Clean Convergence 2018 Workshop Series

"Changing the Face of Clean Language on a Global Scale"

with Sharon Small, Penny Tompkins, and James Lawley

Discover the ground-breaking methodology that influential cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker highlighted in The Stuff of Thought:

A book on psychotherapy called Metaphors in Mind calls on therapists to work with their patients’ metaphors (like: "I have a sensitive radar for insults" or "I’m trapped behind a door").

Join us and find out how you can use Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling to achieve better results with your clients or team members.

The Clean Language Institute is delighted to announce a series of Clean Workshops taking place in California in January 2018 in partnership with the creators of Symbolic Modeling, James Lawley and Penny Tompkins.

Due to the intensive nature of these training and one-on-one support you will receive, these courses are limited to small group sizes to maintain quality and a high learning environment.

Symbolic Modeling Lite

With Sharon Small
January 5-7th, 2018

This course is limited to 12 people

Places left

This training is ideal for first time learners: those that would like to start using Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language in their practice, work and personal development.

It is also highly recommended as a refresher training prior to attending Improving, Increasing and Integrating your Symbolic Modeling Skills with JamesLawley and Penny Tompkins

Join clean language trainer Sharon Small for this 3-day introduction to Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling.

You will discover the 12 core questions used in Clean Language and how you can apply this simple but radical method to boost communication, understanding, and success!

You will come away with tools you can use right away to gain personal and professional clarity.

This class is an ideal standalone introduction as well as a preparation for the following advanced workshop facilitated by Penny Tompkins & James Lawley (see below).

Who should take this class?

Are you a...

  • Coach, therapist or holistic practitioner?
  • Leader, manager or supervisor in business?
  • Teacher, parent or someone who works with children?
  • Or simply interested in improving your ability to communicate well?

Symbolic Modeling is an extremely powerful and flexible form of facilitation, making it a great tool for anyone who would like to work and to communicate more effectively with others

You will find it helps you to understand easily and clearly what other people really want – and to help them achieve that!

There is no prerequisite for this class, although this class can be used as a prerequisite for attendance in “Improving, Increasing and Integrating your Symbolic Modeling Skills” with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley (also part of this series, see details below).

What will we be learning and doing?

This is an informal class designed to familiarize you with the work of David Grove’s Clean Language and its use with client generated metaphor. We will be looking at the structure of the Symbolic Modeling process, including the Problem-Remedy- Outcome model.

With this information in hand, you can begin working with others to develop their metaphor landscape and move towards their desired outcome.

This entry-level workshop will enable new learners to (metaphorically speaking) "get your feet wet", "give you a taste" of what this work is like, and come away with ideas for how you might apply what you'll learn in your own work.

And the entire event will be a great refresher for those already familiar with Clean Language principles and Symbolic Modeling technology.

How will this training work?

Join trainer and internationally recognized Clean Language Assessor Sharon Small for this 3-day small group workshop, limited to no more than 15 attendees.

The size of the group is to allow for a high-touch environment with time for developmental feedback, exercises and application with others and self reflection.

For each section you will hear about the objective being taught, see a demonstration of the technique or skill, and work in small groups applying the technique or skill to yourself and others. In these small groups, you'll have the opportunity to be observer, client, and Facilitator - giving you multiple perspectives. This format allows you to take away new learnings quickly and use them right away in your own work and personal life.

Because you work with real life examples, you gain personal insight and behavioral flexibility that extends beyond class time.

What do people do after taking this class?

Takeaways include...

  • Powerful questions you can use in day-to-day life to gain greater clarity and understanding in practically any situation.
  • The structure of Symbolic Modeling and how it can be used to walk through the framework of change, creating superior client results and greater satisfaction.
  • An introduction to the P.R.O. model and how you can begin to use it everyday in your life and work to to help you and your clients create and work towards desired outcomes
  • Understanding why metaphor matters and how to recognize the ones that mean the most to your client.
  • Plus, you’ll discover whether Clean Language is something you may wish to go on to master and make central to your business, coaching, or therapy work.

About Your Trainer

Sharon is a vibrant trainer and skillful facilitator who has led numerous training courses in the United States and Japan. She is the author of "The End of Therapy" and co-author of "Who is Using Clean Language Anyway?"

Enhancing and Integrating your
Symbolic Modeling Skills

With Penny Tompkins and James Lawley
​January 9-11th, 2018

Places are strictly limited to 15 people

Places left

Registration is now FULL. Please email Sharon at if you would like to be put on the wait list and informed when a space is available.

Join the authors of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modeling for 3-days of experiential exploration of their work.

Penny and James are world leaders in using David Grove’s Clean Language to reveal the intelligence contained in people’s embodied metaphors and how to model symbolically so clients discover how their system can evolve naturally.

