Issue #16: Taster workshops at CoCo Open Space in Edinburgh: 5-6 April

Starter events in the UK

A good way of refreshing your Co-counselling skills as well as supporting new people to get settled in Co-counselling!

2021

Co-Counselling (CCI) Core Training

Sat 13 Mar. to Sun 14 Mar., Sat 27 Mar., Sat 10 Apr. to Sun 11 Apr.

Alvechurch, United Kingdom

Spring Online Co-Counselling Training - SPECIAL RATES TILL END FEBRUARY!!!

Tue 18 May., Tue 1 Jun., Tue 15 Jun., Tue 29 Jun., Tue 6 Jul., Tue 13 Jul., Tue 20 Jul., Tue 27 Jul.

London, United Kingdom

Autumn Online Co-Counselling Training - NOW TAKING BOOKINGS!!!

Tue 12 Oct., Tue 26 Oct., Tue 9 Nov., Tue 16 Nov., Tue 23 Nov., Tue 30 Nov., Tue 7 Dec., Tue 14 Dec.

London, United Kingdom

Residentials in the UK

2021

CCI Southern Spring Event postponed until September 2021 at Earthspirit Centre

Thu 16 Sep. to Mon 20 Sep.

Glastonbury, United Kingdom

Community days and one-day events in the UK

A good way of refreshing your Co-counselling skills as well as for supporting new people to get settled in Co-counselling!

2021

Midlands Community Day

Sat 17 Apr.

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Midlands Community Day

Sat 15 May.

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Midlands Community Day

Sat 12 Jun.

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Midlands Community Day

Sat 17 Jul.

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Residentials outside the UK

2021

CCI Europe, 2020 postponed to 2021

Sun 25 Jul. to Sat 31 Jul.

Bölcske, Hungary
2022

CCI Aotearoa New Zealand, January 2022 - Tentative

Fri 21 Jan. to Thu 27 Jan.

Taupo, New Zealand

Editorial: 

Editorial

Hi there,

the following Taster workshops of one hour plus will be offered this forthcoming CoCo Open Space weekend in Edinburgh.

  • Creative writing by Ali B Summers
    Saturday afternoon
  • Creating sound in sessions by Pascoe Hooper
  • Massage in Co-Counselling by Lilian Brzoska
    Sunday morning 
  • Ticking ovaries by Joyce Lukkes
    On Sunday afternoon she will be sharing her experience with this topical co-counselling support group that was open to non- co-counsellors as well.
  • Having a conversation with your body by Grahame Jack
    This is about using the Focusing method
  • Encounter in the Here and Now by Grahame Jack

If you can only attend part of the workshop…

You are welcome to attend this Open Space, even if you are not available for the whole weekend, though being there on Saturday morning will make it easier for you to negotiate time to share with others. 

We recommend that if possible you pick the time slots you will attend in the following order:

1. The Saturday morning, the start-up of CoCo Open Space
2. The Sunday afternoon from 1500, where we finalise the action planning after CoCo Open Space
3. The whole Sunday afternoon, as this is the lead-up to 2.
4. Saturday afternoon and/or the Sunday morning

Please inform Lilian or JanPieter of your intended arrival time so that they can take it into account.

If you cannot attend the CoCo Open Space workshop,
and still want to be involved…

If so please email us your Topic of Interest or make a Topic poster and hand it in to Sheila. We will include it in the potential choices, offered as available for people to consider and group around. Your Topic Poster

  • what topic or issue matters to you: title and description
  • what you would like to offer and what support you need
  • what type of cooperation arrangement you would like to have

If you agree, your information will be shared in the Open Space sessions during the weekend.

Booking data

Date Saturday 5- Sunday 6 April 2014
Arrival 10 a.m. with opening circle 10.30.
Closing circle 5 p.m. both days. Please bring lunch to share.

Venue Sheila Lochrie is the host: 33 Scotland Street, Edinburgh

Cost of each day
Suggested minimum donation to cover venue costs
Full rate: £3.00  - Concession: £2.00

Finally

To BOOK for the CoCo Open Space workshop, please contact Sheila NOW.

If you are already booked we congratulate you and are delighted to know your are coming to share with us. sglochrieatyahoo[dot]co[dot]uk or  0131-557 2419

With love and thanks,

Lilian and JanPieter


PS. The Unsubscribe link is now working more effectively. And the links on the workshop pages now work as well...

Networking: 

How to use ‘CoCo Open Space – Scotland’ page on CoCoInfo.

The purpose of this CoCo Open Space page
To bring together Co-Counsellors who have shared interests without perhaps realising it, and to enable them to offer one another help and support. This might be by having sessions with one another or the support might be more practical.

This page will be updated after the forthcoming CoCo Open Space workshop at Sheila's.

If you would like to add a new Offer or Request or post a response, you can log in and do that yourself on CoCoInfo. There is an extensive Help file next to the page. You might want to contact Lilian Brzoska or JanPieter Hoogma and ask them to do that for you.

If you would like to contact a person listed, you can do it yourself or ask for the contact to be made through Lilian or JanPieter until you are confident with the process. 

Connection and Isolation – What next?

L. Gibson and Denniss, A., Connection and Isolation – What next?, Roots 2 Fruits, no. Issue 1, 2014.

In March 2012 a two day workshop was held over one weekend in Edinburgh. The workshop had three strands;  firstly, its title and theme, “Connection and Isolation”, secondly, that the topic of networking was to be explored, and thirdly, in running it jointly Lilian Brzoska and Jan Pieter Hoogma sought to demonstrate the ease with which cathartic and cornucopian methods can be used in tandem.

A variety of techniques were taught to the whole group and tried out in sessions, short and longer sessions took place in pairs and in small groups and two good lunches were enjoyed. A co-co café was held exploring three questions:

  1. What do I really want to see so that people from all coco backgrounds can work together?
  2. What client skills would I like to learn/brush up on in a workshop or regular group?
  3. What topic would interest me enough to participate in a group which would use co-counselling to encourage and support me deal with the issues and move forward?

Feedback was made to the whole group and there were six pages of feedback from the March weekend printed in the summer 2012 edition of Zest.

A follow up workshop, “Connection and Isolation 2” was held in September 2012. Again the title and theme addressed the possibility of participants sharing and moving forward on any issues or challenges to do with connection and isolation, again the topic of networking was to be explored, and again Lilian and Jan Pieter sought to demonstrate the compatibility of cathartic and cornucopian approaches. The format of the second weekend had similarities to the first with the exception that instead of a coco café there was an open space session.

So far the only feedback from the September weekend is in the form of offers and needs expressed during the open space session. This list of offers and needs was published in the spring 2013 Zest, also in the email CoCo Scotland Newsletter and also on the website CoCo Info. The question on the table now is “would it be a good idea to have another open space sometime in the near future?” This article came into being to help look at that question.

An Assessment of the CoCo Open Space held in Edinburgh in Sept ‘12

In order to assess the success of this Coco Open Space which was held as part of the Connection & Isolation Workshop II, we asked participants to send us their feedback. We would like to thank all the participants for their generosity in sending this to us.

Our request brought an overwhelming response, ten pages of feedback! We have assembled this and it can be obtained in its entirety from Roots 2 Fruits co-editors Lilian Brzoska and Lindsay Gibson.

The feedback was reviewed and the aspects that were seen to be successful as stepping stones to build on for the future were drawn out. Note was also made of those aspects of the process which could be improved on.

