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Where am I?? Clean Language and Hypnosis

By on October 6, 2014
Picture courtesy of franky242 and

Neuroscientists have known for some time that animals have an inner GPS that literally draws a map of their environment. Individual neurons, called ‘place cells’ are associated with specific locations within this map, and fire off when the animal reaches that specific location. Grid cells join these place cells up into an inner map that allows the animal to mentally navigate between place cells.

It is these inner maps that allow animals to navigate their world. Reserchers including John O’Keefe, and husband and wife Edvard and May-Britt Moser have just been awarded the nobel prize for this important research. We are no different to the rats that O’Keefe experimented on. We have our own inner GPS mapping our physical environment.

Application to Hypnosis: Clean Space, Clean Language and Hypnosis

Clean Language is a coaching modality created by James Lawley and Penny Tomkins based upon an NLP modeling project of the therapist David Grove. It uses a symbolic space around the client to build a metaphoric landscape of the client’s problem, and then to use that landscape to resolve the problem.

It is more than reasonable to presume that building this inner landscape taps into the mental map creation discovered by O’Keefe and the Mosers. This allows the elements of the problem and solution to be organized using the internal map of space, and once organized the desired outcome is mapped onto the same space, allowing the solution to become the physical pathway between the current problem and the desired outcome (metaphorically speaking).

I am always fascinated when the neural mechanism for a particular modality is revealed (or at least hinted at). here is the announcement of the nobel prize as it appears in the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

Their work, which collectively spans four decades, revealed the existence of nerve cells that build up a map of the space around us and then track our progress as we move around. The groundbreaking research transformed neuroscientists understanding of the brains ability to navigate and answered a question that had stumped scientists and philosophers for hundreds of years: how do we know our place in the world? Via

Picture courtesy of franky242 and

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