Article Categories
[ Show ] All [ Hide ]
Clean Language
Article Selections
[ Show ] All [ Hide ]


InsideClean 2022
online with
Penny Tompkins, James Lawley & Marian Way

Logic: The glue that holds inner worlds together

Join us for 4 new workshops
and bonus material

InsideClean 2021
online with
Penny Tompkins, James Lawley & Marian Way

How People Change

Join us for 4 new workshops
and bonus material
New online events
Penny Tompkins, James Lawley & Annemiek van Helsdingen

Join us for 4 workshops
and bonus material

First Clean Space book 

Insights in Space:
How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity

James Lawley & Marian Way

order here

A new online course with
Penny Tompkins & James Lawley

12 videos
 8 demonstrations
6 quizzes
37-page workbook

James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

Bali, Indonesia
19-22 April 2018

A Taste of
Clean Language
Symbolic Modelling

Announcing a new book 1 Aug 2017

Special launch price

+ free reference card
with every order

Insights in Space:
How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity

James Lawley & Marian Way

order here

Announcing a new book (Feb 2017)

How to Ask Questions Your Body Can Answer - 12 Essential 'Clean Questions' for Mind/Body Therapists

Nicholas Pole

order here

Announcing a new book (Sep 2016)

by Angela Dunbar

order here

Announcing a new book (May 2016)

by Julie McCracken

order here

Announcing ...
A New, Collaborative Clean Gathering for 2016

We’d like to announce an exciting initiative for a new kind of event – a clean gathering, self-organised collaboratively by members of the clean community.

We believe we have the resources to do this, applying the same principles of self-organisation that underpin our work.

The intention is for those who want to be involved to organise and run the gathering together annually, starting September 2016. More details and how sign up at:

Metaphors in Mind
now available for Apple iBook and Kindle

Download from or

Proposals Wanted

First-ever gathering of Clean Researchers

Sunday 8 June 2014,  London

Clean-based research is starting to make waves in the academic and commercial qualitative research communities.

We're looking for 10 minute presentations on some aspect of your clean-based research: case studies, topics for group discussion, etc. The event aims to share knowledge and experience in a playful, structured 'sandbox' environment. You don't have to be an academic researcher to contribute!

Please submit your proposal right away or by the end of March at the latest.

or download the leaflet.

Early-Bird Discount extended to 10 Feb

 28-30 March 2014

Clean Language and
Symbolic Modelling :
Using metaphor as a mirror
to see yourself and others
James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

How to book and more information

Modelling Demystified:
The Residential

12-22 September 2014, 
Suffolk, UK

Penny Tompkins, James Lawley and Marian Way are offering an opportunity to join a small group who for nine days want to delve into the why's and where-for's of modelling human perception and behaviour. You do not need to be trained in Clean Language but you do need a keen interest in enhancing your modelling skills. Because the only way to learn modelling is to model, instead of a formal training, Penny, James and Marian will create the conditions for discovery, investigation, experimentation and hands-on learning.

Link to all of Penny and James' events

Metaphors in Mind
now available as an eBook

Download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes at just US$9.99:

Symbolic Modelling
& Clean Coaching


James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

February and March 2013

Introductory & advanced training
coached practice
and lots more!

Details and how to book

Symbolic Modelling Lite
Austin, Texas

James Lawley
Penny Tompkins
5-7 January 2013

Penny Tompkins
James Lawley

are back ... in London

They are available to see:
  • Individuals and couples for therapy or coaching
  • Professionals for supervision.
More information or contact:


Two clean chapters published

Innovations in NLP: Innovations for Challenging Times James Lawley and Penny Tompkins were asked to write two chapters for the just published Innovations in NLP edited by Michael Hall and Shelle Rose Charvet. For the first time they present their streamlined model, Symbolic Modelling Lite, and their take on The Clean Community.

Introducing Clean
to Austin, Texas
7-9 January 2012
For the first time, James Lawley and Penny Tompkins will be presenting their streamlined version of Symbolic Modelling Lite and Clean Space Lite, incorporating the Clean Language of David Grove.
Visit for the details.
I Is an Other:
The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World.

James Geary, New York Times bestselling author, offers a fascinating look at metaphors and their influence, from ordinary conversation and commercial messaging to news reports and political speeches. And it features Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling.

Read an extract from the book.

