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James Braid Society - May 2010 meeting


Thursday 20th May 2010 Past notice

Clean Language & Symbolic Modelling

A talk by Wendy Sullivan & Margaret Meyer

Clean Language was developed in the 1980s by David Grove (1950-2008), a counselling psychologist with a background in Ericksonian hypnotherapy. While treating severe trauma victims.


Grove found that working directly with a client’s own metaphors allowed them to process difficult experiences without the risk of re-traumatising themselves.

Grove also found that if he asked very simple questions that carried minimal influences from the therapist, and which made use of the clients’ exact words (the so-called ‘Clean’ questions), clients’ personal metaphors could be developed to the point where clients themselves could transform their symptoms and memories.

Today, Clean Language is known as a powerful and distinctive therapeutic approach based on a uniquely trance-inducing method of open questioning.

Working moment by moment, with the cues and clues of a client’s responses, each Clean question turns attention powerfully but naturally inwards, allowing the client to become immersed in their own experience.

Wendy Sullivan   Margaret Meyer
Wendy Sullivan  
Margaret Meyer

is a psychotherapist and certified trainer of NLP and works internationally as a psychotherapist, trainer, coach, researcher and specialist trainer of Clean Language.
In fact, she may be the person currently delivering the most Clean Language training on the planet. She works with both private individuals and corporate clients and teams.
Wendy owns Clean Change Company Ltd, and is co-author with Judy Rees of an Amazon category best-seller, ‘Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds’.

is an experienced hypno-psychotherapist, coach, social researcher, change consultant and trainer, following a successful career in publishing, disability and arts management, and cultural diplomacy. She has worked internationally on projects in over 20 countries. A certified Clean Language Facilitator, she uses Clean and Symbolic Modelling across the span of her work, in hypno-therapy sessions, research interviewing and moderation, coaching and team development, strategic planning and evaluation, facilitating clients to take active steps towards realising objectives and acknowledging their achievements, in both business and personal contexts.

Clean’s emphasis on using clients’ language means that rapport is built very rapidly, giving a depth of connection and understanding as if from ‘the inside out’.

Working directly with client-created metaphors allows the client to rehearse the possible, creating choices and solutions not necessarily available at the ‘everyday’ level.
Recent research suggests that people use up to six metaphors per minute in everyday speech.

For hypnotherapists, understanding client metaphors and how to work with them brings huge advantages:it provices a way to work without scripts and develop spontaneous resourceful trance states. It means working without set procedures, but working interactively with the client, utilising eyes-open trance states, as they develop their own solutions.
At the May 2010 meeting of the James Braid Society members were introduced to some Clean Language questions and begin to discover how to develop a client’s internal metaphors.


© 2010 James Braid Society; all rights reserved


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