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How can health practitioners start their Clean Language learning journey?

Body work

I was having a session with my cranial osteopath yesterday and she asked, as we finished, whether I knew that Clean Language was coming into the Shiatzu world and told me that she was interested in it. (I asked where it was coming from and she mentioned Clifford Andrews, and it seems likely that Nick Pole's book Words that Touch may have been involved at some point too.)

This got me thinking about health practitioners and what kind of entry into the world of Clean might be best for them.

Obviously there is Symbolic Modelling - practitioners can learn to model symptoms with their client, enable their clients to learn to self-model and get to deep embodied healing. While it takes a long time to become really good at Symbolic Modelling, it can be applied almost from the start of the training and is an amazing addition to any body work system. You can  start learning Symbolic Modelling on our Clean Language: Core Skills course.

Then there could be Systemic Modelling where they can learn about switching between problems and outcomes, keeping their questions clean, spotting drama and using #DramaFree tools to move to outcomes with their clients. As with Symbolic Modelling, this also takes a long time to learn well and can be applied straight away. You can get started with Systemic Modelling by joining Clean for Teams.

Then in conversation with Marian this morning we realised that Clean Language Interviewing is probably the ideal introductory course for health practitioners. Practitioners would learn how to frame a starting conversation so that their client's attention is where they want it, how to build up information cleanly using adjacency, agility and clean questions as well as how to , and how to summarise information as it builds, so moving the client's attention to other important elements when they hear their own experience repeated back to them.

This training covers all the basic clean skills in a relatively easy, bitesize piece of training with a clear assessment of skills at the end. Join us in March 2022 to learn how to:

  • Form a clear intention for an interview
  • Frame the purpose and ask a suitable starting question
  • Ask classically clean or contextually clean questions to build up fresh information from the client's own embodied experience.
  • Summarise and choose directions for further inquiry
  • End the interview effectively
  • Review your interview and rate it for cleanness

I, along with James Lawley, Marian, Heather Cairns Lee, and many other researchers are working to clarify Clean Interviewing and to make it into an easily accessible tool for the wider community and I think bodywork, history taking and initial client consultations are ideal applications for this process. 


Related blog posts

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What is Clean Interviewing?

7th Sep 2017

By Jacqueline Ann Surin


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About Caitlin Walker

Caitlin Walker's avatar

Caitlin is a director of Clean Learning and the developer of Systemic Modelling™. She is the author of From Contempt to Curiosity, which details many of the innovative and transformational projects she’s led across our community from the most dispossessed to leading think tanks.

Caitlin graduated in Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies and completed four years post graduate research in ‘Strategies for Lexical access’ including fieldwork in Ghana. She began modelling teaching and learning while at SOAS, volunteering intermediary classes to translate information presented at lectures into different learning styles for the students. At the same time she was a youth worker in Kings Cross bringing these leading edge tools to groups of young people.

She went on to set up literacy clubs in King’s Cross, where children could come to learn to spell. From 1996 – 1999 Caitlin was an Education tutor with the Dalston Youth Project, a Home Office run experiment to offer accelerated learning to at-risk students, alongside mentoring, to keep them in school. She ran these sessions as NLP modelling workshops and achieved excellent results with the students. The project won a Crime Prevention and Community Safety award for Great Britain. In 1999 she was offered the opportunity to develop her work in a business context and she created the ground breaking metaphors@work process. These techniques are available on the Creative Management section of the Open University MBA program and on a 10 week modular course on Practical Thinking. She has co-designed and she co-delivers a Masters Level module in Coaching and Mentoring at Liverpool John Moores University.

She has since developed her modelling skills from small scale group development to whole scale organisational culture change programmes. She designs and delivers tailor made learning and development programs for addressing diversity, conflict, leadership, managing mergers and creating ‘learning organisations’.

Caitlin practices in a variety of contexts. Clients include: Jeyes Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Pharmacia, Hull City Council, South Yorkshire Police Service, Bexley Care Trust, New Information Paradigms, Work Directions UK, Crime Concern, BT, Police National Search Centre, Celerent Consultancy, Carbon Partners, Ealing LEA, and Working Links. She has trained a number of in-house trainers to carry on and develop the work without creating dependency on her expertise. She has systematically tested and developed her ideas in challenging arenas and her robust products have become sought after learning aids.


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