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About David Grove

David Grove

David Grove passed away on 8th January 2008 in America after suffering a heart attack. He will be remembered for a life dedicated to his pioneering work in language, metaphor and spatial techniques in Clean Language, Clean Space and Emergent Knowledge.

David Grove was from New Zealand and spent many years in the US working with patients suffering from traumatic memories. During this time he pioneered the ground breaking technique of Clean Language. He discovered that patients would often speak in metaphor when describing their experience and that the most effective treatment was to honour their metaphors by asking open questions which reflected the patient’s exact words. Over a period of years, David identified 13 questions that would least influence the patient 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'.

David later developed his linguistic work into spatial methods, known as Clean Space, and Emergent Knowledge, inspired by the science of Emergence. Clean Language enables clients to access buried knowledge and intuition through metaphor. Clean Space does the same through literally moving people around the room.

Emergence is the science of how things are achieved through connections. It involves the theories of chaos and six degrees of separation and explains how ant colonies are formed or search engines operate, through repetitive connections rather than being controlled by any one leader.