A Clean Approach to Working with Physical Symptoms

Metaphor is the natural language of physical symptoms and the process of healing. When clients explore the inherent logic of their metaphors and the system of which they are a part, they discover ways to improve their well-being.

We will explain our guiding principles, and why ethical issues, intentions behind problems, and the ecology of relationships are fundamental. You will learn through demonstration and debriefs, guided facilitation, discussion and small group activities (with personal coaching).


The workshop will use Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling to:

  • Demonstrate how metaphor is an ideal way to work with physical symptoms.
  • Use the inherent logic of the client’s metaphors to tailor the work to the individual.
  • Reveal the client's relationship to their body, symptoms, illness, recovery and traditional medicine.
  • Discover what is problematic about symptoms.
  • Learn about the function of resource metaphors.
  • Consider incompatible intentions and the role of symptoms within the larger system.
  • Explore the role of Problems, Remedies and desired Outcomes in the healing process.

Check out these blog posts for some ways clean has been used to work with physical symptoms:

Who's it for?

This workshop is for people who have experience of using Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling (especially the Problem-Remedy-Outcome Model) by:

1) Having attended a training like our Clean Language: Core Skills course which covers the P.R.O. model. (There is an Online Core Skills workshop available 17-19 October & 14-16 November 2018 - just in time!)

or 

2) Having taken Penny and James’s Online Introduction to Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling Course. (If you sign up for the Physical Symptoms workshop we will send you a code which will give you 30% off this online course.)

 If you would like to discuss whether you have sufficient experience to attend, please contact Marian Way.

Frequently asked questions

What is Clean Language?

Clean Language is a simple set of questions developed by counselling psychologist David Grove. These questions are used with a person's own words to direct their attention to some aspect of their own experience. Asking these questions in the right context often results in an interesting new insight or the recognition of some new possibility. And if that new possibility is then questioned using Clean Language, the result can be quite profound. Clean questions invite people to consider their experience from different perspectives and they are often surprised by their own capacity to generate new, powerful and useful ideas about their own experience.

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What is Symbolic Modelling?

Symbolic Modelling was created by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley when they worked with and observed David Grove over several years, to discover what he was doing to achieve his phenomenal results. They combined David’s ideas with ideas from the fields of cognitive linguistics, systems thinking and NLP to produce a model which could be taught to others to enable them to achieve the same kinds of results as David.

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Upcoming events

A Clean Approach to Working with Physical Symptoms

17-18 November 2018 10.00am-5.00pm
Resource for London, London,
With James Lawley, Penny Tompkins

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