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 »  Home  »  The Developing Group
The Developing Group
We established The Developing Group in 2001 as a regular forum for the exploration of new ideas in the field of all things Clean – and we have met 4-6 times a year ever since. The list of topics below represents the development of our ideas and methods since the publication of our book, Metaphors in Mind, in 2000,

Our aim is to provide a setting where, within a clean approach:
  • Leading-edge thinking can be applied in practical ways
  • We can go into greater depth on specific aspects related to Symbolic Modelling and other Clean approaches
  • Participants can develop their modelling skills and the ability to work systemically.

All the topics presented at the group are listed below.

The Developing Group is for people who use Symbolic Modelling and David Grove's Clean Language, Clean Space Emergent Knowledge and other Clean processes. Annual membership of the group is open to those who are recommended by a leading member of the Clean community, or who have the equivalent of 10 days training and who have maintained a fluency with Clean Language.

The Developing Group is not a training. Each day is about a topic that we find interesting and worth researching. Participants do not know what the topic will be until we send out an email a few weeks in advance. Often we provide preparatory notes which, with the input from the day, either form the basis for an article or we publish them as a 'work in progress' paper. Click on the links below to go direct to the relevant paper or see the summaries following the table.

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley

* These papers are published in various professional and academic journals.

2021 Apr 24-25
From whence it came: Revisiting David Grove's early work (online)
2020 Nov 14/15
Seizing a Thought: Learning from Method of Levels (online)
  Sep 5/6
Stick or Twist: Tracking acctention (online)
  July 4/5
Investigating Agency (online)
  May 2/3
David Grove's last four questions (online)
2019 Nov 9
Life-Directing Patterns
  Sep 14
What do you do when you can't have what you want?
  July 13
Modelling Self-modelling
  May 11
Working Systemically with Linear Logic
2018 Nov 10
Holding Space
  Sep 18
Antifragility & Skin in the Game: Hidden risk & opportunity
  July 21
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
  May 19
Working with Physical Symptoms: Same or different?
2017 Nov 25
Becoming More Mindful with Clean Language & Symbolic Modelling

Sep 16
It's a Matter of Opinion
July 8
Going Live

May 6
What happens when we examine “... what happens to ...?”
2016 Dec 3
Learning from Transcripts
  Oct 8
Appreciating Aesthetics: The effect of beauty
  July 9
It’s about time: Modelling frames of desire
  May 7
Questioning Clean Language Questions: Combinations & variations
2015 Nov 28
Extending Clean Space (with Marian Way) 
  Oct 3
Saying ‘No’ to Self: Modelling the Structure of Self-restraint
Jul 4
It Takes Two To Tango: Changing relationship patterns
  May 9
Getting to 'It': First Words, First Questions
2014 Nov 29
Embodying Others' Metaphors and Acquiring their Tacit Knowledge
  Sep 27
Polishing the Mirror of Reflective Practice
  Aug 2
Calibration and Evaluation 3 Years On
  May 24
The Leader-Follower Dynamic: A systemic perspective
2013 Nov 30
Solution Focus Through a Clean Lens *

Sep 28
What do you say before you say goodbye?

July 6
Deconstructing Feedback 

May 18
Applying Cross-Domain Thinking
2012 Dec 1
What’s the ‘Co-’ in Cooperating, Collaborating and Co-Inspiring?

Oct 8
What's in a Name?: The effect of labelling on experience

Jul 7
Inhibition: The art of systemic balancing 

May 12
Pointing to a New Modelling Perspective *
2011 Dec 3
Clean Evaluative Interviewing 
  Oct 1
Self-Nudging: how we can bias our future self 
  Jul 9
Calibrating when what you are doing is working–and when it’s not 
  May 14
REPROCEss: Modelling Attention *
2010 Dec 4
What did Improv ever do for us? 

Sep 4
Modelling the Written Word 

Jun 5
Huh? - Shifting Frames
2009 Dec 5
Modelling how we act from what we know to be true

Oct 3
Cognitive Dissonance and Creative Tension

Aug 1
Clean Space Revisited

Jun 6
Embodied Schema: The basis of embodied cognition

Apr 4
Accepting Acceptance

Feb 28
Attending to Salience
2008 Dec 6
Clowning and The Art of Split Attention
(with Vivian Gladwell and Carol Thompson
  Oct 4
Joining Up the work of David Grove *
  Aug 2 Vectoring and Systemic Outcome Orientation
  Jun 7
Maximising Serendipity: The art of fostering potential
  Apr 5
Black Swan Logic: Thinking outside the norm
Feb 2
"And Death Shall Have No Dominion" - A memorial to David Grove
2007 Dec 1
Responding-in-the-Moment (with Random Acts Theatre Company)

Oct 6
Coaching in the Moment

Aug 4
The Neurobiology of Space

Jun 2
The Systemic Nature of TA Games: When Symbolic Modelling meets Transactional Analysis (with Michael Mallows)