Stepping Stones to build on for the future:

  • The invitation in itself was helpful, even for people who did not attend the event. Formulating and crystallising thoughts was good for many and somehow set the scene for the future.
  • For those who were present, speaking out supported them to voice their needs and the communication which followed made it easier to be clearer about issues.
  • The Open Space provided support in dealing with live issues.
  • Integration happened in both directions – for some people the co-counselling space provided a place for desires to be met, while others were empowered to get what they needed from non ​co-counselling sources.
  • Even when nothing seemed to be achieved or there were slow beginnings Coco Open Space was often helpful in creating future outcomes. It sowed the seeds for the future i.e. fundamentals, community days, workshops.
  • Interest was raised in new areas
  • Personal projects were launched with support.
  • Participants expressed wishes to join in with others’ ideas, this enabled collaboration to begin.
  • Spaces were offered and found for events.

What needs to be improved to make Coco Open space more successful:

  • It could be helpful for people to have an overview of the process they
    are to go through in advance. This would allow time for reflection on
    needs and offers before attending the Coco open Space
  • More time for sessions within the space.
  • Support:
  1. Finding support with looking at ways of achieving what you want after the Open Space, perhaps a buddy could be set up at the workshop
  2. Negotiation of initial offers and wants creates flexibility of outcomes
  3. Life action and Action Planning techniques could be used
  4. Give out clear messages – does clarity of request make a difference to     the outcome?
  • After the Coco Open Space look at what can be improved if you are not getting what you want, communicate and share this with other participants, have sessions and keep trying to find ways forward,
  • Practice acceptance, if you really can’t get what you want can you transform what you can get?
  • For some the pace of the beginning needed to be speeded up. How could this be done?
  • Long distance communication sometimes proved difficult and made issues a challenge to follow up, support was needed here.
  • Steps need to be built into the Open Space to meet the needs of those engaged in the process, both in the present and in the future.
  • As far as possible it’s helpful to deal with distress before and during the Open Space to prevent it blocking the development of the process.
  • Allow time and space for discussion and what is needed at the end.
  • The question needs to be asked …
    ‘ How can the Coco Open Space be developed and what is the follow up that is needed to round off the process?’

Lindsay and Anne, November 12th 2013

Topics

Business Meeting CCI 2013 UK Launde Abbey 31/7/13

Business Meeting CCI 2013 UK Launde Abbey  31/7/13

 

Corrections made by: Julian, Bobby, Susan T., Janice, Verena, JP, Marlies

 

Topics:

Renewal and Growth

Reconciliation:  Face to Face in CCI and Climate Impact

CCI Model 

Young people in CCI

What are we doing to put off "black" people?

Any other business

 

Next CCIs

Oct. 2013 Israel

Summer 2014 Germany

Summer 2015 Ireland (Thanks Bobby)

January 2015 New Zealand

Summer 2016 Hungary

Summer 2017 The Netherlands

Summer 2018 Scotland

Every year in April, USA

 

Community Reporting:

 

England, Wales and N. Ireland

Sue Gray: Active teachers, teach in pairs - in Bristol, Suffolk, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, 

 

Leeds, London (Tonya) and Dorset?

12 residentials a year

Peer Support Network - a charity where Sue lives.

Hard to fill classes and afterwards, difficult to feed into the network

Celia: Feeling a sense of renewal, taught 5 classes in the last year!

 

Scotland

Lilian taught a fundamentals class last year, 1st in a long time.

JP

Some events took place in Perthshire, in Glasgow with Geoff and in Edinburgh. In Scotland there is a new venue, Island of Butte.
The fifteenth McCoCo has been attended by people from England, the Netherlands and Scotland.
The 'CCI-Scotland' organisation was dissolved. The 'CoCo Network Forum' has been set up to support people to offer co-counselling workshops and gatherings. There is also a team of 4-5 people who are preparing a printed magazine with the option to get it emailed.
Apart from that there is already for some time an email newsletter based on the CoCoInfo web site. About 80 people are subscribing to that email newsletter.

 

The Netherlands

Marlies: There is a low profile in the community. Workshops are offered and not many people show up. There are 3 new members. The recent Co-Co weekend had 25 people in attendance. 

 

January - February course to be offered in Rotterdam

Hope to learn from England about Renewal.

CCI 2012  was very nice but it did not bring in new people to the community. 

Intro evenings offered but no one comes. Eveline has a regional group in Amsterdam. There are co-co evenings in Arnhem and The Hague.

There will be a Teachers' workshop in Donkebroek at Joke and Niek's the last weekend of September – will talk about new ways of attracting people to co-counseling through the internet. 

 

Israel

Janice: The Dror Community is not growing at the moment. The last fundamentals was taught over a year ago and the class was very small. 

Regular activities- Class on Taking Charge - Leadership Training: hoping to support teachers to open classes. 

Sessions Gatherings every 3-4 weeks, free event for people to meet up for sessions and to find session partners on their own time. RC people are welcome and participate. 

Arab - Jewish Support group meets monthly for over 30 years, people not familiar to co-counseling are invited to experience a co-co event first hand. 

Fundamentals taught in prisons continuing now for over 8 years. Two classes currently running taught by Avi Butavia, assisted by Janice Wasser and Yael Shachar. 

Class on Age will open for its 4th round next month. 

Janice hopes to teach a CCI Fundamentals in November. 

Two national workshops each year, Spring and Fall. This Fall the gathering will be combined with the first official CCI. 25 international participants have registered - from UK, NL, USA, Germany, 12 so far from the Dror community. It's difficult for the Israelis to take time from work, families and commit to a 5 day workshop. 

Administrative council opened a Facebook page for the Dror Community (in Hebrew). 

 

Hungary

Csaba: Things are low key now. Agota brought in 7 new members from a fundamentals in winter. 

It's difficult to organize activities for them. 

Mogdi is planning hospital groups for cancer patients.

There will be a residential for old co-coers at the end of Sept. 

There are sessions groups where  just 3 people come, includes Csaba.

 

Germany

Markus: There is an annual meeting and a workshop is being planned at Siglind's venue, the 

Co-Co Center. 

There are community courses over a weekend each year - 19 co-coers attended, mostly 

university students studying  medicine and psychology.

Siglind works with the University bringing students into co-counseling, offering fundamentals course twice a year. The University pays for the course. There were 10 students in the last course. 

Siglind runs a self-help group in 3 cities. It's for people who are waiting for therapy so they attend a co-co workshop  while they wait. Participants are shown how to co-counsel. Payment is received from the social services. It's an ongoing process.

Currently a teachers’ class is running with 9 teachers in attendance which started this year (January) and will last to end of next year. 

There are 300 active co-coers in Germany.

Hamburg? No Fundamentals at the moment.

 

New Zealand

Khushi: There are two national residentials a year. In Auckland there was an intensive weekend workshop. The numbers are not growing. People are offering to run fundamentals - there are about 3-4 facilitators but not many newcomers in Auckland.  People come and go. There are two clusters: Auckland and Wellington.  Last year the Auckland group offered a timetable for offerings on co-co also for non-co-coers.

There are monthly sessions gatherings in Auckland.

 

USA

Roxanne: The North-East Community is spread out. There is work in the prison and workshops once a month. The annual workshop over a weekend is well attended, about 20 people - it's especially supporting newcomers.

There is co-counseling in 8 states across the US. There is a problem of isolation for those living far away from New England. Fred Wallace offers title workshops. People are very willing to share their teaching materials.  There is a children's group and men's and women's groups.

 

Ireland

Bobby: Things are fairly flat in Ireland. Bobby co-taught Fundamentals in Spring - a mix of students from different cultures - Indian, Irish and Basque. There is a problem with enthusiasm - people are not doing much themselves. Bobby doesn't feel energetic about organizing activities. 

