The Magic Of Clean Language Questions & Unfinished Sentences ?· The Magic Of Clean Language Questions…

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  • The Magic Of Clean Language Questions & Unfinished Sentences

    Or How To Build Instant Rapport & Help Your

    Client Reveal Invisible Beliefs,That Will Rapidly Accelerate The Therapy

  • What Do We Mean By Clean Language Questions & Unfinished

    Sentences?Clean Language Questions

    Questions (either in conversation or hypnosis) designed to elicit maximum experiential

    information from the client without influencing, or detracting from, that information and the clients

    experience of recounting it.

  • What Do We Mean By Clean Language Questions & Unfinished


    Unfinished Sentences When a client starts a sentence but pauses part way through and begins saying something else

    instead. (Can be in conversation or whilst in hypnosis).

  • Clean Language - Background

    By interfering with a client's description of their symptoms, David Grove (1980s therapist) asserts that

    well-meaning therapists can rob clients of the very experience needed to resolve their unwanted behaviours.

  • Clean Language - Background

    In practice this means !

    If you ask questions using your own interpretation of the information and your own vocabulary, you

    risk the chance of lessening the therapeutic benefit to the client.

  • Background

    Plus !

    In worst case scenarios, you also risk the possibility of introducing false information, which could lead to False

    Memory Syndrome.

  • Examples Of Non-Clean LanguageClient: I had a difficult childhood. !Therapist: Was it violent? !Client: No, not at all! It was just lonely. !Therapist: Didnt your parents love you? !Client: They loved me very much, actually! But I was an only child. !Therapist: So did that make you envious of other children who has siblings?

  • Examples Of Non-Clean Language

    In this example, the therapist is making assumptions and feeding those assumptions back to the client. !If those assumptions are incorrect, the client will feel misunderstood and the flow will be interrupted. !If this happens repeatedly, the client will feel that the therapist doesnt get them and there will be poor rapport and little trust.

  • More Subtle Example Of Non-Clean LanguageClient: It happened when I was standing in the doorway to my house. !Therapist: Ok, so you were standing at the entrance to your house and then? !Client: My father came downstairs to see who the person at the door was. !Therapist: What happened after your dad walked down the staircase to see who the visitor was? !Client: The person at the door attacked him and I was really scared. !Therapist: What did you do when the visitor attacked your dad in the doorway? !Client: He didn't attack him in the doorway, he chased him through the house

  • Examples Of Non-Clean Language

    In the second example, it is more subtle but the therapist is using his/her own vocabulary and phrases, instead of the clients. So it wont quite sit right with the client. !E.g. Entrance & Doorway may mean different things to the client. !Person & Visitor may have different connotations

  • When communicating with the subject !!

    If you, as the therapist impose your own terms and phrases instead of using theirs, you risk detracting the client from their

    full experience. !

    When you use Clean Language questions you allow the subject to stay in their experience more fully.


  • In Practice !

    In practice this simply means asking questions using

    the clients own words and phrases.!!

    Often repeating entire sentences back to them.!

  • Examples Of Clean Language Questions

    Client: I had a difficult childhood. !Therapist: What kind of difficult childhood? !Client: It was just lonely. !Therapist: Lonely, in what way? !Client: I was an only child. !Therapist: What was that like, being an only child? !Client: Lots of parental love but lots of expectations too.

  • Example 2Client: It happened when I was standing in the doorway to my house. !Therapist: It happened when you were standing in the doorway to your house? In what way? !Client: My father came downstairs to see who the person at the door was. !Therapist: And what happened next? !Client: The person at the door attacked him and I was really scared. !Therapist: What kind of scared? !Client: He chased my father through the house and I thought he was going to kill him. etc

  • Maintain The Flow

    With clean language questions, the client is allowed to maintain the flow of (recounting) their experience. ! And the more they stay in flow, the more they will reveal of their issues and their belief systems behind them. !!!

  • NoddingWhen first interviewing the client, sometimes you can pause for a recap and repeat back the pertinent information regarding everything the client has just said, again using their exact terms and phrases.!!When you do this you will often see the client nodding in agreement - which means they feel understood and is great for building rapport. !You can then continue or ask for clarification on any points or issues you are not sure of. !If you repeat something back and they dont nod, it may mean you have missed the point slightly, or need further clarification. Check your wording or ask if youve understood correctly.

