Our 5th Year Changing the Face of
Clean Language on a Global Scale

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”).”

*metaphor intended

Attend Clean Convergence 2020 and find out how YOU can use Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling to achieve better results with your clients or team members.

Check out what’s on tap…

Already a fan?

The dates for Clean Convergence 2020 have been set and the ball is rolling toward another fantastic set of workshops. Within these workshops we will present different content than in previous years. Even if you’ve attended before, you’ll definitely want to be here again.

Of course, Penny Tompkins and James Lawley will be on-hand to facilitate an incredible workshop learning environment along with training support by Gina Campbell and James Ramirez.

Once again, we’ll have FOUR fascinating workshops from which to choose…better yet, make 2020 the year that you attend all four workshops.

Need to know more?

Join us for this informative ZOOM meeting where we answer your quetions and help you find what is just right for you within Clean Convergence 2020. These meetings are interactive and limited to no more than 8 participants so we can be sure that you have your questions answered.

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


Register For Your Workshops

You already saw that we have four amazing workshops for your professional or personal development. The question is, will you choose one or all? We like to make it easy for you.

Make Your Travel Plans

Proper planning is key to easy travel. With plenty of notice, you might even be able to schedule some extra-curricular activities whilst in California for your trainings.

Winter on the Central Coast is mild. There could be some adventuring. Venue information TBA.

Get Ready For Something Amazing

Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling are so unlike any other modality – so simple and refined yet requiring much practice to master with ease and fluidity.

This might be the very thing that sets you apart.

These trainings are designed to optimize one-on-one support.

Registration fee is $1395 per workshop.
You may hold your place with a small deposit.

“I look forward to it every year! The learning, the personal growth, the openness to us all is so wonderful!”

Laurie from Chicago

January 6-8, 2020

Symbolic Modeling Lite with Sharon Small

Clean Language Institute’s foundational workshop

is an easy introduction to the realm of Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling.

Places are limited to 12

Get a seat at the big kid’s table and get your skills ready for P&J (no, that’s not peanut-butter and jelly)

Click here to listen to Penny Tompkins, James Lawley, and Sharon Small talk about the benefits of Symbolic Modeling Lite (r2018)

But calling it an introduction is like calling a Tesla ‘just a car’. Yes, it’s a car and it can get you from point A to point B like any other car. Yet it is so much more than just a car AND it’s so sleek and quiet, well-developed yet simple.

When you enroll in our Symbolic Modeling Lite course, you will get the basics and fundamentals of Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language. You will come away with tools you can use right away to gain personal and professional clarity. But you will get so much more.

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) and is strictly limited to 12 participants.

Would like to start using Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language in you practice? Your work? Or simply for your own personal development?

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

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 Enhancing and Integrating 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 ofDavid Grove’s Clean Language and it’s 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?

This workshop is limited to no more than 12 attendees.

The small size of the group is to allow for a high-touch environment with time for developmental feedback towards your learning, 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 Small is a clean language trainer and internationally recognized clean language assessor.

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?

There is no prerequisite for this training. All are welcome!

“Metaphor is perhaps one of man’s most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God left inside His creatures when He made them.”

Jose Ortega y Gasset

January 10-12, 2020

Enhancing & Integrating Symbolic Modeling Skills

Big Stuff: Defining moments, life patterns and sense of self

Places are limited to 18

Be sure to book early to secure your seat.

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley take the lead on this workshop bringing 25 years of experience and new material that will take your facilitation skills to the next level – enhancing and integrating your understanding and practice of Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling.

Clean Convergence in California is one of the few places in the world where you can attend live in-person training with the co-developers of Symbolic Modeling.

Enhancing and Integrating 2020 will focus on the fascinating topic of how metaphors express the big stuff in life:

Defining moments...

Life patterns...

Our sense of identity...

