From Novice to Natural

Resolving Your Clients’ Issues Through Metaphor

Would you like to discover how to use Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling in your practice, teach others these processes, or bring them into your business?

Our signature program

The Symbolic Modeling Solution
Clean Facilitator Program

may be for you.

The Symbolic Modeling Solution is a unique year long course composed of four separate modules and developmental support. The program is designed to give you a steady path to a highly practical Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling skill set.

Starting from first principles this unique training program will help you steadily gain proficiency all the way through to an internationally recognized certification as a Clean Facilitator.

Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language methodologies have proven invaluable in therapy, coaching, management, interviewing, and other forms of facilitation where elicitation of authentic or critical information is important.



Sign Up For The Course

You already want the best for your clients and yourself. You’ve experienced limitations with other methodologies. You are ready for something profoundly different.

Attend The Worksops

Attend the workshops and learn, in a unique setting, the ins and outs of a methodology that has the power to drastically improve your success ratio (and that of your clients as well).

Get Certified

It’s the icing on the cake or the bow on the box. Not only will you provide a better service for your clients, you can teach this methodology to your peers and colleagues.

Need to know more? Of course you do.
See our FAQs for all the answers to your burning questions.

Learn Your Client’s Secret Language

Increase your credibility and watch their success rate skyrocket


What is Symbolic Modeling and why should I learn it?

Symbolic Modeling is a coaching and therapeutic methodology that uses Clean Language questions and Clean Thinking as the heart of its model.

Clean Language is a way of asking questions that minimizes unintended influence on your clients; the aim being to leave people free to answer from their personal experience. It is a means of respecting the individuals or the clients own way of experiencing the world.

Clean Language Questions and modeling a clients own internal metaphor landscape were originally developed by psychotherapist and innovator, David Grove, to help clients resolve deep trauma. It is now being used to solve complex problems by some of the sharpest people in the world who prefer to empower other people rather than tell them what to do.

Clean” is a metaphor for a way of being with others that is free (clean) of own assumptions, pre-suppositions, interpretations, and judgments. It minimizes unintended influence on others and reduces the risk of wasteful projections.

The aim is to leave clients free to answer from their own experience, unlock their creativity, and let them come up with solutions that match their way of being in the world.

How does it work?

Symbolic Modeling Lite is a 3 day program that runs every January and September.

Symbolic Modeling Part 1 & 2 are run over two five-day intensives at our training facility on the Central Coast of California, USA.

Clean Facilitator Learning Assessment Level 1 is held over 2-3 days depending on group size.

Each program is supported with 12 hours mentoring and supervision all designed to give you the best of what you need to succeed.

Where are the programs held?

All courses are live trainings held here on the Central Coast of California. There is something magical that happens when people converge to learn something new. A vibrancy, systemic learning, connection and depth that simply can not be replicated online.

When does the next program start?

The first of FOUR in-person workshops will begin in January 2019*

  • January 7-9, 2019 (3 days)

We will also meet

  • April 15-19,2019 (5 days)
  • July 15-19, 2019 and (5 days)
  • October 17-19, 2019 (3 days)
What will I learn?

All of our courses are small group format (between 6 and 15 people) allowing for a high-touch experience that is intended to let everyone participate fully and learn at their best.

Each program is supported with:

Bi-Weekly Support – Q/A calls

Monthly practice group calls

A designated practice partner

And 12 hours mentoring and supervision

All designed to give you the best of what you need to succeed.

The Symbolic Modeling Solution – Clean Facilitator Program 2019 Includes the following four courses:

Symbolic Modeling Lite – January 7-9, 2019
What it is:
 This is a broad 3-day introduction and overview of Symbolic Modeling.
Why this is important: It will give you the larger picture of Symbolic Modeling, the stages involved, how to know where you are in a session, and more.
How it will help you get started: You will learn the foundations of Symbolic Modeling, become familiar with the core clean language questions used 80% of the time, and become prepared to go deep into the skill sets needed to become a highly proficient facilitator. 

