At first glance defining a Peer Workshop as contrasted with a Teaching Workshop is easy. In an ideal peer workshop
all participants have equal part in the facilitation and there is no authority, no teaching, while everybody equally shares their experiences. However ‘ideal', a group of maximum 8-10 Co-Counsellors can operate satisfactorily in this way: the members share their experiences and have sessions around a central, common theme, such as ‘being depressed', ‘being a man', ‘losing a beloved one', ‘single parenting' etc.
As opposed to peer facilitation is the teaching facilitation. Here a Co-Counsellor with an expertise in a certain area facilitates a learning process in a group of peers, combined with a transfer of new skills and concepts. The most familiar form in Co-Counselling is of course the Fundamentals. Other examples of these ‘teaching facilitation' are the ‘Co-Counselling Teaching Courses' , ‘'Further Skills', ‘Frealing Contract' etc.
Sometimes one can observe in Co-Counselling another form of facilitation: Process Facilitation by one or more facilitators. Examples of these are: facilitating a Community Day, chairing a business meeting, mediating in conflict resolution sessions, or facilitating big opening and closing ceremonies. Process facilitation is what it says: focused on facilitating a particular process. It is not focused on learning processes, hence there is no transfer of skills or knowledge, although if necessary sometimes a procedure will be explained or a song taught.
Although in Co-Counselling many workshops are announced as peer workshops, they are less peer than the above mentioned ‘ideal peer workshop'. Thus the CCI- peer workshop....
PROS & CONS of Peer , Teaching or Process facilitation.
The role as organiser
As organiser you provide the space and opportunities Co-Counsellors can take up and extend from, being in charge of their own lives.
It is about providing the space, holding the space energetically, offering opportunities people can take up and extend on.
If you can't stay out of your own issues of the topic or want to be involved explicitly in the topic peer workshop
When the organisers themselves: peer group.
no double hats
as organiser don't take the role of safety person or conflict resolution
avoid to invitations to get hooked into issues.
liaising with the facilitators
general culture setting & start up