2011 CCI European gathering, Business meeting minutes, Monor Hungary

Business Meeting - Hungary 2011 


28  participants


Dónal Ó Néill facilitated, Janice Wasser wrote the minutes



Working in the field of personal development, John Talbut (UK)

Reports from different communities, Margaret Anderson (Scotland)

Future CCIs, Hans van Os van den Abeelen (NL)

Reaffirm "client in charge", JanPieter Hoogma (Scotland)

Correction of CCI Germany minutes, JP (Scotland)

Proposal from Dror, Janice (Israel)

Use of co-counseling with children/teenagers - International sharing, Celia Wilson (UK)

How to encourage more Dror participants at CCI, Naomi Springer (Israel)

Labels of "counselor" and "Client" - definitions, Nina Hawkins (NZ)


Closing circle


Start with 10 minutes each in the order they appear.


  1. Recruiting people into co-counseling

John T. (UK): There is a concern about getting more people into co-counseling, recruiting people straight into co-counseling.

Define your market: people who want to do serious personal development work.

How do we get more people to that stage?

Co-counselors should get out to the field with focus! Co-counselors who facilitate other groups - assertiveness training, weight loss programs for example.

Some of the same culture applies in these different groups with sound principles of holistic learning. Co-counseling is seen as a part of a wider whole - many parts are not unique in that it's peer-led, and using counseling techniques, but what is unique is that it is reciprocal in nature and the client is in charge!


Niek Sickenga (UK): I am interested in getting more people into CCI, not just co-counseling. It can be seen as a "cleaning service" to live in peace with your past, and dealing with the concept of "creative space."  There are many variations of co-counseling, but CCI is unique.


Rachel Walmsley (UK): I work with many types of coaching groups - I haven't actually been active in promoting co-co as such, but now I will incorporate this into my work.


Marjan Tuk (NL): In my "Secrets" Workshop I can incorporate co-co. Something else that makes it unique is the "balance of attention".


Joke Stassen (NL): In my "Writing Workshop" I combine techniques for creative writing with co-counseling. It gets people interested in co-counseling.


 Ildiko Kaminszki (HU): Self responsibility is unique in our culture, we must use niche marketing.


JP:  One of the outcomes of the Co-Co conference after McCoCo. Personal development courses with some co-co techniques and encouragement to take co-co fundamentals afterwards. A supplementary course is offered to students so that they may join CCI.


Marjan (NL): There is a group on CoCoInfo called 'Promoting CCI Co-Counselling' where people share ideas and materials about this topic.

2.  Reports from Communities:

Nettie Gruson (NL): The Dutch Community is shrinking, but is supported by the new web site managed by Joke. There is better communication. At the last general meeting people who couldn't attend sent their support by internet. In November, the Dutch Community will celebrate 35 years as a formal organization of CCI. They are meeting for a weekend of fun in Central Holland. Regions are being reinstated around Holland for co-co groups. Monthly meetings in Zwolle, The Hague and Arnhem.


Joke (NL): Next year Rose and Richard Horobin are coming to NL (June 2012) to offer a workshop for teachers on "Science of Emotions" connected to co-co.

English teachers are invited and a video will be made of the workshop.


Janice (Israel): Few new fundamentals classes about to open, slow progress. Avi's work in the prisons continues for 8 years. He also works with high risk youth in a local high school.

Arab-Jewish support group is running for 30 years, monthly gathering of people from Dror as well as guests to introduce them to the co-counseling method.

A newer co-counselor ran a men's group. Luiza ran the Class on Age for 3 terms, 12 meetings each. We have sessions' gatherings where people can meet just to have sessions.

Two annual workshops in the Fall and Spring. Sytse and Marlies will come to the Fall Workshop this year. Evening events such as storytelling, games and a Purim Party raising money for Dror.


Nina (NZ): There is a merging with other communities like Non-Violent Communication workshops, men's work incorporating co-co and an overall

consciousness towards the method.


Fred Wallace (USA): Recent teacher-training course, growing communities in North Carolina, New York City, and Los Angeles. New people have entered the community committee planning.

