Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program
Founder, Three Arms: Energy Balancing
“All matter is energy”
According to Harriette McDonough, Albert Einstein had it right. “All matter is energy,” she said. “All life, including our bodies, radiates invisible energy fields that affects and reflects every aspect of our well-being. When we feel at peace the fields are in balance. When we’re anxious, fearful or angry, our fields are out of balance. Energy psychology is the cutting edge paradigm with tools to balance these energy fields. It is the perfect complement to traditional psychotherapy; treating the whole person.”
There are three major systems that make up the human vibrational energy fields; the bio field, chakra and meridian systems. “The energetic vibration of every thought, word, deed, or action that you have ever done, or has ever been done to you, is in your bio field. When we talk about carrying around a trunkful of emotions, past experiences and triggers, that’s where they are sitting,” she said.
The chakra system, made up of seven spinning vortices “that are like tiny tornadoes of energy coming out of the body in different positions,” is the second system. The chakras govern different emotions, body parts, and tend to hold intergenerational issues. The final system, known as the meridian system, was created by the Chinese and is the system referred to in acupuncture. Meridians, named after body organs, are invisible energy pathways that run up and down the body.
“Stressful events create a shock or an energy block in the meridians. Acupuncturists place needles on the body to release theses blocks, I use energy psychology tools, like tapping on meridian points, to help release issues like obsessive negative thinking or limiting beliefs to restore emotional balance. It’s really ‘psychological acupuncture,’” explained Ms. McDonough.
Her professional mission is to be efficient, cause mindfulness and teach self-empowering energy psychology tools to her clients as quickly as possible. “My best success stories come from the clients who have taken all the traditional routes, but failed to feel emotionally better. They can name the issue and diagnosis but they can’t be talked out of a painful feeling. This is where energy psychology can help break the chain of emotional pain,” she said.
Ms. McDonough—a Diplomat of Comprehensive Energy Psychology from the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology, the authority in this field— is trained in approximately 12 different energy psychology techniques that operate in the three major energy fields. The method for balancing these systems is through vibration, sound and light. Other tools include: Emotional Freedom Technique, Psych-K, Acutonic Tuning Forks and Sound Therapy. Founder of the private practice Three Arms: Energy Balancing, she uses these energy psychology techniques to help clients restore balance, calm and well-being to their mind, body and spirit.
“I work with children, young adults and adults with a wide variety of issues that range from ADD and OCD to substance abuse and severe PTSD.” she said. “Clients in extreme stress need a wide range of assistance to treat the whole person.” Psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists often refer patients to work with Ms. McDonough for a couple of weeks on a specific issue like phobia, insomnia, panic attacks or limiting belief. “Energy psychology tools are taught to and practiced by clients to help them when it’s 3:00 a.m., they can’t sleep, and no one is around to help,” she said. Ms. McDonough teaches all of her clients meditation and mindfulness, and encourages the practice of yoga, qi gong, or tai chi to help maintain energy balance.
Before entering the energy psychology field, she spent 20 years working in New York advertising agencies. While she had been interested in and pursued energy techniques as a hobby since she was in college, it wasn’t until she was working as the northeast marketing director for the Aspen Education Group (AEG) in the late 1990s that her interest turned into something more.
AEG provides therapeutic programs for troubled adolescents and young adults. She traveled the country to check in on these programs. “I saw that they were experimenting with something that looked a little bit like energy psychology with limited success. I knew I could expand it to a whole new level to help these troubled adolescents.”
Ms. McDonough left Aspen and enrolled in the Adelphi University Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program. She knew it was going to be important to have solid clinical background. “I needed to help legitimize energy psychology because I knew in my heart that it was the missing piece from psychotherapy.” After receiving her M.S.W., she obtained various certifications from the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology and continues to train in innovative techniques from leading energy psychology trainers.
“In the 90s, AEG programs noticed kids coming to them with new, complex and alarming behaviors: autism, Asperger syndrome, obsessive disorders, conduct disorders and anxiety…these kids were hypersensitive to everything from food to room lighting.” Today, half of Ms. McDonough’s practice is with children. “I’m really driven to help these kids,” she said. “Fortunately, some child therapists or parents will refer a child to me for a session before starting medications, especially for school anxiety, night terrors, panic attacks. We will know in one session if this therapy is helpful.”
“Every energy psychology certification I get is all for the same mission. First, I set out to work with clients as efficiently as possible. Patients are not going to come in here and spend a year with me. They must be on board for this kind of therapy, a cooperative component to their own healing,” said Ms. McDonough. She diagnoses which energy field(s) are affected by the client’s issues and creates a treatment plan to match their goals.
Her second goal is to empower clients with organic tools. “If clients are serious about getting out of the cycle of emotional pain, they must practice the techniques I teach them between sessions.”
Lastly, she strives to instill unshakeable personal trust in their own inner guidance. “It’s about reconnecting clients with their own personal ‘center’. Sometimes clients will say, ‘well, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt peace in my center,’ and I’ll tell them, you have. Even if it was for a short time. You think it’s gone, but it’s just hidden. Just like when it’s cloudy outside, you don’t ever think ‘the sun is gone forever!’” she said.
“Energy psychology is the leading edge paradigm that complements psychotherapy in treating the ‘whole person,’” she said. “Even now, the idea of mindfulness is becoming a part of the psychotherapy lexicon. Ultimately, we all have the same goal… helping clients develop a deep, true, connection back to their authentic self, trusting their inner guidance and exercising their personal power.”
Published September 2013
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