Psych K: What Does the Science Say?

LR writes: “Psych K is something that finds a person’s negative self statement through muscle testing (if the arm stays up and strong when pushed down, they believe the positive statement, if the arm goes weak, the person believes the negative self statement. Through some movements the person “reprograms” the negative statement to a positive one”) Can you comment on this?”

Psych K is just another New Age-style self-help program.

According to The Psyche-K International website, this practice is a “simple and direct way to change self-limiting beliefs at the subconscious level of the mind . . .”

The aim of Psych K is “a kind of ‘gateway to higher consciousness,’ elevating thinking capacity to new levels of functionality and creativity. It is this higher state of consciousness that is needed in order to help solve the problems we face, personally and globally.”

The practical application of this wisdom in our personal and professional lives is said to bring about a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction on the mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical levels.

Invented by Robert M. Williams, who has a Masters Degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Colorado, he worked in the corporate world for the first 14 years of his career and then experienced a spiritual awakening that caused him to leave the business world and enter the field of psychotherapy.

As the website explains: “Finding the accepted counseling philosophy of the day lacking in spiritual essence and overall effectiveness he studied many non-standard modalities for change, both ancient and contemporary. Out of his studies came a series of intuitive insights that became the body of work called PSYCH-K.”

Aside from the more obvious red flags in the very New Agey description above, I was also concerned by the realization of what the letter “K” in Psyche-K stands for – kinesiology. While there really is a science-based study of the mechanics of motion known as kinesiology, what the “K” in Psyche stands for is the very unscientific form known as applied kinesiology – or muscle testing.

For those of you who do not know what muscle-testing is, this is an alternative therapy based on the notion that every organ dysfunction is accompanied by a specific muscle weakness, which enables diseases to be diagnosed through muscle-testing procedures. Proponents claim diseases can be evaluated through specific patterns of muscle weakness which they can heal by manipulating or unblocking alleged body energies along meridian pathways, or by infusing energy to produce healing in certain organs. Muscle testing has no scientific backing and is considered a pseudo-science.

Psych-K uses muscle testing in three ways: 1) to detect the presence of stress in the subconscious; 2) to identify subconscious truth, and; 3) as a convenient “yes/no” communication system.

Unfortunately, I found no indication that Psych K has been subjected to any kind of rigorous testing or peer review, which explains why there is no scientific evidence in support of it, or any of its claims.

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