I have a question for you – how to help the client notice distortions, what prevents him from contacting his health and potential, without introducing your own new distortions into his system? How to be that clean, even, wide mirror? In biodynamics, for this we try to listen to the response of the client’s system and not impose, but observe the ongoing processes or propose something, and again listen to the response. But what to do when you need to conduct a conversation and process with a client, and at the same time not impose your own picture of the world or tell him what he needs to do? Sometimes clear instructions are needed, for example, “come to the session on Friday at 10 am, but not in the “search and disengagement” stage ;).
When I learned about such an approach as “clean language” (it was created by an Australian psychotherapist – David Grove – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_language) – I was delighted, because it turned out to be the answer to the question above, it turned out to be a verbal manifestation of a biodynamic session. Of course, I found out about it at the SIM school, and it was given to us just in order to feel and practice the position of a “clean mirror”.
I do not have a goal here to fully explain everything about a clean language or teach it (for this you can buy a book, or it is better to go to learn, but I would like to make you feel the taste and benefits of its use, and you would learn and may be begin to use it if it resonates with you.
I like to explain what a clean language is through a metaphor that I overheard from Oleg Matveyev (Russian teacher of clean language). Imagine that you are talking on the phone with a person, and you want to paint a picture of what this person sees, you would also like the picture to be “alive”, as it develops in time.
For example, the person (let it be him for simplicity) sits on the balcony of a house overlooking the sea. And you start asking him what he sees. He replies, “I see the sea and mountains on the right.” Does this give you enough information to draw the picture? No. Then (and this is already part of the approach in clean language), you choose one detail, for example, mountains, and you begin to clarify what these mountains look like, how much space they take up, what kind of surface they have, how they feel, how they are connected with the sea, what happens in the mountains, and what happens after it happened … It seems that all the questions are about the mountains, but you can easily trace the connection with the processes in the psyche and body. When a person tells you that he feels pain in his head, you can ask him exactly the same questions – where exactly, how it feels, what it looks like, with what and how it is connected, what happens, when you paid attention to it, etc.
Why is all this needed? When something is noticed, named, parameterized (what, where and how), then it becomes possible to work with it both for the client and for you. If you have only language among the instruments, then you can ask: “And when you notice all this, what happens next?” (element of dynamics in the picture). What does this conversation remind you of? For me, this is again about the mirror. When, through questions, a person tells you about his problem (for example, pain), describes it, it becomes noticeable for his consciousness, for his system. The person simply notices that he has “dirt on his forehead”, as in the examples above. According to the principle of the whole and the desire for balance, the client’s psyche and body are already starting to work with the problem, and perhaps they will complete it themselves, and if not, then you will help.
At the same time, your function is to ask, and the questions are such that they exclude the introduction of information, distortions into the client’s system. Questions like: “Do you notice dirt on your forehead here?” – are not clean language :). A person must see it himself. Questions like: “and when you see dirt on your forehead, do you want to wipe it off”? – are also not a clean language. In your picture of the world, dirt can be wiped, in a person’s picture of the world it can be an issue, or, on the contrary, it will not have to be wiped – “it will fall off by itself”. We do not think out and do not bring in.
There are, of course, nuances of how to ask and what to ask. One of the main techniques is to repeat a phrase (very precisely) or highlight an element in that phrase (again, word by word) that the client said and ask him a clarifying, revealing question. Firstly, it makes a person understand that he is being heard, he really begins to feel as if he is talking with a deep part of himself in front of a mirror, and secondly, it gives him the opportunity to go deeper and deeper into his processes, sensations and eventually find there are answers and solutions. The therapeutic approach “Symbolic modeling” is built on this, and this alone can only be a session of symbolic modeling and clean language (in its own way beautiful, but in its pure form it turns out to be relatively long session).
Where can we use clean language? As I have already said, the approach itself is already used in the psychological approach of SIM – we are for cleanness and non-introduction of material into the psychological field of the client.
The clean language approach fits perfectly into the biodynamics session at the stage of interviewing the client, for example, before and after the session, as well as at the stage of searching and disengagement. The same approach that I described above, when the client’s system is not ready for release, we can use clean language questions (verbally or non-verbally) to help the client see a wider picture of the process and, as a result, independently find a solution, move from search to disengagement and release.
I recommend that you learn, try, practice, and if you need help in mastering – you know who to turn to.