2006 CCI European gathering, business meeting minutes

Business Meeting, CCI 2006, Hungary August, 6, 2006




Agenda: Topic Time Allotted

RC/CCI 30 min.

Network Reports 30 min.

European Workshops 10 min.

Intercontinental Workshops 10 min.

Fundamentals Teaching 10 min.



Minutes of the meeting (taken by György (HU) and Janice (Il) has been sent to David Colbourne. Alan Trangmar has the list of attendants to the business meeting. The preliminary draft of the protocol will be uploaded to the Wiki site. A link will be available to all those who attended the meeting. A deadline will be set for all corrections before sending out the final version of the minutes for the international community of CCI.


Agota Ruzsa (HU) volunteered to facilitate the first segment on understanding the connection between Re-evaluation counseling (RC) and Co-Counseling International (CCI). "I celebrate RC people. Ages ago there was a split but it can be viewed as an inheritance. We are the ones who can heal the split; bringing the two cultures together. There are some frustrating points. Let's try to understand our differences. Let's hope for compassion.


John Talbut (UK): I see richness in diversity. Both versions work well. The Wikipedia page describes the agreement on co-counseling. Defining CCI (http://co-counselling.info/en/ref/definition-co-counselling-international-cci) is a result of a long process that evolved over time.


Celia Wilson (UK): During 12 years of RC, I was told 'one cannot do both'. Now that I am part of CCI, I say "one can do both". CCI is self-directed, client-centered with contracted sessions and no gurus.


Alan Trangmar (UK): The differences in practice are not big.


?: There is free space for RCers in Manchester.


Iaacov Aviram - Phillo (IL): That is the same in Israel. RCers are welcome to Dror events.


Joke Stassen (NL): I welcome the presence of the Israeli group and the ideas and energy they bring to the workshop. I am also aware of the diffferences. I remember that it took quite a number of small meetings before the Münster community joined CCI. There were differences between us, that were actually smaller than between CCI and the Israeli group and there was a long process. In my experience in teaching it sometimes takes former RC cocounselors longer to learn cocounselling, because they have to unlearn things. A major difference is that we teach more "clienting" instead of counseling.

Kathleen Ryan (NZ): I think it's really good that we are having a discussion about CCI and RC. It also helps us be aware of the differences within CCI, as well as what CCI holds as common ground across different CCI communities.

I welcome the presence of the Dror community representatives at this Hungarian CCI. I think it's helpful to discuss theory and practice with people who have come from the RC tradition and who have an interest in being involved in the CCI community.

My understanding is that in NZ we offer Basics/Fundamental courses for those with an RC background members who want to join CCI at the same reduced price that those doing the course as a "refresher" pay. Those with an RC background can then join our CCI network.

I am not aware of any discussions in New Zealand between the RC and CCI networks in recent years. Over 15 years ago when I lived in Wellington a small group of cocounsellors who did RC courses were asked to chose between the RC and CCI networks by the Wellington RC co-ordinator who considered we could not be a member of both. RC was more active at the time, with more discussion about theory and practice. I chose CCI, simply because of the respect for freedom that the CCI approach offers. However I was disappointed not to be part of RC's ongoing discussions!

I accept that the Dror community is no longer part of the RC community, and is seeking its own path into the future. I am unclear how mcuh common ground there is between the various CCI communities and the Dror community. Do we share in common the three ways of working - celebration, discharge, and furure oriented work - and the five basic techniques? What is similar and what is different about our theories and practice, and community processes?

Different CCI networks or communities are more or less structured with more or less national policy. In NZ we have teacher accreditation by the two main communities, and all those in the community can have an involvement. We have two national business meetings a year at our two national gatherings, and anyone can offer and speak to an agenda item. We prefer consensus to voting. Individual members are free to offer their own workshops. While individuals take on specific roles we all have a repsonsibility for what happens in the network. This means that if you asked us who our leaders were we might be hard pressed to tell you, though we could indicate who has what roles.

The NZ experience may well differ rom other CCI network/community organisational experiences. One thing that I think is different in RC is the hierarchical nature of their structures, and the power given to a limited number of people. I am unclear which model the Dror community follows - I understand there are direct elections, but am unclear what ongoing power resides with individual members and groups of members.

I look forward to ongoing discussions within the CCI international community and with other communities. I would like CCI to hold to our agreed common ground while seeking to work with other communities. I was heartened by the vision of the Dror community as outlined by Janice.


Janice Wasser (IL): Can you please clarify to whom you are directing your comments? Dror (Israeli Co-counseling community) is not RC.


Dónal Ó Néill (IE,HU): Differences are okay.


Ria Leenders (NL): I don't know what RC is? I like diversity, but what is shared, what are the common conditions?


Avi Butavia (IL): There are two tools we have adapted from our first experience with CCI in Scotland: 1) The workshop setting with no one facilitator; 2) Contract arrangement before session.

In Israel, we dropped out of RC because we dared to think on our own. Here in Hungary we are considered RCers. I have developed some theories: What is fear, loneliness. I am very experienced working over 30 years in co-counseling. I want to share my ideas, to present these theories. It's a tool that can be used if you choose it. I am not bringing rules. It is a theory on how to deal with fear, boredom, etc. It is not the only method.


