’s values so that they can take action in accordance with their values.
I have developed a certification course, but it’s not just me who teaches it. I’ve authorized different trainers to do it, as well. As a matter of fact, there was just a training done in France for the first time. The certification is also offered throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United States, and Canada.
The certification training is 10 days long and it’s divided into different levels. Training generally occurs in groups of 15 to 50. Participants are taught the fundamentals of Energy Psychology, energy diagnostics, and treatment for various conditions, core beliefs, peak performance, energy toxins, etc. This includes close supervision and practice, followed by an objective test, and sometimes a few case studies, so that they show that they can really apply the method. At that point, they become certified as practitioners.
People who would like to go further and develop more advanced skills in this field so that they can also teach some of the method, they can take additional courses and participate as facilitators.
Then we have people who have been with me for quite a while and have taken just about every course I offer and facilitated at trainings. I authorize them to teach the whole certification training. There are several such trainers around. There’s one in Hawaii, there’s a couple people from Luxembourg, there are several in Germany and Austria, Switzerland, United States, etc. Currently, they are the ones who offer the trainings, as I haven’t done one in a while, even though I may do one in the U.S. in the near future. In the meantime, I do train some people individually remotely.
Can you tell us a bit about your work as an author?
I have published a total of 9 books and a lot of different articles, with my first book being “Energy Psychology”, published in 1998. It named the field and introduced various approaches, including Emotional Stress Release, Frontal/Occipital Holding, Thought Field Therapy, Applied Kinesiology, etc.
My latest book is called The Tapping Toolbox. It goes into the protocols you can use, such as EFT, TFT, and the MidLine Technique (MLT), as well as some other ancillary protocols and ways to troubleshoot when needed. The book also goes into detail about what I call the RILITA model.
Books and articles are important because they promote the method and serve as resources. However, simply reading a book is often insufficient, unless you have vast extensive experience in the field. A book can serve as a useful introduction, but it lacks multi-dimensions. Nothing can compare to being in the presence of someone who truly understands the method and receiving supervised guidance during practice. Nevertheless, books serve as a means to discover and learn about the method.
Publishing a book also often leads to invitations to present in different places, allowing for the perpetuation of the method. Similarly, other things, such as this interview, also aid in spreading the message and attracting individuals who resonate with this approach.
There’s a lot of research that supports Energy Psychology, with 5 meta-analyses and hundreds of studies demonstrating its effectiveness through randomized controlled trials. While these trials provide valuable insights into the efficacy of specific techniques, they do not show the entire therapeutic process. Consequently, they may not guarantee similar results for everyone.
Randomized controlled trials, much like medications, have their good and limited sides. While they may prove effective for a significant number of individuals, there are cases where they provide limited or no benefit. Hence, blindly adopting a technique without establishing a genuine connection with the individual, and deeply understanding their needs may not yield optimal outcomes.
Milton Erickson used to say that you create a whole new theory each time you’re with a different person. I think that’s what we have to do. When I learned to ski, they taught me snow plowing, which isn’t very elegant, but it provides a foundation to begin the journey. After a while, when you get your bearings, you let go of that technique. You’re going down the mountain and you don’t even think about how you’re doing it. You’re just in the flow. Any therapist who is starting off, techniques can help them get started. However, at some point, they learn to flow, they learn to fly.