Research Results


The Impact of the Clear Beliefs Methodology


Results as of November 2022

Rebecca Simmons, Ed.D.
Lion Goodman, PCC

“…The general consensus is that personality is shaped by early life experiences and tends to stay stable over time.” ~ Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. [1]

“… Across all the studies that have been done on this topic over the last several years, it’s clear that most people want to change an aspect of their personality, if left unattended, those goals aren’t achieved.  ~ Erica Baransky [2]

“… Two of the five traits showed significant improvements. Openness increased at the 0.05 level and Neuroticism decreased at the 0.001 level. A third category, Conscientiousness, approached significant improvement at the 0.05 level with a p-value of 0.054.” ~ CBCT Impact Study, May 2022

Ten (50%) of the twenty questions [about impacts of trauma] showed a statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test at the p =.05 level or less, indicating a reduction in symptom frequency from the beginning of the course to the end of the course.


We conducted research on the impact of the Clear Beliefs Coach Training (CBCT) as an intervention in three areas: personality change, belief transformation, and resolution of trauma.We wanted to determine to what extent, if any, the Clear Beliefs Coach Training impacted students’ personality characteristics, their negative beliefs about themselves, others, and the world, and the impact of adverse childhood experiences and traumas from the past.

The training is a 24-week course in trauma-informed therapeutic coaching, including extensive education on developmental psychology and psychological healing. Twelve different methodologies are taught for resolving childhood wounds, shifting mental models, and healing the mind from traumatic events from the past.  The course includes extensive reading, weekly live online classes, quizzes and exams, video lectures and demonstrations, experiential interaction, feedback, and personal support and guidance. Students attend mandatory practice sessions three times per week in small groups of two to four students, some of which are supervised by Mentor Coaches. During these practice sessions, students take the role of coach, client, or observer on a rotating basis. After each practice session, students evaluate in writing their own and their colleagues’ performance. The practice session results and recordings are regularly assessed by staff coaches using a standard rubric that defines competencies for each element of the course.

This intensive student practicum is designed to provide students with inner development and growth, learning, and demonstration of specific competencies, which they will use to coach others in their profession. They gain significant experience and expertise in the Clear Beliefs Method, as developed by Lion Goodman, PCC over the past twenty years.

When students take the role of client in practice sessions, they receive direct help and support with their current life, work and relationship issues. When they take the role of observer, they develop observational and assessment skills, measuring the coach against the established rubric of competencies. When they take the role of coach, they practice the specific skills and processes taught during the course.

We collected pre- and post-test data using the Big Five Personality test and the Beliefs Assessment during the Fall 2021 class. The class size was 27.

The Big Five Personality Test

This validated psychometric test assesses five key personality traits: 1) Openness, 2) Conscientiousness, 3) Extraversion, 4) Agreeableness, and 5) Neuroticism. A higher score in the first 4 traits and a lower score in Neuroticism indicate a person’s ability to be happy with their own life, more open, energized, spontaneous, goal-directed, self-confident, and resilient, and having the ability to establish and maintain better relationships. [3]

Paired sample t-tests were performed on each of the five traits. Two of the five traits showed significant improvements.  Openness increased at the 0.05 level and Neuroticism decreased at the 0.001 level. A third category, Conscientiousness, approached significant improvement at the 0.05 level with a p-value of 0.054.

Of particular interest is the strong decrease in the score on Neuroticism (p=0.00001). Since this trait at higher levels indicates higher stress levels and higher hypervigilance as compared to medium and lower levels of Neuroticism, such a strong preliminary result invites further in-depth exploration.  Lower levels of Neuroticism indicate lower stress levels, lower vigilance, better friendships, and less reactivity.

The Clear Beliefs Coach Training is focused on freeing individuals from negative and limiting beliefs (paradigms, scripts, narratives, frames) and the clearing and resolving of early childhood traumas. These preliminary results align with the intention of the training.

The Beliefs Assessment

In the Beliefs Assessment, 87 negative belief statements were presented; for example, “I’m unlovable;” “I need to please others;” and “I’m not good enough.” Students were asked to rate each item in terms of how often they experienced the belief.  The rating scale was a five-point scale ranging from Always to Never.