The Third Annual
Clean Conference

22-24 October 2010
Open to all

May 2010
Author of NLP at Work, and NLP Solutions Sue Knight says:
"Some of the best proponents of what NLP is all about are Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, authors of Metaphors in Mind – a book that comprehensively illustrates the work of David Grove who they so skillfully modelled over recent years (and who sadly died last year). Not only did they gracefully build the rapport with David that allowed them to gain access to his powerful ways of thinking and working but they captured the essence of that in their presentation of Clean Language and Clean questions. However to be ‘clean’ in the way that we interact with others requires a lot of skill and discipline. To be clean means to put aside our notions of what might be happening and to be prepared to be in a non-knowing state, openly allowing our experience to inform us of new worlds in thinking and being." Rapport Magazine, Spring 2010, p. 22

 February 2009 The Cranky Middle Manager Show
Wayne Turmel host of The Cranky Middle Manager Show talks to Penny Tomkins and James Lawley about using 'Clean Language' and the value and psychology of metaphors. Listen in at

January 2009
Penny Tompkins and James Lawley's Developing Group Notes
Last year we added a new category to the site — The Developing Group. The group has run bi-monthly since October 2001. Recently we published many of the background notes about the topic presented on each day. Over 30 are now available and more are being added periodically. Below is a selection of recently added notes:

September 2008 - Groundbreaking Process Published — at last!
We have recently added an article about Self-Organisation as it was used during a Large Group Metaphor Process at the Findhorn Community in 2003. This process combined a number of theories and concepts derived from David Grove's work to a group of 80 people over 4 days.

August 2008 - Vive la France!
The French publication of Des métaphores dans la tête: Transformation par la Modélisation Symbolique et le Clean Language in 2006 continues to generate interest in Symbolic Modelling and other derivatives of David Grove’s work. There are now several events and practice groups throughout France. To find a list of trainings or practice groups, please visit our French Calendar of Events. Two up and coming conferences:

13 October - Noémie Dehouck et Nadine Lecamus will present ‘Atelier de la communication - Modélisation symbolique’ at the NLPNL Conference in Paris.

27 November - Lynne Burney will present ‘The Power of Six’ at the International Coaching Federation Conference in Madrid.

July 2008 - Two special events in Normandy, France between June 29 - July 5, with Penny & James Jennifer & Phil click for more information

June 2008 -The very first Clean Conference 'Magnetic Metaphors and Creative Conversations' takes place in LONDON, June 21-22 2008 and is organised by the Clean Change Company.
May 2008 - New EK web site launched
Philip Harland and Matthew Hudson, who both worked closely with David Grove during the last year of his life, have launched a joint website dedicated to his 'Powers of Six' work, at  Philip said: "The Powers of Six developed from applications of Emergent Knowledge in the worlds of therapy and self-discovery. They take the principles of Clean Language and Clean Space into another dimension."

January 2008 - Caitlin Walker has produced an excellent new training DVD: An Introduction to Clean Language and Systemic Modelling. You can find information about Systemic Modelling and order a copy of the DVD through the Training Attention web site.

December 2007 - Using Metaphor, Clean Language and Herbal Medicine for whole system healing

Nancy Doyle, a Chartered Organisational Psychologist, has teamed up with Lulu Sanderson, a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, to write a new article and put on a unique event — The Health4Life course. This "gives to others the benefit of the experiences we have given each other over the years in herbal medical treatment, coaching, listening and personal development." Surely a first!

November 2007 - Found in Translation!

Latest translations of David Grove's Clean Language into Portuguese, Dutch and Swedish - find them in the Worldwide category.

October 2007
Want to know what Clean Language sounds like? Want to see a person explore their Metaphor Landscape? Well now you can. We have just made available a twelve minute clip of the opening of our Symbolic Modelling session captured on the DVD, A Strange and Strong Sensation.

August 2007
Now here is an interesting story ... about conversing with birds, saving one's sanity, a neurosurgeon's headache, radical unknowing, spiritual paths, Symbolic Modelling ... and more. John Davis from New York City muses on Alternate Ways of Knowing and demonstrates why his first novel, Howling in Ecstasy Under the Texas Moon, should be a great success.

June 2007
James Lawley and Penny Tompkins established The Developing Group in January 1997 and since then it has met every two months. The Group's initial focus was supervision, however, in October 2001 it changed to providing a forum for the exploration of new ideas in the field. Each day is accompanied by background notes which later form the basis of a published article or they remain 'work in progress'.  The articles have always been available on this site but now we have decided to make available all of our unpublished notes as well. Eleven articles and notes have been posted so far.

May 2007
Clean Language first evolved in a therapeutic context — and as Martin Snoddon describes in his article, Clean Language as a Research Interviewing Tool, its uses have extended into areas where conflict is not just a metaphor  for the workings of a person's mind, and where clean communication allows apparently incompatible individuals and groups to engage with a common aim for peace and healing.



Clean Language
Symbolic Modelling

James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

more info

view all featured events