Clean Language (meaning untainted by assumption or metaphor) was
developed by therapist Dave Grove who sought to find respectful and
effective ways to work with trauma victims. The approach he devised
was based on a new type of questioning (and listening) that was
rooted in honoring the client's language rather than paraphrasing
it, and cleaning up his own communications with respect to
assumptions and metaphors. Inspired by the effectiveness of Grove's
work, James Lawley and Penny Tompkins studied the approach,
codifyied and expanded upon it. Now, authors Sullivan and Rees
introduce the concepts to the broad range of helping professional
(from psychotherapist to organizational coach). The basic
perspective is straightforward: keep your opinions and advice to
yourself; listen attentively; ask Clean questions to explore
metaphors; and listen to the answers and then ask more Clean
questions about they've said.
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