Iaacov Aviram - Phillo (IL): We are not RC. There are differences among all of us. We encourage the dialogue. We are all good friends. I was first taught by an RC instructor.


Niek Sickenga (NL): It is important for me to know what we do have in common, what we share and where and about what we have different views; based on culture?, on theory?, on philosophy, and how do we want to cope with that.

Dymphna Headen (IE): I left Phillo's workshop. You have added ????


Siglind Willms (DE): We need to celebrate the differences. We can relax and give free attention. I admire RC's social work.


JanPieter Hoogma (SCO/NL): with my CornuCopia approach I haven't experienced that much 'celebration of the differences'. Rather the approach was - with some exceptions - at its best tolerated.


Agota Ruzsa (HU): We have time for two more comments.


Steve Allan (UK): I teach CCI through a Charity and worl at a Further Education College. At both places there have been accusations calling CCI a "cult". I have expained that the allegations relate to RC and that CCI with its "Peer" structure is different - and this has been accepted. We have made changes in CCI, in theory and in practice, but this can cause problems as there is not an "authority" that can accept them worldwide, for this reason the non-peer nature of RC can integrate better with the new stuff.


Fred Wallace (US): I teach RCers. We need to keep learning from each other. We both want a better world. Let's be inclusive.


John Talbut: RC literature, including their newsletter "Present Time" can be purchased by anyone via the RC web site www.rc.org .


Agota Ruzsa (HU) closes the inquiry. We need more than toleration.


Network Reports:


United Kingdom

John Talbut: Carrying on as usual. There have been seven residentials and UK workshops every year. All are welcome. This includes the Scottish workshop in May. Ten fundamentals classes were taught in the UK: London, Thames Valley, Sheffield and more. UK Co-counselors are teaching fundamentals in India as well. JanPeter is active in Scotland. Celia Wilson reported on last year's initiative that John Talbut and seven CCI teachers developed a distance learning software package for use when there is no CCI teacher available. Requests were made from Uganda and Sri Lanka. A co-counselor has taught in Sri Lanka using the software. Anyone in CCI is welcome to use the material.

Joke Stassen (NL): ..and each class has a tutor, coaching the group at distance.

Sri Lanka

John Talbut: Reported that Sushila Raja had taught classes in three different different towns in war torn areas. There is now a network in Sri Lanks, CoColanka.


John Talbut: The London Co-Counselling e-newsletter had reported that one of their members was teaching in India.

The Netherlands

Marlies Tjallingii: We offer two weekend workshops a year which are well attended. Support groups all over the Netherlands meet on a regular basis. There are two new teachers from Cornucopia – CCN community web site (Joke runs the web site). We are working on training new teachers with introductory weekends. There were two weekend courses and Joke and Marlies ran two one day workshops on "decision-making" and "handling conflict". We are planning next year's international CCI workshop.


United States

Peter Fisher: We run four big workshops: on men, women, Cooper Hill, and CCI in April.

Fred Wallace: I teach in California (Ojai and Santa Barbara) for four years now. There is a plan for growth of CCI through 2010. I travel to CA every three months. I teach in New York and in other states. The Co-counseling community in the US is growing. We are trying to build an interstate community with a CCI-USA Center.

Peter Fisher: We want to accommodate children at workshops as modeled in Europe. There is ongoing teaching in prisons.

Michael Chell: We aim to establish CCI-USA National. It's starting to happen. The message is spreading throughout the US. Michigan has an active community as well.


New Zealand

Kathleen Ryan: There are two main communities: Wellington and Auckland, with smaller numbers of people in some other places, for example, the Coromandel Peninsula.

We have two annual gatherings. The summer national gathering is generally held the weekend of the third Monday in January (Wellington Anniversary weekend). The winter national gathering is held on Queen's Birthday weekend, which is a long weekend that includes the first Monday in June. Gatherings tend to be held in the middle of the North Island so that the main communities have about the same amount of travel to do.

We held our first international CCI in the summer of December 1993 - January 1994. We have held an international CCI every 3rd year since then, with the latest being in January 2006 at Tauhara. Given this future NZ CCIs are likely to be in January 2009, 2012 and 2015.... We warmly invite you all to come!

The Opening Circle is our national newsletter, and generally comes out four times a year. We also have a web site and Wellington and Auckland contact lists for national and local community communications.

Local communities also organise their own activities, for example, Wellington usually holds at least one weekend a year. Auckland has a meeting every 4th Monday evening and different people at times organise day and weekend workshops in the Auckland area. How much happens depends on the enthusiasm and commitment of individual members and groups, and who is interested.

Our different communities have slightly different cultures and flavours. We value being part of both a national and an international community. The NZ CCI community is relatively small. We welcome visitors.



Iris Finnern: There are three contact persons. In Munster there are 12 people. We need more counselors. In Hamburg, we send out fliers and ads in the local newspaper. Co-counseling is practiced in the prison. 12-15 people are active in meetings and sessions. There was a meeting in Berlin.

Marlies Tjallingii (NL) was involved in the Dutch/German sharing meeting in February.

