Clean Language: Core Skills - Online

Join us for an exciting 8-week journey where you'll start from scratch and learn how to uncover the metaphors and patterns that are beneath the surface. Find out how to develop a person's metaphor landscape and to encourage the conditions needed for deep and lasting change. 

This course has been designed for English speakers from across the world. Whether you are super-busy, have commitments that prevent you from travelling, or simply live too far away - if you are fascinated by what Clean Language might offer, you can take our Clean Language: Core Skills course without leaving home. 

Join us to discover how to use Clean Language & Symbolic Modelling to coach people to achieve their desired outcomes. Clean Language is a simple set of questions for directing a person's attention to their own experience, their own language and in particular, the metaphors they use to describe their experience. Using Symbolic Modelling you can help someone to harness the information contained within their metaphors to guide them to the changes they need and want.

This training follows the structure of Marian Way's book, Clean Approaches for Coaches.

Who's it for?

This training is relevant to people from all walks of life including:

  • Coaches, counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists
  • Therapists and health workers
  • Managers and directors from all sectors - private, public and third
  • HR professionals, team leaders and mentors
  • NLP Practitioners 
  • Salespeople. mediators and negotiators
  • Students of modalities such as Motivational Interviewing, Appreciative Inquiry, Servant Leadership, Solution-Focus Coaching/Therapy or Non-Violent Communication
  • Teachers, parents, social workers, youth workers, family therapists and others who work with children
  • Interviewers and researchers - or anyone who uses questioning techniques in their work
  • Visual recorders / facilitators
  • Independent thinkers
  • Anyone who wants to improve their ability to communicate well
  • Anyone whose role involves helping other people to think
  • Leaders who prefer to empower people rather than telling them what to do
  • People who are future-oriented, outcome focussed and fascinated by what makes themselves and others tick
  • People who enjoy learning new tools and different ways of thinking

If you want to improve your ability to communicate well, if your role involves helping other people to think, if you prefer empower people rather than telling them what to do... this course is for you.

What will I gain?

  • The Clean Language questions and how to ask them for maximum impact
  • A way to help people feel understood and to gain new perspectives
  • Awareness of the assumptions you're making a split second after someone speaks - and how to keep them to yourself so you can work with clients’ actual experiences
  • The principles of Clean Language and how to apply them in many different contexts
  • How to uncover the structure of someone’s thinking by developing the metaphors they use to express themselves
  • How to identify and work with a client’s desired outcomes and encourage the conditions for change to emerge naturally within their ‘metaphor landscape’.
  • Strategies for where to direct your client’s attention at different stages of the facilitation process
  • A greater understanding of the role that language, especially metaphor, plays in our lives, and how you can utilise that to create deep sustainable change

You will also gain masses of personal development as you learn more about your own patterns and mental models.

What's involved?

This highly-interactive training course will be conducted over Zoom, allowing you to view slides and video online. There will be up to eight people in your group and within each 3.25-hour session there will be time for you to practice what you're learning in pairs or threes. The trainer will involve you in the discussions and you'll be able to ask questions at any point as we go along.

The training will follow the structure of Clean Approaches for Coaches by Marian Way. You'll be expected to read the relevant section in advance of each module.

Module 1:  Introduction

  • We’ll start with a "Clean Set Up". This involves using clean questions to find out what you would like the course to be like, how you’d like to be and what support and resources you need in order for the course to work really well for you.
  • Next, we’ll give you an overview of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling, by answering questions such as: What is Clean Language? What is Symbolic Modelling? How did these methodologies originate? Why use them? How are they used? What are the principles?
  • Then we’ll spend some time setting up some structures for learning how to facilitate using these tools, including how to give one another “Clean Feedback”.
  • Finally, you’ll practice the Clean Set Up and Clean Feedback models in a small group.

Module 2:   Listening and Language (1)

  • During this module we will focus on clean questions and how to ask them for maximum impact.
  • You will learn what it means to have a ‘clean intention’ for your questions and how to direct someone’s attention to a specific word or phrase they have used.
  • We will introduce the Clean Language ‘developing’ questions – those that are used most often in this work.
  • There’ll be interactive activities within the session as well as a small group practice session at the end.

Module 3:  Listening and Language (2)

  • During this session, you’ll get to know more of the questions and how they function.
  • You’ll learn how to vary the way you deliver the questions according to the context you are in.
  • We’ll walk you through how to ask clean questions to move from a feeling to a metaphor (e.g. joy is like a sun radiating out from my chest)
  • This is what you will practice in small groups towards the end of the session.

Module 4:  Metaphor

  • We’ll start by looking at what metaphor is and why it’s a good idea to work with the everyday metaphors people use naturally as they speak.
  • Next we’ll look at the metaphors that are less obvious, including visual metaphors and gestures.
  • You’ll learn the difference between a symbol, a metaphor and a metaphor landscape
  • You’ll have a second opportunity to practise ‘from a feeling to a metaphor’ – this time using the “target model” to help you to stay on track.

Module 5:   Working With Outcomes (1)

  • We’ll start by defining ‘desired outcome’ and considering why it’s a good idea to work with them.
  • We’ll introduce you to the P.R.O. (Problem, Remedy, Outcome) model and we’ll spend time helping you to differentiate between these three categories as well as what clean question to ask.
  • This week’s practice will be based on the P.R.O. model.

Module 6:  Working With Outcomes (2)

  • We’ll begin with a recap of the basic P.R.O. model and during the remaining time we’ll go into the nuances of the model in more depth, with plenty of examples.
  • This week, you’ll be putting together what you’ve learned about developing metaphors with what you now know about the P.R.O. model so you can begin to help someone to develop a metaphor for their desired outcome.

Module 7:   Relating

  • Space and time are basic universal metaphors that we all use – and this week, we’ll look at the language of space and the language of time and how the words someone uses can let us know how they are relating different aspects of their experience.
  • You’ll find out how to use clean questions to direct attention to these relationships, to elicit them and to develop them.
  • By now you’ll have built your skills sufficiently to be moving towards whole sessions, so we’ll look at the flow of a typical Symbolic Modelling session and how to move from each phase to the next.
  • In your practise session, you’ll develop two or three symbols and how they relate.

Module 8:   Change

  • In this last module we’ll revisit the principles of Symbolic Modelling and how to use these to create the conditions for change.
  • You’ll learn how to recognise that a change has occurred within someone’s metaphor landscape, and how to develop that change.
  • We’ll also look at how to identify what conditions are necessary for change within an individual metaphor landscape as well as how to end a session – including the tasks you might set someone to help them to expand on the ideas that have come up for them.
  • The instruction for this session will be based on a session Marian conducted with a client.

The models we introduce will build upon one another, so that by the time you reach module 8, all the skills you’ve learned will come into play.

The trainer will utilise demonstrations, clean games, practice sessions and group discussions to aid your learning and will encourage the use of the Clean Set Up and Clean Feedback models to personalise the training to match your individual training needs.

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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Contact us

If you are interested in Clean Language: Core Skills - Online, please contact us.