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Clean Language is a simple set of questions developed by counselling psychologist David Grove. These questions are used with a person’s own words to direct their attention to some aspect of their own experience. Asking these questions in the right context often results in an interesting new insight or the recognition of some new possibility. And if that new possibility is then questioned using Clean Language, the result can be quite profound. Clean questions invite people to consider their experience from different perspectives and they are often surprised by their own capacity to generate new, powerful and useful ideas about their own experience. They are used in many different fields, including coaching, therapy, business, health and education.

David found it was beneficial to focus attention on the metaphors people use naturally to describe their experience. Metaphors generally operate at an unconscious level and by paying attention to them, people can gain access to a deeper and embodied level of experience: the structure of their thinking; the patterns that run their lives; their truth.

Asking clean questions, using the client’s own words and exploring metaphors are just a few of the things a clean facilitator can do to encourage the conditions for sustainable change.