Elizabeth R. Clearwater, M.Ed., is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, a National Board Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She has been a practicing psychotherapist since 1986 and opened her coaching practice in 2004. Elizabeth has facilitated Ceremonial Song Circles and Intensives for the past 20 years.
Elizabeth approaches her work, whether coaching or counseling, as a collaborative relationship designed to assist those she works with deepen their connection with themselves, recognize their worth, identify their strengths and take the necessary steps to create happier, healthier lives filled with meaning and purpose.
I have been a practicing psychotherapist for 24 years. Before that I taught many and varied courses and age groups – from elementary school to university. I even became a certified yoga teacher. Teaching is a thread that has run through my work from the beginning. I have a desire to disseminate useful information to others, to teach.
I went into the counseling field mostly because I had a great experience leading a consciousness awareness group for one of the professors in the psychology department of my university. I was two years into a master’s degree in computer science when I facilitated the group and decided it was time for me to work with people again, rather than machines. I changed my major and went on to earn a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development.
During the last year of my graduate work I was awarded a scholarship designed to help Native Americans become psychotherapists. This was a great honor and a great gift. In order to show my appreciation I went to work as a drug and alcohol / school counselor on both the Hopi (AZ) and Zuni (NM) Indian Reservations. Both tribes were generous with their help and their friendship. I treasure the friendships and the memories from this time in my life.
I also several years working with inner city students in Boston. I ran a GED program for high school drop outs from the projects. Another learning experience – for me.
I have been in private practice since 1992.
I love listening to individuals speak of their life experience. I am endlessly fascinated by the people I work with and the challenges they face. No two life stories are alike. Never have I heard the same story twice. Each of us experiences our lives in a unique way. The variables are endless – as are our moods, perceptions and decisions.
On my first day of counseling classes one of the professors asked us to answer the question “Why do people change?” When I sat down to write I was surprised to find that I thought people changed because they were in pain of some kind – physical, mental or emotional pain. That was a long time ago. I now believe that people have an innate need to grow and change, to become their best selves and to express their unique gifts and talents.
I became interested in Brief or Solution Focused Therapy through my study of hypnosis. Many of the prominent figures in the field of hypnosis were also writing about Brief or Solution Focused Therapy as a result of the work of Milton Erickson, who is considered the father of therapeutic hypnosis. I liked the idea of moving quickly toward new behaviors, thoughts and feelings and not spending a lot of time focusing on pathology or its origin. Really, if we want something to be different, we have to change and try new things, no matter what the label or the diagnosis.
From Brief Therapy to Coaching was a short ideological jump for me. I began to follow the work of Cheryl Richardson which I found highly practical. I hosted four years of Life Makeover Groups and attended many of Cheryl’s workshops. I decided to add coaching to my work and after graduating from Coach U became a Professionally Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation.
I have been coaching since 2004. I enjoy the collaborative nature of the coaching relationship.
My greatest hope for my clients is that they come into their own in a deeply satisfying way. I hope that they feel inspired and supported in initiating and bringing into being the changes that they seek in their lives. I feel honored to be a part of their process.
Elizabeth R. Clearwater, M.Ed., PCC
Clearwater Coaching & Counseling, LLC
505 / 820-2281 voice