The aim in this unique workshop is for you to take a developmental step forward in your understanding and use of Clean Language & Symbolic Modeling.

Penny and James will demonstrate and share the background thinking that guides the choices they make in a session. They will show how to make use of space to enhance your facilitation and support your clients to make the changes they want. And there will be ample opportunity for questions and answers.

Join us - Each year is different... fun, informative and developmental!


A familiarity with Clean is required for this workshop.It is highly recommended that you attend the introductory 3-day Clean Lite training to learn the basics of the model.

You will discover how the placement, sequence and delivery of clean questions has a profound effect on clients' metaphor landscapes, and on their lives.

Clean Lite is also an ideal refresher if you have not been actively working with clients; or if it has been a significant period of time since you attended a Clean Language/Symbolic Modeling training.

Also eligible to attend are individuals who have worked extensively with the materials from James and Penny's book, Metaphors in Mind or on their website at – and have experience of asking and being asked Clean Language questions.

What will we be learning and doing?

Drawing on 25 years of working as psychotherapists and coaches in business, education, organizations and research, Penny and James will present their latest ideas, insights and developments from the world ofClean.

It will be experiential, innovative and practical – and strategic rather than prescriptive thinking is encouraged.

This training will extend what you already know about working cleanly and help you apply some of the more subtle, behind-the-scenes thinking that guide Penny and James’ fluid and expert style.

How will this training work?

The learning happens in a number of ways, including demonstration and debrief, examples, coaching-in-the-moment, group facilitation of an individual client, and lots of facilitator-client activities.

Each group is different. The nature of Symbolic Modeling allows Penny & James to work with you both individually and as a group, insuring that you are getting what you want and need to move your facilitation towards greater nuance and flexibility.

As you refine how to calibrate and model what is happening with your client, you will notice the subtle clues in their responses to them selves, their material and their metaphors, and you will become more adept at facilitating them to work with what is essential.

Participants also find that engaging with their own inner landscape results in significant personal development.

A manual and reading materials will be provided prior to the workshop.

Self Modeling Retreat

With Penny Tompkins and James Lawley
​January 13-15th, 2018

Places are strictly limited to 15 people

Places left

Registration is now FULL. Please email Sharon at if you would like to be put on the wait list and informed when a space is available.

Join the leading innovators in Symbolic Modeling from London, England for a small group retreat in the beautiful San Luis Obispo area of northern California – where you can discover how your inner metaphor landscape can transform in wondrous ways.

Penny & James are joined by Sharon Small and Gina Campbell.

Who should come to this retreat?

  • Individuals interested in experience SymbolicModeling and the transformational way this model can work in their lives.
  • Couples that would like to find a new way of creating connection and vision in their relationship.
  • Creatives seeking inspiration and connection to their creative processes and productivity.
  • Trained Clean Facilitators who would like to continue their personal development and gain a deep internal experience of the model they use with their clients.

If you, as an individual or couple, would like to be facilitated in working with a problem or personal development topic under the expert guidance of Penny and James in a beautiful and supportive group setting – this retreat is for you.

If you are also interested in learning about the process of Symbolic Modeling and CleanLanguage, this is your opportunity to watchPenny and James work with a range of landscapes and issues over three days. This is an excellent way to get a sense of just how varied individuals' landscapes are, and how they transform and evolve in unique and surprising ways.

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley are highly experienced in working with couples using Symbolic Modeling. This is a rare opportunity to both experience Symbolic Modeling as a couple and how it can transform your relationship - as well as being a facilitator and having an opportunity to see Penny & James working in this context.

Since all the sessions will be open to be observed by the group, you will also get the chance to watch Penny and James work with a range of landscapes and issues and see how they transform and evolve over the three days.

There is NO prerequisite for attending this retreat.

A creative work from the 2017 retreat

What will I get?

This retreat emphasizes two types of modeling:

  1. Everyone will be facilitated to discover and interact with their inner metaphor landscape and to self-model how it is organized, how it changes, and the effects that can have.
  2. You can also choose to observe Penny and James facilitating, join the discussions, and model how they do what they do so elegantly.

From either perspective, you will discover more about...

  • star-o
    How Clean facilitates subtle, gentle yet profound change.
  • star-o
    How Clean works in areas other processes find difficult to reach.
  • star-o
    How Clean allows people to develop themselves and to live in the world in a different way.
  • star-o
    How Clean facilitation supports people to move past naive solutions and reveal a greater purpose.

How will the retreat work?

Only 15 participants can attend to allow time for each to develop his or her own symbolic landscape at their own pace. The unique format of the retreat includes:

  • Penny and James facilitating participants individually in short sessions
  • In between sessions participants contemplating their metaphor landscapes and carrying out recommended developmental assignments.

