CCI Europe 2017-08-02 - Community Sharing

Status: These minutes were typed by Alan during the meeting and distributed to those present.   This version issued 1 September includes some updates to the Israel-Dror section provided by Janice, updates to the German section from Ulla (Ursula) Sandmann, and updates from JanPieter that affect Netherlands, Scotland and Websites. 



Hans: we note that we tried to get people to come from Hungary but unfortunately none were able to come.

England – Celia

I am excited at having been invited to run the 2nd of 2 large classes, organised by a new teacher Kathleen, in the London area.

France – Floriane

Only 1 coco in Paris at the moment.  Previously in Brussels.   I was able to teach 9 hours to a few therapists.   If you have any French friends, please encourage them!  I hope to teach a fundamentals sometime.

Netherlands – Marlies

No fundamentals in the last year.   We had a community weekend.  We have another weekend planned for November.   We need to find other ways to bring in new people.
Corrie: At teachers’meeting, Peter Koekebakker said that there is a possibility of another fundamentals but nothing has happened yet.
Liesbeth:  We have a meeting in Den Haag every month.  We seek to make it open for new members.
Joke: There is a website where people can sign up for a newsletter.   There is interest from people signing up.
JP: There are young people who have interest and I am going to teach them. However, they do not want to be associated with old people’s coco.
Hans: we need a new strategy to attract new people.

England – north – Julian

Fundamentals – 2 this year.   4 weekend events.  Lots of energy, mainly an aging group.

USA – Bob Sawyer

Our CCI is moving to May for 2018.  First date change for a long time.

As we all know, to teach in the old way is nearly impossible today (16 weeks old USA format).   We have formed a study group of old & new co-counsellors, looking at new ways to deliver coco to the wider world.   Some have worked, some not.   Younger people are so busy, don’t have much time.   We have had one meeting.   Will be doing a lot more with video-conferencing, the new apps (Facetime? Zoom?) rather than physical meetings, or Skype which is seen as being for older people.

Fred:  West Coast: I went to San Diego, they had a 4-hour intro to a new class under the name of Conscious Connection rather than co-counselling.   Response not what she wanted.   In San Francisco: they will be doing a “coco intensive” for a weekend.   Don’t know exactly what they are doing.   Seattle:  There is something happening, not sure.

New Haven: 2 of my support people moved away, so weekly groups have stopped.   I am thinking about doing a fundamentals Class called Co-Connection.   Idea is to use new terms and reach out to new people, Talker and Listener.   Have one potential assistant.

Gail: I am trying to get a class for Sep 17 with my daughter.   This time it will be shorter, 8 weeks + 2 full Saturdays.  I advertise as Stress Management, then I explain the methodology (coco) at the start.   I had over 20 people last year; just a few signed up for the class but the headline did work in getting more people to some.  Also reducing the price.   And I have a site on MeetUp, 1 for coco events with about 40-50 people (existing co-cos).  I also have a separate singles group, and I put the intro on that.

Bob: There are several local communities e.g. N Carolina, New York state, Michigan as well as the most active community in New England.

Germany – Ulla (Ursula)

Muenster:  Haus Kloppenburg is now renovated.   Markus:  In exceptional cases, it is now possible to stay overnight.

Ulla: I am now the chairman of our association.   It is a special association to support people who are not able to pay for their therapy, or for coco workshops.  In the past we had big jobs to do to organize the donations for the renovation costs.   One part to collect money was to offer special events with artists or lay people, something like a talent show.   Now we look at people who want to run events, we vet them.   Siglind is doing less.

We have a number of teachers, offering classes. 

We will see if it is better to switch weekdays.   Previously we offered weekend workshops Sat pm to Sun, now we try Fri pm to Sat, so that participants can relax on Sunday.

Markus: 5 or 6 workshops in a year.   They are still running the students workshop at the university, some km away.   Maybe we don’t see them again; still a problem to get new young people involved.   I run a year group, meets twice/month, offered for newcomers who want to practice coco regularly.   We give them some input on coco theory.  There are also other weekly meetings, sometimes 3 evenings in the week with 10 people every time. 

