the power of consensus (?)
In Openings, the at least once a year only for members submitted newsletter of the CCI-USA community in Connecticut (USA) publishes in her last issue an article of Fred Wallace. It is called: 'Is a Historical Overreaction Still Haunting CCI-USA?' . We asked Fred consent to quote publicly parts of this article. Because what he names is utmost important for all who observe and have the need to take decisions for themselves and or others.
He writes: 'By substituting the extreme form of individualism called 'consensus,' in which a single individual can 'block' even the simplest decision, the founders of CCI basically changed one pattern of organizational control for another. Here consensus rules with no exception. In all this there is no trust in the collective as is true in authoritarian rule'.
So he writes - in my understanding - about examples of, on the one hand extreme authoritarian behavior opposite decisions made by consensus and the different ways in between. Practically by the CCI approach of emotions.
the listening project
at CCI-Europe 2014 (4)
Suddenly, somewhere in the afternoon of Sunday July 27 a VW Passat car with a caravan blocked (for a while) the entrance of Haus Ohrbeck in Georgamarienhütte (near Osnabrück, Germany). In big letters the caravan says: ' LISTENING PROJECT ' followed by 'www.artinprogress.info'. Touching this internet address, you automatically contact the information on the website in German and/or English. And it tells you exactly what the listening project on the caravan is: 'an experimental space for co-operative listening'. The project has been developed and is performed by Rudolf Giesselmann [Hamburg] and Susan Tilley [London].
The 'listening project' is 'part' of the CCI meeting at Haus Ohrbeck, Rudolf is an active CCI co-counselor. And I experienced its influence, together with Dymphna from Ireland. Taking terms in speaking - and listening - is also part of the experiences of the CCI approach. Working with a timer - in this case two sand glasses - is another. And the most impressive experience for me was the silence (even only for 30 seconds) with the red sand glass plus the lack of interruptions because its aim is to listen to the resounds of what has been said!
40 years CCI
CCI-Europe 2014 (3)
Late in the afternoon of Friday July 25, 19 CCI teachers met at Haus Kloppenburg in Münster (Germany) for their yearly meeting next day and Sunday morning. In the afternoon they went that Sunday to Haus Ohrbeck in Georgamarienhütte (near Osnabrück) for their yearly CCI-Europe meeting, the coming week. And this time, with about 80 participants. In Münster they met at Haus Kloppenburg that Saturday and Sunday morning to share ideas and experiences for which they programmed on Friday evening.
Part of their activities were sharing information about the CCI World Pass, future development of CCI co-counseling, the six categories information of John Heron, and topics like the co-co and post war trauma's especially focused on the Middle East, 40 years CCI, the CCI Scotland community doesn't exist anymore as such (which does not mean that they don't co counsel any more), marketing of CCI, topics for the co-co-café etc. Overlooking this range, I was asked why we should pay attention to something that happened 40 years ago? I did not know the answer and was - honestly spoken - upset by that question. And it makes clear - in my understanding - that paying attention to the phenomena of empathy and respect, also among teachers, may be a good thing!
August 16ths closing free workshop
Whenever you are an active (CCI) co counselor OR NOT, August 16 (eastern USA time) is the closing day for participation into the free workshop on internet of designing your (emotional) changing process! So if you want to participate in this free workshop of Bob Schoenberg, mail now to him (http://designedchange.org/co-counseling-mooc/). And mail
that you want to participate in this workshop. The workshop is free - for co-counselors and all others who want to change their behavior! The workshop on line starts next August 17th.
The Designed Change Process is first practiced and developed by Tom Sargent in the seventeenth of last century in Hartford, Connecticut, (USA). He was one of the three founders of Co-Counseling International (CCI). Bob Schoenberg was one of his assistants and wrote recently a book about this process. This workshop is the first (free) workshop by using an on line internet-connection since the start of the CCI approach in 1974.
an inquiry into free attention
CCI-Europe 2014 (2)
by Fred Wallace
On Monday afternoon (the first full day of the CCI-Europe meeting in Germany) about 20 people gathered to participate in an inquiry into Free Attention by John Talbut. We were instructed to pair up and choose who will be the worker first. Then John invited the people who were in the co-worker role to join him in the hallway. So all the workers were left alone. To me this raised suspicion that something was happening that I was not aware of so I lost the usual level of trust I have in the co-worker. When all the co-workers returned to the room and sat with their workers there was a strange energy. When I started co-counseling my co-worker laughed when I was serious and made sad faces when I was joyful. Soon the session deteriorated into a comedy routine with no serious work possible. A sharing round followed and everyone agreed that the inappropriate behavior exhibited by the co-worker prevented the worker from doing normal session work.
