Co-Counseling International - USA

What is Co-Counseling


What it is: Co-Counseling is a peer process involving two people who share time in a session to heal past and present hurts, to celebrate growth, and make intentional change. For half the session one person is in the "counselor" role and the other is in the "client" role. For the second half of the session the roles switch.

The "client" determines the type of support she or he wants from the "counselor." A contract for that support is agreed upon by both co-counselors and always includes an agreement to hold the content of the session in strict confidence.
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How it works: Co-Counseling is founded on the principle that we each have within us our own answers. When we give ourselves time to explore in the presence of aware and caring support from the "counselor," we are able to find those answers, heal hurts, and move forward.

Co-Counseling helps us to identify and safely discharge or let go of distress feelings . . . teaches us to validate and affirm our special qualities and gifts . . . and gives us the skills and practice we need to take charge of our lives. Co-Counseling is about celebrating who we are!
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Benefits of Co-Counseling:

  • We break up behavior and thought patterns that block us from having what we want in life.
  • We learn to focus our attention where we choose . . . and not get caught reacting automatically to other people's behavior.
  • We set directions and take action steps to support the changes we want to make in our lives.
  • We gain freedom in experiencing and expressing our feelings in healthful, affirming, and safe ways.
  • We learn to listen in a unique way that can make a difference at work and at home.
  • We develop skills and ease in celebrating and validating the good in ourselves and others.

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Co-Counseling and Therapy: Co-Counseling isn't traditional therapy. The "counselor" offers aware, caring attention and verbal and physical interventions or cues specified by the "client." Therefore, participants must be able to switch roles and be available, supportive, and appropriate as the "counselor."

Co-Counseling is fully compatible with 12-step recovery programs and enhances most traditional therapy.
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How it Started: Co-Counseling started in the early 1970s as an offshoot of Re-Evaluation Counseling (RC) which had begun in the Seattle area in the 1950s. Co-Counseling International (CCI), a federation of co-counseling communities and individuals, formed in 1973.

CCI has grown significantly over the last two decades. Regional and international workshops attract co-counselors from New England, other parts of the United States, and several countries.
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The Co-Counseling Community: The co-counseling community  includes hundreds of experienced co-counselors. Once your class is complete, you can continue to co-counsel with class members or other experienced people. You can also attend community evenings, advanced classes, and regional and international workshops.
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What Classes are Like:

  • Co-Counseling is usually taught in a group class of ten to twenty people.
  • Classes are taught using a variety of formats including:  once a week for sixteen weeks, over two weekends, or a combination of weekly classes and weekends.
  • Classes focus on learning techniques used in co-counseling sessions through practice and demonstrations.
  • Cost for the class varies according to teacher and location. Many teachers offer sliding scales and/or payment plans.
  • Most classes are for adults only, though some children's and teen's classes are offered.
  • Classes are fun, challenging, growthful, and celebratory!

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How to get Started: Free introductory evenings are held before the start of a class to give you an opportunity to learn more about co-counseling. For more information about an introductory evening or classes in your area contact your local CCI - USA representative.
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