Would you like to attend only this program to find out more about Clean Language and whether it is a process for you? You can purchase this workshop independently and begin your clean journey HERE

Symbolic Modeling Solution 1
April 15-19, 2019
What it is: This is a 3-day intensive learning foundational modeling practices, developing your clean questioning skills, and working with in a problem, remedy, outcome frame.
Why this is important: Each aspect of Symbolic Modeling is important to know. By attending this training you will be building a strong foundation on which to move into creating conditions for change and applications for work environments.
What will I be learning? Identifying Resources: Gives you the foundations of modeling work. Going PRO: Introduces the Problem-Remedy-Outcome model for use in creating the conditions for change and developing desired outcomes.

Symbolic Modeling Solution 2
July 15-19, 2019
What it is: In this module, we continue to work within an outcome frame, working with complex problems, or what we call binds, adding Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge to your Clean Skill set.
Why this is important: It is good to know what to do when people have difficulties that are not seemingly resolvable through an outcome frame. It takes tenacity, skill and a particular skill set to work with seemingly intractable issues. Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge are two of David Groves last innovations. They make space your ally and will give you particular ways of working with both younger and reticent clients that give them the benefit of clean without having to develop an explicit metaphor landscape. It is also fabulous work for self-facilitation.
What will I be learning?
-Developing skill with the PRO model (from last session)
– Working with “binds” – noticing when someone is ‘stuck’ and how to work with that level of client complexity cleanly.
– Clean Space & Emergent Knowledge: Introduces unique methods for working with including physical expression and space in change work.

Clean Facilitator Learning Assessment Level 1
Oct 17-19, 2019
(Certification is optional).
What it is: This is a 3-day skills based learning assessment with optional certification as a Clean Facilitator Level 1.
Why this is important: Receiving clean, actionable feedback on your work as a Clean Facilitator will super charge your facilitation skills. This learning assessment is designed as a skills based opportunity to gain real time development through specific and helpful feedback.
Clean Facilitator Part 1 & 2 are run over two five day intensives at our training facility on the Central Coast of California, USA.

BONUS: If you decide this program is right for you and pay-in-full by September 1st, 2018, we will give you the added bonus of attending one three day program of your choice at Clean Convergence 2020. This is a $1995 value and will give you an opportunity to refresh your fundamentals, work with other leading trainers in the field, and perhaps even the developers of Symbolic Modeling, Penny Tompkins & James Lawley. (See CC2019 for an idea of what will be on offer)

How is it taught?

We do our best to teach Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language in a way that is fully congruent with the methodology being taught. This begins by it being modeled by your instructor in her day-to-day interactions with you and includes how we do our learning and exercises.

We work with a Do-Debrief-Didactic-Iterate model of learning. What this means to you is you may be asked to do exercises you don’t fully understand. At the time this may seem a bit anti-thematic to your learning and in being congruent with the Clean Philosophy, your experience and noticing is most important.

Do: In doing the requested exercises before ‘being told all about them’ you will be bringing first hand experience to the course room without being unduly influenced by either someone else’s philosophy or pre-promoted expectations.

Debrief: After the exercises we will debrief as a group, to find out what happened, what you noticed, how it went and what you learned (about yourself, your client and your facilitation)

Didactic: And after you have taken time to notice what you notice, only then do we go into a teaching frame on what you are just learned. (i.e. the thinking, principles, or philosophy behind it and tips for skill development).

Iterate: We will then repeat the exercise with your own experience, groups insights and specific learnings available to you. 

This is a different way of learning than most programs you may take part in and one in which you may need to become comfortable with “not knowing”.

This is also congruent with the Symbolic Modeling methodology. Symbolic Modeling is a ‘bottom-up” modeling process, there are often times when as facilitators we do not understand the content and yet must stay present to the framework or logic of the clients thinking.

We will work in groups of two or three to apply 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, a client, and a facilitator — giving you multiple perspectives from which to learn from.

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

What kind of material do we practice with?

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

What is my investment?

Full Investment is $8370.00

This is a four-module clean language training that will take you step by step to full competency over a one year period.

It designed to bring you from novice to natural in the use and application of your learning in clean language/Symbolic Modeling skills.

This includes:

  • Symbolic Modeling Lite

  • Symbolic Modeling Solution Part 1 (Resources, Going P.R.O.)

  • Symbolic Modeling Solution Part 2 (P.R.O. continued, Binds, Clean Space, Emergent Knowledge), and

  • Learning Assessment towards certification Clean Facilitator Level 1.

