In a Co-Counselling session one person is in the Client role and works on what is important to them. The other person is in the supporting Counsellor role. After an agreed time they switch roles for the second session. This session takes as much time as the first session. Sometimes the Client is called Worker or Creator; while their counterparts are called Counsellor, co-worker or co-creator respectively.
The name Co-Counselling has been derived from the fact that the two people switch roles, It could have been called Co-Clienting for the same reason.
Session Ground Rules
1. Equal time
Both sessions have the same length of time and take usually place straight after each other and at the same day.
The Client is In Charge: the client is ultimately in charge of the session, and can always revoke any Session Contract with the Counsellor.
3. The Counsellor supports the Client in their process
The role of the counsellor is
to follow the client with Free Attention
to support the client as agreed in the Session Contract
while the counsellor does not necessarily have to understand what is going on
to keep time and notify the client
to keep Confidentiality
A Co-Counselling session is never a conversation between the Client and the Counsellor. The session is a place for the Client to explore and express their Inner Truth and reflect on it without any comment, approval or disapproval.
- Negotiation 1: coming to a session agreement
Negotiables are: Duration e.g. 10 minutes each way, when, where, who starts first?
- Negotiation 2: individual session contract
Client and counsellor clarify what kind of support the client can expect from the counsellor. This negotiation is done in the beginning of each session. It includes also a warning time before the end of the session.
- Actual working time
Sometimes people start with What-Is-On-Top, loosening up exercises or a validation for yourself.
- Finishing of the Session
Depending on the Co-Counselling tradition there are several finishing questions: "What do you take with you?", action plan, "What is good about your session?", "What quality of you made this session possible?", a validation of your work
- Attention Switches, Attention Out or Present Time exercises
These are meant to leave the session material behind and move into the Here-and-Now.
In a session contract people clarify what they as client and counsellor can expect from each other. With the above ground rules in mind Co-Counsellors can negotiate any contract they want, as they are considered to be autonomous people.
All Co-Counselling contracts clarify:
- the when, where and duration of the session
- the level and type of suggestions requested by a client in a session. This can be modified at any time during the session
- the level of confidentiality required
- the level of physical touch involved
To make life simpler, there are several Session Contracts so that people do not need to set up an extensive negotiation in order to have sessions.
Core Session Contract
This is the Free Attention / Loving, caring Attention Contract
This is a contract in which the counsellor is only present while not giving any suggestions. This contract forms the base for all other session contacts to build and add on their contributions..
Add-on Session Contracts for an Open Flow Session
Based on the Core Session Contract the counsellor can give suggestions depending on the csession contract agreed.
- Normal Contract / Loving, caring Attention Contract with suggestions.
This is taught iduring the Co-Counselling Fundamentals Courses.
- Co-Creation Contract
- Intensive Contract
- Intuitive Contract
- The Co-Counselling Mediation (Co-Med) Contract
The last three are generally taught in Further Skills Workshops.
Add-on Session Contracts for a Structured Session
- Identity Check
- ANSA contract
- Life Action (USA)
- Role Play (Munster)
- Making a Picture (CornuCopia)
- Video Technique (CornuCopia)
- Pain-to-Power (CornuCopia)
Non Co-Counselling Session Contracts
Group Sessions and Session in the Group
Session In Group
Often done in the group during a workshop to demonstrate a technique or procedure.