People write and ask to enroll in a fundamentals but when there's finally enough people to open a class many are already busy with something else. Another problem is with distance issues. 

 

Next CCIs

 

Israel - Nice showing from CCI members in Europe and some from the US. Harder to attract Dror people since their not used to a 5 day workshop. We've run two evenings facilitated by Avi B. to encourage people to work on why it's difficult to commit.

 

Germany  - all is fine

 

NZ - Adverts of CCI NZ in the various coco newsletters and web sites, learning to market the workshop. No brochure yet - concerns over expense of air ticket if it's too near Christmas.

 

Ireland - Declan has booked at Termonfecken for 27.7. Question about teachers' workshop in cottages since there's only place for 8 people. They need to know numbers and are aware of the advantage of running the teachers workshop in the same place as the residential. Declan needs emotional support. He gets practical support from Bobby and James. Richard Mills will put a website for the workshop and info  will be posted on info.coco through JP.

 

Celia suggests to encourage new students to attend CCI, helps them  get involved.

 

USA - April 22-27. Info on website. Feb. 1st is deadline for early bird discount of $25 

Brochures at the reception desk.

 

Hungary - Agota says it's on. No venue yet.

 

The Netherlands - There is a request to return to the same venue - Bakkeveen

 

Scotland - 2018 too far away

 

Topics:

 

Renewal and Growth

 

Marlies: 

When teaching NLP, there is a natural flow for offering courses but in co-co, no flow. Is it too old? There is a richness in co-co that is not conveyed. How do they work in Plum Village? Where there are so many people coming as Julian shared with us, he just is back from a fortnight in Plum Village.

 

JP 

Important to understand the "perceived relevance" for getting more people into co-counselling. Some years ago together with Joyce Lukkes he brought a group of women between 30 and 40 working on topics like ticking time-clock, wanting a career, babies, finding committed partners etc., relevant topics for that female age-group. The group generally shared their experiences in a co-counselling sharing way. The co-counsellors in that group used co-counseling sessions to work on their specific topic. They put their non-co-counseling partner on a Free Attention with confidentiality contract. This resulted in that the other women wanted to do the fundamentals as well.

 

Lilian 

Taster days - free of charge. 5 people wanted to start fundamentals and 2 ended up taking 

the course. Two new people came to McCoCo. People with a humanistic background, peer 

support group. There's a vast arena of skilled practitioners needing a support network.

 

JP- aftercare.

 

Celia 

The need for co-co is as great as ever - people come by word of mouth. Eleven people 

came because of 2 people telling their friends. It worked! She is very optimistic. Stop - age 

profile of co-coers. "I'm too old" There are 4 new people in their 20s 30s and 50s.

 

Jean 

There is an ongoing discussion of these ideas on co-co web sites and co-co list

 

Khushi 

Non-violent Communication is thriving in NZ for young people. Offers a dance for 

universal peace. Why do they go there and not to CCI?

 

Sue 

Peer Support Network  - a 3 day course + 2 says is an easier way to get people in need for 

increased emotional awareness.

 

 

Climate Change
Julian 
I acknowledge the enormous benefits from us meeting face to face at international CCI workshops: inspiration, sharing skills and ideas, cross fertilization across communities ...
and 
I acknowledge the enormous suffering already created by climate change: more extreme weather (droughts, floods, fires, storms) damaging homes and causing crop failures (and high food prices), sea-level rise displacing delta farmers (eg Bangladesh). 
(The Red Cross reports that there are now more environmental refugees than war refugees.)
The Bottom Billion (poorest) suffer the worst climate impacts.  
The Top Billion (us) are responsible for most climate change through our carbon intensive lifestyles, especially (sadly) flying (especially long haul).
How can we begin to reconcile these?
I want to encourage us as co-counsellors (individually and as communities) to begin to find loving, creative, intelligent responses to this issue.

Jean - use trains instead of planes in Europe

Dai - carbon offset - sponsor planting trees

JP - world decision-making - it's an overall logistics problem for humans

Janice - skype video conferencing at CCIs 

Marlies - regular sessions on the internet

 

CCI model 

 

Sue 

The reason that co-counseling is declining is that people aren't using the original model - Free attention without affect -  feeling warm and heard - peer-led 

MIND - facilitator holds the group. Words are being changed, people are getting lost because the structure is not being kept. Free attention means non-affect. Especially useful for people with mental health issues.

 

James

What do you need from us?

 

Sue  

I want to hear what resonates here.

 

Lilian 

Essential for co-co to work: peer element is so important in our hierarchically designed society

 

Roxanne - setting a contract is essential

Celia - teaches 2.5 days just on free attention, total client self-responsibility

Sue - how do we teach it?

Susan -  It seems when people are learning to co-counsel they sometimes use the introduction of the opportunity to intervene (through a normal contract) to relieve them of the unusualness/discomfort of continuing to offer free attention instead of maintaining free attention and allowing interventions to come out of that.

JP - Don't focus on the young people - old people are the focus and they have younger people in their lives, if it works for them then they will bring the younger people

Khushi - Attended 4 CCIs and sees very few people of color. She feels lonely, no one to talk to about this. Racism is the most toxic thing in my life, but I don't talk about it.  

JP - Perceived relevance

Khushi - it's about identity, her sister is in a black group run by  RC.

Roxanne - Proximity, where you live and who you work with.

Sue - Funds available for a project that works with people of color - BAM 

  

 

Topics

CoCoInfo Tags: 

    CCI Business Meeting 21 October 2013 Beit Oren, Israel

    We had a business meeting on Monday October 21. We were with the people who were there still, as many Israeli participants had to leave the CCI on Saturday evening. We had a very good participation in this meeting. Gilli offered to do the facilitation of the meeting. We had a short time for the meeting but with the discipline we have and with our cocounseling experience we did manage to stick to the time we agreed upon. I really want to celebrate our way of dealing with topics which might take long time of discussing and for which we felt we can deal with the topics in an adequate way and very structured. Thanks to Gilli for facilitating this process! Great to feel so much support the CCI community. I felt a very good spirit in the business meeting!

    An small impression of the participants in Beit Oren in the Business meeting.

     

    The topics we dealt with were:

    1. What do you bring to the business meeting?
    2. News from the communities
    3. Upcoming CCI’s
    4. CCI world pass
    5. UN proposal for an international day for reconciliation
    6. Peace messages
    7. Agota´s idea
    8. One word: what do you take with you from the business meeting

     

    1. We start with a round saying one word about what we bring to the meeting.

     

    1. News from the communities
      1. Michael announces CCI 2014 April 22-27 in the USA.

    There are cocounseling courses for psychology students for course credit.

    1. Daniel announces the CCI in July 2014 in Germany.
    2. Dymphna: gives cocounseling courses in Northern Ireland for people who have traumas over bombing and imprisonment. It is a one weekend course.
    3. Celia: there is a steady stream of cocounseling classes going on! And the stream is increasing.
    4. Sue spoke about the Peer Support Network, which uses cocounseling and there is someone hired for three days per week who is responsible for getting people in the courses. 
    5.  Gilli spoke about the excellent teachers’ workshop after CCI 2013 in Launde Abbey.
    6. Agota. Core people of Hungarian cocounselers come to CCI’s. There was a fundamentals course with 10 people in November 2012. There is a vibration in Hungary for cocounseling. Cocounseling for cancer patients in order to build a support network. Inspired by the work of Siglind and Johannes in Germany (with House Kloppenburg, where there’s integration of psychological counseling and cocounseling.)
    7. Luiza tells about Avi and Janice’s teaching fundamentals in prison. And about the ongoing Arab – Jewish support group in Nazareth. For the regular courses it is difficult to get enough participants. She is continuing the 4th round of class on age, (age range from 27 till 74).
    8. Joke spoke about the teachers’ weekend in The Netherlands. There are new plans and there is a commitment to give short workshops in which cocounseling and non-cocounseling techniques are being used. Non cocounselers can participate and in this way they can learn cocounseling little by little. This fits into the idea of a World Pass to cocounseling.
    9. Sophia spoke about a one day meeting where they did shamanic travelling.
    10. Janice spoke about regular meetings for sessions in people’s homes. Anyone knowing how to do sessions can participate: DROR or RC cocounselers.

