1. Home
  2. Courses
  3. Use clean with individuals

Clean Space

Take 2 days (or 3 x 4 hours online) to learn a simple yet powerful coaching process. Discover how different spaces can provoke different kinds of thinking and creativity and how ‘space’ can become your co-facilitator.

We talk about ‘looking at a problem from different angles’. We speak of ‘coming at life from a whole new direction’. We insist, ‘Well, that’s how it looks from where I’m standing!’ Yet if questioned on our choice of phrase, we would likely shrug: ‘It’s just a manner of speaking.’

Clinical psychologist and therapist David Grove wondered what might happen if we were to take phrases like these literally - and physically. What if we were to physically move in three-dimensional space to gain an actual new perspective? Might we learn new information about ourselves and the world we create around us?

David experimented over several years with these ideas, which involved going to sea on a merchant ship for several weeks, learning to fly and facilitating countless sessions with groups and individuals - all to find out more about space and our place in it. Along the way, the new disciplines of self-organisation, networks and emergence revealed previously unobserved patterns in the process of creativity and problem-solving using space.

All this work culminated in the process we now know as Clean Space.

And now you can learn this extraordinary - yet exquisitely simple - form of clean facilitation to encourage the conditions for creative emergence in individuals.

Who is it for?

  • Coaches, therapists, managers and anyone who wants to help others to think more creatively

  • Leaders who prefer to empower people rather than telling them what to do

  • Students of Clean Language and other clean approaches

  • People who need to generate new and creative ideas for problem solving

  • Anyone who enjoys learning new tools and different ways of thinking

What’s involved?

The workshop starts with the basic Clean Space process and how to adapt it to each individual. After a brief overview of David Grove’s work in relation to space, we’ll be straight into learning by doing, by moving. We’ll demonstrate the Clean Space process and show you how to facilitate it yourself. Then you’ll do it… and do it…, getting feedback as you go. We’ll provide coaching in the moment and explore the learnings in the group. You’ll leave with the skills and knowledge you need to start running individual Clean Space sessions with your own clients as well as how to design new Clean Space processes for different contexts.

During this workshop, you will:

  • Discover how to use space as your co-facilitator

  • Gain new insights into your own world using the Clean Space system

  • Facilitate deepening knowledge and make transformative changes

  • Help someone to emerge their inherent creativity with a minimum of interference from you

  • Learn to accept and even welcome the concept of ‘not-knowing’ - and not needing to know

It is our imagination and creativity which will open the doors to progress. In the search for [greater] understanding ... we need tools that have not been part of our standard education and experience, tools that will open up the territory of our mind.

Joyce Wycott, author of “Mindmapping - Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem Solving

The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out. Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.

Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of Visa

Additional Information

James and Marian’s book, Insights in Space, is required reading for this course.

Frequently asked questions

What is Clean Space?

Clean Space is a facilitation process that emerged out of David Grove's continued search for a way to facilitate clients effectively and efficiently to do the personal work they need to do with the least possible interference from a facilitator. 

In a Clean Space session, the facilitator invites the client to find different physical spaces (usually in a room, although it can be anywhere) to represent different aspects of their thinking. The client moves from space to space, pausing in each one to consider what they know there. In this way, they build up a network of connections between the many thoughts, feelings and ideas in their mind and body.

More detail


The Clean Space training provided two things to me. In terms of an important topic, a new, profound and completely unexpected understanding and thereby a simple clever solution to my problem. And in terms of the knowledge of the Clean Space methodology, a deepened, wider understanding and a personal experience of a one person and a group process.

Frank Tenge-Derichsweiler

This workshop taught me how important space - and height - are for getting new perspectives on problems, and how even the simplest of questions can be very effective in bringing about change. I will be using Clean Space in my coaching and HR work and I will be putting more thought into where I hold meetings and where people sit in those meetings.

Gill Rudge, Coach & HR Consultant

Clean Space gives valuable perspective – it’s simple and powerful. The workshop reminded me how important space is to me and I’ve discovered more about the impact of space on the quality of my thinking: in a dark, confined space it was easy to focus on a problem and feel overwhelmed, whereas outdoors I could expand my thinking. As a facilitator I learned that the less I have to do, the more of my attention is available to give to my client.I will be bringing spatial perspectives more into my coaching sessions and I am also thinking about how to use ideas around space even more explicitly in my work… Watch this space!

Felicity Dwyer, Coach

Upcoming events

We don’t have any events listed at the moment. If you are interested in this course, please complete this form and we will be in touch when we have available dates.

Featured products


Insights in Space

How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity. By James Lawley and Marian Way.


Read more

Related blog posts


Clean Space for Scoping and Deepening Outcomes

28th Mar 2019

By Jacqueline Ann Surin


9 Reasons to Learn and Use Clean Space

14th Apr 2019

By Marian Way


10 Tips for facilitating Group Clean Space

7th Aug 2020

By Jacqueline Ann Surin

James Lawley CL Space_NTOC 2023

From Stuck to Spark in Three Small Steps

9th Jun 2023

By Jacqueline Ann Surin


A is for Adjacency

7th Jan 2021

By Doris Leibold


A New Way of Learning Scales and Arpeggios

14th Aug 2013

By Ruth Huckle