We will be working with metaphors that are central to our way of being in the world and the important decisions we make in our life. These are akin to what James Hillman refers to as “The Soul’s Code”, Eric Berne as “life scripts”, Caroline Myss as a “Sacred Contract”, and David Grove as our “personal cosmology”.

Life Patterns – Life Metaphors – Sense of Self

Although our minds and bodies are constantly changing, there remains a sense of self, of me, of identity, that travels with us throughout our life. We know about this continuity through the recurring symbolic themes and motifs that appear in our life and in our metaphor landscapes with disarming regularity.

Whether we are aware of it or not, these metaphors guide our decisions, nudge us along our life path, and present us with opportunities to learn life’s lessons.

Sometimes we are nagged by what Robert Johnson, one of the most influential interpreters of Jungian Psychology, calls an ‘un-lived’ life. Sometimes it seems we are destined to meet the same life challenges over and over. At other times, as hard as we try, we just can’t change an aspect of ourselves we don’t like.

And then there are things we cannot not do – wherever we are we find ways to manifest these deep aspects of our self. And what about the decisions we make that go against all conventional advice – but somehow just feel right?

Sometimes the symbols are as overt as “someone up there is looking after me”, or as a “quiet still inner voice”. More often than not the sacred is disguised in the mundane:

One client had a metaphor of throwing away a bothersome apple. No matter how often or how far he threw the apple, sooner or later it would reappear in his hand and he felt this slowed him down. He had spent years trying to get rid of this apple. An exploration of this pattern revealed that he threw the apple away as soon as he had a clear sense of the direction his life should take—only to have it reappear in his hand whenever he felt lost or confused. It was a special moment when he finally realized that rather than trying to get rid of the apple, he could accept it as guiding his decisions and the direction of his life.

Where do these symbols and metaphors come from? We don’t know. What we do know is identifying, accepting and consciously aligning with them changes our relationship with our self and our life, often in a profound way.

During this workshop we will explore how to recognize these patterns in yourself and in your clients, how to honor and work with them – cleanly.

Join us, it is going to be fun, challenging and very informative!

If you are following this training with the three-day Self-Modeling Retreat, be ready for a treat and some deep personal/professional development.

Prerequisite: 3-Day Symbolic Modeling Lite or similar introductory course on Clean Language/Symbolic Modeling. Please email Sharon at info@cleanlanguagetraining.com if you have any concerns about your preparedness for this workshop.

Who are Penny Tompkins & James Lawley?

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley 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.

They are co-developers of Symbolic Modeling and co-authors of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modeling. James is also a co-author of Insights in Space, the first comprehensive guide to using Clean Space. You can find more of their work here: cleanlanguage.co.uk

Would you like to read a client’s take on working with a life pattern?

(Just click above)

Who should take this class?

Any professional who is interested in working more fluidly with they systemic nature of individual and groups.

These advanced trainings with Penny and James were originally designed to help individuals who are using Symbolic Modeling and Clean Methodologies in their work to new levels of skill and refined ability.

If you are currently using Clean as a facilitation or model in your work, this is a must for your continued professional development. No where else in the world will you gain the intimate 3-day environment provided here with us in California.

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 of Clean.

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.

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.

“Don’t let the casual, warm, family-like atmosphere fool you – there is some serious learning happening here.”

Lynn from California

January 14-16, 2020

Self Modeling & Personal Development Retreat

The Best In The World!

Strictly limited to no more than 14 individuals.

Ready to come clean? Save your space at this unique retreat.

Leading innovators in Symbolic Modeling, Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, from London, England are joined by Clean Language trainers Sharon Small and Gina Campbell on 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. 

This 3-day self-modeling retreat is a must for anyone who loves this work or would like to experience exponential personal and professional growth.

This is a special opportunity to have a deeply personal experience of this work and self-model how your personal or professional desired outcomes can become a reality.

As an added interest to Clean Language facilitators, you will be able to observe others being facilitated, and time will be provided for you to ask Penny, James, Sharon, and Gina questions about their use of the Symbolic Modeling process.