     

    1. Future CCI’s 
      1. 2014 USA 3rd week of April
      2. 2014 July / August  Germany
      3. 2015 January New Zealand
      4. 2015 July /August Ireland

    Other CCI activities

    Gilli spoke about the family week in the UK, where children come and learn about cocounseling. They try to reach teenagers for a fundamentals course. She is concerned about the interpersonal skills of young people.

     

    In Israel there are two annual workshops, one in Spring and one in Fall. The next CCI in Israel will be in 2016 (every three years, 1.5 year alternating with New Zealand). Everyone from abroad is invited to join the workshops.

     

    Agota shared about offering a process for thematic meetings for personal growth and for reconciliation.

     

    1. CCI World Pass

    We have CCI cocounseling on one side and the world on the other side. In between is the 40 hours fundamentals course. There is no network of starters. We are building on a Facebook like page (website) to connect people who have done some bits and pieces of cocounseling through different courses/workshops offered by co-counseling teachers. Through this site they can keep track on the co-counseling techniques they have learnt. So they are building up their skills and can be gradually integrated into the Network and link up with other co-counselers. This website will be online towards the end of the year.

    1. Proposal to be sent to the UN for an international day of reconciliation.

    DROR community has prepared a draft of a proposal to ask the UN to declare an international day of reconciliation. They are asking for support from other CCI communities. We may make the request through AVAAZ* with many signatures. DROR will send this to all participants of the business meeting. It can be put on coco-list and on CCI World News. Niek is willing to make the letter public.

    1. Peace News

    Daniel tells about his activities in EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Program for Palestine and Israel). He shared that there are people working in Jerusalem and that they are willing to speak about their activities. People are welcome to contact the group and to joint them in their activities. Interested DROR people may contact the group in Jerusalem.

     

    1. Agota’s idea:

    She is in contact with a Jewish music conductor in Jerusalem and with a Palestinian painter in Haifa. They both have been staying in her B&B house in Hungary. She wants to bring them together next year in Hungary for the 70th year commemoration of the Holocaust. She is asking for support from the community. It feels like the birth of something new! Maybe Agota and Marlies will act as the midwives for this birth! It’s a thrilling idea! Abed is the painter we are going to visit this evening. Aliyah will bring it to the DROR community.

     

    1. We finished with a round on what we take away from the meeting.

     

    Minutes taken by Marlies with pleasure!

    1. * a global civic organization launched in January 2007 that promotes activism on issues such as climate change,human rightsanimal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict; it works to "close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want."[1] The organization operates in 15 languages and claims over twenty million members in 194 countries,[1] and The Guardian considers it "the globe's largest and most powerful online activist network".[2]

     

    Added back ground information:

    I went to Wikipedia to look up information on the Day of reconciliation in South Africa as well as information on Yom Kippur which is about repentance and forgiving. I think it might be helpful to combine our proposal with existing activities.

     

    The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held annually on 16 December. The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity.

     

    Yom Kippur (Hebrew: , IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or ), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people.[1] Its central themes are atonement and repentance.

     

    For the USA I found: WORLD DAY OF RECONCILIATION & HEALING FROM THE LEGACY OF ENSLAVEMENT Richmond, Virginia (USA) - Liverpool, England - Benin, West Africa

     

    Contact information for EAPPI.

    Jerusalem EAPPI Coordination Office

    PO Box 741

    Jerusalem 91000

    Phone: +972 2 628 9402

     

     

    Topics

    CoCoInfo Tags: 

      Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (2)

      J. Heron and Reason, P., Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (2), Human Potential Research Project, University of Surrey, 1982.

      CONTENTS

      Background

      Brief Chronological Account of the Inquiry

      Findings

      • What Makes Me Notice I'm Restimulated, In Pattern?
      • A Hierarchy in the Management of Restimulated Distress
      • Tactics
      • Strategies
      • Belief Systems

      What We Got out of the Project

      An Assessment of the Validity of the Project

      Procedural Criticisms

      References

      Topics

      Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (1)

      J. Heron and Reason, P., Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (1), Human Potential Research Project, University of Surrey, 1981.

      CONTENTS

      Introduction

      Co-Counselling Research Project

      Chronological account of the project

      The maps

      What we learned about co-counselling

      Learnings about experiential research

      An assessment of the validity of the project

      Next steps for collaborative experiential inquiry

      Nest steps for research into co-counselling

      References

      Topics

      Issue #15: CoCo Open Space in Edinburgh: 5-6 April

      Starter events in the UK

      A good way of refreshing your Co-counselling skills as well as supporting new people to get settled in Co-counselling!

      2021

      Co-Counselling (CCI) Core Training

      Sat 13 Mar. to Sun 14 Mar., Sat 27 Mar., Sat 10 Apr. to Sun 11 Apr.

      Alvechurch, United Kingdom

      Spring Online Co-Counselling Training - SPECIAL RATES TILL END FEBRUARY!!!

      Tue 18 May., Tue 1 Jun., Tue 15 Jun., Tue 29 Jun., Tue 6 Jul., Tue 13 Jul., Tue 20 Jul., Tue 27 Jul.

      London, United Kingdom

      Autumn Online Co-Counselling Training - NOW TAKING BOOKINGS!!!

      Tue 12 Oct., Tue 26 Oct., Tue 9 Nov., Tue 16 Nov., Tue 23 Nov., Tue 30 Nov., Tue 7 Dec., Tue 14 Dec.

      London, United Kingdom

      Residentials in the UK

      2021

      CCI Southern Spring Event postponed until September 2021 at Earthspirit Centre

      Thu 16 Sep. to Mon 20 Sep.

      Glastonbury, United Kingdom

      Community days and one-day events in the UK

      A good way of refreshing your Co-counselling skills as well as for supporting new people to get settled in Co-counselling!

      2021

      Midlands Community Day

      Sat 17 Apr.

      Birmingham, United Kingdom

      Midlands Community Day

      Sat 15 May.

      Birmingham, United Kingdom

      Midlands Community Day

      Sat 12 Jun.

      Birmingham, United Kingdom

      Midlands Community Day

      Sat 17 Jul.

      Birmingham, United Kingdom

      Residentials outside the UK

      2021

      CCI Europe, 2020 postponed to 2021

      Sun 25 Jul. to Sat 31 Jul.

      Bölcske, Hungary
      2022

      CCI Aotearoa New Zealand, January 2022 - Tentative

      Fri 21 Jan. to Thu 27 Jan.

      Taupo, New Zealand

      Editorial: 

      Editorial

      Dear Co-counselling International Partners, Groups, Friends and those we have not yet met: "Hello". JanPieter and Lilian here.

      First of all we would like to welcome 10 new co-counsellors into the Scottish CCI!

      Having just finished the co-counselling fundamentals course might be the reason why you are receiving the CoCoScotland newsletter for the first time in your email box. 

      The other reason might be because we added the email addresses of all those people who received the Good@newsletter or Zest magazine in the past. However, if you do not want to receive this email newsletter again, please unsubscribe yourself through the link at the bottom of this  newsletter. Our apologies if this causes you any inconvenience.

