In 1991 I had a friend in the flat above me who I used to spend time with. I once noticed on his wall a poster that looked a bit like the ones in this picture: it had his name in the middle, and several people had written various comments on it, that included:
- Appreciations of him
- Words of encouragement
- Comments about enjoyable moments spent together
I was both intrigued and excited. ‘What’s that?’ I asked. He told me it was his celebration poster from his co-counselling course. I think that the reason this touched me was because it made me connect with all my desires for recognition, acknowledgement and love, and it touched on any issues I have about self-esteem and whether I really love myself: I think it’s so important to be able to love myself and feel proud in order to move forward in the world and make my projects become reality.
Letting compliments and appreciations into ourselves rather than keeping them out (e.g. by making a joke) is just one thing that can be worked on in co-counselling.
A culture of validation
CCI fosters a culture of validating and celebrating the individual, even when we do things that are not great for us or others. It fosters:
…although, we try not to look at the world with rose-tinted spectacles, and we acknowledge that we all have patterns that may need to change.