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,

validations themselves, or setting life goals. As the session is an open space, the worker can bring techniques to their session from practices like meditation, yoga, 12 step or a personal spiritual belief system. Many of these tools are taught and practiced in what is called a CCI Fundamentals Training. Within the training, the worker gets to practice and learn the effectiveness of various tools.

The CCI approach is not at all 'a believe system' but more of a theosophical approach, which states we are all good at our core. Its practical goals are inner growth and letting go of chronic behavioral patterns that impinge on the quality of our life. One of the reasons for this article is to explore if the CCI co-counseling format is up to date in addressing the needs of today. This is why we are in favor of reviewing every ten years or so, the goals of CCI.

CCI rituals and tools

Special attention has to be paid to the connection of so called CCI rituals and their relation with the so called 'tools'. One tool for instance is the Identification Check (ID-check). This ritual explores what is at the core of why you like or dislike someone. How does this relate to the ritual known as 'the culture of validation'? The Culture of Validation outlines boundaries where we always relate to others with respect - never with shame or blame. With the ID check, the individual takes responsibility of their feelings toward another - exploring the roots of those feelings. Thus it is a tool which supports also the ritual of the culture of Validation.

Another CCI ritual/tool that deserves special attention is also the use of cushions. In CCI it is very OK to explore, relive, express and release your emotions of the past (exploring sadness, anger, shame, etc.). Being aware and realizing what happened, sometimes years ago, helps one to gain perspective on what was yesterday and what is today. The working CCI co-counselor takes self- responsibility in exploring and expressing feelings as much as he/she needs. In order that he/she does not hurt self or others, a cushion for instance is often used as aid to release anger through pounding.

A very important tool within the process is the setting of a contract. As a reciprocal practice, equal time is given to partners in both the coworker and worker roles. With the contract, the worker creates the platform for personal work by expressing needs of how their partner is to support them (touch or no touch; facial affect or flat affect etc.) Traditionally in CCI, there are three kinds of contracts: 1) no suggestions at all - only free, caring and aware attention, 2) a 'normal' contract with interventions according to the insights of the co-worker and 3) an 'intensive' contract, in which the worker - who is in charge and responsible for the whole session – agrees to receive strong interventions (short questions or statements to support the flow of personal work) from their partner in the coworker/counselor role. As the worker is always in charge, variations of these 3 contracts can be designed by the worker.

concluding thoughts

To conclude, questions are brought up that hopefully will lead to discussion. Rob describes that he grew up in 'the Baby Boom' generation in the US. He writes: 'For many of the Baby Boom generation - behind the surface normalcy, abuse and neglect were significantly present. Thus I, like some others, was desperately searching for healing - willing to try anything and everything to heal. CCI was one of the avenues for healing I tried. At this point, I am glad to have learned the CCI co-counseling format, because it has helped me greatly.
Regarding other CCI co-counselors, many have grown up in a different decade with a different social scenario than me. Thus, the way that I learned and practiced CCI co-counseling may not work for them. These individuals may need for their sessions to be an open slate, with which they can shape their sessions with co-counseling tools to accommodate their specific needs.

Niek Sickenga

Rob Metcalfe



... 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