Clean Language Demonstration

Clean in Coaching and Therapy

By Angela Dunbar, coaching Christine Compton


(Following a question about  how to introduce Clean Language into a coaching session)

Our thoughts are so diverse and complicated that there aren’t really enough words in the English language to explain what we’re really thinking. So I suggest that the word metaphor comes from the Greek word for container, so quite often what might come out as a figure of speech can contain a lot more information. If I’m using this with someone and just seeing how it might go then I generally say “Maybe you’re right, let’s go with this and see what happens.”

It’s often when somebody’s been asked a few questions and they start to get a sense of ‘going somewhere different’ with their thoughts then it’s by realising what happens rather than understanding it intellectually, they can get a sense of what it’s all about. Is that OK for an answer right now?

Some people take to it really well, other people struggle more so again I might well say to a client we’re going to try something different, let’s give it a go and see how it works for you, rather than take ages trying to explain it, just sort of dive in and see what happens.

And that is exactly what we’re going to do now, if that’s OK. So, Christine, I’m going to spend the next ten minutes asking you some Clean Language questions. ..

Angela: “When you’re coaching at your best, that’s like what?”

Christine: “It’s magical and effortless.”

Angela: “It’s magical and effortless. And when it’s effortless, is there anything else about effortless?”

Christine:  “I feel valuable. I feel… gosh, ‘vindicated’ is the word that comes to mind. I feel my belief that when you are doing things perfectly it is effortless.”

Angela: “And when you are doing things perfectly, it’s effortless. And you feel  valuable, and when you feel valuable, what kind of valuable is that valuable?”

Christine: “I feel my whole life has purpose. It has meaning. It’s what I was made for.”

Angela: “And you feel your life has purpose and meaning. And when you feel valuable, whereabouts do you feel valuable?”

Christine: “I’m putting my hand on my heart, right in the middle there.”

Angela: “And you feel valuable right in the middle there, with your hand on your heart. And when you feel valuable, right in the middle, whereabouts right in the middle?”

Christine: “Right at the core of my being. Right at my very centre. Right at my heart.”

Angela:  “It’s right at the core of your being. And when it’s right at that core of your being, is there anything else about that core?”

Christine: “I’m blossoming. I’m opening to my potential. I’m…gosh this isn’t easy…it’s exactly I guess my whole life has meaning. It’s what I was made for. It’s my purpose. It’s my reason for being.”

Angela:  “It’s your purpose. Your reason for being. And it’s blossoming and opening to your potential. And when it’s blossoming and opening to your potential, then what happens?”

Christine: “Then I just grow, I relax. I become who I am. I feel safe and confident.”

Angela: “You grow and relax and you feel safe and confident. And is there anything else about that confidence when you grow and relax?”

Christine: “I’m connected to something beyond. I’m connected to something bigger than me. Gosh, this is making me feel very emotional, I’m really surprised. I am connected to the whole. I’m part of the whole. I’m part of everything. I’m not alone. I’m not isolated”

Angela: “And you’re not isolated. And this is making you feel quite emotional. And you’re connected to something beyond. And when you’re connected to something beyond, is there anything else about that connection?”

Christine: “It’s like it’s everything that there is, it’s everything I yearn for. It’s everything I want.”

Angela “It’s everything you want. And it’s a connection to something beyond. And when it’s a connection to something beyond, whereabouts is that something beyond?”

Christine: “It’s everywhere, it’s everything. It’s close to me and it’s way, way out there as well. It’s… to me it is the universe, it’s everything that’s a part of the universe…. The whole.”

Angela: “It’s the whole. And it’s everywhere. And you’re not alone. And that’s confidence. And that comes when you grow and relax, blossoming and opening to your potential. And what happens just before you blossom and open to your potential?”

Christine: “I feel a sense of opening. I feel real excitement. I feel, again validated because it’s what I’ve always believed in my head but I’m feeling it.”

Angela: “You feel a sense of opening and a sense of excitement and again validated. And when you feel a sense of opening, whereabouts is that sense of opening?”

Christine: “Again in my heart and the centre of my chest.”

Angela: “And what happens just before you feel that sense of opening in your heart?”

Christine: “I can feel something like a star burst. A huge firework going off.”

Angela: “You feel a sense of a huge firework going off. And is there anything else about that firework?”

Christine: “It’s one of those huge ones that’s bursts and showers all those gorgeous  sparkling lights. There’s something about it being very momentary but everyone’s witnessed it. It’s like they’ve seen it and they know it can happen. They know that those fireworks are possible.”

Angela: “Everyone’s witnessed it. And it’s a huge firework that bursts and when there’s a huge firework like that, where could that huge firework have come from?”

Christine: “My logical mind keep imagining people making them, but it ‘s something…it’s the magical thing again. There’s something absolutely magical about what can be created and the thrill that it can give. It’s almost like it’s… yes I know it’s made by men but the end result is just pure magic.”

Angela: “Yes made by men but the end result is pure magic. And I’d love to explore this further with you, however would that be an OK place to bring this to a close?”

Christine: “It would be fine, and I’m absolutely bowled over…”

(Question and answer session)

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