      Coco Open Space 5th-6th April

      This is our personal invitation to the forthcoming CoCo Open Space workshop with JanPieter and Lilian, in Sheila's welcoming home in Edinburgh.

      CoCo Open Space is a gentle inter-active process with as main focus to bring together co-counsellors with shared interests and common needs so that they can co-create a meaningful and relevant Co-Counselling cooperation that matters to them.

      So CoCo Open Space is more than only an opportunity to find co-counselling partners, to meet co-counsellors who have been on recent Fundamentals, and folk who have been co-counselling for quite a wee while.

      We will facilitate a CoCo Open Space with time for sessions and introduce new ways of identifying shared interests plus the various ways people can use co-counselling to move their topics forward. We take special care of people with ‘orphan’ topics, e.g. people who do not find someone to share their topic with.

      Learning from our experiences
      *CoCo Open Space*
      has been experienced as very successful and stimulating at McCoCo and in 2012 at Sheila's, from whence, among others, a new teaching team and new interest groups emerged.

      What can we learn from this event? Lindsay and Anne interviewed its participants so that we can learn from our experiences in connecting people, in CoCo Open Space. You can find their report in their co-created article ‘Connection and Isolation – What next?’ in the article section below.

      Anne & Lindsay wrote this article for the first edition of the new magazine Roots 2 Fruits. However due to the delays in bringing CCIS to a close, and the knock on effect this has had on the production of the new magazine, they are happy to share this article in this email newsletter, so that it is available  before the forthcoming CoCo Open Space event.

      By the way, Roots 2 Fruits may not be out yet, but it is coming. Once you see the quality of their article, if you haven't yet subscribed, you know what to do: contact Anne, Rosalind or Lindsay!

      Taster workshops
      During the workshop we will offer a variety of small, one-hour-plus Taster workshops to demonstrate the rich variety of cooperation arrangements available in co-counselling. As there are so many possibilities, we will run only those tasters for which there is an interest from some of the people present at the Coco-Open Space.

      The Taster workshops can cover a wide area. Here are some examples:

      • Topical support groups e.g. ‘Being seen, working with shame and guilt’, ‘Chronic Pain’, a nurturing-cuddling group, a massage group
      • Action groups e.g. running a fundamentals, CoCo Network forum, setting up a coco magazine
      • Session contracts e.g. ‘action planning’, emergency phone sessions
      • CoCo skills workshops e.g. ‘Video technique’, ‘Managing conflict and disagreement’
      • CoCoPlus workshops are non-co-counselling skills workshops for co-counsellors and facilitated by an experienced co-counsellor, e.g.  Creative writing, Authentic Movement, massage
      • Non-topical co-counselling meetings like Community Days, a fortnightly or monthly support group, weekly face-to-face session.

      The ‘Cooperative Enquiry’ and ‘Running a Topic Group that is also open for non-co-counsellors’ are examples lesser known cooperation arrangements available in Co-Counselling.

      If you cannot attend the workshop,
      and still want to be involved…

      If so please email us your Topic of Interest or make a Topic poster and hand it in to Sheila. We will include it in the potential choices, offered as available for people to consider and group around. Your Topic Poster

      • what topic or issue matters to you: title and description
      • what you would like to offer and what support you need
      • what type of cooperation arrangement you would like to have

      If you agree, your information will be shared in the Open Space sessions during the weekend.

      If you can only attend part of the workshop…
      You are welcome to attend this Open Space, even if you are not available for the whole weekend, though being there on Saturday morning will make it easier for you to negotiate time to share with others. You could then leave and return at an agreed time on Saturday or Sunday to work with those you identify as having a shared interest.

      We recommend that if possible you pick the timeslots you will attend in the following order:

      1. The Saturday morning, the start-up of CoCo Open Space
      2. The Sunday afternoon from 1500, where we finalise the action planning after CoCo Open Space
      3. The whole Sunday afternoon, as this is the lead-up to 2.
      4. Saturday afternoon and/or the Sunday morning

      Please inform Lilian or JanPieter of your intended arrival time so that they can take it into account.

      Booking data

      Date Saturday 5- Sunday 6 April 2014
      Arrival 10 a.m. with opening circle 10.30.
      Closing circle 5 p.m. both days. Please bring lunch to share.

      Venue Sheila Lochrie is the host: 33 Scotland Street, Edinburgh

      Cost of each day
      Suggested minimum donation to cover venue costs
      Full rate: £3.00  - Concession: £2.00

      Other forthcoming workshops in Scotland

      McCoCo - 1-5 May
      Come for a long inspiring weekend with Co-Counsellors to Wiston Lodge with beautiful grounds, 25 miles south from Edinburgh. The Monday is a Bank Holiday. This will be the sixteenth! McCoCo.

      McCoCo Conference – 6 May
      The conference will be held in Lilian’s house in Kirkcaldy.
      We would like to address the following questions at the conference:

      1.1 “What critical situations in a session does a CLIENT need to be able to differentiate between in order to have a successful session?
      1.2 “What might be the (bad) consequences if the CLIENT does not perceive the situation as going wrong?”

      2.1 “What critical situations in a session does a COUNSELLOR need to be able to differentiate between in order to have a successful session?
      2.2 “What might be the (bad) consequences if the COUNSELLOR does not perceive the situation as going wrong?”

      3. What next can we do with our findings?

      Finally

      To BOOK for the CoCo Open Space workshop, please contact Sheila NOW.

      If you are already booked we congratulate you and are delighted to know your are coming to share with us. sglochrieatyahoo[dot]co[dot]uk or  0131-557 2419

      With love and thanks,

      Lilian and JanPieter

      Networking: 

      How to use ‘CoCo Open Space – Scotland’ page on CoCoInfo.

      The purpose of this CoCo Open Space page
      To bring together Co-Counsellors who have shared interests without perhaps realising it, and to enable them to offer one another help and support. This might be by having sessions with one another or the support might be more practical.

      This page will be updated after the forthcoming CoCo Open Space workshop at Sheila's.

      If you would like to add a new Offer or Request or post a response, you can log in and do that yourself on CoCoInfo. There is an extensive Help file next to the page. You might want to contact Lilian Brzoska or JanPieter Hoogma and ask them to do that for you.

      If you would like to contact a person listed, you can do it yourself or ask for the contact to be made through Lilian or JanPieter until you are confident with the process. 

      Articles: 

      Connection and Isolation – What next?

      In March 2012 a two day workshop was held over one weekend in Edinburgh. The workshop had three strands;  firstly, its title and theme, “Connection and Isolation”, secondly, that the topic of networking was to be explored, and thirdly, in running it jointly Lilian Brzoska and Jan Pieter Hoogma sought to demonstrate the ease with which cathartic and cornucopian methods can be used in tandem.

      A variety of techniques were taught to the whole group and tried out in sessions, short and longer sessions took place in pairs and in small groups and two good lunches were enjoyed. A co-co café was held exploring three questions:

      1. What do I really want to see so that people from all coco backgrounds can work together?
      2. What client skills would I like to learn/brush up on in a workshop or regular group?
      3. What topic would interest me enough to participate in a group which would use co-counselling to encourage and support me deal with the issues and move forward?

      Feedback was made to the whole group and there were six pages of feedback from the March weekend printed in the summer 2012 edition of Zest.

      A follow up workshop, “Connection and Isolation 2” was held in September 2012. Again the title and theme addressed the possibility of participants sharing and moving forward on any issues or challenges to do with connection and isolation, again the topic of networking was to be explored, and again Lilian and Jan Pieter sought to demonstrate the compatibility of cathartic and cornucopian approaches. The format of the second weekend had similarities to the first with the exception that instead of a coco café there was an open space session.

