Module Four: Clean Language for Coaches Advanced – “Connecting and Expanding with Confidence”

Existing students can access the course materals here (you will need to be logged in to gain entry).

Class Dates Feb 2024:

  • Thurs 1st Feb
  • Thurs 15th Feb
  • Thurs 29th Feb 
  • Thurs 14th March
  • Thurs 28th March 
  • Thurs 11th April
  • Thurs 25th April
  • Thurs 9th May 

All classes from 1.00pm to 2.30pm UK time – please double check local time

Live reflection calls:

  • Thurs 8th Feb, 6.00pm UK time
  • Thurs 22nd Feb, 11.00am UK time
  • Thurs 7th March, 6.00pm UK time
  • Thurs 21st March, 11.00am UK time
  • Thurs 4th April, 6.00pm UK time
  • Thurs 18th April, 11.00am UK time
  • Thurs 2nd May, 6.00pm UK time
  • Thurs 16th May, 11.00am UK time 

Call times around 1 hour.

ALL times may be subject to change to more closely suit the actual participant mix / location. This will be confirmed at least one month prior to the course start date. Please make your preference for class times clear when you book / express your interest, thank you. 

Total course is sixteen week’s duration with eight live classes. 32 hours CPD)

Next live event series to take place in 2025 – please register your interest now by emailing

Or, you can complete the training whenever you like as a self-study option, with pre-recorded classes. Contact us for full details and costs.


This module is the final part of a complete online learning programme developed by Angela Dunbar working in conjunction with Carol Wilson. The training is aimed at coaches who want to learn new ways to facilitate clients in a non-directive and creative way. Angela Dunbar is lead trainer on this programme and is a Certified Clean Language Facilitator, immersed in all things “Clean” since 2001 and has had extensive training with David Grove, Penny Tompkins, James Lawley and many others.

The programme consists of an overall series of four modules, which together will build your knowledge, skills and confidence to use Clean Language, Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge in a variety of different frameworks and uses, from exploring a feeling to structuring a whole coaching session.

Module Four Details

This Module is entitled “Connecting and Expanding with Confidence” and builds on the basic Clean Language questions, covering advanced concepts to help you form strategies for working with your coachee. The course goes beyond a simple ‘GROW’ approach to coaching and covers three core methodologies that offer a clearer lens through which to understand your client, their issues and aims. Those are systems thinking, modelling skills and understanding parts. You will also learn specialist questions to identify scales, perceiver perspectives and to give a voice to personified symbols. It also covers approaches for stuck clients who may have binds and / or blind spots and are unable to articulate a goal and/or carry out actions to make progress.

What you will gain:

An understanding of how to think systemically about your coachee’s inner world and build your own model of what’s happening for them.

The ability to use Clean Language in a structured, yet flexible way to focus and expand your coachee’s attention, bringing about positive, sustained changes for the client

Confidence and competence in using Clean Language in different ways and with challenging clients, plus a deeper understanding of how you personally use Clean Language at your very best

What this course will cover:

  • Recap Clean Language Foundation (Module Two): Starting, Developing Metaphors, Exploring Conditions and Actions, Finishing off
  • The Symbolic Modelling process (Created by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley)
  • Thinking Systems – how systems are structured, sustained and altered
  • ‘Parts’ as multiple aspects of self and how they may be revealed through metaphor
  • Parts and the Relationships between them – building up your understanding of a system
  • Using the ‘Relationship’ and ‘Time’ Questions to identify how the system works and spot changes when they occur
  • How to get a Higher Level Metaphor for a Higher Level Thought Structure
  • Identity and Beliefs
  • Getting the Intention and Interest of the Different Parts of a System
  • Links to other techniques, ie NLP, TA, etc
  • Capturing the Moment – What’s Happening Now?
  • How to work with Coachees who are stuck in a ‘bind’
  • Noticing and working with a coachee’s ‘blind spots’
  • How to focus attention on ‘scales’ and ‘scaling’:
    The measures people typically use to quantify and measure their experience, and how you can help them move beyond self-imposed limits and thresholds
  • Exploring your own personal metaphors for working with Clean Language:
    Using these to enhance your confidence and discover what needs to happen next for your own development
  • Different ways ‘into’ metaphoric landscapes, visual, auditory and kinesthetic preferences
  • Broadening attention with specialist questions that go beyond the scale set by the coachee: ‘between’, ‘how far’ and ‘beyond’
  • How to introduce and explain Clean Language to a potential client
  • Bringing a metaphor to life through drawings, pictures, physicalization
  • The Practice Sessions:
    These will take place between classes at your convenience, as a recorded teleconference call, allowing an opportunity to practice the skills you have learned. Your tutor will listen to two recorded sessions per module and give you individual, personalized feedback in writing on how your skills are developing.
  • Assignments:
    Recordings and transcripts to review
    – Individual exercises, including developing a model of a system, discovering alternative questions, etc
    Personal action plans

