If you want to alleviate stress, reduce negative emotions, eliminate obsessive thinking, or help actualize your potential, you can use the following simplified steps of CLEAR. This method combines a number of energy psychology methods (EFT, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing) and is simple and effective. Before you actually do the process, I’d like to explain a bit about how we get blocked, what CLEAR is, and how it works.

What is CLEAR®?

CLEAR is a method for eliminating the negative beliefs resulting from our life history. These beliefs are formed from one or more past events that negatively influence behavior, thoughts and feelings. When we experience negative events, we don’t like what we feel or think, so we try to block out or avoid our painful memories. This process of avoidance actually insures that the event will get stuck in the body because it is never fully processed and cleared. What we resist persists. CLEAR is a method for releasing the stuck issue. It is also useful in relieving depression, anxiety and phobias, and it helps free individuals from blocks that impact their ability to move forward in life.

Example 1: One of my clients was depressed for twenty years every summer, following a rape in her home on a hot summer night. After six sessions using CLEAR, she was free of her depression.

Example 2: A client had a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his experience in the military (a classified situation). He was on medications for anxiety and insomnia. After one session, he went off all of his medications because he was no longer anxious and could sleep. He reported, “I had been treated with anti-psychotic medication and traditional talk therapy from the Veterans Administration Hospital for nearly one year for PTSD. During my session with Julie, I prepared to go back in time to the event in the military that was so painfully in the forefront of my memory. And I also experienced a memory from when I was a small child that I had forgotten when my father emotionally hurt me very badly. After that session, I began to taper off of the anti-psychotic medication and have been facing life and even sleeping without medications for eight months. I now enjoy being with my father and am finding myself making excuses to go visit him, when I used to make excuses to stay away.

Results are often this impressive and they are permanent unless the person is re-traumatized.

CLEAR integrates a number of energy psychology methods. It uses acupressure point therapy, bilateral stimulation, somatic experiencing, and clearing of blocking beliefs. I will explain each of these below.

There are fourteen acupressure points on the body that correspond to various emotions (Roberts, 2007, pp 56-57). With CLEAR, after determining with muscle testing which points to clear on a particular issue, light pressure is then applied to each point successively while putting one’s attention on the topic that is being addressed. (Some energy psychology methods tap on the points. I find light pressure is sufficient).

Bilateral stimulation (originated in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and systematically developed by Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) involves tapping alternately on right and left sides of the body while thinking of the issue being worked on. Sometimes the acupressure points alone are not enough to clear the trauma, and bilateral stimulation is necessary. The theory here is that the trauma is “frozen in time” and is energetically stuck on one side of the body or the other and alternatively tapping on the body while thinking of the issue frees it up (Bartson, 2008).

Somatic Experiencing, developed by Peter Levine (1999), is a practice I use with both the acupressure point technique and bilateral stimulation. Levine developed Somatic Experiencing after watching animals in the wild experience trauma. He noticed that animals, when they can’t fight or flee, go into immobility (which, he speculates, dulls the senses so they don’t feel the pain if they are eaten). And if something scares away the animal that put them into this state, and they are not badly injured, they will lie there, presumably processing the trauma as the body twitches and eyes roll. They then get up and walk away.

Levine surmised that because humans think, we avoid this processing. We don’t want to experience the feelings and sensations that usually accompany a trauma because they are unpleasant and they don’t feel good. We think, “I don’t want to feel that; I don’t like that feeling. It is unpleasant and I won’t be happy if I feel that. I want to get away from that feeling.” Our resistance to feeling is what gets trauma stuck because what we resist thinking about cannot be cleared and remains locked into our memories. Using somatic experiencing, we are present in the body and allow feelings and sensations to surface to our awareness so that the trauma can be reprocessed and thus be freed.

Beliefs define who we are—they define what we think, how we behave and the actions we take. Blocking Beliefs are thoughts that prevent us from being who we want to be. Blocking beliefs are created when we experience trauma. For instance, we make decisions about ourselves and life when bad things happen to us as children. For example, if I experienced unhappy, angry parents as a child, I might decide that “I am unworthy (of their love); I am a bad person (or I would have gotten their love).” And perhaps I believe that “something is wrong with me” (to explain why I am unlovable). If I was hurt emotionally or physically, I may decide “I am not safe in the world,” or “the world is not safe.” These beliefs, like the traumas, also get stuck in the system. Untreated, they will impact much of what occurs in life. For how can I truly realize my potential if I feel unworthy, bad, unsafe, and as if something is wrong with me? But CLEAR frees these beliefs so desires may be achieved.

