Roger Callahan is a contemporary psychologist who developed Thought Field Therapy.
Roger J. Callahan earned his degree in clinical psychology from Syracuse University. He has served as president of the American Academy of Psychologists in Marital and Family Therapy, as well as president of the Michigan Society of School Psychologists. Callahan was a professor at Eastern Michigan University, Syracuse University, and the University of Michigan. He was a research psychologist at Michigan’s Wayne County Training School and is currently a fellow with the American Academy of Psychotherapists Treating Addiction as a fellow.
Callahan has taught his Thought Field Therapy across the country, has authored numerous books on the subject, and established the Thought Field Therapy Training Center in La Quinta, California. He is on the board for the Association for Thought Field Therapy and maintains an active practice as a clinical psychologist.
Contribution to Psychology
Callahan developed Thought Field Therapy, which claims to draw upon the body's energy field to alleviate negative emotions through a series of tapping movements. Callahan argues that when a person contemplates an experience or emotion, this thought turns into a “thought field.” The thought field, in turn, serves as a real structure upon which people develop explanations and beliefs.
The thought field becomes deformed as a result of the ways people think about problems, and these deformities are called perturbations. Callahan argues that perturbations lead to negative emotions and behaviors and that each perturbation corresponds with a specific point on the body. Tapping these points allows for the healthy flow of energy and the elimination of negative and unhealthy thoughts. According to TFT practitioners, this approach can alleviate a variety of mental health conditions such as bipolar, addictions, depression, and anxiety.
Treatment is brief, lasting only fifteen minutes or so. Callahan purports that TFT can prevent some physical health problems, notably heart issues. Callahan has expanded his TFT therapy to include “Voice Technology,” a type of therapy that can be done over the phone using a proprietary and undisclosed technique. Callahan offers training sessions for this technique that cost $100,000.
Criticism and Controversy
There have been no double-blind or empirical scientific studies to validate TFT, and many psychologists argue that Callahan's technique constitutes a pseudoscience. Some psychologists have criticized him for his high training costs and costly seminars.