5.6 Anything Else

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  • alistair donnell says:

    I’ve trying out the clean space approach and it’s absolutely fascinating. I seemed to have been able to get by by watching your demonstration like a hawk over and over again before doing it. One thing I have noticed both times is the persons response to the strangeness of the situation. I have been hyper careful not to introduce any of my stuff onto the process so I struggled slightly with what to say when they asked questions about it. people already have a map for hypnosis, they know what to expect but this is so different they have no map of it. which is great but is there a way of framing it without imposing any content. I have literally just been saying what you have said in the video but I think your volunteer already had a map in a sense. Is there a way of reassuring them for want of a better word to encourage them to continue without contaminating the process? Thanks Judy learning lots!

  • Judy Rees says:

    Hmm, interesting question. I think that when a facilitator is new to any process, there’s a “hump” to get over. The more confident the facilitator feels, the more comfortable the client will be – but how to achieve that when, as facilitator, you are not yet confident?

    I think a large part of the answer has to be in the way you frame the session, both in advance and in the room. I don’t think it’s possible to be completely “Clean” in doing this. There is always a back story: how did you come to be talking to this client, what are they expecting, is there a commercial relationship etc. And so I think some deliberate framing is quite legitimate.

    Most times when I use Clean Space it’s part of an ongoing relationship, and I feel comfortable to say, “Would you like to try something a bit different? It works well for a lot of people when they are trying to ” or whatever the client’s phrase for the current muddle is.

    I realise as I write this that the two main contexts when I use Clean Space in preference to Clean Language are 1. when the client is struggling to make a decision because of a huge number of variables or 2. in dealing with binds.

    The other way I begin a Clean Space session is from a Clean Language session, when the client is dealing with one of the two situations I just mentioned, and starts to use a lot of spatial metaphors. I’ll already have a location for the desired outcome. I’ll say: “Tell you what. Stand up… what do you know from here now?” and we’re off to the races.

  • hans van laake says:

    I did my very first clean space session yesterday! It was very interesting and I learned a lot. I’ve been reading and rereading the article on “clean space lite” from James Lawley and Penny Tompkins, and I watched the video demo on this site.

    Findings: First of all, I asked the client (who wants to stop using substances) to write her outcome down and place it where it needed to be; she then gave it to me! That was totally unexpected and made it really clear to me that I was a part of her space as well. The reason she placed it with me turned out to be that she had written her outcome as a request for help. I asked her to rewrite it and she then found a spot for it. Her outcome was “stop using”. The space where she put herself she named “the first step”.
    Towards the end of the proces she got the paper with the outcome on it and put it right by her first space (first step), and replaced the outcome with a stickie that said “clean”. She had reformulated her outcome without any direct intervention on my part, plus she had reformulated the actual stopping as part of the first step, which seems to me a much more workable representation of her situation!
    The client kept saying that it was difficult to find yet another space (and six spaces felt like a lot!), and yet it was fascinating to see how, once she found a space, she made sure that she stood in exactly the right spot, moving an inch this way or that to get it just right.
    As I was moving her from space to space she at one point remarked that I was mixing up her head – I wondered if what she experienced was akin to what in NLP is called “collapsing anchors”.
    At the end of the process I almost forgot to ask “and what difference does that (new knowledge) make?” But I felt it was just that repeated question that tied everything to daily life and the next days ahead. Afterwards I wondered about the question “And what is possible *now*? This is a question that i learned from Narrative therapy. What are your thoughts about using that as a ‘finishing up’ – question?
    This first experience was sure encouraging, as the client seemed to really appreciate the work and the playful character of it at the same time. I asked her to make a drawing of her network of spaces, and to bring that with her to her next session. I intend to explore it further at that time with Clean Language.

    I’m interested in hearing feedback on this.


  • Judy Rees says:

    Well done Hans! That’s an impressive start.

    I think you did particularly well to handle the situation where you were definitely part of the client’s landscape.

    I like the question “And what is possible *now*?” It’s not completely Clean, but I reckon it’s almost as Clean as “What difference does all of that make?” And I think it’s potentially an elegant transition question between the Clean Space session and a Clean Language session immediately following. You could also try “And when all of that (referring to the output of the CS session), what would you like to have happen?”