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The Good Midwife

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6,800 words, 14 pages, 807KB

Notes on the Need to be Clean
'Your job is to be a good midwife.'     David Grove

The intention of the good midwife is not to 'help', but to facilitate patients and clients. This paper describes the difference and goes into detail on the distinctions between Clean and 'unclean' language.


Is the intention to help enough?  The Good Midwife is a guide to one of the most fundamental aspects of working with others - the language we use and the thinking behind it. What underlies our use of assumption, implication, interpretation, suggestion, paraphrase, and conflation, and how do they reflect our beliefs and values around power and control? 

The delivery of Clean change does not require its facilitators to be overburdened with theoretical knowledge or to feel an obligation to make change happen. ‘Facilitate’ comes from the Latin facilis, ‘lessening the labour of’. We ease the birth of a baby, ease the revolutions of an engine, ease the natural ability people possess to deliver their own resources for health and well-being. To facilitate is to allow strain to be less severe so that the system works more efficiently and effectively.

Is it possible to distinguish between intervention and interference? How much do we help and how much do we hinder our colleagues, clients, and patients by the choices we make about the ways we engage in their process?  

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