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Clean Language


Clean Language is a medium for the delivery of self-knowledge and healing. It lends itself to the most profound therapeutic transformation and yet can be used informally at home, at work, or in the queue for the bus.

Clean Language is a liberating approach to psychotherapy, counselling, coaching, and teaching that does not contaminate the personal elements required for true self-knowledge and healing, It was created by innovative therapist David Grove to decipher the code contained in Therapeutic Metaphor, a higher-order courier for conveying information from the unconscious into consciousness in such a way that gives rise to Emergent Knowledge, a state of grace that is more than the sum of its parts. Clean Language is a counter to the negative aspects of older methodologies in which the practitioner had the power. It works in ways that conventional language-based methodologies find difficult to resolve.

The Wayfinder Press book Trust Me, I’m The Patient is a definitive guide to the principles and practices of Clean Language and Therapeutic Metaphor - practical, respectful, non-directive, non-suggestive, non-interpretative, non-intrusive ways of facilitating people to lead fuller, freer lives and be the best they can be. Clean questioning elicits and facilitates personal intelligence that only the person concerned can know and retrieve.

Most change modalities aim to maximize their influence and to establish a relationship with the client in which the balance of power is tipped heavily in favour of the agent of change. The aim of Clean questioning is different. It is to facilitate the client’s relationship with what only they can know. The immeasurable contribution of the late David Grove to the science and politics of facilitating others means that the conscious and unconscious sub-divisions of a facilitator’s mind can operate without cross-contamination. Clean questioning minimizes the risk of casual assumption and involuntary association, equalizes the balance of power between client and facilitator, and reduces the confusion of negotiating between two sets of perceptions.   

"‘Clean’ proclaims the client’s right to be trusted; their right to access, process, and use their own personal experience without expert interference. It is a practical means of facilitating people so that their rights are respected. This is an important challenge at the present moment in evolution. We have daily reminders that populations are demonstrating for their rights to be trusted in the way their countries are governed. It is up to us in the helping professions to ensure that every client who comes to us is facilitated in their own learning instead of being force-fed our learning."  

Jennifer de Gandt, psychotherapist, trainer, Clean facilitator, from her Foreword to Trust Me, I'm The Patient

The content-free nature of Clean questioning does not require the client to respond to the therapist’s guesswork, or to accept or reject the therapist’s reasoning. Clean exchanges are geared to self-psychoactivity. They invite conscious and non-conscious self-knowing to come together in such a way that the system learns to recognize its own organization so that change and growth are self-generated and genuine.

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