From the FAQ
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.
Once you have experienced Systemic Modelling as a participant (on our Clean For Teams workshop or equivalent) and are ready to learn how to run the process yourself, you can join this continuous learning programme, leading first to Level 0 and then to Level 1 Systemic Modelling certification.
A 2-day workshop of skills drills, practice, observation, feedback, assessment and practice again. Primarily for those going through the Systemic Modelling assessment but anyone who has completed Clean for Teams and is interested in high-quality feedback and unpacking of drama is welcome to attend.
Clean Language is a simple set of questions developed by counseling psychologist David Grove. These questions are used with a person's own words to direct their attention to some aspect of their own experience.
An evening of learning about how to create #DramaFree communities - whether you are a parent, a manager or a teacher you will leave with some exciting tools for change in your world.
Gain a personal experience of Systemic Modelling - a new way to learn about yourself and others in groups. Find out how to move away from contempt and towards curiosity and collaboration.
Our 1-day introduction to Clean Language provides you with the basic skills and ideas you need to get started.
6 days or 12 webinars: Learn a complete framework for motivating yourself and others to make deep and lasting changes. Learn how to uncover metaphors and patterns that are beneath the surface.
Are you a coach, a manager or working towards being one? Join us for our ILM Level 5 Certificate in Effective Coaching and Mentoring. Learn foundational Clean coaching methodologies, and other robust coaching tools, to inspire capability in others and coach them for success.
Learn at your own pace to become a skilled and certified Clean Facilitator.
Clean Coaching allows you to clarify your thinking on any issue, large or small.
From the blog
In our trainings we often talk about encouraging clients to physicalise their metaphors - sometimes during a session and sometimes between sessions. 'Physicalising' means taking a metaphor and embodying it, making it 'real' - or as real as possible...
One of our students, Sharon Goldie, joined our Clean Language: Core Skills training for a second time after a three-year gap - and we wondered what she had been up to in between – how had she been using her Clean Language skills?
Meet Cheryl Winter! Cheryl has been using Clean Language in her work for many years and will be delivering this year's ILM training in Yorkshire. Cheryl was instrumental in setting up our ILM programme ins 2010 and in this post you can read all about her journey from trainer to coach - and back.
can you use Clean Language to help a business client to clarify what they want
and to determine whether what you have to offer is a good fit for them? Jacqueline
Surin explores how Clean Scoping works for her.
When Marian Way ran a session with the Sydney online practice group she used the question "What would you like to have happen? to ascertain participants' needs and then created an agenda to meet those needs. Here's how...
What is Clean Interviewing and how does it differ from
Clean Coaching? These are two questions Jacqueline Surin had in mind when she
attended a workshop at the recent Northern Taste of Clean.
5 reasons to read Nick Pole’s new book about Clean Language and body work: Words That Touch: How to Ask Questions Your Body Can Answer
do you do when coaching clients ask you for advice, feedback or ideas? Jacqueline Ann Surin describes two clean
approaches for helping clients to trust the knowledge within.
Jacqueline Ann Surin explores how she uses the Clean Set Up
process to prepare for coaching sessions with clients – and how this improves
This is a question that is often asked during
trainings such as Clean Language: Core Skills or Systemic Modelling. Participants become very enthusiastic about the
skills they are learning and begin to think about putting them into practice –
and then they hit a problem: “I don’t know how to describe this in such a way
that people will understand what I am talking about.”
Rachel Gilmore has so far attended eight days of
training with us – Clean for Teams plus a couple of modules of our Systemic Modelling Programme – and she is already using clean with several of her clients. When she told us she was already getting better results than with her existing methods, we were intrigued, so Marian interviewed her to
find out more…
Have you ever had a situation where you asked a client a question, and their answer was “I don’t know”? Find out how Jacqueline Surin coped with this in two different coaching sessions.
Some ways you can meet and practice with others who are interested in Clean Language.
Nick Simmonds recently attended a Systemic Modelling Level 1 workshop. Read his TripAdvisor style review on the course.
In a recent Clean Language: Core skills training event, Marian Way told us we needed to do our 'due diligence' to improve in Clean Language. 'Due diligence' is a term often used by David Grove which meant: do lots of practice, get feedback and learn from it.
