Workshop Focus: How can we use new scientific ideas about emotions and human nature to improve our co-counselling teaching, to address current concerns in CCI, and to evaluate the usefulness of new developments?
The facilitators for this workshop are Rose Evison and Richard Horobin. They learned co-counselling from John Heron in 1973, and started teaching it in 1975. Over the years, they have taught many Fundamentals to the public and to helping professionals; facilitated advanced skills workshops in different countries; run co-counselling teacher training; edited international newsletters and written many articles; also written chapters on co-counselling in books aimed at expert counsellors and helping professionals.
Richard has always worked in Universities as a bio-medical researcher, and is still working at the cutting edge of his subject. Rose has worked as a counselling psychologist and a business psychologist, and been involved in a variety of research projects with people along the way.
Rose and Richard say:
"Although we still teach the same core concepts and peer practice, our current ways of teaching co-counselling have benefitted from new theories of emotions and human nature developed from scientific research in many fields. We are interested in sharing our ways of teaching and, with the help of participants, drawing comparisons with others in CCI; in exploring how teaching is influenced by the metaphors and analogies we all bring from the wider culture; and in looking at how current topics of concern in CCI can usefully be addressed from the standpoint of the scientific models of emotions."
Workshop design and structure
The workshop design will emphasise participation and involvement. Participants will be encouraged to share their beliefs about co-counselling and emotions, the ways they teach the reciprocal-role peer relationship, and the core concepts of patterns, restimulation, balance of attention, discharge and re-evaluation – starting before the weekend.
Rose and Richard will facilitate co-counselling activities that enable participants to explore the impact of new scientific ideas about emotions on co-counselling teaching; provide short presentations linking theory and practice; do demonstrations when asked; provide opportunities for participants to think about, and share their own ideas and teaching experiences – and discuss the consequence of any key points of difference that emerge. This will be set in the more general context of how a teacher's beliefs affect teaching models, strategies and tactics.
The workshop will start with mini-sessions which will illustrate some of R & R's current teaching methods, facilitate participants getting to know people they don't know, and set up a safe co-counselling working culture. Then Rose and Richard will facilitate exploration of the usefulness of the new scientific theory of emotions on co-counselling teaching of the core concepts, using the methods outlined above.
On the second day there will be a mini-workshop exploring shame as the master emotion of everyday life, which elevates laughter to being the master discharge. We will explore the relationship between shame and interpersonal anger shown up by research, and how laughter seems to be the most effective way to disrupt anger patterns. Suggestions for session briefs which will help participants work on shame and interpersonal anger will be provided.
The programme for the final segment of the weekend will be decided collaboratively, with all participants deciding what they want to focus on.
During the weekend the following current topics of concern within CCI can be addressed as appropriate, and if wanted by participants, in the context that the new theories of emotions can illuminate them, and provide practical strategies for dealing with them:
- How can we evaluate the usefulness of ideas and activities from other growth/therapy methods?
- Can discharge be dangerous for some people or in some circumstances?
- Are feelings and emotions confused? Does focusing on feelings blind us to other patterns?
- Is discharge confused with distress, particularly when working to release interpersonal anger?
- How does co-counselling relate to the ideas about our shadow sides?
The venue is a self contained house – we will be the only people in occupation. The bedrooms are twin and some single with one large group room and two other working spaces. Max numbers 19.
Address: The Old Stable House Centre , 3 Sussex Lodge, Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7AF
Cost: Self-catering or part-catered. Cost will be £22 per person per night, plus food.
The venue requires a minimum of 440 per weekend (i.e. 10 people staying 2 nights each).
For the workshop to run we therefore need 10 people to book and pay a £30 non-returnable deposit by November 30th 2011 and we can then confirm the venue booking.