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What people say about us and our work (the nice bits anyway):

Sue Knight, best-selling author of NLP at Work; Introducing NLP; and NLP Solutions:

Some of the best proponents of what NLP is all about are Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, authors of Metaphors in Mind – a book that comprehensively illustrates the work of David Grove who they so skillfully modelled over recent years (and who sadly died last year). Not only did they gracefully build the rapport with David that allowed them to gain access to his powerful ways of thinking and working but they captured the essence of that in their presentation of Clean Language and Clean questions. However to be ‘clean’ in the way that we interact with others requires a lot of skill and discipline. To be clean means to put aside our notions of what might be happening and to be prepared to be in a non-knowing state, openly allowing our experience to inform us of new worlds in thinking and being. (Rapport Magazine, Spring 2010, p. 22)

Caroline Myss, Ph.D., best selling author of Anatomy of the Spirit; Sacred Contracts; Why People Don't Heal and How They Can; and Invisible Acts of Power:

I have benefited from Penny Tompkins’ wisdom and skills as a close personal friend, and as a professional colleague. Her work with metaphor is insightful, innovative and elicits unconscious structures and patterns in ways which create new choice for individuals and groups.  I recommend her work for anyone who has an interest in expanding awareness of why they say the things they do, and discovering how the ‘contents’ of their lives are sources of empowerment. (Nov. 2008)

James Geary best-selling author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism, and I Is An Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor:

James Lawley's work with Symbolic Modelling, extending and enhancing the ideas of David Grove, reveals how metaphor subtly shapes our attitudes and actions. He has a keen eye for the seemingly pedestrian metaphors embedded in ordinary conversation that contain rich seams of hidden meaning. He is adept at showing how these metaphors depict psychological issues and, through the Clean Language process, he is deft in extracting from them their own resolutions. His work with clients, both individually and in groups, is always insightful and incisive. For students of metaphor, he is the master metaphysician. (Nov. 2008)

Angus I McLeod, Ph.D. in Performance Coaching: The Handbook for Managers, HR Professionals and Coaches:

No contribution to coaching would be complete without reference to the outstanding work of Penny Tompkins and James Lawley. With its basis in Clean Language and its focus on coachee metaphors, Symbolic Modeling offers a powerful skill-set for personal change and development geared to compelling targets. In its overt use, Symbolic Modeling may not appeal to all managements. However, I use several of the interventions and the language patterns of Symbolic Modeling in my work and have never encountered any resistance to them during a coaching session, even though the language seems to many observers to be contrived. Do not be misled by the language constructs: they are powerful keys to unlocking motivated change. The examples of coaching given in this book are highly influenced by such language constructs. (Sept 2003)

Eric Robbie, editor of Rapport 60th Issue:

Of all the new stuff to emerge in the last 20 years [in NLP], especially here in the UK, the most significant, the most radical, and the most influential is (to me) the work done by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley in taking the ideas of David Grove, and running with them. Their combined approach is, as they say, a true paradigm shift.  After taking their stuff on board, you can't go back.

Michael Hall, Ph.D. author of Meta-States, The Secrets of Magic, Mind-Lines and many other books:

James Lawley and Penny Tompkins have provided an excellent presentation of working with metaphors in order to model human experience. What I really like about this new work is their research in Cognitive Linguistic, Cognitive Psychology and self-organization theory. (April 2001)

Ernest Rossi, Ph.D. author of Dreams, Consciousness & Spirit; The Symptom Path to Enlightenment; and The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing:

Metaphors in Mind presents a broad integration of deep perspectives about helping people learn how to facilitate their own creativity in solving their own problems in their own way. Well done! (June 2000)

David Grove, MS. author of Resolving Traumatic Memories:

I have tremendous admiration for the innovative work they have developed ... I congratulate Penny and James. (July 2000)

Steven Pinker, cognitive scientist, psychologist, linguist, and author of The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature (2007, pages 244-245) wrote:

The idea that framing affects thinking has been applied to many spheres of human activity ... 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” and “I’m trapped behind a door.”


Clean Language
Symbolic Modelling

James Lawley
Penny Tompkins

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