Review of “Clean Language” from Prof David Clutterbuck

Book Reviews

Wendy Sullivan and Judy Rees (2008) Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds, Crown House, Carmarthen, 205 pages

Ever since David Grove inspired others to use clean language in therapy, its uses in other disciplines have been evident. For many coaches, clean language is little more than a collection of 12 helpful and logical questions. Yet as Sullivan and Rees illustrate, it is much more a state of mindfulness. By purging his or her own language of content, metaphor or other baggage, the coach enables the client to explore and learn about their own inner worlds, to see and make choices and to reaffirm their own identity.

With the possible exception of the discussion on modelling, all of the guidance and technique in this book is “clean” in the sense that it is specific, unambiguous and encourages the reader to make their own meaning from the concepts rather than absorb the authors’. The book builds on the basic questions, showing how to adapt them in various situations and adding further techniques when required. The FAQ section is particularly helpful.

David Clutterbuck

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