The day after McCoCo there will be the McCoCo Conference, this year held in Lilian’s house in Kirkcaldy, near Edinburgh.
The ‘Client in Charge of their Session’ is one of the cornerstones of the Co-Counselling approach. It might even be one of its Unique Selling Point, something that no-other approaches has on offer. Directing one’s own session, following one’s own path and negotiating and agreeing the support desired with the caring and loving, free attention of the counsellor.
From a wider perspective, co-counselling promises people to get more and more in charge of their own lives, and more and more being able to shape their own world. Indeed, one of the Co-Counselling manuals has ‘changing your world’ as part of its title.
Providing people with the opportunities to acquire the skills and tools to be in charge of their session and/or in charge of their lives can be called empowerment. Empowerment is not about bestowing power or authority on people. Like horses, one can point them to the water, but it is up to them to drink.
Empowerment theories provide also tools to assess how effective the empowering environment is. This is ultimately assessed by the individual oneself: one’s level of self-empowerment is recognised by feeling confident in their own capabilities of directing one's own session, life or destiny.
Empowering the Client in Charge of the session
Obviously empowering the Client goes further than empowering people to be in charge of the session. Having said that, the co-counselling session is the most used place where people in the client role can practice, explore and increase all aspects of their autonomy.
Therefore the proposal is to focus the conference on how the teaching of co-counselling can support the clients to be really in charge of their sessions. This leads to the following questions about supporting new co-counsellors to get really in charge of their session:
- What skills, insights and experience do they as Client need to have?
- What (teaching) environment, tools and concepts do we already have in Co-Counselling to support new co-counsellors?
(We will bring a new tool developed in the Netheralnds.)
- What (teaching) environment, tools or concepts are further needed?
My best hope for the conference is that we produce some end results that can be given back to the community. That can be anything arising from the conference, for instance sharing our experiences of teaching or being taught to be in charge of our session. I myself am thinking of writing writing an article about Empowerment for CoCoPedia.
Together we will design the conference program so that we can inspire each other with what matters most to us around the Client-in-Charge and Empowerment.
Interested to attend? Contact us