At Haus Kloppenburg many activities happen:

  • Center for coco workshops, regular coco groups, training for coco trainers and self-help meetings.
  • Center for therapy by therapists who work on their own. They rent their room and can use public rooms for special offers, some of them also offer coco workshops.
  • Since up to two years,  midwives offer advisory service for pregnant women.
  • Now there is offer for Feldenkrais.
  • people especially teacher and pupils can learn how to fight/quarrel fair
  • "bridges to confidence" for people who are waiting for  therapy
  • four coco groups in four small towns near Münster are founded and coached by trainers from Haus Kloppenburg
  • In addition many creative offers like dancing, writing classes, talent show, music, poems etc. are available.
  • And last but not least many business meetings for different groups happen there.

JP: Siglind is trying to set up work at the university on evidence-based approach to coco.

Markus: CCI will run in Germany 2019.  Same venue as last time.

Scotland – Lilian

Organising team for CCI 2018: Lilian, Geoff, Sheila, JP; Celia & Janice helping with teachers’workshop.   Theme: Egocentric to ecocentric: how to find a healthy balance between myself and our world.  Gartmore House, beautiful old house very close to the Trossachs.   CCI is close to the Lake of Menteith.   Will provide transport from local station.  We are inviting questions about what people would most want to attract them to come J   Leaflets are available in several languages.

I also do lots of regular telephone co-counselling because there are significant distances.

At McCoCo 2017 we had a tree-planting ceremony for co-ounsellors who have died especially Chris Jamieson earlier this year.

Margaret Anderson and Anne Denniss send their greetings.

There has been no teaching in the last year – not sure if I will teach again soon.

Lots of local coco happening, and some local art workshops – Lilian, Geoff, Lindsay.   We have a lovely venue run by Monica (German).

JP: 2018 will be the last McCoCo.   I have a Co-Counselling fund of about 10,000GBP.   Some of this is already earmarked.   But if you have a project that structurally contributes to the development of co-counselling, you can make a bid for money: ask me.

(There is also the Mary Corr fund in the UK) 

Websites – JP

I organise the CoCoInfo website and it is already linking to and from other coco websites.   If anybody has a new one, please tell me and link it to CoCoInfo.  This will improve co-counselling being found on search engines.

If you announce your coco event on CoCoInfo, it will be automatically published on other coco sites and cocolist as well.

It has a newsletter potential.   I would like it if there were to be an editor group which could use CoCoInfo as a delivery vehicle for a worldwide email newsletter.

Cocoinfo already has a big archive of coco documents / articles / information.   All co-counsellors registered with CoCoInfo can  add more if they want to offer it.

Ireland – Declan

I have been involved in organising many CCIs, the last one 2015, just myself and Bobby.   Very stressful because only 20 bookings in January, we did get enough in the end but financial risk for us.   The 3 of us (Bobby Declan Dymphna) would like to have another CCI in Ireland in 2020 it but doubts about the venue and not sure whether we will want to take the risk.

Dymphna: we will decide this year and will have a better idea next year.

Netherlands – Sytse

Rita & Simon: he has Alzheimer’s disease, he is doing OK being quiet at home.

England – Nigel

Several people mentioned the problem of getting people to come to the full 40 hours.   Raised by Richard at an event in UK but no decision made.   Would event organisers’ accept people who have only done a fundamentals-light?   An issue to consider.

Gilli: I have lots of ideas.

Bob: in the USA our fundamentals are usually in 2 halves and someone who has completed the 1st half can come to a weekend.

England - Gilli

I have heard 3 problems: we are aging; we are mainly white; we have trouble attracting new young people.  

One young woman approached me with the 3 questions.  I asked her to bring in the people and she found 21 diverse participants.   It will be interesting.   We will be co-teaching some new materials on a shorter program.   We will do this by sending a lot of the theory electronically in advance.   This will be a test run.  We will discover how many actually read it in advance.   She is keen to address the diversity issue by using as much electronics as we can.   We will try it out.   We intend to call it Co-Connection. 

It will not specifically say that it is co-counselling but it will link to Steve & Sue’s Peer Support Network (which has 2 levels: psn basics – listening but no invitation to discharge - and psn plus – involves all techniques including discharge.   Psnplus is enough for coco residentials).

Some of us are looking at every bit of learning material and asking “is this fit for our purpose in the 21st century”.  We will ask later (after the event) if our students are acceptable to CCI worldwide.