Clemens Hagemeyer: We have 16 teachers, with 6-8 actively teaching last year. There are regular monthly meetings and one annual weekend workshop. In September, there was a support group run by two people for deeper work after learning fundamentals. In January, there will be a new group to groom teachers and discuss theory. In September in Bremen there was a fundamentals course with Dutch participants. There is a psychologist in Poland who is interested in doing co-counseling. He may open a fundamentals class in Poland next year.




the network

JanPeter Hoogma reports that the community in Scotland is solid as is now for many years. In September, a two day reunion will be held for all who live(d) in Scotland. The first day is a social one with a reception, shared dinner and ceilidh. The second day is a community day – non-co-counselors are welcome. It will be a very large gathering with many activities. A desired side effect is to build a network of people something thing like "friends of co-counseling".

In 2008, Scotland hosts the European Workshop.



Its web site: over 1000 hits a month. People are looking for materials on theory. This could be a clue for promoting co-counselling.

A CornuCopia fundamentals class went terribly wrong. In the first weekend a client acted out a vilolent situation and others were deeply affected. Many people left the course, only the most motivated people stayed. This triggered the idea in me to split the fundamentals in a one-weekend introdcution workshop after which peole can choose to do the two-weekend foundation course. Three identical introductory workshops are feeding in new candidates for one foundation classes.

These Introductory workshops now are alsmost fully booked on word of mouth.



Janice Wasser reports on the Dror Community in Israel. There are about 200 members registered in Dror –not all are active. We have two national weekend workshops a year based on the holiday schedule: in the spring and at the end of summer, attendance reaches about 40 participants. There are three regions: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Northern Region with two regional coordinators who are responsible for drumming up interest in new members, fundamentals classes, support groups and evenings with a facilitator and a theme. Tel Aviv area is very active with periodic events - examples from this month: Scenes from the movie, "Crash" through discharge and lots of hugs, "The Courage to Fly" and "Age and Practice" – what is your real "age". We have an elected council of five members who serve for one year and meet monthly to discuss issues that affect the community as a whole. Elections take place at the spring workshop. There have been about five fundamentals classes taught this year to date. There are about 12 active teachers throughout the country. Avi Butavia teaches fundamentals classes in three prisons (two men's prisons and one women's prison) running 5 years now.

There are several support groups that deal with oppression of minorities: Sephardim, women's group, kibbutz children, Arab-Jewish meetings– this group was established 30 years ago and is still meeting monthly with new members always welcome. We also run parenting classes and a men's support group. The third 30 page booklet for the year is being prepared for the community which includes articles, reports from activities and poetry written by Dror members. The Dror web site is in the process of development and is expected to be up and running in Hebrew and English by October, 2006. There is an RC community in Israel and members are welcome to any Dror event.



There are two representatives.



Csaba Ghimessy reports that there is also a small group of co-counselors in the north, but there is not much contact with them. There is no structure in the Budapest group. People are extremely opposed to it. There are about ten active members in Budapest.


Wafik Raouf reports that two courses were taught to 19 people. There are plans to open more classes.


Mitch, Susan, Dave and Kenny are active in Australia.


Czech Republic

Interested in receiving training in fundamentals.



Fred, Niek and Joke were teaching cocounselling and communication skills to radical activists in Spain. They are not sure that this will lead to participation in the international CCI network.


Announcements for International Workshops

2007 USA

2007 The Netherlands, 29.7-4.8 (Same location as 4 years ago. Teachers meeting beforehand)

2008 USA

2008 Scotland Dates? Place? Children?

2009 USA

2009 New Zealand: January (our summer - have a break from winter)

2009 Germany (Israel is proposed as an alternative)


2012 New Zealand: January

2015 New Zealand: January

Report to

John Talbut to post ads for upcoming workshops, especially ones to which any CCI co-counsellors in the world are welcome.


Fundamentals Teaching


Brainstorming: Celia Wilson (UK) mentions that there is a list posted outside for suggestions or ideas that have been successful in the past.

Steve Allan (UK) common agreement on who can teach

Corrie van Haasteren (NL) We have a specific set of rules in Holland

Iris Finnern (DE) wants to become a trained co-co apprentice.

Avi Butavia (IL) Our teachers are recommended by the regional coordinator before they open a class.

Agota Ruzsa (HU) I am involved with the Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) where we are working towards developing a community of practice. CCI is very formal. Collective inquiry and collective recollection enrich the gift of gatherings. Workshops are offered in our specific style. There is group reflection: how the process works and how it meets our needs. How can we incorporate these things, working together with evening reflections. We have developed a habit of thinking as an individual thing rather than recognizing the collective culture. This can allow space for sharing and we can go deeper into the differences.

JanPeter Hoogma (Scotland/Nederland) When the European CCI is hosted in Scotland (2008) we could organise a 'Festival of coco flavours' where each day is organised by a different country, including culture setting, typical workshops, foods and music. The first day might then be used to start the Festival and to think together how we can learn form this experience.

Ellie Vogel (NL): In Holland, the master finds it difficult to become a pupil.


Time has run out. Meeting adjourned.