The preliminary results were striking. Paired sample t-tests were conducted. Out of the 87 belief statements, 54 (62%) showed a significant decrease from pre- to posttest at the p<=0.05 level. Within these 54 statements, 33 (38%) were also significant at the 0.01 level, and 12 (14%) showed significance at the 0.001 level.

For the Spring 2022 class, we again collected pre- and post-test data for the Big Five Personality Test and the Beliefs Assessment. In addition, we administered the Traumatic Experience Assessment.

Traumatic Experience Assessment

This test is an open-source trauma assessment from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, called the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) with Criterion A. The test is validated for the DCM-5 (the most recent version). The test asks responders to describe their worst experience and then rate on a 5-point scale (from 0=Not-at-All to 4=Extremely) the extent to which a series of common problems related to trauma has bothered them in the past month. Students do not have to answer questions that feel too uncomfortable to them due to the sensitive nature of the information.

Twenty-one students took the pre-test for the Spring 2022 class. Nineteen students described an incident or multiple incidents, ranging from very general descriptions, e.g., “childhood” to very specific and detailed descriptions. One student left the incident field blank but answered the other questions about it. One student wrote they’d never experienced an incident like the examples given in the introduction to the assessment. Students described incidents that had occurred from 2 years previously to 57 years previously.

Thirteen students took the posttest at the end of the Spring 2022 course. The student who reported in the pre-test that they’d never experienced a “worst experience” like the examples given in the assessment introduction, repeated that statement in the posttest. As in the pre-test, they answered no further questions in the assessment. Therefore, this student was not included in pre-post analyses. This resulted in a final sample size of twelve.

Twenty questions asked students to rate how much in the past month they were bothered by effects of the worst incident they described at the beginning of the assessment. These twenty questions asked about frequency of symptoms typically associated with trauma, for example, “Avoiding memories, thoughts, or feelings related to the stressful experience,” “Feeling very upset when something reminded you of the stressful experience;” and “Blaming yourself or someone else for the stressful experience or what happened after it.”

Students responded using the following scale:


Paired Sample T-Tests were performed to determine statistically significant differences between pre- and post-test responses.

Ten (50%) of the twenty questions showed a statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test at the p =.05 level or less, indicating a reduction in symptom frequency from the beginning of the course to the end of the course.

Of particular interest was a reduction in symptom frequency at p =.00003 for the question, “How much in the past month were you bothered by having strong negative beliefs about yourself, other people, or the world (e.g., thoughts such as I am bad, there is something seriously wrong with me, no one can be trusted, the world is completely dangerous, etc.)?”

In addition, also of key interest, with a p-value of .001, was the reduction in symptom frequency to the question, “How much in the past month were you bothered by feeling distant or cut off from other people?”


[1] Can You Change Your Personality? Psychology Today, September 7, 2015, Romeo Vitelli PhD,

[2] Want to Change Your Personality? It May Not Be Easy to Do Alone, Science Daily, January 30, 2020, Erica Baranski, University of Arizona Psychology Researcher

[3] McCrae, R., & Costa, P. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of personality and social psychology, 52 1, 81-90.



Rebecca Simmons, Ed.D., is a graduate of the Clear Beliefs Coach Training. She received her doctorate and research training from Harvard University in the area of Human Development and Psychology. In addition to her teaching and research in the U.S., she has consulted to other countries in teaching pedagogy, methods, and educational technology, including Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sri Lanka, China, South Africa and Canada.  She has dedicated her 30+ year career to enhancing student and teacher growth and empowerment. She loves learning and is currently completing her Professional Certificate in Google Data Analytics.

Lion Goodman, PCC is the founder of the Clear Beliefs Institute, and the creator of the Clear Beliefs Method of trauma-informed therapeutic coaching. More than 550 coaches around the world have graduated from The Clear Beliefs Coach Training (, accredited by the ICF for 40 hours of CCE Credits and approved by the Association for Coaching in their CPD Schema. Prior to his 20-year coaching career, Lion worked with hundreds of senior executives as an executive search consultant. He is the author of Creating On Purpose and 5 ebooks including How to Clear Your Clients’ Limiting Beliefs. He lives in Sonoma County, California, and he is profoundly grateful for the privilege he has of teaching and working with amazing and awesome coaches in more than 40 countries around the world.