There are also people sharing learning materials online: learning platforms.   Aisha is supporting this from her position as a professor at Leeds university.   Shayla in the USA also has knowledge in this area.   We invite contributions from people who have already-existing materials: Celia, John T, ….   I do not expect to own it once it has been produced, happy to use cocoinfo as a platform.

Nigel: if psnplus takes same amount of time, how will it help with the problem.  Gilli: psn is in 2 halves.  Co-connection is so far 2 weekends and 1 practice day, with 21 people.   We are making minimal charges to cover the space only, Gilli not charging.  

Shayla says that buying an effective internet platform could be expensive, big investment.

Gilli: I am looking forward to the teaching.

England – Alan

Some local coco. I am hoping to be doing some teaching next year.  Meanwhile Tonya is teaching in London.

NZ – Joke

I had an email from Dawn Samson in NZ.  There will be CCI NZ in Jan 2018.  Theme is embodying spirit.  Wonderful venue.   Nigel: Most beautiful country I’ve ever been to.

Fred: They are running fundamentals, have a lot of new people. 

Israel Dror – Janice

I am proud of the Arab-Jewish support group which has been running for over 30 years, 1/month in Nazareth.

We have also been teaching in the prisons for 16 years, I teach with Avi. There is a research database which we are hoping to use to get evidence showing prisoners who complete the fundamentals have a lower recidivism rate.

Avi wrote a book some years ago, named after his son, Benchuk.   Janice has translated it into English, and would like to make it available on cocoinfo.  We would like input on whether it is ready for publication.

Teaching: I am continuing to teach, last year I ran a course for 4 Bedouin women in their mid 30s in the south of Israel.  They are enthusiastic, I hope to expand.   They are part of the Palestinian population. Two of my students attended the last Israeli CCI.

I will be teaching a class through School of Shine - a  group of English-speaking women (mostly mid 20s)  interested in meeting to create a community, the title of the course is "The Art of Listening."  

Sytse: we appreciated the CCI in Israel.  

Janice: That was the 3rd international workshop in Israel. I have decided I will not run another event unless I get some more support.

There is another teacher in Israel who teaches Dror coco which is not CCI co-co.

OTHER SHARING – 2nd round

Gail: USA has put together a list of what we regard as essential skills.

Lilian: I celebrate Gilli’s collaboration with a young person.

Fred: “Co-connection” is about Us not all about I.   “We is the womb of I”.

Corrie: I would like us to agree on a new name instead of co-counselling.

Celia: Inter-generational transfer is an issue in every organisation.   We should be thinking not “how are we going to involve the young” but “How are we going to react when we are taken over by a bunch of teenagers?.”

Floriane: There is EU money for some purposes. 

Floriane: I would like to bring my daughter (17) to CCI.  I will not be able to teach her the whole 40 hours.   Would it be possible to have a fundamentals during CCI?

Floriane: You are invited to participate in Paris.

Marlies: tomorrow I will give a workshop on things we can learn.

Bob: I always take away gifts from every CCI I come to.  We would like you to share your gifts with us in USA in the Spring.


2018: Scotland

2019: Germany

2020: Ireland to be confirmed. Some doubt.

2021: Hungary to be confirmed.  

France: a possibility sometime if Floriane gets help.

Also (agreed/organised elsewhere):
USA CCI runs in the spring every year
NZ CCI Jan 2018 and usually every 3 years


Taken from the signature sheet circulated at the end of the meeting.
It is possible this list is not complete, or that I have misread someone’s name:  if you were there, feel free make corrections!

Celia Wilson
Minke Weggemans
Floriane Chinsky
Marlies Tjallingii
Julian Briggs
Verena Schütte
Bob Sawyer
Marian Vollers
Gail Fuller
Hanneke Versteege
Ursula (Ulla) Sandmann
Markus Papenburg
Lilian Brzoska
Declan Reddy
Evelien van Os
Sytse Tjallingii
Nigel Bruce
Ria Leenders
JanPieter Hoogma
Fred Wallace
Gilli Gladman
Hans van Os
Alan Trangmar
Liesbeth Bianchi
Corrie van Haasteren
Dymphna Headen
Janice Wasser
Joke Stassen