Meet the Team: Alison Blackler
Meet Alison Blackler! Alison heads up our ILM training programme and I caught up with her recently to find out a bit more about her background, her passions and her motivation for working cleanly.
Alison, what led you to be doing this work?
Continuous learning is very important to me and after I set up my business, I met Caitlin Walker and Shaun Hotchkiss. For my first experience, they invited me to a Northern Taste of Clean event and it was unbelievable - like a smorgasbord of magic. I was inspired and quite taken by Clean Language. I signed up the ILM course as a participant and I felt it supported my own development, improved how I work with people and it fits with the other things I do.
What were you doing before you met Caitlin?
I was running my business, 2minds, coaching and counselling using a combination of CBT and NLP. Before that I worked in the NHS for 24 years and specialised in working with people who had experienced domestic violence and then drugs and alcohol abuse. At the end of my time in the NHS, I was the lead for Safeguarding Adults for a local PCT.
During this time, I had completed a Practitioner and then a Master Practitioner course in NLP and this had given me the confidence to go out on my own.
And then what happened?
Once I had completed the ILM course, it became clear that my skills were opening huge doors for me. Having these skills changed my business focus – I was able to gain work with large corporate businesses, as well as SME’s, prisons and schools. I developed a unique leadership programme offering an experiential approach.
I was fortunate to become an apprentice to Caitlin; living nearby, I took any opportunities I could to be with her and work alongside her. This included learning Magical Spelling and supporting Caitlin teaching children in local schools and in teacher training. I also gained a role as an Associate coach with Genius Within. I have now been working there for 8 years and I was also one of their regional supervisors, supervising a group of 15 coaches for a few years.
Caitlin also became a good friend. We both love dogs and I was keen to spend time with her and to be part of the clean community. When I lost my horse, she introduced me to the idea of keeping hens and got me started with this. I now have 8 hens in my garden!
With the ILM, I started co-facilitating with Caitlin, and then took on the role of marking students’ assignments, which I have been doing since 2015. I have really enjoyed seeing people’s different interpretations of the questions, reading about their coaching journeys, providing feedback and encouraging them to complete their assignments.
In 2019, I co-facilitated for the first time with Cheryl Winter, with Caitlin and Marian as guest facilitators. I have now handed over the marking role and am leading the project.
You’ve also written a book, haven’t you?
Yes. It’s called A Path Travelled and I launched it at the start of lockdown in April. It is connected to my own personal journey. In my younger years, I wasn’t very confident, and I started to wonder if there was a different way. This is what led me to train in counselling, NLP and then clean. I hope to inspire the readers to be the best version of themselves. The book now has a little life of its own, having sold about 300 copies – and I’m busy creating an online programme to go with it.
What are your hopes for those who attend the ILM training?
I hope the course will challenge their own perceptions and dramas and give them new insights. I see it as a set of opportunities – learning new skills, meeting new people, finding common ground and learning about yourself. I hope people will come with an open mind, ready to be really curious and to develop their skills. And of course I hope it will open new doors for them, as it did for me.
You mentioned earlier that what you learned on the ILM course ‘fits’ with other things you do. What kind of ‘fits’ is that ‘fits’
NLP, CBT and Clean Language are all about how the mind works and how you respond in different situations. These approaches are all about working with the subconscious mind and Clean Language is a brilliant way to work as it keeps you out of other people’s ‘stuff’.
And that ‘fits’ is like what?
It fits like a jigsaw piece. Clean Language is a key component of the jigsaw that I didn’t know was missing. Now it is a massive part of the jigsaw.
About Marian Way
A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.
Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.
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