 There is no prerequisite* for this program. All are welcome.


Who should come to this retreat?

If you want to be facilitated to work 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 Clean Language, this is your opportunity to watch Penny 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.

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.

 Again, there is NO prerequisite for attending this retreat.

*except your early registration to ensure your space 🙂

How does this retreat work? 

We begin with limiting our participants to 14. This allows you as a participant time to develop your own symbolic landscape at your own pace.

The first day everyone is given a facilitation time, this is the beginning and designed to help you refine your desired outcome for the next two days.

After your first session you may sign up for as many or few sessions as you would like. Each session is approximately 20 minutes, iterated many times over the days you are with us.

Don’t be fooled by the short time span – these sessions are meant to build on one another and the personal work you do between.

In the evenings we have a Q & A available for everyone. You may ask questions about your own work and / or questions to help shed light on the decision making and modeling process of the different facilitators you might have watched during the day.

And this is a bit like Vegas…what happens in the retreat, stays in the retreat. It is highly respectful of your personal privacy (during and after the event) and designed to be a pro-social learning environment for all.

What will I get?

This retreat emphasizes two types of modeling:

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.

You can also choose to observe Penny, James, Sharon, or Gina facilitating, join the discussions, and model how they do what they do so elegantly.

From either perspective, you will to learn more about:

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

Plus Optional...

  1. Observing professional experienced facilitation with Penny, James, Sharon, and Gina.
  2. Group discussion and Q & A about the process.
  3. 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 attending 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.

Join us and share your story of change and success.

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.


Sharon Small is the founder and CEO of Clean Language Institute, the author of two books about Clean Language. She has a varied history from Jungian Archetypal psychology, to studies in Shaman-ism, to working for over a decade at a nuclear power plant. She has been teaching and facilitating Clean models for over 13 years.


Gina Campbell is the owner of Mining Your Metaphors a Clean Language training company. She is a professional counselor and author of multiple books on and about Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling.


Our aim is to facilitate you to see the repeating patterns in you life, to recognize how these patterns can change, and to trust in the subsequent unfolding of your desired outcomes.

January 18-19, 2020

Clean Interviewing with Sharon Small and James Lawley

Due to the intensive nature of this trainings and one-on-one support you receive, this course is limited to small group size of 14 to maintain quality and a high learning environment.

Places limited to 14

Secure your spot in this course

Join Us

as we 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.

Click here to hear Sharon Small & James Lawley (r2018) talk about Clean Interviewing.

Sharon Small & James Lawley show how to use Clean Language questions and principles to “clean up” your interviews and increase the accuracy of the information you gather. Learn how the words you use can adversely affect an interviewee’s replies. Cause analysts, auditors, researchers, and anyone who needs to collect high-quality data from people will learn to keep more of their own stuff out and let more of the interviewee’s stuff in.

Why Clean Interviewing? 

The wording of interview questions can unintentionally bias answers, ‘leading’ questions can cast doubt on the authenticity of the data collected, but how would you know? Sharon Small and James Lawley will show you how you can avoid the pitfalls of interviewing by using ‘clean’ questions and a Cleanness Rating.

This intensely practical training is for researchers (academic and commercial), consultants, cause analysts, HR specialists, managers, in fact anyone who needs to gather high-quality information. Most interviewing methods teach one to use ‘open questions’. This is a good start and simply does not go far enough.

Open ended questions can be leading; closed questions, such as “Is there anything else?”, can leave a client open to answer with more lateral. It is not only about open and closed, it is also about inadvertently adding in our own biases through interpretation of presuppositions, working off of assumptions, using metaphorical language, or using other peoples top down models to interpret what is happening within an interview process.

Taking notice of your assumptions, biases, presuppositions, and metaphorical content will put you well on your way to clean-ing up your interviews and conversations with out having to be clever or tricky. By adding clean questions, you will gain rapport, help put your interviewee at ease, and make it easier for your interviewee to answer your questions.