  • David Grove Clean Language Questions Here are some Clean Language styled questions. !And is there anything else about []? And what kind of [] is that []? And where is []? And whereabouts? And what happens next? And then what happens? And what happens just before []? And where does/could [] come from? And whats that [] like? Are there any feelings or emotions? !Where []' is (some of) the exact words of the client. !

  • Other Clean Language Questions !When you are [] what's it like to be you? !What does that mean []? (i.e. what are the implications) !When you are [] what would you like to happen? !

  • Stay With It However Bizarre!Often clients will use metaphors to describe their thoughts and feelings. Stay with these as well !Client: Maths is like tangled up spaghetti in my head !Therapist: What kind of tangled up? What needs to happen to that tangled up spaghetti? etc. !The client will often then unravel things naturally. !!!

  • Clean Language Questions In Hypnosis !During A Regression Session

    If you are carrying out Regression Hypnosis or any form of Hypno-Analysis, Clean Language Questions will work like magic to keep the session flowing and allow the client to enter more and more fully into their experience. !This will then greatly enhance recall as well as the release/expression of any suppressed or repressed emotions. !In hypnosis, I will tend to repeat back what the client is saying first, word-for-word before prompting the next response

  • Example In HypnosisClient: I am indoors !Me: Whereabouts indoors? !Client: In my bedroom. !Me: Ok, Im in my bedroom. Whereabouts in my bedroom. !Client: On my bed. !Me: What is happening? !Client: I am hiding. !Me: What kind of hiding?

  • Example In Hypnosis contd.!Client: Im scared. !Me: What kind of scared? !Client: Scared of being hit by my dad. !Me: Whats that like, scared of being hit by my dad? !Client: Really frightening, and scary (starts getting upset as abreaction begins) !Me: What kind of frightening and scary? !Client: I think hes going to hurt me. He always does when hes been drinking. !Me: And then what happens?

  • Example In Hypnosis contd.

    Client: Hes shouting at mum. I think hes hitting her (more upset). !Me: Whats that like when hes hitting your mum. !Client: Really bad. !Me: In what way, really bad? !Client: Really bad. I think it will be me next and Im scared and I want him to stay downstairs (intense emotion) but I feel really bad because if he stays downstairs hell keep hitting mum and I feel guilty for wanting him to stay downstairs hitting her and I dont know what to do. !Me: And whats that like being there, not knowing what to do? etc

  • Unfinished SentencesDuring any line of questioning - whether as part of a conversational therapeutic interview - or during hypnosis - there will be times when the client starts a sentence but doesnt finish it. !I ALWAYS grab hold of these and ask them to finish the sentence. !!

  • Unfinished SentencesClient: I had a difficult childhood. !Therapist: What kind of difficult childhood? !Client: It was just well mum and dad worked really hard to support us. !Therapist: Finish that sentence it was just ? !Client: No nothing, its just that !Therapist: Go on, finish the sentence, It was just ? !Client: It was just lonely (triggers emotion).

  • Unfinished SentencesWhen someone backtracks part way through a

    sentence it is usually because they have unconsciously stopped themselves from

    expressing or saying what they were about to say.

  • Unfinished SentencesThere is resistance to verbalising - and that is usually an indicator of a limiting belief or idea

    or emotion. !

    Get them to the finish the sentence in many, many cases you will immediately begin

    accessing the next level of their belief system whether this is in a conversation or

    during recall in hypnosis.

  • Combining The TwoWhen you put these two methods together - Clean Language Questions & Finishing Unfinished Sentences - the effect can be

    extremely powerful - whether in hypnosis or in conversation.


    And magical results will follow. !

  • Combining The TwoI did this last week at a noisy party whilst on holiday in

    Italy, over a few glasses of wine, with constant interruptions

    ! but as long as I stayed with the last comment the person said - word-for-word - he kept dropping back

    into it. !

    He had several moments of enlightenment, said his anxiety had gone right down instantly and now knew

    what he had to do next


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