Clearing, Counseling, Psychotherapy, Coaching, and Psychiatry
Definitions, Differences, & Compatibilities
by Lawrence Noyes
What distinguishes Clearing from counseling, psychotherapy, coaching, and psychiatry? Let’s start by defining the terms in broad strokes:
Counseling is defined in its most simple form as professional advice about a problem. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.) Good counselors are also good listeners so clients may get therapeutic value from the combination. But the advising is the central characteristic of counseling.
Psychotherapy is difficult to define simply. This is from a professional website called Psych Central: It is probably safe to define psychotherapy as a process whereby psychological problems are treated through communication and relationship factors between an individual and a therapist. Many forms of psychotherapy exist. Moreover, many psychotherapists apply different approaches according to the situation. Some common examples are Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Hypnotherapy.
According to Wikipedia, Coaching is the practice of supporting an individual . . . through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result. Coaching is predominantly facilitating in style; that is to say that the coach mainly asks questions and challenges the coachee.
Coaching avoids going into the past. Coaches are forwardlooking. They support a client in clarifying and achieving measurable, practical goals.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Psychiatry as the medical study and treatment of mental illness. For treatment it often employs a combination of analysis, medication and psychotherapy.
Clearing is based on the finding that mental conflicts and unhappiness are the result of unfulfilled communications and limited communication ability. The Clearer guides a client through exact communication processes that release tension, give insight, and awaken the client to his or her true self. From this place, a client can manage life with more ability and authenticity.
The effectiveness of Clearing lies in the communication processes themselves rather than in analysis, advice, medication, standard psychotherapeutic approaches, or in guiding the client in achieving outward goals.
What sets Clearing apart is that it is based on processing. In our usage, ‘processing’ refers to a Clearer and a client completing Clearing Communication Cycles in a systematic way on a problem area that releases mental tension and restores freedom of action and peace of mind.
Clearers recognize that competent counseling, psychotherapy, coaching, and psychiatry are valid forms of help and that Clearing offers something unique through the power of its processing techniques. A Clearer is not a therapist, counselor, coach or psychiatrist because the credentialing of Clearers does not qualify them as such and none of those modalities is used as the basis for a Clearing session.
Counseling has a partial application to Clearing in that at times a Clearer might brainstorm with a client in Model Demo or in setting up an Action Project. A Clearer might validate a direction the client is leaning toward that makes good sense, or question one that doesn’t. But Clearing is not based in counseling, it is based in processing.
Clearing could, by default, be casually grouped into the category of psychotherapy on the grounds that it involves ‘communication and relationship factors.’ However, to my knowledge, and to the knowledge of my Clearing colleagues who are also credentialed psychotherapists, none of the psychotherapeutic approaches currently in wide use are based on processing as it is known in Clearing.
Coaching also has compatibility with Clearing. At times a Clearer also trained in coaching may employ coaching approaches to help a client achieve a personal or professional result outside of session. However, Clearing is not based on coaching fundamentals; it is based on processing.
Be aware that the terms discussed here have different shades of meaning in different countries and regions and their use regulated differently as well.