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Mission Statement

The Energetic Development Institute (EDI) is dedicated to raising awareness about our human capacity to grow and change in every stage of life from infancy through the elder years.    We are committed to offering integrated approaches that demonstrate the ways physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and environmental factors are interconnected in human/child development and our overall health.  

The goal of EDI is to inspire educators, health professionals, families and individuals of all ages and nationalities to learn natural ways to integrate inner and outer balance in every stage of life. 


What is the Energetic Development Institute?

Energetic Development Institute (EDI) is a multi-dimensional dba incorporation offering:

  • continuing education and certificates in energetic child/human development for health professionals and educators
  • individual and group therapy for children, families and individuals of all ages
  • programs and services for schools and elder settings
  • personal growth and coaching services for individuals of all ages
  • continuing education in eastern bodywork/shiatsu
  • continuing education and certificates in 5 Element approaches to communication, business, education, child development, and various therapeutic settings


Development of Energetic Development Institute

EDI evolved out of 25+ years of integrated studies and collaboration with a number of incorporations and institutes in the US and Germany.

The founding corporation, Shiatsu Massage Institute Inc. (SMI), was established in 1997 in St. Petersburg, Florida, by Bettye Jo Wray-Fears.  SMI worked in collaboration with the Shiatsu Institut and ACEKI Program from Germany with founders Karin Kalbantner-Wernicke and Dr. Thomas Wernicke to develop a Shiatsu program based on the eastern view of human development. 

From this collaboration a US/German partnership incorporation was created in Florida called Spiel Räume, Inc. (Room to Play), that was designed specifically to introduce a Five Element Child Development program from Germany into the USA.  Over the next 15 years the partners of Spiel Räume Inc. continued to study, discover and develop more integrated approaches to child and human development. 

The outcome was the need for a larger umbrella organization that could allow the many spokes of child/human development to be integrated and offered.  Energetic Development Institute answered this need and was created as a dba to SMI in 2012 in Florida and 2015 in Massachusetts as a foundation that allows the multiple energetic, psychological, physical, and spiritual dimensions of child/human development to be integrated and shared in therapeutic, educational, and home settings.  

We welcome you to our website. Please browse the various training's and venues we are currently offering and developing for the future. 


Our Team

Bettye Jo Wray-Fears

Bettye Jo Wray-Fears

Bettye Jo Wray-Fears is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts (8427) and Florida (MH11724) and a Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida (MA9418). 

Since starting her first therapeutic training in Japanese bodywork over 30 years ago, Bettye Jo has desired to understand how the connection between body, mind, emotions, and the spiritual nature of humans can be integrated to support balance in life.

Today, Bettye Jo is a psychotherapist, energetic bodywork practitioner, instructor, co-author of Children at Their Best, Using the Five Elements to Develop Children’s Full Potential, and owner/director of Shiatsu Massage Institute dba Energetic Development Institute.  

She has a part-time practice in Watertown, MA offering seminars and integrated therapy services to individuals, groups, parents, classrooms and teachers.    

Her energetic development approach is based on 25 years of collaboration with her co-authors and her background in:

  • MA degree in Psychology and Mental Health Counseling
  • Eastern bodywork and Western massage therapy training
  • Traditional Five Element training and practice
  • Eastern and Western Child development training
  • Grief and trauma training and the effects on child development
  • Buddhism, mindfulness,  and meditation practices and training
  • 20 years of Diamond Approach  – an approach that integrates modern psychology, attachment theory and ego development with mind-body centered practices, inquiry, meditation, and the exploration of spiritual development

Bettye Jo continues to develop more opportunities for the energetic development approach to develop and be shared internationally.

Julie Kaplan

Julie Kaplan

Julie M. Kaplan  

Julie is an internationally trained acupuncturist, Shiatsu practitioner and licensed massage therapist. She holds an MA in Oriental Medicine from the East West college of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, Florida. She trained at the Institute for Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine in Germany. In addition she received her BA from Eckhart College in St Petersburg, Florida.

Apart from her work in the USA, Julie trained in Japan and Germany in order to study, work and assist at courses and seminars about topics of Shiatsu and acupuncture.


Julie M. Kaplan

L. Ac, L.M.T.,   AP 1448 MA13924  



Grant Trewenack  is a Diamond Approach teacher, a certified Shiatsu  Program Instructor, an experienced mediator, facilitator and trainer.  

He has a wide-ranging professional background including:

  • Program Instructor for Samurai-Shiatsu for Children and Seniors: a safe, fun and effective touch and exercise series to build vitality, improve concentration & posture, manage stress and anxiety.
  • Diamond Approach teacher and long term student. The Diamond Approach is path of self-inquiry, discovery and realization. The practice incorporates traditional spiritual practices and wisdom with contemporary psychological understanding, including child development and attachment theory.
  • Mediation and facilitation services for:
    • individuals and groups to resolve disputes for Department of Justice (Australia)
    • restorative justice programs for youth and adults
    • families to ensure their children's safety and well-being as part of Child Protection services (Australia)
  • Management training: communications, change management, problem solving, leadership and team skills for private and public sector corporations.
  • Consultancy and training support for ecotourism and community-based enterprises throughout Australia and the Pacific Islands.



Our International Partners

Our partners are a vital support for the Energetic Development Institute, as we work to accomplish our vision to optimize the potential of infants, children, and adults of all ages and stages of their life in USA, Europe, Japan and Australia.  

Karin Kalbantner-Wernicke

Karin is a qualified Shiatsu teacher (GSD) and Physical Therapist  with additional training in Children’s physiotherapy (Vojta, Bobath), sensory processing and psychomotility.

Karin’s early exploration took her to Japan in the 1970s and ’80s, where she worked as a Physical Therapy teacher (at the Imai-Sensei clinic, Tokyo) while also training in Shiatsu in Tokyo.

In the 80s Karin returned home and founded the professional training institute ISOM (Institute for Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine) in Wiesbaden, one of the first educational institutions for Shiatsu in Germany.

Since the mid 1990s Karin has devoted herself to research that combines:

  • the western medical framework - that incorporates child development from a psychomotility perspective, with developmental physiology and child education therapy
  • with the Sino-Japanese philosophy and training. 

Based on these activities Karin and Thomas have developed the energetic development concept


Thomas Wernicke

Thomas' early studies included literature, linguistics and geography (graduating with a Master of Arts) eventually leading to an interest in human medicine and healing.

Thomas is a General Practitioner with additional training in natural healing methods, Chinese and Japanese acupuncture, chirotherapy, manual infant and child-treatment, classical homeopathy and psychosomatics.

Thomas predominantly treats children. His main interest lies with research work on Shōnishin, the needle-less Japanese child-acupuncture.

Following many years of field research studies in the ’70s and ’80s in Peru and the Philippines, Thomas and Karin founded the therapy center Therapeuticum Rhein-Main at the beginning of the ’90s.

Thomas is a member of the Japanese Science Society for Child-Acupuncture in Japan (Nihon Shoni Hari Gakkai) as well as training supervisor for Shōnishin.