The Training Attention practice began as a synthesis of ground-breaking constructivist thinking surrounding personal and group development in the mid 1990′s. Most influential was ‘Clean Language’ as developed by eminent psychotherapist David Grove, Symbolic Modelling developed by James Lawley and Penny Tompkins, the Linguistic Theories proposed by George Lakof and the new understanding of subjective experience being developed in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Training Attention then grew out of this fusion of Clean Language, Systems Thinking, deep ecology and the irrepressible curiosity of its partners; Caitlin Walker and Nancy Doyle. They joined forces in 2002 and have developed these innovative ideas into distinct projects for schools, business, welfare to work and adult education. They work together in partnership, coaching, refining, challenging each others’ ideas and practices with a rigour that is at the core of Training Attention.
Training Attention’s founder, Caitlin Walker first began testing her ideas as a Youth Worker in London’s inner city. Caitlin quickly realised her group facilitation process was novel and exciting. It created outcomes which others had previously thought unachievable for her clients. One of the underlying principles of the practice is that it can be applied to all systems irrespective of the amount of resources available, and so Caitlin began exploring to find out whether the same process worked in business, with teachers, for larger systems as well as small groups. The range of contexts we’ve since explored can be found in the Stories and Case-Studies on this site.
Nancy’s early work in social and community care instilled a clear understanding of how good intentions can maintain problems. Nancy developed an appreciation of solution focused approaches, which led her to Clean Language. In her post graduate research at Birkbeck College, University of London, Nancy evaluated the first piece of joint work between her and Caitlin, concerning how learning in training translates into values and practices at work on a systemic level. Nancy’s principles of rigorous evaluation and the development of her ideas about how to create the conditions in which systems become self managing have combined with Caitlin’s original group process to become the practice you see today, ‘systemic modelling’.
Caitlin’s and Nancy’s drive to improve relationships and performance for people at work, in education and the community have led to collaboration with staff from The Child Study Centre at Yale, University of Surrey’s School of Management and Liverpool John Moores University. Both regularly present case studies and research at academic conferences and enjoy having their ideas challenged.