this information is a 2010 updated compilation of different writings; the leading article was written by Graham Howie and Niek Sickenga called and published 2004 as 'emotions and the balance within', a review of the CCI approach to an healthy emotional life in the first expression of CCI World News Service.

my views

This editorial is written because it is personal clear to me, that my thoughts and my understandings of what I hear or read from others, in Dutch or any other language, is my personal and exceptional view. The reason for this item is, that what I hear or see, is nothing more than my interpretation of what I understand of it. I may like it or not. That is not the question. It is the other one's vision. As I understand it. Like your thoughts and your understandings are yours. So your green may be another green than my green (with more or less yellow in it). Nevertheless we call this color both green. Without knowing if my green is really the same as yours . We may think so. But do we really know, that we see both the same green? I doubt that. And I do not want to call the green I see, to be the reality also for you. Just for me is OK. But also for you? I doubt that. Because this is most possibly not right. Because there may be some thousand expressions of green!

The same may be the case with a simple word like - for instance - the word 'table'. That mostly may be just understood like something that is round or square, or oblong or only just something with three or four table legs. In fact this means,that in both cases - as well by the word 'color' as well as by the word 'table' (etcetera) - we have no idea about what we are talking in reality. We do even not know how big, high or low this simple expression of the word 'table' may be. And the question is still open if this table is made from wood, iron or plastic etc.

So it is still not at all an unique observation: that we have in fact no precise idea where we are talking about! Because you have your understandings of what a table is, like I have mine. And we have that idea possibly already also for a long time. By the way we got it also in different times and different ways and in different cultures. Depending to our personal history and to our own experiences so far. Nevertheless we think both, that we do have the same item in mind. Which I think is in fact highly arrogant. Because I have no real idea about what you have in mind. Maybe there is something happening that I can observe it in relation to it. And that proves me, what really is going on for you. But still this is my observation. My table is mine and yours is still yours...


a well that keeps flowing

book Fred(the original article of this text has been re-written by the author of this book. Thanks for that Fred.- Niek)
Fred Wallace, an American CCI Teacher, who I met at the first European CCI meeting in Hungary, has written a book on CCI Co-Counseling that is now available on the web. The book begins with the author's story of his own experience that led him to Co-Counseling, his experience learning Co-Counseling and his becoming a CCI teacher. He then explores CCI culture which he believes impacts us practitioners as profoundly as what happens during session work. He then explains the elements of Co-Counseling that he feels are most vital to the effectiveness of the practice. He provides some fictionalized sessions to demonstrate the power of session work. He concludes the book exploring the role of the co-counselor (helper) and shows the importance of the role in developing the capacity to love and as a key to acquiring a full, human, honest self-acceptance. It is written in a fast moving style that is open to all those who have a reasonable grasp of English. The author hopes the book will stimulate experienced co-counselors to deepen their practice, while also bringing CCI Co-Counseling to a large group of people who wish to bring more meaning, love and joy into their lives.


confidentiality and shame in CCI

One of the essentials of the CCI approach is how to handle one's emotions satisfactory. Another essential is the maintaining of confidentiality during what we call the CCI-co-counseling 'working time'. That means that whatever is said, within this working time, will never be mentioned outside the four walls of that sharing. During the 'fundamentals' training of the CCI introduction, lots of time is spent practicing this item within and also outside the course. Similarly, recent publications in this field do pay attention to aspects of honoring this confidentiality.
Within CCI co-counseling, you are allowed to report your personal impressions. It is always your impressions and your view! We live from our subjective experience. The subjective experience of others is different from ours- even when there are similarities. If while visiting an ordinary pub somewhere in Connecticut (USA), we take a photo without permission - we break others' right to confidentiality and anonymity. This is opposite to the tenets of the CCI approach.


aware or unaware?

As I wrote earlier, reading the self-help book 'selbsthilfe'of Ellen Bultmann and Dr. Martin Kreuels  I was impressed. Later I realized that it was not only the amount of diseases and 'troubles' the participants had to meet as emotional realities that was impressive during their lifetime. It was also their many different capacities, to cope with what happened to them, that impressed me. They used these capcacities, whether aware or not aware, which gave them the possibilities to continue, in one way or another, with their life.

'What they did, aware or not aware, was exactly what 'we' (in CCI) do and what we try to do, being more aware and so being the utmost effective in our lives. From the book, mentioned above, it is very clear that one of the 'things' all participants of the different self help groups have in common with the CCI approach is, the confidentiality they want to be honoured. And we have more in common. All the approaches need - in my view - a certain amount of respect for what happened or happens emotionally to the speaker. Thus, the speaker and the listener(s) both have to accept and to respect each other regarding feelings shared. Plus with confidentiality there is no discussion afterwards about that happening itself.. Whatever has happened or happens emotionally to them. And there is no discussion about that happening itself. 'They own what they feel or felt.'


the CCI approach (4)

our brains

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.


the CCI approach (1)

a range of articles

This is an overview of a range of 4 articles we want to publish in the coming issues of CCI World News Service. We are, in this case, and for this activity, one American CCI-USA co-counselor- Rob Metcalfe and one Dutchman - Niek Sickenga (initiator of this website). Together, we take responsibility for the content of what is written. The motive of this action is that the CCI approach (of handling your emotions well) is based on the human needs of a 1974 time frame. Now, we live in another era and possibly have other needs. Looking at the numbers of organized CCI co-counselors in several countries (USA, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, New Zealand, Israel), it is baffling to us that the CCI approach doesn't get the attention which it deserves - especially as globally the need for emotional help is quite obvious. There may be 2 reasons why this is the case: 1) Something is missing in the method itself and 2) Our message is based too much on the social  scenarios of 40 years ago and not enough on today's social scenarios - creating a message that today's individuals are unable to relate or to understand. The writers of these articles believe reason 2, to be the truth.


CCI fundamentals of 1995!

Harlech, Wales, UK, 1995. It is summer and CCI Europe, meets at Harlech, Wales UK. John Heron is invited to talk to what they still call the 'CCI-teachers gathering'. An impressive meeting. For sure. Back in my memories: some 30 CCI trainers attended that meeting. My thoughts go back to that event, now almost 20 years ago. Motive is the range of articles of Em. Prof. Tom Scheff about a new psychotherapy of emotions, as just published in this newsletter.
In my thanks to Tom for his contribution I mentioned also that CCI (Co-Counseling International) since 1974 developed the conviction that core principals of CCI may be the non authoritarian (peer) approach, in organization and in practice. This editorial tells about that and reminds me to John Heron's talk at Harlech.


the present, the past and the future


no authoritarian influence


the mechanism

... just listen


by Rudolph Giesselman
  • flowerThere's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
    Aldous Huxley
  • I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.
    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
  • pacificlandscape
    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
    Rumi 1207-1273