Heart Assisted Therapy® (HAT®) is a unified mind-body-energy approach to psychotherapy that incorporates the use of heart influence, thinking, emotion, sensation, intention, mindfulness, respiration, and a stabilizing breathing treatment while overlapping hands are placed over the heart (“heart breaths”). HAT is a mindful, treatment focused psychotherapy model that uses “Awareness Streaming” in concert with the body’s electro-physiology and respiration to facilitate healing and stabilizing shifts in emotion, sensation, cognition, and behavior. HAT is a hybrid of traditional psychotherapy with learning from energy psychology approaches.
HAT is designed to complement a clinician’s existing skills and orientation as a psychotherapist. It is a gentle, self-nurturing, humanistic approach that is easy to engage. The HAT protocol is designed to maximize therapeutic skills in listening, observing, and planning while integrating procedures that enable the opportunity for the individual to be validated, and to heal, shift emotions and thinking, adapt, and move forward in life.
HAT has been used to successfully treat a wide variety of psychological conditions including trauma/PTSD, anxiety/phobia, depression, loss/grieving, self-perception and self-regulation issues, anger/stress management, and pain management. Use with sport and performance enhancement has also been beneficial.
Heart Assisted Therapy is the original work of psychologist John H. Diepold, Jr., Ph.D. The HAT model evolved from over 30 years of learning and experience as a psychologist in clinical practice. The first 15 years involved learning and use of the more traditional psychotherapy approaches (e.g., psychoanalytic, Roger’s client-centered, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, Ericksonian hypnosis) and the last 15+ years studying and integrating use of recent innovative and intriguing approaches (e.g., EMDR, Thought Field Therapy, HeartMath, mindfulness, somatic approaches, and various meridian and chakra assisted methods).
The original model of HAT first presented in 2006 by Dr. Diepold was more in keeping with the protocol used in the meridian assisted psychotherapy approach known as Evolving Thought Field Therapy (Diepold, Britt, and Bender, 2004). The difference was that meridian alarm and treatment points were no longer used and the heart became the focal treatment area. However, as clinical use continued, in 2009 a more fluid and encompassing model of HAT evolved that melded the traditional and innovative models of psychotherapy and blended nicely with any orientation in psychotherapy. Thus HAT for the traditional psychotherapy practice became available. It is this second model of HAT that uses “Awareness Streaming”, and is the model that Dr. Diepold uses exclusively in clinical practice, workshop teaching, and research.
The HAT model constitutes a versatile and comprehensive psychological treatment methodology that is easy to use, blends comfortably with traditional and innovative forms and orientations in psychotherapy, and can be used to address a wide variety of life issues.
 Diepold, J. H. Jr., Britt, V., and Bender, S. S. (2004). Evolving Thought Field Therapy: The Clinician’s Handbook of Diagnoses, Treatment, and Theory. W W Norton, NY, NY.