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7. Novel Clean Space sessions

Example 1

The following transcript has been reconstructed from notes taken during a client session. We have left out most of the client’s responses to make it easier to see the way the Clean Space process has been used.

The transcript starts half way through the session. The client has arrived “shaking, feeling crushed and physically weak. I’m desperate. I feel like running away. I’m afraid of not succeeding”. Not surprisingly in that state the client found it difficult to define and access a desired outcome. As the session meanders from topic to topic the client again raises their fear of not succeeding in their chosen profession. The client then says “There are things I could be doing that I’m not doing”. She is asked “And what could you be doing that you are not doing?” To which she gives a number of ideas, followed by a quiet contemplation which appears to involved extensive internal processing and is accompanied by a clear shift in physiology. The session continues:

J:  What just happened?

C:  [Sitting at 1 in the Diagram]
I came out of myself [gestures to a place in front and to the left, #2 in Diagram].
I took a look at myself.
I’m now in a better place.

J:  And when you came out of yourself, and
 looked at yourself, where did you look at yourself from?

C:  Over there [points to 2]

J:  How did you do that?
    [gestures between client at 1 and space 2].

C:  I come out of myself and go to over there.

J:  Do that

C:  [gets up, moves to 2].
I look at myself [points to 1].
I hear more positive things.
I take them back [returns to sitting]. I feel better.

J:  Go there again [points to 2].

C:  [moves to 2].

J:  And what do you know from here?

C:   ....

J:  And is there anything else you know from here about [points to 1]?

C:  ....

J:  Find another space that knows about both of these [gestures between spaces 1 and 2].

C:  [moves to 3]

J:  And what do you know from here?
J:  And is there anything else you know from here about [points to 1]?
J:  And is there anything else you know from here about [points to 2]?
J:  And is there anything else you know from here about the relationship
between those two [points to 1 & 2]?

J:  And find another space that knows about all three [gestures between 1, 2 and 3].

C:  [moves to 4]

J:  And what do you know from here?
J:  And is there anything else you know from here about [gestures to 1],
or [gestures to 2], or [gestures to 3]?

J:  And is there anything else you know from here about the relationship
between those three [gestures between 1, 2, 3]?

J:  Find another space that knows about all of this [gestures between 1, 2, 3 and 4].

C:  [moves to 5]
J:   And what do you know from here?

C:  A huge depth of love ... [This statement is developed into a metaphor using the
State to a Metaphor’ Clean Language vector.] An undeniable light, really gentle,
yet passionate, and compassionate, and pure, whiter than white. Almost sacred.
Closer to the divine.

J:  And with this [recap attributes of symbol] what do you now know about
[gestures to 1, 2, 3, 4]?

J:  And anything else from here?

J:  And here [points to space of 5] is closer to the divine. And is there another space?

C:  [Moves to 6, closes eyes and accesses what looks like a deeply pleasant state]

J:  [After a period of silence] Take all of this back via [points in order to spaces 5, 4, 3, 2]
to [points to 1]

C:  [Moves – stopping in each space for a moment – back to 1]

J:  And now what do you know?

J:    And what difference does it make to know that?

The client gave a long explanation amongst which were  a couple of desired outcome statements. When she had finished Penny recapped the desired outcomes and we continued with a Symbolic Modelling session.

Example 2 (from James)

During Clean Space a client was reflecting on the layout of their spaces when they said:

"These four spaces form corners of a square."

This was interesting because the client was pointing to the space they occupied, two other spaces and a not-yet-visited space on the opposite 'corner' of the 'square'. Naturally I (James) invited them to go to the as-yet-unvisited 'corner' with:

"Go to that space [point across the square]."

They set off walking along the right hand side of the 'square', got about half way and turned back. Then they set off down the left hand side of the 'square', got about half way and came back again. [I had not moved from standing next to the original 'corner'.] After a few moments of twitching the client said "No."

Now what to do? I had lots of options:
  • Simply ask: "And what do you know now?"
  • Invite them to go to either of the turn-back points on the left and right-hand sides of the square.
  • Suggest they 'go meta' with: "Find a space that knows something else about this square."
  • Use adjacency as in the example above.
I went for the "And what do you know now?" option.

To my surprise the client burst into tears. When they had finished sobbing I asked them to:
"Return to that space [point to the right-hand 'corner' of the square]."

They walked all the way down the right-hand side of the square to that corner without a hesitation at the previous turn-back point.

"And now what do you know from here?"

When they had answered, my next instruction was:

"Return to that space [point to opposite corner to where they now are, i.e. the left-hand corner to where they had been]."

They marched straight across the diagonal and when they got to that corner I asked:
"And now what do you know from here?".

I was lost for what to do next. I felt I had given enough directions and it was time for them to take charge of their own process:

"And where do you need to go next?"

Again to my surprise they went and got a chair, took it to the unvisited corner of the square and sat down. This space turned out to be what David Grove called a "sweet spot" and the client went on to have a transformative experience.

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