      So far the only feedback from the September weekend is in the form of offers and needs expressed during the open space session. This list of offers and needs was published in the spring 2013 Zest, also in the email CoCo Scotland Newsletter and also on the website CoCo Info. The question on the table now is “would it be a good idea to have another open space sometime in the near future?” This article came into being to help look at that question.

      An Assessment of the CoCo Open Space held in Edinburgh in Sept ‘12

      In order to assess the success of this Coco Open Space which was held as part of the Connection & Isolation Workshop II, we asked participants to send us their feedback. We would like to thank all the participants for their generosity in sending this to us.

      Our request brought an overwhelming response, ten pages of feedback! We have assembled this and it can be obtained in its entirety from Roots 2 Fruits co-editors Lilian Brzoska and Lindsay Gibson.

      The feedback was reviewed and the aspects that were seen to be successful as stepping stones to build on for the future were drawn out. Note was also made of those aspects of the process which could be improved on.

      Stepping Stones to build on for the future:

      • The invitation in itself was helpful, even for people who did not attend the event. Formulating and crystallising thoughts was good for many and somehow set the scene for the future.
      • For those who were present, speaking out supported them to voice their needs and the communication which followed made it easier to be clearer about issues.
      • The Open Space provided support in dealing with live issues.
      • Integration happened in both directions – for some people the co-counselling space provided a place for desires to be met, while others were empowered to get what they needed from non ​co-counselling sources.
      • Even when nothing seemed to be achieved or there were slow beginnings Coco Open Space was often helpful in creating future outcomes. It sowed the seeds for the future i.e. fundamentals, community days, workshops.
      • Interest was raised in new areas
      • Personal projects were launched with support.
      • Participants expressed wishes to join in with others’ ideas, this enabled collaboration to begin.
      • Spaces were offered and found for events.

      What needs to be improved to make Coco Open space more successful:

      • It could be helpful for people to have an overview of the process they
        are to go through in advance. This would allow time for reflection on
        needs and offers before attending the Coco open Space
      • More time for sessions within the space.
      • Support:
      1. Finding support with looking at ways of achieving what you want after the Open Space, perhaps a buddy could be set up at the workshop
      2. Negotiation of initial offers and wants creates flexibility of outcomes
      3. Life action and Action Planning techniques could be used
      4. Give out clear messages – does clarity of request make a difference to     the outcome?
      • After the Coco Open Space look at what can be improved if you are not getting what you want, communicate and share this with other participants, have sessions and keep trying to find ways forward,
      • Practice acceptance, if you really can’t get what you want can you transform what you can get?
      • For some the pace of the beginning needed to be speeded up. How could this be done?
      • Long distance communication sometimes proved difficult and made issues a challenge to follow up, support was needed here.
      • Steps need to be built into the Open Space to meet the needs of those engaged in the process, both in the present and in the future.
      • As far as possible it’s helpful to deal with distress before and during the Open Space to prevent it blocking the development of the process.
      • Allow time and space for discussion and what is needed at the end.
      • The question needs to be asked …
        ‘ How can the Coco Open Space be developed and what is the follow up that is needed to round off the process?’

      Lindsay and Anne, November 12th 2013

      Topics

      A short guide to co-operative inquiry

      P. Reason and Heron, J., A short guide to co-operative inquiry, 2002.

      What is co-operative inquiry?

      Co-operative inquiry is a way of working with other people who have similar concerns and interests to yourself, in order to

      • understand your world, make sense of your life and develop new and creative ways of looking at things
      • learn how to act to change things you may want to change and find out how to do things better

      We usually think of inquiry and research as something done by people in universities and research institutes. We think there is a researcher who has all the ideas, and who then studies other people by observing them, asking them questions, or by designing experiments. The trouble with this kind of way of doing research is that there is often very little connection between the researcher's thinking and the concerns and experiences of the people who are actually involved. People are treated as passive subjects rather than as active agents.

      We believe that good research is research with people rather than on people. We believe that ordinary people are quite capable of developing their own ideas and can work together in a co-operative inquiry group to see if these ideas make sense of their world and work in practice.
      A second problem with traditional research is that the kind of thinking done by researchers is often theoretical rather than practical. It doesn't help people find how to act to change things in their lives. We believe that the outcome of good research is not just books and academic papers, but is also the creative action of people to address matters that are important to them. Co-operative inquiry thus embraces what is called action research. It is also concerned with revisioning our understanding of our world, as well as transforming practice within it.

      In co-operative inquiry a group of people come together to explore issues of concern and interest. All members of the group contribute both to the ideas that go into their work together, and also are part of the activity that is being researched. Everyone has a say in deciding what questions are to be addressed and what ideas may be of help; everyone contributes to thinking about how to explore the questions; everyone gets involved in the activity that is being researched; and finally everybody has a say in whatever conclusions the co-operative inquiry group may reach. So in co-operative inquiry the split between 'researcher' and 'subjects' is done away with, and all those involved act together as 'co-researchers' and as 'co-subjects'.

      Some examples of co-operative inquiry groups

      A group of general medical practitioners formed a co-operative inquiry group to develop the theory and practice of holistic medicine. They built a simple model of holistic practice, and experimented with it in practice, exploring a range of intervention skills, power sharing with patients, concern for the spiritual dimensions of doctoring as well as attention to their own needs as medical practitioners. The experience of this study contributed to the formation of the British Holistic Medical Association. This study was taken forward when a group of general and complementary medical practitioners worked together to explore how they might effectively work in an interdisciplinary fashion.

      A group of obese and post-obese women explored their experience together, looking in particular at how they were stereotyped in society, and how it was difficult for them to obtain appropriate attention from doctors and other medial people. This is one of several inquiries in which groups of people with a particular physical or medical condition have worked together to take charge of how their condition is defined and treated. Two black social work teachers established inquiry groups of black social work students, practitioners and managers to explore their experience. They looked at relationships between black people at work, particularly the experience of black managers and subordinates working together; and how a creative black culture could be generated.

      Several inquiry groups have met to explore ritual, mystical and subtle experience in an attempt to create forms of spiritual practice which are appropriate to present times.

      Several groups have formed to explore questions of gender, in particular experience of women and men at work. One inquiry looked at how black women might learn to thrive, as well as survive in British organizations. Another explored the experience of young women managers in primarily male organizations. And another is looking at whether men in organizations need to explore questions of their gender in the workplace.

      How a co-operative inquiry group works

      Co-operative Inquiry is a systematic approach to developing understanding and action. And while every group is different, each one can be seen as engaged in cycles of action and reflection which go something like this.

      1. The first thing is to bring a group of people together who have a common interest. In phase one a group of co-researchers come together to explore an agreed area of human activity. In this first phase they talk about their interests and concerns, agree on the focus of their inquiry, and develop together a set of questions or propositions they wish to explore. They agree to undertake some action, some practice, which will contribute to this exploration, and agree to some set of procedures by which they will observe and record their own and each other's experience.

      For example, a group of health visitors in south west England were invited by one of their colleagues to form an inquiry group to explore the sources of stress in their work. After much resistance to the idea that they could be 'researchers', the group decided to explore the stress that comes from the 'hidden agendas' in their work - the suspicions they had about problems such as depression, child abuse, and drug taking in the families they visit which are unexpressed and unexplored.

      2. In phase two the group apply their agreed actions in their everyday life and work: they initiate the actions and observe and record the outcomes of their own and each other's behaviour. They may at first simply watch what it is that happens to them so they develop a better understanding of their experience; later they may start trying out new forms of action.

