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Ummm...What Do I Say Now?

We've all been there, that uncomfortable moment when we have no idea what to say to our clients. Immediately we go through the list in our heads of what a typical therapist says - how did that feel? that must have felt (fill in the blank). We quickly realized that for the last 30 minutes we've cycled through the same sentences over and over. There HAS to be a better way!

About ten years ago I was introduced to the Clean Language Approach through Eagala, the Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association. The core of Clean Language is helping the therapist uncover the client's metaphors and experiences, allowing them to expand in the conversation. This sounds simple, but it is an incredibly deep and powerful method to helping clients.

The Clean Language Approach is deeper than simple reflective practices, it engages and brings to the forefront a client's own imagery, metaphor and symbolism. I use this approach with all of my therapy services, from trauma-focused work to art & play therapy, and equine assisted psychotherapy. You will hear the Approach in my work with young children all the way up the lifespan. Many clinicians feel that reflection with teens and adults is too difficult because we often sound gimmicky or like a parrot. Instead, Clean Language gives our clients the opportunity to share in a whole new and unique way.

Over the years, I have incorporated this Approach into my work, including working with adults in substance abuse programs, parents struggling with difficult or anxious children, navigating anxiety and depression in a pandemic. Throughout the years, I have not been at a loss for words and it has provided the groundwork for my student interns to work from. It has been a joy to not experience the "oh my goodness, what do I say next?" moment!

If you are interested in learning more about the Clean Language Approach, register for the April 16th Follow My Lead! workshop. We will cover the basics of the Approach and most importantly provide a TON of new activities to work with children, teens and adults to build and deepen metaphor. Register today!


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