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.

For sure, confidentiality is also an important part of our personal life outside CCI. And that possibly is the reason why 'shame' is one of the last discovered, developed, researched and acknowledged human emotions. It is in itself already a secret that you are not supposed to talk about. In fact- to the contrary, you are expected to deny it. Even general practitioners (and others) have promised - on oath - that they never will refer to what is said in a confidential talk.
So this is one reason why we will write here about shame. It is too exceptional and too important to ignore shame and not pay attention to it. When some individuals have the intention to commit suicide and end their life at this moment, paying attention to shame and communicating the shame experience to a supportive other (within a confidential environment) is incredibly important.

Tom Scheff, an American emeritus professor of sociology at the Berkley University of California (USA), asked recently our intention on publishing an article he wrote about ´depression, bipolarity and violence as emotion sequences'. In this article, he states ´To the extent, that this model is correct, it would suggest that therapy for all three disorders would be similar to helping the patient to locate, discuss and resolve his/her hidden shame´. He also writes ´It was the psychologist James, who first suggested in 1983, that emotions are core bodily tensions that can be resolved through physical resolution'. Later he quotes Lewis regarding hidden shame: 'all emotions are felt'. He himself theorizes: 'the emotion of shame is not mainly a feeling, but a bodily state that might not be felt'. Further, he subsequently concurs with the Dewey/Bull model: 'emotions are bodily preparations for actions that have been delayed (Scheff 2015). These emotions are: 1 grief, 2 fear, 3 anger, 4 pride, 5 shame and 6 no name.'
Further quoting the psychologist Gershen Kaufman, Scheff, being argues that shame is taboo within the USA. Also, Scheff states that the American society is 'a shame-based' culture, where taboo is the central meaning of shame- an emotional experience of being excluded and perhaps feeling worthless for that reason'. Later in Sheff's article, he quotes Gilligan that 'secret shame is the cause of violence'.

why I pay attention to this?
The answer to the question 'why I pay attention to this' is, that I want to share discoveries, insights and psychological views on 'daily emotional processes' (especially those of expert researchers). The reason is, that these insights may contribute to our daily communication needs. These discoveries can enhance all of us meeting our needs for growth and improved communication through the use of improved skills in providing validation and caring free attention - where we fully hear both verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication.

I believe that they, the scientists, have insights and ideas that may be of practical value in life. Examples of ideas include mindfulness, meditation and other techniques that tell us something about ourselves we were not aware of. We, the practitioners of the CCI approach, are just ordinary interested people who are interested in living our life as healthy self-responsible adults leading fulfilling lives.

what we do in fact
In fact, what we do within the CCI approach is: defining the setting for work together before we start and setting the contract each wants for oneself. Co-counseling is a method for 'working' together with one another. Setting the contract means equal time for each of us. You contract for twenty minutes to work and I contract 20 minutes of time to work as well. That is the bottom line. In fact CCI defines 3 kinds of contracts: a silent one, a normal one and an intensive one. Each of us designs our own contract from these 3 models or from variations of these models. Each is self-responsible for their choices and for expressing their special needs.
Negotiation occurs about the question who starts first. The one that starts talking is 'the worker'. The other one is the listener (counselor) and is responsible for serving the well-being of the worker. Everything said by the worker within the session is confidential. The counselor's responsibilities are: 1) to actively keep the time in mind, 2) to follow the contract and to support the worker when the session ends. The worker is absolutely in charge of their own session.
During your 'working' session, you are in charge of what happens. Your counselor partner has practiced the same educational methods of handling emotions as you've done. What we both do in sessions - in a safe and confidential way - is sharing what bothers us or what attracts us. We create and say what we need to say through words, feelings or gestures. At the same time, we are busy trying to put into words what we think, which is a creative process in itself! Because we are in charge, we are also entitled to deny what we just have said if we want to. The witnessing partner of that session is just attending the process for the service of the working speaker. He/she doesn't need to understand what is said. The working speaker has the responsibility not to blame self and not to hurt self or the environment.

the essentials of the CCI approach are:
1) The non-authoritarian/ peer environment!
2) Exploring what is bothering/attracting you now
3) Self-responsibility
4) Confidentiality
5) Honoring and respecting self and others
6) Belief in the continuing process
7) The trust

... 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