Gilli Gladman (UK) is a member of the planning committee for CCI-2012. There are 5-6 Fundamentals planned for the Fall. 30 people will attend the Fall weekend workshop. A gathering for Co-Creating is scheduled in Maine. Good energy overall with anchors now in Vermont and New Hampshire. There is a Strategic Planning Committee from which the teacher-training program was created. They meet to work on offering different activities for the community - it may serve as a model for other communities.


Till Walmsley (Ger): Nothing is going on in Hamburg as reported by Iris and Rudolf. In Munster the Center for Psychotherapy is run by Siglind and Johannes. They are no longer teaching but have handed over their tasks to new teachers offering 4 Fundamentals each year. There is a book in German on Co-counseling and is being translated by Joke into English and also Dutch.

Every 2 weeks, 10-20 people meet to co-counsel at the Center. There's a monthly body exercise with 10 people, an annual co-counseling weekend and an organizational meeting once a year. At the Center people can meet to do sessions.


JP: Germany - Before the McCoCo Conference he asked Siglind how many people they have trained. The answer: about 1800 (!) people over the last 30 years. Their business model is very effectively organized. What can we learn from them?


JP: Scotland - In the last 2 years, membership has almost halved, the newsletter has crashed, most community organization jobs became vacant and there's not much coco activity either. Two Conflict mediation workshops, two co-co cafes and a common good group has been set up to deal with the conflicts and disagreements. But not to much avail. He feels there is an underlying personalised conflict where he feels some people want him and the CornuCopia approach out. People he taught in the past see the conflict as not inspiring to stay in the community. So he doesn't see the point anymore in teaching co-counselling in Scotland. In fact, in the last two years no fundamentals have been run.


Margaret A.: Scotland, There is tension in the community, there are support groups, community days are staggering and the magazine is not run smoothly, but the community is in a time of transition.

The conflict is around the different visions of co-counseling. They are looking for alternatives. There is a drop in membership but not half. There are still regular co-counselors active in the community.


John Talbut: England & Wales, 6 Residential workshops which vary in length, "One to One" print newsletter, 5 fundamentals currently on and 2 or 3 at any one time. 10 classes a year. At the end of August, Sue Gray will become the new contact person.


Celia W.: The issue in the UK is the lack of progression after fundamentals to participation in workshops. Three co-counselors went to support a co-counselor in Sri Lanka to teach fundamentals. This co-counselor spent time in India as well with another teacher to further co-counseling.


Declan Reddy (IRE): The Community in Ireland is inactive. There are 1-2 meetings a year now. There used to be a newsletter. 6-8 people meet in someone's home.A veteran co-counselor of 20 years showed up at the last meeting. CCI Ireland (2015) will not take place if there's no support. Declan asks for feedback around working with the organization.


Kami: Hungary - organizing the CCI has helped bring the community together. Csaba G. taught a small course on co-counseling. Agota runs special courses using co-co techniques but the students did not take a fundamentals course, and did not enter the community. Kami retired from her position in the co-co community and no one replaced her. Kami says it's very important to have monthly meetings and she is happy to host them.


Donal: Checking time limitations. Web sites are an important tool for promoting CCI. We can use them here to help show what works!


Change in progam of business meeting: 5 minutes for each topic instead of 10.


Marjan (NL): We can bring these topics to the teachers' workshop.


Hans (NL): What is happening in the Czech Republic?


JP: Currently, no ties with the Czech Rep.


Future European CCIs:


2012    NL

2013    UK

2014    Germany?  Till will know by Dec.2011

2015    Ireland?  Support offered by Marlies and John Talbut

2016    Hungary



Alan Trangmar (UK): Venues usually booked two years ahead.


Dymphna (Ire): Request to withdraw Ireland from the circuit. The last CCI took 6 months for her to organize. Although much appreciated, support from other countries does not help.

Maybe we could think of having the European CCI at a central location rather than each community hosting - there is a struggle in Hungary too so we may think of an alternative to offer the CCIs in one central location.


Donal: Why do we have CCIs in certain countries?


Corrie (NL): There are travel issues. Communities hosting makes it easier for local co-counselors to attend.


Marlies Tjallingii (NL): There are timing issues, vacation time is a big consideration.


