By combining contemporary biophysics and cardiovascular psychophysiology with cognitive and affective neuroscience, it is possible to create an integrative heart-focused psychotherapeutic technique for effectively treating stress related disorders, including grief.
Ongoing clinical as well as basic scientific research is investigating HAT (Heart Assisted Therapy).
HAT (Heart Assisted Therapy) is an integrative, humanistic, and mindfulness-enhancing approach to psychotherapy. HAT theory combines biophysics and cardiovascular psychophysiology with cognitive and affective neuroscience. The inventor of HAT, Dr. John Diepold, approached Dr. Schwartz because of his long-standing research background in cardiovascular psychophysiology, biophysics, and energy medicine. Dr. Schwartz’s doctoral dissertation from Harvard University was published in the journal Science in 1971 titled “Human cardiovascular integration and differentiation through feedback and reward.” At the University of Arizona, Dr. Schwartz directed a four-year, NIH-funded Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science, summarized for the public in his 2007 book The Energy Healing Experiments that includes a Foreword by Dr. Richard Carmona, the 47th Surgeon General of the United States.
Dr. Schwartz has assisted Dr. Diepold in documenting the clinical effectiveness of HAT in the real-world practice of HAT. The abstract below describes a peer-reviewed article that was recently published in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing.
There is a need for more effective clinical interventions to assist individuals in healing from lingering negative and traumatic experiences. Furthermore, healing from such experiences and coping with residual symptoms are conceptionally separate yet important outcomes in psychotherapy. This report describes a Phase I investigation that evaluates an innovative integrative psychotherapy technique that promotes healing in addition to providing a method of coping while treatment is in progress. 43 patients were treated by 2 separate psychologists using Heart Assisted Therapy (HAT) in their private practices. There was a total of 81 specific upsetting and/or traumatic life events treated. All patients completed a standardized form to rate their degree of distress before and after HAT for each life event. Follow-up data were also collected ranging from 3 months to over 18 months post-treatment. Data analysis revealed the average number of HAT sessions for a treated incident was 3 – 4. The mean distress level was 7.55 before HAT and 0.00 after HAT for an exploratory study (n=13; p < .0000001), and 8.31 before HAT and 0.02 after HAT for a confirmatory study (n = 30; p < .0000001). These improvements were replicated across therapists, gender, and veteran status. The combined findings suggest that the integrative Heart Assisted Therapy model has important practical as well as theoretical significance. Future Phase II and Phase III studies can be performed to confirm the large magnitude of the patients perceived clinical effects and evaluate potential moderating variables such as expectancy.
Read the full article here.
Research is being expanded to measure biophoton emissions from the heart during HAT and related cardiac and mindfulness energy healing modalities. Dr. Schwartz wrote the Foreword for Dr. Diepold’s 2018 book Heart Assisted Therapy: Integrating Heart Energy to Facilitate Emotional Health, Healing and Performance Enhancement.