Each module is on-site in our training center on the Central Coast of California. We have tried to make your participation in this event as flexible as possible. So be sure to read the hints to making your registration easy below.

This program has an optional learning assessment towards becoming an internationally recognized Certified Clean Facilitator.

Would you like to attend the bonus session at our Clean Convergence 2020 event in January where you can work directly with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley for free? Just choose the Pay-In-Full option and the bonus tab and this will be included in your program a-gratis.

If you pay-in-full now we would like to gift you with a bonus credit towards your registration of 20% (that is $1674)! And you are invited to attend a bonus session with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley at Clean Convergence 2019 at 50% regular price (that is an additional bonus of $698.50). This is a bonus credit towards your learning of up to $2372.50…WOW!!

If you choose to hold your space with a deposit prior to September 30th, 2018, you are invited to attend a bonus Session with Penny Tompkins and James Lawley at Clean Convergence 2019 at 50% off – $698.50

We have included a schedule for your review, so that you can double check your dates. Be sure to check the schedule and put the dates on your calendar


1st – Choose the option: Clean Facilitator Program and whether you would like to save your space with a $150.00 non-refundable deposit or Pay-In-Full.

2nd – Click the “Attend This Session” button on all programs you will be attending (be sure to check your calendar)

3rd – Once registered you will receive a support call and webinar schedule to help us help you keep your learning fresh and support you in the application of what you will be learning. We will also send you hotel and local area information so you can make the most of your stay with us here on one of the most beautiful coastal areas of “The American Riviera”.

PAY IN FULL and receive an immediate 20% bonus credit!

PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE. Simply choose the deposit option when registering and email us for invoicing arrangements.

If you would like to purchase individual segments of the Clean facilitator program please contact us at info@cleanlanguagetraining.com. The a-la-carte option will limit your participation to the training days only.

Great to have you with us!



Keep scrolling

Yes…it’s true.  Clean Convergence and all Clean Language Institute workshops ARE this much fun!

Tell me more about Symbolic Modeling Lite.

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. It is a wide frame overview giving you a chance to see the larger frame or higher view of what we are up to when Symbolic Modeling.

We will be looking at the structure of the Symbolic Modeling process, including the Problem-Remedy- Outcome model.

In this module you will become familiar with …

  • The 6 phases of a Symbolic Modeling session
  • The 12 core Clean Questions
  • The three core principle that underpin Symbolic Modeling
  • The three primary types of modeling
  • The difference between Clean Language models and Symbolic Modeling and how to choose which one to use.
  • Develop your personal desired outcomes for your participation in this program
  • The Problem-Remedy-Outcome model and how to use it for coaching, therapy, and work practices.
  • What is meant by “creating the conditions for change”
  • How to begin calibrating what you are doing is ‘clean’ or not
  • How to begin making even everyday conversations ‘cleaner’
Tell me more about Symbolic Modeling Solution Part 1

In this module you will:

  • Learn to Identify and develop Resources
  • Master the 12 primary Clean Language questions.
  • Begin eliciting client generated metaphors.
  • Start building metaphor landscapes.
  • Work with the syntax and rhythm of asking the clean questions.
  • And get comfortable running your own clean modeling session of approximately 30 minutes.
  • Learn the Problem-Remedy-Outcome model and how to use it:
  • Begin to work with the structure of change and how it happens.
  • Discover the PRO model and use it to your clients’ benefit in developing their desired outcome landscape.
  • Develop your skills in building your clients landscapes through experiential learning and practice.
  • Gain flexibility in your Clean work.
  • Work with emergent properties.
  • Get comfortable running your own Symbolic Modeling sessions of 45 minutes or more.
  • and work through the 6 phases of a Symbolic Modeling session, moving fluidly between phases as they change with your clients insights and metaphor landscape.
Tell me more about Symbolic Modeling Solution Part 2

In this module you will:

  • Learn about ‘Binds’: what they are and how to navigate them in your Clean sessions:
  • Begin modeling at a higher level.
  • Hone your pattern spotting skills by becoming aware of underlying patterns in your clients’ metaphors.
  • Recognize patterns that move us forward and those that keep us stuck.
  • Learn how to tease them apart using the Symbolic Modeling methodology and Clean Questions.
  • Notice when you may be affected by your clients landscape and how to move back into an unaffected state of presence.
  • Learn Clean Space & Emergent Knowledge (EK), two powerful new models developed by David Grove. (This is a whole different animal and a really fun training!). 

