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# Healing Major Depression Using “Clean Language “-A 29 Year Follow Up

In 1993, a thirty-three year old woman embarked on a significant journey to overcome her “Major Depression,” which led to a reflective interview nearly three decades later. The audio recordings provided below document this life-changing experience.

“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)” identifies eight depression types. This discussion focuses on treating the most prevalent form in the USA, known as “Major Depression” or “Clinical Depression.” Those affected often cannot pinpoint the cause of their despair. I contend that it typically stems from one or more childhood traumas, which are usually not actively recalled.

For over three decades, I’ve employed “Clean Language Therapy.” To gain a deeper insight into this method, consider exploring the following resource:

The Prozac Era:

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I encountered a wave of new clients suffering from major depression. These individuals had recently been prescribed the groundbreaking drug Prozac; however, none had started using this new drug. Interestingly, all of them were referrals from my previously depressed clients. None of them knew the root cause of their depression, and situational depression was ruled out.

Their family physicians attributed their condition to a “chemical imbalance.” In jest, I’d inquire whether they’d undergone a blood test to verify this imbalance. Their consistent response? “No!” To which I’d quip, “Your doctor must be clairvoyant.”

Finally, in 2022, after over fifty years, the myth of the “chemical imbalance” was decisively debunked:

Understand me – I am a believer in medications that work! I hope one day a magical pill will end debilitating emotions like major depression. Meanwhile . . . .

After over thirty years very little progress has been made by adding talk therapy (CBT) to a medication treatment. A recent ongoing international study has shown that adding psychotherapy treatment to antidepressant medication does not improve treatment outcomes in severely depressed patients.

In the 1990s over 50% of my sessions were over the telephone. I knew sometimes I missed auditory cues. I alway told my clients when I recorded my phone sessions for my training.

Mary’s Healing Journey:

In July 2022, I stumbled upon a 1993 cassette audio featuring Mary—a client who had battled major depression for over twenty-eight years. Mary was one of my first clients that was used “Clean Language” as an intervention. Mary’s successful “Clean Language” session transformed her emotional landscape in just one encounter. But how did it happen?

There are two different types of interventions that I use when doing a Clean Language” intervention:

1. I either have the client develop a metaphor of the emotion or I have them age regress to the original traumatic experience that caused the unwanted emotion. I then have the clients reimprint (add resources to) the original traumatic event that caused the emotion  by using the “Back To The Future” intervention. This is a modification of David Grove’s “Healing the Wounded Child Within”. If a client heals the first time they experienced this emotion,  this emotional state will never be re-experienced again with the same intensity. The client is usually under the age of eight when this event occurred.See the previous post:


2. The second type of “Clean Language” intervention is “Working with Metaphors”. This is the type of  intervention was used with Mary over 29 years ago, Metaphors are a container of information. We describe our experiences through metaphors. We did the following to make the successful intervention:

  1. Identify a metaphor
  2. Develop the metaphor
  3. Work with the metaphor
  4. Mature changes

This is the actual 8 minute audio recording with Mary in 1993, and it was one of the first times I had worked with “Clean Language Metaphors”. In this  audio session the emotion “depressed” is a cloud metaphor  in her head:

Below is an unrehearsed follow up telephone interview with Mary 29 years later. The interview was done in July 2022, and is 4 minutes long. Also note she also talks about healing her panic attacks in one session. Yes panic attacks can sometimes be cured in one session.

All emotional states have an origin. Sometimes depression and other debilitating emotional states can be permanently resolved, simply by using a different strategy other than what created the problem. Heal the memory or metaphor that created the emotion and it cannot be re-experienced  the same way ever again.

Given society’s over 70 year reliance on pharmacological solutions for depression and anxiety, it’s unlikely that non-pharmaceutical approaches, such as ‘Clean Language Therapy,’ will become mainstream in treating Clinical Depression.

One in 10 Americans aged 12 and over takes an antidepressant medication (over 40 million Armericans).


All of my postings that used “Clean Language” interventions have a “#” before the title. Available trainings and books on Clean Language:

A great introduction into “Clean Language” is:

YouTube has many videos on Clean Language.

“Panning for Your Client’s Gold: 12 Clean Language Processes by Gina Campbell.“ A very thorough and easy to understand book for therapists, coaches, and other helping professionals.

Both Sharon Small and Gina Campbell offer online Zoom classes on “Clean Language”.



Windy Sullivan & Paul Field in the UK also provide online classes:

Wendy Sullivan & Judy Rees’s book:”Clean Language” – Revealing Metaphors & Opening Minds

Penny Tompkins, James Lawley have the most comprehensive website on “Clean Language” on the worldwide web. They made David Grove famous in the coaching, consulting, and HR community:


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