Symbolic Modelling and the Emergence of Background Knowledge
This article addresses the distinction between the two ways of 'Second Positioning': (a) going to Second Position with the person being modelled and what they are doing; and (b) going to Second Position with the information and the way the information is input, processed and output by the person being modelled. The first approach is typical of sensory modelling while the second approach is the preferred mode of Symbolic Modelling.
Using Metaphors with Coaching
Coaching for P.R.O.s
As a tool for coaching, the client's metaphors give you an insight
into their unique perception of their situation and their goals. When
the client tells you that they can 'see light at the end of the
tunnel', that is what they are experiencing. There is light for them,
and they are in a tunnel. They will unconsciously 'know' much more
about their situation from this metaphoric viewpoint.
When 'Where' Matters: How psychoactive space is created and utilised
Being able to make the distinction between a Problem, a Remedy and desired Outcome statement is vital to being an 'outcome orientated' facilitator. This article gives detailed instructions on how to recognise client's PRO statements and how to respond so that you have more choice about where you guide their attention.
PRO can also be used to keep meetings on track, to keep a group in a creative state, to move people beyond conflict towards a joint outcome, or in numerous other productive ways.
Polished Verse - An interview with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley
A joined-up model of how methodologies derived from the work of David Grove invoke the psychoactivity of spatial relations in therapeutic, as well as in other settings. Once a space becomes psychoactive a person is effectively 'living in their metaphor'. Then, when something changes in that perceptual space (often spontaneously), more of their mind-body is involved. This usually produces a more embodied and systemic change.
An interview with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley by John Soderlund, editor New Therapist.
Mind, Metaphor and Health
A Model of Musing: The Message in a Metaphor
Published in Positive Health
in 2002, we explain why metaphor is a natural way to describe illness
and health, the importance of recognising patient/client metaphors,
and how working within
these metaphors can activate an individual's personal healing process.
Metaphors of Organisation part 2
This article describes a model for a way of thinking during those few seconds when you are pondering what the client has just said. It describes a way of modelling-in-the-moment;
a way to ensure that what you decide to say is maximally informed by the client's
This is the second part of a two-part article:
It’s about time: Modelling frames of desire
Part 1 explained that underlying every theory of management or
organisation is a metaphor. It described eight commonly used metaphors
and Gareth Morgan's method for analysing and facilitating organisations
Part 2 shows how Symbolic Modelling uses client-generated metaphors to
facilitate individuals to understand and change themselves and their
Desired outcomes, aims, goals, intentions, objectives, plans, purposes and targets all describe a preferred future. When in the future and what kind of outcome makes a difference to how we facilitate clients to realise their desires. Whether a person wants to take a decision in the here and now, or to enjoy the rest of their life, involves different timeframes and structurally different outcomes. This paper examines modelling the timeframes, structures and evidence of client’s desires.
What do you say before you say goodbye?
This paper explores an aspect of change-work that rarely receives much exposure – how to use the end of a coaching or therapy session to maximise the benefit to the client. We call this the ‘set-down’ phase. We examine ways to link what happens during a Symbolic Modelling session with what might or could happen after the session. While the topic will be of most use to coaches and therapists, other kinds of facilitators of change – teachers, managers, consultants – should be able apply the principles to their line of work. And, of course, there is an application to ending important conversations as well.