CCI-Europe meeting 2014 (1)
One of the highlights of the recent CCI-Europe meeting in Germany (July 27-August 02) at Haus Ohrbeck in Georgamarienhütte (near Osnabrück) was for me to attend 'the meeting with the press' on Thursday morning. Three days earlier we were welcomed at the venue by brother Frans Richard just after our openings circle. He reminded us how Saint Franciscus, somewhere in the 14th century, wrote to his brother Leo, that if he needed to come, 'your are welcome to do so'! And so he, brother Frans build a bridge between the CCI approach of today and what happened already ages ago.
The 'meeting with the press' was in workshop time, on Thursday morning and well prepared by informing some teachers (3 European and 2 Americans) about the idea beforehand somewhere in May. All agreed positively with it plan, though one had some remarks, being afraid about possibly negative influences. This even was not necessary.
advanced publication CCI introduction
The publication of a group of co-counselors in the USA about an initiative to explain what they call 'Co-Counseling Explained' on Youtube, is the reason why CCI World News Service decided to publish in advance the four articles about the actual situation of the CCI approach, as described in our announcement of last Monday. First the authors had in mind, to publish those announced four articles on a weekly scale. So the last was scheduled on August the third, daily after the closing of the CCI European meeting in Germany. Because the same item may get attention at also the CCI trainers meeting in Münster, just before the CCI Europe meeting, we think it important that also the in these articles mentioned views, get the attention they deserve.
Bob Sawyer quotes these American initiators in his email to his readers: 'This is our first show and it is available on Youtube at the following link. Your comments are welcome an any suggestions for future shows along with improvements'. They are invited to send their comments to a special email address. This address as well as the link on Youtube are here not published because we want to honor the CCI rule of confidentiality. (This message has been re-edit on request of Bob Sawyer).
the CCI approach (4)
By validating our being in the here and now with the support of the CCI co-counseling environment, we become fully grounded in 'who we are now'. Within this special and unique here-and-now grounding process, it is interesting to explore what kind of influences helped to shape our being. Influences can include our parents and their social status and belief system, where we were born, what kind of school we went to, what kind of play we engaged in during youth, who were our role models, our education and its level etc. So there is a whole range of influences that makes us unique, complicated and special!
Together with this reality, it is also important to realize what we have in common with each other. The need of sharing and the need for support are examples. Another example, the need to tell another about what happened to us in the past, present or future, is essential. It is amazing that many of our physical and emotional perceptions seems to be similar. We mirror ourselves in the moment with both our similarities and our differences. With mirroring differences, it is very typical to realize that my color green may be quite different than yours because there is more yellow in it. Some of these perceptual distinctions can be cultural. For instance, a Native American may see green quite differently than a European citizen.
the CCI approach (3)
a range of tools
In CCI we use a range of different tools to gain more insights in our personal emotional experience and how this experience effects the health and quality of our life. What these tools all have in common is that they all have proven to be effective historically in whatever modality they have been practiced. With self-responsibility, the worker within a session trusts the process, the tools chosen, the support of a partner providing caring aware attention and the inner intuitive wisdom inside. Together trusting the process, effectively practicing tools, receiving support and listening to innate wisdom can create a healing atmosphere that is more than the sum of its parts.
The roots of these tools come from different sources. Caring aware attention is rooted with Active Listening as developed by psychologist Carl Rogers. Role Play is rooted in several psychotherapy modalities. Body awareness and emotional release methods have roots in Bio-energetics.Validation has roots with Norman Cousins ’the Power of Positive thinking'. CCI co-counseling provides an open space for the worker to use these tools for personal healing,
the CCI approach (2)
a range of assumptions
In CCI we have assumptions. Assumptions help us to get a handle of how to respectfully relate to and experience self and others within the CCI approach. They contribute to what we want and what will happen. For instance: we are thirsty. We do not think about that. We just drink something, in answer to that observation, as an automatic reaction. Yet there is a whole lot more going on beneath these behaviors. We observe a 'feeling thirsty´, and by raising our awareness we start to think 'what do I do'. So a process gets started whereby we need to discover an answer to that need.
Our biology automatically responds ´we need something to drink´. Spontaneously, the next question arises ´what can we drink?´ The steps are: we first become aware of the need, then start to think about an answer to meet that need - like an orange, some water, some milk ... and then we decide on the next steps to finalize our solution. So by following these steps, an internal process is generated. Namely, the process of becoming aware and finding a solution to answer the need. And this all happens in a split second.