The Effects of Access Bars on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress inPolice Officers

doi 10.9769/EPJ.2023.15.2.TH

Terrie Hope, Houston, Texas, USA

Hope, T. (2023). The effects of Access Bars on depression, anxiety, and stress in police officers: A case series. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 15(2), 33–42.


Police officers in the United Kingdom (UK) have clinical levels of anxiety and depression and comorbid presentations of major depression and anxiety, at rates significantly higher than reported in the general population. Risk of stress is significant and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among police officers is now at a crisis level in the UK, affecting one in five officers. Complex PTSD (the result of chronic exposure to trauma) affects 12% of the working police population, resulting in a diminishing number of working officers. Access Bars, a noninvasive energy technique was evaluated for its effects on depression, anxiety, stress, and PTSD, presented either singularly or in a comorbid state using subjective self-report measures.


This case series included participants (n = 4) aged between 36 and 52 years who were police officers referred for treatment with a clinical diagnosis of one or more of depression, anxiety, stress, or PTSD. All participants had been previously treated with standardized methods and continued to present with mild to severe symptoms. Treatments were provided by a licensed Access Bars Facilitator at a naturopathic clinic in Hampshire, UK. The primary measure was the standardized self-report method, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale–21 (DASS-21), with the addition of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) to evaluate PTSD in one participant. All were evaluated prior to receiving seven 60-minute sessions over seven weeks, with post evaluations upon completion of the last session.


All methods of evaluation showed a decrease in scores for all post measurements. DASS-21 depression scores had the highest pre scores, with 75% in the extremely severe category. Mean scores declined from 31 to 7.5 (75%, p = 0.02). Mean anxiety scores decreased from 20 to 12 (59%, p = 0.007) and mean stress scores declined from 24 to 8.5 (64%, p = 0.002). A secondary classification of a single participant classified as “acute needs” (AN; n = 1) had additional psychometric evaluations using BAI and PCL-5. BAI scores decreased from 26 to 16 (38%, p = 0.001) and PCL-5 scores declined from 38 to 18 (20 points or 51%, p < 0.001). An 18-point decrease for PCL-5 is considered a clinically significant change.


Treatment with Access Bars showed a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, and stress in police officers where significant symptoms remained after standardized treatments. Simultaneous improvement was demonstrated in comorbid anxiety, depression, and stress. These results suggest that Access Bars shows promise as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress and may contribute to clinical improvement in PTSD.


Access Bars, depression, anxiety, stress, police officers, PTSD, trauma


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