By the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Model your coachee’s wider thought patterns around a particular issue or goal
  • Use Clean Language questions to focus attention where it is most likely to encourage a shift in thinking
  • Use the ‘relationship’ & ‘time’ questions with greater proficiency to gain greater understanding of the client’s thinking system
  • Use specialist questions to help establish more about the individual parts of a system and how they relate to each other
  • Have a greater degree of flexibility in using Clean Language in different ways / for different applications
  • Know when and how to introduce and explain Clean Language to a new Coachee
  • Be able to ‘self model’ your own ability to use Clean Language
  • Have a personalized development path for increasing your competence and confidence
  • Have the confidence to use Clean Language in a coaching context in a natural and skilful way

How your learning is supported:

  • Eight classes (accessible online and/or by telephone) of one and a half hour’s duration each
  • Audio recordings of all classes
  • Audio recordings of exercise demonstrations
  • Written transcripts of exercise demonstrations
  • Comprehensive reading material including a 41 page workshop manual
  • Written assignments
  • Supervised, recorded practice sessions with a partner followed by:
  • Personalized, detailed one-to-one feedback from your programme director
  • A total of 24 hours supervised learning activity plus further optional individual activity


  • £595.00 for private individuals and/or sole traders
  • £1190.00 for corporate bookings

Further Details:

Clean Language and Metaphor Overview

Clean Language was originally developed by psychologist David Grove in the 1980s when he worked with traumatic memory patients. He discovered that people tended naturally to speak in metaphor when describing their experiences and that the most effective treatment was to honour their metaphors by asking open questions which reflected their exact words.

Over a period of years, David identified key questions that would least influence people in their metaphorical journey, and he gave this process the name, “Clean Language”. The technique was observed by therapists Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, who devoted several years to modelling and expanding David’s techniques into a methodology called ‘Symbolic Modelling’. A rich collection of information and articles is available on their website.

About the trainer

Angela Dunbar is a qualified coach, accredited with the Association for Coaching, and a former council member, holding the position of “Head of Professional Forums”. On behalf of the AC, Angela has been helping to develop coaches through the facilitation of a local co-coaching forum, as well as managing all forums across the country.

Angela is an active coach, working one-to-one with a long list of clients. She is also the director of her own training & development consultancy, in business for the last 24 years, specializing in helping coaches to find their niche within the corporate environment or as an independent. Ever fascinated by the power of metaphor, Angela works with people to help them discover their own creative solutions and find the message within, to convey in the manner they feel most confident in expressing.

Angela is a Master NLP Practitioner and a Certified Clean Language facilitator, and delivers Clean Language training workshops to coaches as a lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. As a trainer, Angela has been key presenter on an extensive range of training programmes within major organisations, including Coventry Building Society, Colt Telecommunications PLC, HSA, Roland UK and many more. Angela is the author of the book “Essential Life Coaching Skills” published by Routledge and available to order from all good book stores..


“I learnt a lot – I had come across Clean Language before but only touched on it superficially and as Angela pointed out so well, there is a helluva lot more to it than just “sticking with the client`s language”… I can see that trying to get into the client`s metaphorical language will be a real help to exploring some deeper issues and making connections, Thanks again” Alison Dale, Government Office for London

“Extremely thought-provoking – giving me a practical tool / application to take forward and enhancing my self-awareness within my corporate coaching work” Clive Cary, Momenta

“Wonderful clarity and energy. Very effective at dealing with all kinds of questions” Peggy O’Neil, The Works Partnership

“The group was good and I really benefited from the practicing but the best bit was the fantastic feedback. Angela took a considerable amount of time and effort to listen to every word and provided personalised feedback which I found extremely useful. All queries and questions were answered fully and despite the fact it was distance learning I felt very supported – more so than on most face-to-face courses” Liz Ford, Ford Consulting

“Great course! All parts were great; excellent explanations, right combination of lecture, practice, debriefing of practice; really well done and put together; right pace; plenty of time for questions; felt heard and listened to; Very pleased with results, not only as a coach, but as a “client” in the demos; fascinating results” Joann Parks, USA

“I enjoyed and learnt greatly from both the input and the feedback on our sessions. It has given me a new tool in my coaching tool kit – one which seems to work well with those who are stuck with loads of ‘stuff’! Our sessions felt like a safe environment to practice, which was particularly useful” Sharon Langford, UK

“I think that this has significant value and complements the NLP and prior coaching knowledge and skills that I have. I really liked the way that the programme was designed to get me coaching immediately and I feel I can use this method with clients. And the practical follow-up sessions were extremely insightful. I’m really happy that I took this course as it has opened up a coaching door that was previously only half-open. What I am learning feels right to me” Maggie Ridding, Spain

“The teleconference sessions were extremely clear and easy to follow (& learn!); the discipline of getting on with practicing it was good; Angela’s following up and sharing of subsequent email dialogue was very helpful and allowed me to feel I could ask questions and share experience. Angela – Your care and attention to each of us in this learning module has been excellent and has really enabled and supported a great learning environment. I have enjoyed the module and the EK learning and feel I have gained a lot from it” Adrian Goodall, UK

“Even more useful and interesting than expected…I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and looking forward to the further developments….”
N S, Midlands