I travelled from Malaysia to the UK for Adventures in Clean for three reasons. First of all, I am constantly looking out for opportunities to deepen my skills and to become a better Clean Language coach. Secondly, when I came to Northern Taste of Clean last year, several friends who had been on the 2015 Adventures told me about the powerful insights and life-changing moments they had had. I wanted that kind of experience, too. And my third reason was that it was an opportunity to work with all five Clean Language experts in one place.
Read about Dolly's Personal Journey weekend with Sue Charman and Marian Way at Sue’s lovely home in Devon.
At the March 2016 South-West Online Practice Group, we decided to practise “One Minute Motivation”. We were aware of this as a simple and efficient Clean Language tool for helping someone to get motivated to take action...
During her recent trip to Malaysia, Caitlin was interviewed by BFM radio about Clean Language and how it can be used to avoid misunderstandings and promote clarity in teams and businesses.
This great video was created by my friend Bev Martin, who hosts our trainings in Portland, Oregon. Bev recently interviewed one of last year's Clean Language: Core Skills participants, Susan Liesemer. Susan is a therapist and healer who uses massage, NLP and hypnotherapy - and now Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling - to work with her clients.
Within Teacher Education, a key issue is helping students to understand how to reflect, what to reflect on and when to engage in the process that leads to high quality reflection and learning. Systemic Modelling and clean questions are tools that give student teachers the ‘how’ of reflection. Find out how they were used to improve results at Liverpool John Moores University.
A couple of words often used in association with Clean Language are ‘curiosity’ and ‘neutrality’. A Clean Language coach is accepting of everything a client says, not favouring one piece of information over another, but remaining neutral - like an impartial observer.
Clean Language was developed by David Grove in order to help people to access more information about their own experience, rather than be influenced by a therapist’s ideas. He did not want to lead his clients. Of course, there are many more contexts where it's important not to lead someone...
How can you use Clean Language to help children to appreciate poetry and to write their own poems? This was the question Assistant Headteacher Amanda Maney asked herself when she first came across Clean Language. Read about what happened...
When I first heard about Adventures in Clean way back in January I had an urge to attend. I have a number of health issues and done a lot of work on them but it had become very hard and I had lost inspiration. Then, about a month before the weekend, someone had posted a link to an article of Penny and James’s about metaphors for healing on Facebook. I remember reading it and thinking, “I really want one of those. I want an all-encompassing metaphor, that’s not just about what’s happening now.”
Happy New Year! Today’s the day for New Year’s Resolutions and there’s no shortage of internet advice on how to make them, what they should be and how to keep them – but does anyone actually make New Year Resolutions these days?
"I love this exercise because it really stretches your brain and I love using my imagination because it's my world. I want to do this again!" This is what one child wrote after experiencing the "5 senses" exercise, which uses clean questions to help people to learn about themselves and each other. Read on to learn more about our new primary school project...
I live in the middle of the countryside in Devon. As yet, there is not a huge Clean Language presence in Devon, so I was discussing with Marian Way how to hone my skills alone.
A simple meditation involves being comfortably seated in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Closing your eyes, or concentrating on a flame, and allowing your eyes to focus softly and inwardly, bring a kind and gentle awareness to each area of your body to relax it.
From Recommended Reading
Resolving Traumatic Memories: Metaphors and Symbols in Psychotherapy*
David J. Grove & B.I. Panzer
Although David was a prolific innovator and produced a number of recordings and workbooks, this is his only full-length book on the subject of Clean Language. In it, he and Basil Panzer talk about its origins and its original use in psychotherapy for trauma patients. It includes a number of case studies which are reported verbatim. It is well worth a read.
Learning Journeys CD-ROM*
This Learning Journeys DVD was created in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University in a series of Clean Modelling sessions with successes in the field of Sports Development.
Caitlin Walker demonstrates using Clean Questions to uncover their models for:
- Working at your Best
- Managing Time
- Decision Making
- Inspiration and Motivation
- Overcoming Setbacks.This unique training tool is inspirational and a great opportunity to observe Clean Questions in a real interview context.