Sytse Tjallingii (NL) asked if Dror would choose a summer CCI rather than the Fall.


Janice: The summer is quite hot and not a good time for people to see the country.


  1. Definition of "client in charge"

JP: offered a proposal. A slip of paper was handed out to all with the text as follows: "Proposal: the CCI business meeting at the European CCI 2011 in Hungary reaffirms that in co-counseling the client is in charge of their sessions and that the counselor is there to support the client as agreed in their session contract."

Claims are being made about Cornucopia that the counselor's role is disempowered.


Saci Laszlo (HU): There is no need to reaffirm. No interest to enter into community politics. Some members of the Scottish Community feel disempowered by elements in Cornucopia. There is a need for mediation, conflict resolution.


Dymphna Headen (IRE) : Can we vote on this proposal?


Celia (UK) : We can reaffirm the definition of CCI.


JP: this specific element is required.


Donal: There seems to be an underlying element that is unclear.


JP: Reaffirming the definition of CCI will not be satisfactory. We need this common base to hold diversity as a benchmark for CCI.


John T (UK): there is a lack of clarity in the concept of contract.


(A vibrant discussion ensued and a decision was not taken.)




Till (Ger): Future CCI in Germany may not happen. He asks for an address of the person who he should report to whether or not the next CCI is running.


4. Definition of client/counselor

Nina (NZ): In New Zealand the terms "explorer" and "companion" are used. These terms were proposed by a particular group which the teachers involved took on and some people have continued to use them. How current is the language for what we are doing?


Representatives were asked to give the names used in their communities:

Dutch: worker/co-worker

USA: client/counselor, self-counselor/co-counselor

Scotland: client/counselor

Germany: co-counselor/counselor

Israel: one who is counseled/counselor


In CoCoPedia on CoCoInfo the following topics show the various names
client and co-counsellors have
session: http://co-counselling.info/en/cocopedia/session
client: http://co-counselling.info/en/cocopedia/client
counsellor: http://co-counselling.info/en/cocopedia/counsellor


JP: motion to accept the NZ terminology


Hans: Each representative can take this question back to his/her community


5. CCI Germany minutes - correction

JP: In the CCI Germany minutes there is a mistake: there is a statement that the minutes should not be published on the internet. This decision has not been taken at that meeting. However, all minutes of CCI meetings should be available to co-counsellors. At the moment these minutes are not published in the coco-only section of CoCoInfo.


Niek:  Minutes of CCI Europe business meetings were originally in the coco-only part of the CCI-UK web site started by Julian Briggs (at that time -1996?) employee of the University of Leeds). They are NOT available at the public website CCI World News Service (www.cciwns.com).


JP: All the Minutes on the CCI-UK web site have been moved about two years ago to the 'To share is to multiply' community area of the CoCoInfo site:
Here I would like to publish the German CCI business meeting minutes.


Donal asked Till if there's a problem to correct the minutes.


Till responded that there is no problem.


6. Proposal from Dror

Janice: Dror would like to be considered part of the CCI Network.


JP: Is there any resistance to this proposal?


John Talbut: Do the people of Dror accept and comply with the definition of CCI?


Janice: Yes


CCI accepts Dror into the family of CCI.


7. Use of co-counseling with children/teenagers

Celia: I would like to hear from different countries about work with teenagers.


JP: In Scotland I have run several fundamentals with teens and under 35s. I enjoyed that very much. However, after the fundamentals there seems to be a problem: young people seem to like to work with people they can identify themselves with instead of with "those old people".


Till: In Munster, there is work done with 10 year old children using a "Faires Streiten" (fair fight) model . Children aged 10 are taught to use discharge.


Nettie: Saw a program on American television working with 14-15 year olds - privacy was protected; kids were grouped according to their issues. The method offered recognition of the types of issues and giving the children a feeling of belonging.


8. How can we encourage more Israelis from Dror to attend CCI?

Naomi: Doesn't believe it's only a language problem - Naomi offered sessions in English in her home before the last CCI to help people feel comfortable doing sessions in English.


JP: There can be outreach from one community to another.


Joke: People should know translation is available


Time has run out. Business meeting adjourned.