The Steps for using CLEAR®

1. Write down blocking beliefs you think may be impacting the issue. For example, if you are doing this process on stress, the beliefs might be, “I am not safe in this economy. I am afraid I’ll lose my job. I have to work really hard to be safe. I don’t know what to do to keep my money safe.” Clear those beliefs by rubbing the sore spots while saying, “Even though I (say blocking beliefs here), I love and accept myself, honor and respect myself, I forgive myself for these things and I forgive anyone who impacted me in thinking these things, and I am present in my body.”

2. Think about the situation (i.e., your feeling of stress, or thoughts that you can’t be successful). Bring up any feelings you have and check-in regarding how your body feels (e.g., are you tense anywhere, do you have butterflies, feel nauseated, have pain anywhere?). Cross your arms over one another and while continuing to think about the feelings/situation alternately tap on your biceps with your hands—right, left, right left, continuing until you feel done. If crossing one arm over the other doesn’t feel comfortable or is too constricting, rest your left hand on your left leg and your right hand on your right leg and alternately tap on your thighs, tap right, tap left, tap right, tap left, until you feel done.

3. Go to the inner eye point and put your attention again on the issue. See what comes up, and put your attention on whatever thoughts, feelings or physical sensations arise. Stay with the thought, feeling, or sensation until you feel a shift. When you feel done with this point, go on to the next point.

4. Repeat step 3 for the under eye, outer eye, nose, chin, collar bone, rib, and underarm points.

5. If you still feel emotional about the issue after going through the points in step 4, finish the rest of the points and do step 3 on each of the following: the thumb, index finger, middle finger, little finger, side of hand and gamut point.

6. As a final step, go back to the inner eye point, and do the “healed version” of the issue. Put your attention on what it feels like to be relaxed and calm while thinking of the original problem. It may help to envision interacting with others, and feeling calm while in the presence of something that in the past might have caused stress.

NOTE: While you are doing the points, if thoughts occur that sound like blocking beliefs, clear those after each point using the sore points and the statement in step one.

Inner eye the thumb and ring finger are placed in the pit of the eye and then lightly squeeze the bridge of the nose while the middle finger is placed in the middle of forehead at the location of the third eye; trauma, frustration, fear, impatience, restlessness

Under eye directly under the iris on the edge of the bone—there is a little “divot” or dent there Anxiety, fear, deprivation, disgust, bitterness, disappointment

Outer eye on the bone on the outside corner of the eye, so that the finger is almost poking the eyeball on the bone on the outside corner of the eye, so that the finger is almost poking the eyeball rage, loss of power

Under nose put two fingers just under the nose above the upper lip powerlessness, embarrassment

Chin under the lip on the chin shame, defectiveness, undeserving

Collarbone directly below the point of the collar bones in the indentation indecision, anxiety, cowardice, wanting to punish

Rib in a straight line down from the nipple, under the breast on the rib anger, unhappiness, resentment

Underarm about 4 inches below the armpit, or where the bra strap would be for women future anxiety, worry

Thumb inner side of the thumb [when the thumb is facing you] the finger pressing on the point is pushing against the side of the nail grief, intolerance, scorn, prejudice

Index finger inner side of the index finger on the side of the nail forgiveness, guilt, unable to let negatives go

Middle finger inner side of the finger on the side of the nail jealousy, regret, sexual tension, stubbornness

Baby/little finger inner side of the finger on the of the nail anger (specific)

Side of hand where there is a crease if you make a fist vulnerable, sadness, sorrow

Gamut point on the hand in between the little finger tendon and the ring finger tendon depression, sadness, hopeless, muddled, grief, despair, loneliness, unhappiness

Sore spots on the chest above the pectoral muscles and below the collar-bone directly above the breasts used to clear blocking belief

Author's Bio: 

Julie Roberts lives in rural Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. She consults with groups and individuals to help them move into their full potential. She specializes in personal, and professional change so individuals and organizations overcome obstacles to productivity. She utilizes energy therapies, muscle testing, visualization, counseling, and Family Constellation work to help individuals clear the blocks in their life. She teaches graduate courses, and conducts workshops that improve leadership skills, teaches CLEAR®, and guides individuals through a healing change process. Women for Women International uses CLEAR® with its participants to help them deal with trauma resulting from conflict and abuse.