Plus optional:

  • Observing Penny, James, Sharon, and Gina as they facilitate.
  • Group discussion and Q & A about the process.
  • Within the work undertaken by Penny and James, experienced Symbolic Modelers may be offered the opportunity to facilitate others(supervised by a certified Clean Facilitator)..

What do people do after taking this retreat?

After, your new metaphors will guide you to continue to explore, deepen, mature and work with your own development. People report noticing delightful changes in their inner responses and outer behaviors.

About the Trainers

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley are co-developers of Symbolic Modeling and leading authorities on the use of self-originated metaphor for personal and professional development.

Their book, Metaphors in Mind is a comprehensive guide to their approach which they demonstrate in a DVD, A Strange and Strong Sensation.

Their aim is to facilitate people to see the repeating patterns in their lives, to recognize how these patterns can change, and to trust in the subsequent unfolding of their spirit.

Penny and James run The Developing Company, are married, and currently live in London.
Read more about them and check out their vast store of free materials here.

Clean Interviewing:
Interviewing Without Influence

with James Lawley and Sharon Small
​January 17-18th, 2018

Places are strictly limited to 12 people

Places left

What will I learn?

Join James Lawley and Sharon Small to investigate how the wording of interview questions can unintentionally bias answers, how ‘leading’ questions cast doubt on the authenticity of the data collected, and how you can avoid this by asking ‘clean’ questions.

The aim of this workshop is for you to learn and integrate the principles of Clean Interviewing, and to develop your ability to design and frame clean questions during practice interviews.

You will learn how to interview using Clean Language so your interviewees are given maximum opportunity to provide reliable information, ‘uncontaminated’ by an interviewer’s presuppositions and metaphors.

You will also learn a new process for validating the ‘cleanness’ of an interview and increasing the robustness of your methodology.

How will this training work?

James and Sharon will demonstrate how to use Clean Language Interviewing. There will be ample opportunity to practice in interviewer-interviewee activities with high-quality feedback, debriefing and plenty of time for questions and discussion.

The workshop will be experiential, innovative and practical. Asking and being asked Clean Language questions will not only take your interview skills to a new level, they can lead to more general professional development — strategic rather than prescriptive thinking is encouraged.

Who is this training for?

Anyone who uses ‘interviewing’ in the widest sense of that word, and who wants to gather information that accurately represents what people know, think and feel. For example:

  • Academic Researchers
  • Research Students
  • Marketing Researchers
  • Auditors
  • Cause Analysts
  • Corrective Actions Specialists
  • Consultants
  • HR Professionals
  • Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Quality Improvement Associates
  • Specification and Requirements Gatherers


To maximize the value and applicability of this training we recommend you have some familiarity with Clean Language. This can be gained through:

  • Participating in Symbolic Modeling Lite (Jan 5-7)
  • Or having had some training or experience of using Clean Language and of having been asked Clean Language questions.

If you would like more information on resources, please contact Sharon Small.

A manual and reading materials will be provided prior to the workshop.

Join us - It’s going to be informative, applicable and developmental!

Trainers for Clean Interviewing

  • James Lawley co-author of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modeling, and three peer-reviewed papers on Clean Interviewing.
  • Sharon Small, co-editor of "Who is Using Clean Language Anyway", owner of the Clean Language Institute and cause evaluation specialist.
  • This training will also be supported by Penny Tompkins, co-author of Metaphors in Mind and James Ramirez, Corrective Actions Supervisor and Root Cause Analyst.

Clean Convergence 2018 Trainers

Sharon Small

Clean Language trainer & Assessor
Sharon is the owner of Clean Language Institute, certified Clean Facilitator, Clean Assessor, Master NLP practitioner, coach in business and avid molder. She is co-editor (with Andrea Chiou) of Who Is Using Clean Language Anyway and author of The End of Therapy. She has been working with James Lawley and Penny Tompkins since 2007.

Penny Tompkins

Co-developer of Symbolic Modeling
Penny Tompkins is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, coach in business and certified NLP trainer. She is co-developer (with James Lawley) of Symbolic Modeling and co-author of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modeling.

James Lawley

Co-developer of Symbolic Modeling
James Lawley is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, coach in business and certified NLP trainer, and professional modeler. He is co-developer of Symbolic Modeling and co-author (with Penny Tompkins) of Metaphors In Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modeling.

Your Venue

Clean Convergence 2018 will take place at a beautiful informal location along the coast of Central California - equidistant between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This part of the coastline is a small portion of the world that is Mediterranean in climate, making it a desirable winter vacation destination.

Your Four Tuition Options

  • ONE Workshop ($1,395)
  • TWO Workshops ($2,790)
  • THREE Workshops ($4,185)
  • All FOUR Workshops ($5,580)

© 2018 Clean Language Institute