About Blane Savage neuro linguistic programming Milton Erickson Provocative Therapy Groves Clean Language


About Blane Savage

Neuro Linguistic Programming

Ericksonian Hypnosis

Provocative Therapy

Groves Clean Language



Thought Field Therapy

Emotional Freedom Technique


& transformation through symbolic modelling

"It's like hitting your head against a brick wall" "She just winds me up" "He flew like the wind"

Metaphors fill our language and are embedded within our communications. They give an insight into the way we construct our perceptions of the world. When we encounter new things we have a tendency to try and relate them to previous experiences. Metaphors are one way we use language to do this. It acts as a bridge between differing ideas by bringing commonality to them in a very creative way.

During the 1980's David Grove, a New Zealand psychotherapist, worked in the field of trauma management and realised many of his clients were using metaphors when describing their experiences. He found that by communicating 'cleanly' with them, that is by not contaminating these metaphors with his own, then substantial perceptive changes could take place within his clients.


"While Symbolic Modelling is based on David Grove's work and incorporates many of his ideas, he has a different way of describing his approach. Symbolic modelling draws upon cognitive linguistics, self-organising systems theory and NLP. It was also shaped by the authors desire for others to learn the process easily and for it to apply to a range of contexts in addition to psychotherapy."

James Lawley & Penny Tompkins, (2000) Metaphors in Mind, The Development Company Press


Click here to receive a free 9-page extract from Metaphors in Mind, occasional newsletters and advanced notification of events from www.cleanlanguage .com.





Symbolic modelling allows clients to become familiar with their own metaphoric landscape. This allows them to understand in new ways both themselves and their world.

Groves uses nine main clean language questions
And is there anything else about.....?
And what kind of....is that.....?
And that's......like what?
And where is........?
And whereabouts...........?
And then what happens?
And what happens next?
And what happens just before....?
And where could ........ come from?

These questions neither contaminate nor distort clients metaphors.

Further Resources


George Lakeoff & Mark Johnston, (1980) Metaphors We Live By, University of Chicago Press