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James Lawley

James LawleyJames Lawley offers psychotherapiy to individuals and couples, and coaching, research and consultancy to organisations. He is a co-developer of Symbolic Modelling and co-author (with Penny Tompkins) of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling, (with Marian Way) Insights in Space: How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity and an Online training in Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling. For a more detailed biography see about us and his blog.

Articles by this Author
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Becoming More Mindful with Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling
By James Lawley | Published 25 11 2017
The Developing Group
I have been modelling a number of descriptions of mindfulness. To do this I devised three simple models that: (1) Make sense of the various definitions and explanations of mindfulness, (2) Identify the core abilities which underly most, if not all forms of mindfulness, (3) Facilitate a person to self-model both what happens during mindfulness and where improvement can take place.
It Takes Two To Tango
By James Lawley | Published 04 07 2015
The Developing Group , Self Development
The longer a relationship pattern continues the more we can be sure neither person is solely responsible for the recurring outcome. From a systemic perspective it takes two to tango. That is, both parties (often unwittingly) perpetuate the pattern and the consistency of the outcome. This paper examines these relationship patterns and what needs to happen to take steps to initiate and maintain a new behaviour.

Embodying Others Metaphors and Acquiring their Tacit Knowledge
By James Lawley | Published 29 11 2014
The Developing Group
Metaphors contain tacit knowledge. You can explain what they mean to some degree and yet the subtle, implicit meaning that native speakers take for granted is hard to capture, even by professional linguists. Metaphor maybe a prime vehicle for the acquisition of tacit knowledge. This raises a question: How do we ‘acquire’ or ‘take on’ or ‘incorporate’ etc. metaphors that are not our own? Children seem to effortlessly manage it. But for adults who already have cognitive and emotional commitments to their (unconscious) metaphors, it’s a different story. 
The Leader-Follower Dynamic – a systemic perspective
Leader, leading, leadership. Follower, following, but not follower-ship; why not? The metaphor of ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ is so embedded in our culture and language that we tend to forget there are other ways to think about and describe the relationship. Interestingly much of nature operates quite successfully without an overt-leader. The lack of a leader in an antifragile self-organising system warrants a re-think of our models of leadership. This paper explores the systemic nature of the leader–follower dynamic from a 'clean' perspective.

What's in a Name: The effect of labelling on experience
By James Lawley | Published 06 10 2012
The Developing Group
When we consider that all words are labels, we realise every word slants our thinking in some way. Given we have to label to communicate verbally, and since most of us, most of the time, have no idea how we label, or the effects of one label over another, we thought it would be interesting to explore this rich topic by looking at labelling from a number of perspectives. 
Pointing to a New Modelling Perspective
After more than a decade of searching for a satisfying analogy that describes the perspective I take when symbolic modelling I’ve finally found one right under my nose. It is the simple and everyday act of pointing.

Setting Up Clean Space
By James Lawley | Published 16 03 2012
Clean Space
David Grove's Clean Space has often been presented as a linear technique. This blog attempts to redress the balance by attending more to the artistic aspect of Clean Space. It examines the role of the facilitator and introduces 'Six Set Ups' and aligns them with the 'Level I Criteria of Competence'.
Remote Extended assessment
By James Lawley | Published 12 01 2012
The Developing Group , Books Videos etc

Certification Criteria Level I
By James Lawley | Published 30 07 2011
Books Videos etc
Criteria for Certification as a Clean Facilitator – Level I. 
The Remote and Extended Credit Assessment Process.  
Assessor Criteria and list of Assessors.
Comments on It Certainly Ain't Clean
By James Lawley | Published 06 04 2011
SyM and NLP , Advanced NLP
My discussions with Andrew Austin and Steve Andreas on the similarities and differences between Andy's Metaphors of Movement process and Symbolic Modelling/Clean Language.
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Blogs by this Author
Published 24 12 2010
Where do good ideas come from? Not as we like to think, with a sudden flash of genius, says writer Steven Johnson. He tells the Guardian's excellent Oliver Burkeman that "Eureka moments are very, very...
Published 25 12 2010
Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biology, Neurology and Neurosurgery at Stanford University, writes on 'This Is Your Brain on Metaphors': [1] Consider an animal (including a human) that ha...
Published 26 12 2010
In the latest issue of Scientific American Mind, Siri Carpenter, PhD social psychology from Yale University, reviews the recent research into embodied cognition.[1] She writes:Why do we look up to th...
Published 28 12 2010
Aaron Mays describes a new study which concludes that weight-conscious individuals are likely to believe in "negative calories", i.e. they believe that adding a side salad to a cheeseburger will lower...
Published 27 12 2010
Following on from yesterdays' piece about 'Body of Thought: Fleeting sensations and body movements hold sway over what we feel and how we think' [1], Siri Carpenter says that many cognitive scientis...
Published 31 12 2010
Give yourself a New Year's gift.The idea for the following activity came from an article by Wray Herbert in Scientific American Mind. Herbert describes several pieces of research that demonstrate "t...
Published 10 01 2011
I was recently asked: Is Symbolic Modelling indicated for the following clients?:Clients who have a metaphor landscape that is too filled with self-destructive or violent material.Clients who are in r...
Published 09 01 2011
How do you work with someone who can identify metaphors for their desired outcomes and develop them in rich detail but later dismisses them as only fantasy?At one level, of course they are fantasies, ...
Published 02 01 2011
What approach would you take with a client who has "a deep fear of giving up my victim, for then, "Who would I be?" 'A victim' is a perspective on a situation which can develop into a perspective on...
Published 11 01 2011
I'm a great fan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. For Taleb, a "Black Swan is an event, not an exception or a bird with feathers, but an event th...

At a 1-day workshop for the Clean Language community on 17 Sept, James Lawley will take us on an exploration of ...

"Looking through"
Thinking like Gregory Bateson

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