The standard co-counselling workshop has a certain level of safety built into it:
- client in charge
- equal time
- no interpersonal challenge or feedback
The workshops on this page are different: on the one hand, they do offer a high level of safety, in that you are with co-counsellors who have learned the same techniques, philosophy, and a certain culture of acceptance; on the other hand the structure are less tight and reciprocal. For that reason they may feel more ‘risky’ or chellenging, although also they will offer a kind of helpful challenge that you don’t get in a regular co-counselling session.
Like any co-counselling workshop, attendance at any of these is entirely optional, and no one has to do anything they don’t want to do. Confidentiality and physical safety rules also apply.
NON CO-COUNSELLING WORKSHOP: FEEDING AND BEING FED
At this workshop the participants have an opportunity to feed each other, and be fed. I have offered this twice so far. Each time there has been quite some discussion about who feeds whom and how etc. The discussion and processing takes up the morning, then we set out the table etc and do the eating at lunchtime. There is some processing time afterwards. As food and feeding is pretty basic stuff early on in life I think this workshop easily provokes our primitive feelings.
NON CO-COUNSELLING WORKSHOP: CHOOSING AND BEING CHOSEN
Each individual in the group is invited silently, in their mind, to choose someone with whom they would wish to do a session. The actual session takes place within the last third of the workshop. The first (longer) section of the workshop involves the unfolding of the choices people have made.
NON CO-COUNSELLING WORKSHOP: LIFEBOAT ROULETTE
This is a challenging version of ‘Choosing and being Chosen’, and could be re-titled ‘Working on my feelings about rejecting and being rejected’. This is an issue that everyone faces (eg in choosing one dance partner instead of another). Although it is a variation on the Big Brother TV show, there are important differences: there is space for processing and relflection together, and it its intent is to help learn about oneself in a supportuve space. The group members vote someone out of the group every 10 minutes. The first part of the workshop is for making everything clear about the process. The second part is the periodic voting and evictions. The evictees have the opportunity to go into a breakout room to be together. For the third part (very important this), the whole group re-convenes to process what has happened. I have run this five times and experienced all sorts of feelings that have been provoked. It helped me say to someone that I loved them.
NON CO-COUNSELLING WORKSHOP: HERE AND NOW
This is an interpersonal group, no equal time contract etc. The object is to stay in the here and now. Just that one instruction inevitably gets us more in touch with who we are. In the many here-and-now groups I have attended I have experienced moments of beauty, frustration, grief, love, anger, envy, regret etc.
There is another version of this called ‘Here and Now Intensive’: if someone strays from the here and now, anyone can say: ‘here and now’. The group then has to remain silent for 10 seconds. My experience is that this can provoked intense and difficult feelings, and is a great opportunity to confront my internal world.
NON CO-COUNSELLING WORKSHOP: MONEY, ABUNDANCE AND SCARCITY
I think that money has the potential to bring up lots of feelings in anyone. It is a touchstone for how we relate to the world and to ourselves. It can represent all sorts of things for individuals eg the energy we have or spend, achievement, hate-objects, and can conjure up, for example, envy, joy, relief, grief, victim states etc. In these workshops there is a structure to the workshop and what happens, but in each case there is an emphasis on exploring in the here and now moment what is happening for particiants.
First section – about taking, and being taken from (non verbal)
Second Section – about how you feel when people know how much wealth you have or don’t have
Third Section – about choosing and being chosen.