an international peer-to-peer network of pairs,
groups and events, using co-counselling to help you
learn to
build confidence,
live creatively, and
handle emotions

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  How it works

Photo: 'Equal Time'
When we have sessions, people have equal time as counsellor and client

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About this site

Whilst CCI uses long-established tools from mainstream therapies, co-counselling has important differences from these:

  • Two co-counsellors divide up their session time equally, taking turns to be either the person doing the listening/helping (‘counsellor’, for want of a better word) or the person working on himself or herself (‘client’, for want of a better word).
  • Both people have learned the same set of techniques and tools on a 5-day course
  • No money changes hands

It can take place in a group too, at the many events that we hold.






Example session

  • John and Dave decide to have a session together.
  • They meet up at a time and place decided by themselves.
    They decide to spend an hour together, and split this time equally between them.
  • For half an hour, John is the 'client' and Dave is the 'counsellor'. During this period John is using the session exactly as he chooses - he is working on issues that he decides on. Meanwhile, Dave supports John by listening, generally giving John his attention, and sometimes coming in with prompts or suggestions (called 'interventions') that he learned on the course that they both did.
  • After John's session they swap roles: Dave is 'client' and John is 'counsellor'.
  • When they're both finished they go their separate ways.

Co-counselling is a therapeutic tool that aims to help you find out more about who you are and how you operate. It enables you to discover and acknowledge your real, profound and everyday feelings, and to work with them to achieve greater emotional well-being and better relationships of all kinds.

Co-counselling is a practice of structured working with equals, which, after training, you can use for the rest of your life, working with one or more co-counsellors, in a safe and supportive framework. Using the repertoire of co-counselling methods you can choose to work on your self, and change the way you are in the world.

Co-Counselling is a powerful and accessible form of therapy with a 30 year history. It draws on a range of approaches - Gestalt, Psychoanalytic, Person-Centred, Process Oriented Psychology (POP), Cognitive, and Reichian. It focuses on both body and mind to produce insight. Whilst the foundation course is aimed to be a therapeutic experience in its own right, it gives participants the skills to continue to use co-counselling for their own personal development afterwards.

These techniques are used to work on the self, with regard to three areas: patterns, discharge and re-evaluation. These areas are adressed on the course, and in summary are:

  • patterns of behaviour that get in the way of creative living (eg withdrawing from contact),
  • physical discharge of bottled up or hitherto hidden emotions (eg crying or laughter), and
  • re-evaluation or review of the truth about who I really am and where I come from: making sense of my present behaviour and relating it to both my current life and to my past.

Co-counselling International aims to encourages a culture of validation. Being direct with people about our positive feelings is something that can feel very difficult: it can be difficult both to give and receive compliments and appreciations. This is something that is worked on in co-counselling: we actively celebrate ourselves and others. This can feel like a big challenge, and the co-counselling course helps work on this. It's possible to draw immensely from this culture: it can help people rise above inner shame and self-doubt, move away from embarrassment about telling someone what you like about them, and move towards enjoying success and being proud of who you are.

The forum where this can be so influential is the co-counselling residential events. At these events and on co-counselling courses there is an option to write celebrations to others on 'celebration posters'.

There is also an important fun element in the co-counselling culture, so we play games and enjoy ourselves in a celebratory way too - it's not only about looking at our serious sides. At the residentials there is often a DIY caberet: if you decide to take a turn it can feel like you are in front of the most sympathetic audience in the world.