      The health visitors first explored among themselves their feelings about these 'hidden agendas' and how they managed them at present. They then decided to experiment with confronting them. They practised the skills they thought they would need through role play, and then agreed to try raising their concerns directly with their client families.

      3. In phase three the co-researchers become full immersed in their experience. They may become more open to what is going on and they may begin to see their experience in new ways. They may deepen into the experience so that superficial understandings are elaborated and developed. Or they may be led away from the original ideas and proposals into new fields, unpredicted action and creative insights. It is also possible that they may get so involved in what they are doing that they lose the awareness that they are part of an inquiry group: there may be a practical crisis, they may become enthralled, they may simply forget. This phase is in some ways the touchstone of the inquiry method, and is what makes it so very different from conventional research, because here people are deeply involved in their own experience so any practical skills or new understandings will grow out of this experience.

      The health visitors' experience of trying out new ways of working with clients was both terrifying and liberating in ways none of them had expected. On the one hand they felt they were really doing their job; on the other hand they were concerned about the depth of the problems they would uncover and whether they had adequate skills to cope with them. The woman who had initiated the project in particular was anxious and had disturbing dreams. They found they had to keep in good contact with each other to provide support and reassurance as they tried out new behaviours.

      4. Phase four, after an agreed period engaged in phases two and three, the co-researchers re-assemble to consider their original questions in the light of their experience. As a result they change their questions in some way; or reject them and pose new questions. They then agree on a second cycle of action and reflection. They may choose to focus on the same or on different aspects of the overall inquiry. The group may choose to amend or develop its inquiry procedures - forms of action, ways of gathering data - in the light of experience of the first cycle.

      The health visitors came back together and shared their experience, helping each other understand what had taken place and developing their strategies and skills at confronting hidden agendas. After several cycles they reflected on what they had learned and wrote a report which they circulated to their managers and colleagues.

      A co-operative inquiry often engages in some six to ten cycles of action and reflection. These can take place over a short workshop or may extend over a year or more, depending on the kind of questions that are being explored.

      The kinds of knowledge a co-operative inquiry group can create

      Co-operative inquiry involves at least four different kinds of ways of knowing. We call this an 'extended epistemology' - epistemology meaning a theory of how you know, and extended because it reaches beyond the primarily theoretical knowledge of academia.

      Experiential knowing is through direct face-to-face encounter with person, place or thing; it is knowing through empathy and resonance, and is almost impossible to put into words.

      Presentational knowing emerges from experiential knowing, and provides the first form of expression by drawing on expressive forms of imagery through story, drawing, sculpture, movement, dance and so on.

      Propositional knowing 'about' something, is knowing through ideas and theories, expressed in informative statements.

      Practical knowing is knowing 'how to' do something and is expressed in a skill, knack or competence.

      In co-operative inquiry we say that knowing will be more valid if these four ways of knowing are congruent with each other: if our knowing is grounded in our experience, expressed through our stories and images, understood through theories which make sense to us, and expressed in worthwhile action in our lives. You can see that this was so for the health visitors in their work together.

      Other ways to improve the quality of knowing and action

      You will see by now that co-operative inquiry is a radically different way of doing research. It is based on people examining their own experience and action carefully in collaboration with people who share similar concerns and interests. But, you might say, isn't it true that people can fool themselves about their experience? Isn't this why we have professional researchers who can be detached and objective?

      The answer to this is that certainly people can and do fool themselves, but we find that they can also develop their attention so they can look at their beliefs and theories critically and in this way improve the quality of their claims to knowing. We call this 'critical subjectivity'; it means that we don't have to throw away our living knowledge in the search for objectivity, but are able to build on it and develop it.

      We have developed a number of procedures that can be part of a co-operative inquiry and which can help improve the quality of knowing. These are some of them.

      1) Research cycling. It should be already clear that co-operative inquiry involves going through the four phases of inquiry several times, cycling between action and reflection, looking at experience from different angles, developing different ideas, trying different ways of behaving. The health visitors went through four or five cycles as the experimented with different ways of relating to their clients.

      Research cycling can be convergent, in which case the co-researchers look several times at the same issue, maybe looking each time in more detail; or cycling can be divergent, as co-researchers decide to look at different issues on successive cycles. Many variations of convergence and divergence are possible in the course of an inquiry. It is up to the group to decide which one is appropriate for each piece of research.

      2) Balance of action and reflection. Too much time in reflection is just armchair theorizing; too much time in action is mere activism. But it may be important, particularly in the early stages, to spend considerable time reflecting in order to gather together experience; and it may be important later to concentrate on trying out different actions to see how they work.

      Each inquiry group needs to find its own balance between action and reflection, depending on the topic being explored.

      3) Developing critical attention. Co-researchers need to develop the ability to look at their experience with affectionate curiosity with the intention of understanding it better. They need not to be so attached to what they have been doing that they cannot be look at it critically. The process of research cycling is a discipline which helps people develop this ability.

      As the group matures it may be helpful to use constructive challenge in order to hone people's critical attention. For example, in the Devil's Advocate procedure each person takes a turn in saying what they believe they have discovered, and other group members challenge their statements, trying to find other explanations for their claims, or evidence which shows their claims are not based in experience.

      4) Authentic collaboration. It is really important that members of a co-operative inquiry group develop ways of working which are collaborative. You can't really call it co-operative inquiry if one or two people dominate the group, or if some voices are left out altogether. This doesn't mean that everyone has to have exactly the same role: it may be that one person in the group has more knowledge of the subject, another knows more about the inquiry method. But it does mean that specialist knowledge is used in the service of the group.

      In order to develop equal contribution within a group it may be useful to rotate formal leadership round the group; to have 'rounds' in which everyone can have a say about the topic being discussed while the rest listen; and regular review periods where all group members can say how they feel about the way the group is working.

      It is also important to note that there may be people outside the inquiry group who are affected by what it does; while they cannot be full co- researchers, they too should be approached in the spirit of co-operation and dialogue.

      5) Dealing with distress. Co-operative inquiry can be an upsetting business. If the co- researchers are really willing to examine their lives and their experience in depth and in detail, it is likely that they will uncover things they have been avoiding looking at and aspects of their life with which they are uncomfortable.

      Indeed, many inquiry groups are set up to explore these kinds of issues. So the group must be willing to address emotional distress openly when it arrives: to allow the upset persons the healing of self-expression, which may involve the release of grief, anger or fear.

      Further, it may well be right for a group to spend time identifying the emotional disturbances within the group which have not yet been expressed, and providing space for this to happen. If the group does not pay attention to distress management, it is likely that the findings will be distorted by the buried emotions.

      6) Chaos and order. Clearly co-operative inquiry can be seen as an orderly process of moving through cycles of action and reflection, taking account of experience in one cycle and applying it to the next. And so it is.

      But co-operative inquiry is also about intuitive discovery, happenstance and synchronicity. It is sometimes about throwing all caution to the winds in a wild experiment.

      The best inquiry groups find a balance between chaos and order. If the group is really going to be open, adventurous and innovative, to put all at risk to reach out for the truth beyond fear and collusion, then once the inquiry is well under way, divergence of thought and expression is likely to descend into confusion, uncertainty, ambiguity, disorder, and perhaps chaos, with most if not all co-researchers feeling lost to a greater or lesser degree.

      There can be no guarantee that chaos will occur; certainly one cannot plan it. The key validity issue is to be prepared for it, to be able to tolerate it, to go with the confusion; not to let anxiety press for premature order, but to wait until there's a real sense of creative resolution.