You will also know where you are in your data collection process and stay accurate in your time-line. In essence you will be come a better modeler of information. As you know, each person is different and interviewing may be the most important skill in cause evaluations and data collection.

When poor information is gathered, less than accurate or desirable results will be be the result. It is our aim to provide you with a verifiable interview methodology where you can not only collect authentic data, but also check the rate of interviewer influence on that data.

This is a game changer.

Who is this training for? 
Are you?

  • Academic researcher
  • Research student
  • Marketing reseacher
  • Auditor
  • Cause analyst
  • Corrective actions specialist
  • Consultant
  • HR Professional
  • Manager
  • Business analyst
  • Quality improvement associate
  • Specification & requirements gatherer
This training could be just the thing that elevates your communication and/or interview techniques allowing you to gather more authentic and honest information.

Would you like to have your company sponsor your participation?

This program has been supported by major corporations such a Boeing, Pacific Gas & Electric, Hydro One, Luminant, Seimans, and others.

What will I learn in Clean Language Interview Training?

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 questions and principle so your interviewees are given maximum opportunity to provide reliable information – uncontaminated by unintentional presuppositions, assumptions, and personal metaphors.

You will also learn a new process for validating the ‘cleanness’ of an interview and increasing the robustness of your methodology. This is the only interview method that can be validated on observable criteria outside of relative and subjective interpretation.

Each program is supported with:

  • Certified Clean Facilitators that actively use Clean Interviewing in their professions
  • High quality academic source materials for reference and further study if desired
  • An opportunity to interview on real contexts, not artificial scenario’s designed by trainers

How big are the groups for these trainings?

All of our courses are small group format allowing for a high-touch experience that is intended to let everyone participate fully and learn at their best.

This training is limited to 18 people.

The small group size allows time for developmental feedback towards your learning, exercises and application with others, and self-reflection.

What do people do after attending 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.

Join us and share your story of change and success.

How is it taught?

We work in groups of two or three to applying the model or skill to yourself and others in real time with real outcomes.

In these small groups, you’ll have the opportunity to be an observer, an interviewEE, and an InterviewER giving you multiple perspectives from which to learn.

This format allows you to take away new learnings quickly and use them right away in your own work and personal life.

Clean Language Interviewing is demonstrated in multiple context and you will be given ample opportunity to practice in interviewER-interviewEE activities with high-quality feedback, debriefing and plenty of time for questions and discussion.

The workshop is 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.

Are there any prerequisites?

Although there is no prerequisite to attend Clean Interviewing, it is highly recommended that you have some familiarity with Clean Language questions and principles to maximize the value and applicability of this training.

This can be gained through:

About Your Trainers
Sharon Small

Sharon Small

The Clean Language Institute

Sharon is an independent researcher and internationally recognized clean language trainer and assessor. She has dedicated her mission to helping others gather good information so they can do great work.

With over 13 years of experience working in the nuclear industry, a degree in psychology and background in Jungian Archetypal psychology, Shaman-ism and NLP, Sharon brings a broad set of skills and experiences to her training rooms.

James Lawley

James Lawley

The Developing Company

James is a co-developer of Symbolic Modeling and a leading authority on the use of self-originated metaphor for personal and professional development.

James lives in the UK with his wife and co-developer, Penny Tompkins. He comes to the US annually where he and Penny join Sharon in California to provide advanced training in Clean Language, Symbolic Modeling and Clean Interviewing.

Each workshop is only $1395

Symbolic Modeling Lite

3-day workshop with Sharon Small

January 6-8, 2020

Enhancing & Integrating

Three-day workshop with James Lawley and Penny Tompkins

January 10-12, 2020

Self Modeling Retreat

3-day personal development retreat with Penny Tompkins, James Lawley, and Sharon Small

January 14-16, 2020

Clean Interviewing

2-day specialist workshop with Sharon Small and James Lawley

January 18-19, 2020

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