Mar 31
'If only God would give us a sign' - The Role of Meta-Comments *
  Feb 3
Iteration, Iteration, Iteration
2006 Dec 2
David Grove presents Emergent Knowledge
  Oct 7
Modelling Conflict 
  Aug 5
Using Symbolic Modelling as a Research and Interview Tool
  Jun 3
Thinking Networks - II
  Apr 1
  Feb 4
PPRC: Paying attention to what they're paying attention to
2005  Dec  3
When the Remedy is the Problem
  Oct 1
Learning From Relationship
  Aug 6
Clean Conversations: Remaining Clean-ish in Everyday Settings
  Jun 4
Feedback Loops
  Apr 2
When Where Matters: How to create & utilise psychoactive space*
  Feb 5
Preferences: What and How We Like 
Dec 4
When and How to Use 'When' and 'As'
  Sep 25
Body Awareness (with Julie Driver)
  Jul 31
Proximity and Meaning: A 'clean' approach to adjacency *
  Jun 5
Thinking Networks - I
  Apr 3
Learning to Act from What You Know to be True
  Feb 7
Self-Deception, Self-Delusion and Self-Denial
2003 Dec 6
It's Happening Now! 
  Oct 4
A Developmental Perspective
  Aug 2
  Jun 7
Multiple Perceptions, Perspectives and Perceivers
  Apr 5
Context Matters
  Feb 1
Constructivism is Only a Construct
2002 Dec 7
Endings and Beginnings 
  Oct 5
Utilising Autogenic Metaphor 
  Aug 3
Metonymy and Part-Whole Relations
  Jun 1
Modelling Dynamic Equilibrium
  Apr 6
Perspectives to Model By
  Feb 16
What is Emergence?
2001 Dec 1
A Model of Musing: The message in a metaphor *
  Oct 13
Big Fish in a Small Pond: The importance of scale *

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Shifting Frames
What's going on when you don't get the kind of answer you expect from the question you ask? From the questioner’s point of view, the shift of frame is a kind of mismatch summed up by the feeling “Huh?”. According to the dictionary ‘Huh’ is used to express confusion, surprise or disbelief. We would add that for a modeller it likely indicates something interesting has just happened.

How We Act From What We Know To Be True
How do you act from what you know to be true when you haven’t before, or it’s difficult, or you’re frightened of the consequences, or you’re not the kind of person who does? While each person’s process will be individual there seem be a number a characteristics present in most people’s experience.
Cognitive Dissonance and Creative Tension
What is cognitive dissonance? Is it the incompatible cognitions? The unpleasant feelings? The need to reduce those feelings? The action to resolve the conflict? Or all of that? Are cognitive dissonance and creative tension the same or different? Is one a sub-set of the other? If they are different, how are they different? Do they work in conjunction or against one another? And what effect does that have?

Clean Space Revisited
These notes:
- Describe a Clean Space 'Lite' version that contains only the central elements.
- Identify the main choices available to a facilitator within the Lite version.
- Note some of the ways facilitators have found to respond to the unusual.
- Document some of the common add-ons in the feature-rich versions practiced by experienced facilitators. 
Embodied Schema: The basis of Embodied Cognition
Embodied Schema are multi-sensory experiential patterns acquired pre-verbally which later are used to both describe and proscribe our personal perspectives of how the world works. They are so natural to us, like a fish trying to describe water, we seldom notice them.

Those who cleanly model embodied schema from the words and nonverbals that represent how a person internally does what they describe, are privileged to join that person in their private, interior, subjective world. Modelling embodied scema will give you something like 'second sight' into the organisation of others' psychescapes. That in turn will lead to the more precise use of Clean Language. 
Accepting Acceptance
What happens when people say they accept, and when they actually do accept the ‘current reality’ of their lives. We investigate what acceptance is, how we do it, and how we do not. We also wonder what difference it makes to the potential for change and transformation when people truly accept their current reality from an authentic, deep and cellular state of being.
Attending to Salience
We have been self-modelling what we pay attention to in a client session that: (1) guides our line of questioning, and (2) gives the session its sense of directional flow. We call this process: Attending to (or selecting for / sorting for) salience (significance / importance / relevance / what is fundamental). These notes explore the nature of that process.
Joining Up the work of David Grove
This paper presents a model that ‘joins up’ the three main phases of David Grove's work. Rather than trying to integrate the phases into a single process I have maintained the individuality of each domain and language model. I used the metaphor of ‘join up’ because David was inspired by The Horse Whisper, Monty Roberts.
Vectoring and Systemic Outcome Orientation
Whatever happens during a session, excellent facilitators and therapists always seem to know where to go next. They are also able to pursue a line of questioning and to navigate elegantly through the client’s information.  To find out how they do this we undertook a modelling project. Our exemplars were David Grove, Steve De Shazer, Robert Dilts, Steve Andreas (and ourselves).  
Maximising Serendipity
This paper explores six stages which need to happen for serendipity to have occurred, the features of each stage and ways maximize the potential for serendipity. 

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4 workshops
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How People Change

Penny Tompkins
James Lawley
Marian Way

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