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First published on 5 May 2022

From Pain to Calm Clear Sky

James Lawley & Penny Tompkins

The following transcript comes from our fourth workshop with a group Ukrainian psychologists and psychotherapists who want to use Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling to support themselves and their clients. The aim of the session was simply to demonstrate Symbolic Modelling ‘live’.

Other transcripts from this series are available here:
 The client's responses and our questions were translated by Anna Stativka.

This transcript is illustrative of a number of features:
• Working with a client experiencing physical and emotional pain during the session.

• How we acknowledge and incorporate the client’s painful current reality:
- her body is in pain (C2, C8, C51)
- she can “lose control over the world” (C18)
- a “dark cloud comes” (C39)
- she “cannot do anything about circumstances” (C45)
- and is living with a painful dilemma (C47).
• Some ways to respond when a client answers “I don’t know” (C45, C49, C57) to a question.

• How we make use of a number of varieties of the “And when … what would you like to have happen?” question (J1, P22, J44, J46, J48, J50).

• That even with the ongoing suffering, a valuable resource metaphor and several perspective-changing realisations can emerge.
After the transcript we provide an illustration of our schema of the client's symbols and process.
James Lawley & Penny Tompkins
Penny and James book, Metaphors in Mind was the first comprehensive guide to Symbolic Modelling using the Clean Language of David Grove. An annotated training DVD, A Strange and Strong Sensation demonstrates their work in a live session. James has also written (with Marian Way) the first book dedicated to Clean Space: Insights in Space. Between them Penny and James have published over 200 articles and blogs freely available on their website:
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