      Practical issues in setting up an inquiry group

      Inititation. Most inquiry group are initiated by one or two people who have enthusiasm for an idea they wish to explore. They are quite often engaged on a research degree and are attracted to co-operative inquiry as a means of doing research; but they might just as well be members of an interest group - a patient's group, a women or minority person's group, a professional interest group - who see that co-operative inquiry might be a way of moving forward their interests.

      Establishing a group. The initiators first task is to gather together a group of people who will be interested in joining the project. Sometimes the group is self-evidently formed, but more often it is recruited by some form of circular letter: for example the black social worked mentioned above invited social work managers, practitioners and students to a meeting to discuss mutual interests and propose the establishment of inquiry groups. Groups of up to twelve persons can work well. Below six is a little too small and lacks variety of experience; above twelve needs time and maybe professional facilitation to manage.

      Contracting. This is possibly the most important aspect of the establishment of a group: it is really important that as far as it possible people have an opportunity to define the inquiry agenda and establish the process of the group. But this does not mean that they have to start from a blank sheet: usually the initiators put forward some proposal in a letter inviting people to a meeting to discuss the possible formation of a group. The meeting can explore the following agenda:

      a)Welcome and introductions, helping people feel at home

      b)Introduction by initiators: what we are interested in researching

      c)People discuss what they have heard informally in pairs, followed by questions and discussion

      d)Introduction to the process of co-operative inquiry

      e)Pairs discussion followed by questions and discussion

      f)Decision time: who wishes to join the group?

      g)Practical discussion: dates, times, financial and other commitments.

      It may be that I full discussion of items a) to e) is as far as a group can go in one meeting, and a second meeting is needed for decision making and practical arrangements.

      Devising an overall research plan. Most groups agree to a programme of meetings arranged so there is sufficient time for cycles of action and reflection. A group wishing to explore activities that are contained within the group, such as meditation skills, may simply meet for a weekend workshop which will include several short cycles of practice and reflection.

      But a group which involves action in the external world will need to arrange long cycles of action and reflection with sufficient time for practical activity. The holistic doctors group met to reflect for a long weekend after every six weeks of action on the job. The health visitors for an afternoon every three weeks or so. An inquiry into interpersonal skill met for a weekend workshop at the home of two of the participants and then for a long afternoon and evening every month to six weeks, finishing with another residential weekend workshop.

      Roles. It is helpful to agree early on how roles will be distributed. If the initiator is also to be group facilitator that should be made clear. It may be helpful to identify who has skills in group facilitation, inquiry facilitation, management of differences, working with distress, and so on and share out roles appropriately. Decide if you wish to be fully democratic and rotate leadership, or if you would prefer one or two people to facilitate on behalf of the group. And so on.

      Ground rules. You may wish to agree ground rules, particularly to preserve confidences within the group.

      Writing. It is helpful to decide who the audience for your research is early on. Is it just for yourselves, or do you wish to influence some outside persons? If you are want to produce a written report or article, it is worth discussing who will write it and on what basis. Do all members of the group have to see and agree it before it can be sent out? Or is it acceptable for one or two people to write their own report based on the group experience?

      We have found it helpful to adopt the rule that anyone can write whatever they like about the group, so long as they state clearly who is the author and whether other group members have seen and approved the text.

      Further Reading

      Heron, J. (1989). The Facilitators Handbook. London: Kogan Page. A useful discussion of choices in the facilitation of groups.

      Heron, J. (1992). Feeling and Personhood: psychology in another key. London: Sage. Background theory and philosophy to co-operative inquiry, with an account of feeling as the foundation of participative knowing.

      Heron, J. (1996). Co-operative Inquiry: research into the human condition. London: Sage. The latest comprehesive account of the co-operative inquiry method. Covers everything from philosophical underpinnings to the details of practice. Best read as a handbook dipping into the chapters that seem most helpful.

      Randall, R and Southgate, J. (1980). Co-operative and Community Group Dynamics.....or your meetings needn't be so appalling. London: Barefoot Books. An excellent discussion of who to help develop creative group discussions in cartoon form-may be difficult to get hold of.

      Reason, P. (ed). (1988). Human Inquiry in Action. London: Sage. A useful introduction to the method and contains some good examples of collaborative research.

      Reason, P. (1994). Co-operative Inquiry, Participatory Action Research & Action Inquiry: three approaches to participative inquiry. Handbook of Qualitative Research, edited by Norman K Denzin & Yvonna Sessions Lincoln, Thousand Oaks: Sage. Sets co-operative inquiry in the context of other participative research methods.

      Reason, P. (ed.) (1994). Participation in Human Inquiry. London: Sage. Discussion of the nature of participation followed by six examples of collaborative forms of research. Some good examples of co-operative inquiry described in some detail.

      Reason, P. and Heron, J. (1995). Co-operative Inquiry. In Rethinking Methods in Psychology, edited by R. Harre, J. Smith, and L. Van Langenhove. London: Sage. An introduction which might be good to circulate among potential inquiry group members.

      Reason, P. and Rowan J. (eds). (1981). Human Inquiry: a sourcebook of new paradigm research. Chichester: John Wiley. The original handbook: rather out of date but with lots of useful ideas and practices.

      Topics

      Cooperative Inquiry

      The core idea of cooperative inquiry, also known as collaborative inquiry, is to 'research with’ rather than to ‘research on’ people. This means that all active participants are fully involved in research decisions as co-researchers.

      Since it inception by John Heron in 1971 different methods developed, each dealing in slightly different ways with issues like self-fulfilling prophecy, group think or group bias, and how representative the resulting information is for people outside the research group. 

      The John Heron and Peter Reason's approach

      Cooperative inquiry creates a research cycle among four different types of knowledge: propositional knowing (as in contemporary science), practical knowing (the knowledge that comes with actually doing what you propose), experiential knowing (the feedback we get in real time about our interaction with the larger world) and presentational knowing (the artistic rehearsal process through which we craft new practices). The research process iterates these four stages at each cycle with deepening experience and knowledge of the initial proposition, or of new propositions, at every cycle.

      Stage 1: The first reflection phase that determines topics and methods of inquiry. This phase involves primarily propositional knowing.
      Stage 2: The first action phase, usually within the group, that tests the agreed actions, records outcomes from the testing, and observes if the actions conform to the original ideas from Stage 1. This stage involves primarily practical knowing by doing.
      Stage 3: A second action phase, usually by individuals in their everyday life outside the group, where the experiences and the consequences of one’s new inquiries in action can generate profound new feelings and awarenesses. In this stage, the experiences may lead to new fields, actions and insights that depart from the original ideas. This stage involves primarily experiential knowing.
      Stage 4: The second reflection phase when, in the group, co-researchers reflect on their experiences and the data collected in Stages 2 and 3. Now they may re-frame the original ideas and amend inquiry procedures. In this stage, co-researchers also decide whether to proceed to further cycles in the inquiry processes. This stage involves primarily presentational knowing, developing new images and ways of acting. This leads back to propositional knowing, if the inquiry group decides to start a next cycle.

      Peter Reason's extension

       

       

       

      James Nichol's methodology

       

      Cooperative inquiries in CCI Co-Counselling

      John Heron and Peter Reason, Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (1), Human Potential Research Project, University of Surrey, 1981

      John Heron and Peter Reason, Co-Counselling: an experiential enquiry (2), Human Potential Research Project, University of Surrey, 1982

      Peter. J. Hawkins, “Catharsis in Psychotherapy”, PhD thesis, University of Durham, UK, Durham, 1986.

      James Nichol A co-operative inquiry into Co-Counselling as a personal Development Method, dissertation, University of London, London, 1993.

      Martin Wilks Towards an Integration of Counselling, Clienting and Meditation, dissertation, University of East London, London, 1998..

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