You will…

  • Learn when and how to apply both processes – Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge
  • Learn more about why space matters and how to use it as your ally.
  • Use iteration in a new way to benefit your clients.
  • Learn more about self-organizing network theory and experience it in action.
  • Learn when and how to apply both processes — Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge— as well as how to join them up with your Symbolic Modeling sessions.
Tell me more about Clean Facilitator Learning Assessment

Our approach to this learning assessment is skills based and developmental. What that means is it is not simply a pass/fail ‘test’. 

You may also opt to do your assessments online, rather than in a group format here in California – although it is highly recommended to attend these three days regardless if you choose to certify or not. Working in a group, with the support of your fellow learners, hearing the feedback they receive, and learning from what they are doing well and need help with can super-charge your facilitation skills like no other process we have worked with.

How does the Learning Assessment work?

The Learning Assessment for Clean Facilitator Certification is run over three days. This is designed as a face-to-face skills-based opportunity to gain real time development through specific and helpful feedback.

There are 5 skill-based modules to pass. Our presentation of what is expected and feedback is designed to help you develop your skills, know where you need to work, feel confident with the skill you have developed already and pass the assessment process in a way that feels in integrity with your own learning. You may repeat up to three modules.

Assessment is done in an open room setting, when possible, so everyone can continue to learn from their classmates and other facilitators who are there.

The idea behind this format is that giving and receiving feedback can be difficult and when learning anything new, it is important. When we, as students, have an opportunity to watch others work, hear the feedback they receive, we learn new things.

In gaining the equanimity to receive and implement feedback with others in the room, your courage to implement and apply what you have learned in the previous days training will skyrocket. Take advantage of learning in this context, so when you return home to your therapy, coaching or management practice your skills and courage are encouraged in your normal work setting.

Can I use this for a Coaching Certificate?

Currently we provide certificates with seat time and core competencies upon request. You may be able to use this training to apply for coaching certification or CCE’s through the ICF and BCC.

What if I don't want to become a Certified Facilitator?

You may choose to become a Certified Clean Facilitator Level 1 through our Clean Facilitator Certification Program, but you do not need to do so in order to participate fully in both the program and assessment module. Use the assessment module to your advantage to help you begin applying what you learn right away.

Why should I train with The Clean Language Institute?

Our approach to this program is unique. 

You get access to any module you have paid for and completed for the next 12 months. This means that you are invited to repeat (with registration) a program as many times as you like when that module is offered over the next 12 months from the time of original enrollment. This is highly valuable and recommended if you are interested in teaching this process to others. 

We believe mastery comes with iteration and would like to create incentive for previous students to return, gain skill and help create a vital and active learning environment.

We also offer a group support call each month that covers…

Question & Answer Session: Where you’re invited to bring any queries you may have from your own practice or study.

Specific Skill Development: Each month we’ll pick one key skill to focus on and to enhance through additional discussion.

Modeling the Work: Real-life application of the skills you have acquired and quarterly interviews with active Certified Clean Facilitators in various fields.

Still have questions?

Ask here or send an email to info@cleanlanguagetraining.com

1 + 14 =

“(Sharon) has a delightful way of making you feel supported whilst at the same time enabling you to learn and grow from the constructive feedback. I have valued her comments and would describe her as a facilitator with both backbone and heart.

Jackie Arnold
Executive Coach/Author, Coach 4 Executives


Sharon Small 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, Shamanism and NLP, Sharon brings a broad set of skills and experiences to her training rooms. She also provides individual consultancy work and supervision for coaches and therapists. Sharon has trained therapists, coaches, auditors, cause analysts, operations & COE level management from Pacific Gas & Electric, Siemens, Ennovation (Japan), and Boeing in the UK, Japan, Germany and the US. Sharon is a vibrant and engaging trainer with an amazing amount of energy. She is able to convey the “how to” of Clean in an accessible and friendly way, bringing humor, insightfulness and new skills into the field of coaching, management communication and investigative interviewing. Sharon is very comfortable with non-native English speakers and has taught extensively in Japan and Germany. Although currently uni-lingual, one of her personal desired outcomes is to gain some second language proficiency.


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