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:
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Using Symbolic Modelling with Binding Patterns
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
Symbolic Modelling is an ‘outcome orientated’ methodology, but this does not mean we ignore problems. This article defines three kinds of problem, and describes how to work with client problems involving ‘binding patterns’. First published in The Listener, EN#2, Oct 2012.
Pointing to a New Modelling Perspective
After more than a decade of searching for a satisfying analogy that describes the perspective I take when symbolic modelling I’ve finally found one right under my nose. It is the simple and everyday act of pointing.