Techniques and Therapies:

Clean Language (Symbolic Modelling)

Clean Language was developed by David Grove in the 1980's, as he was working with clients dealing with trauma and abuse. He discovered that clients used metaphorical language to describe their experiences, current and past. When working directly with the clients' metaphors and specifically their language, using a defined set of questions it was possible to create an environment that could allow healing to occur.

"Clean Language is 'clean' because it keeps the facilitator from unwittingly introducing their metaphors, assumptions or suggestions into a conversation (no matter how well meaning these may be). Clean questions encourage metaphors, ideas, self-reflections and ah-ha's into being. When personal change is the goal, Clean Language invites a client's perceptions to evolve and change organically - one question at a time." Penny & James © 2007

Two NLP Trainers, Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, had observed David Grove in action and took on the task of 'modelling' his technique. This model of therapy / 'modelling' has now become known as Symbolic Modelling.

The quote below is from the highly recommended 'Metaphors in Mind' by Penny and James and describes Symbolic Modelling in a nutshell.

"Symbolic Modelling is a method for facilitating individuals to become familiar with the symbolic domain of their experience so that they discover new ways of perceiving themselves and their world. It uses Clean Language to facilitate them to attend to their metaphoric expressions so that they create a model of their symbolic mind-body perceptions. This model exists as a living, breathing four-dimensional world within and around them." Penny & James © 2007