Testimonials about Richard Mills
‘…Richard also had us laughing and celebrating what’s good about ourselves.’ – Tracy Shippey, York, 2009 Know Yourself! CCI Core Training
‘…sensitive observation, precise communication, warmth and humour.’
– Alan Carver, Leeds, 2009
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training
‘I enjoyed the Leeds 2010 course with Richard. At the end of each day I left feeling deeply relaxed and settled within myself. I felt as if there was enough time for everyone within the group, and there was a good balance of fun and deeper issues.’
– Nicky, Leeds, 2010
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training

‘You were an easy going facilitator that enabled me to feel at ease throughout the training. Your sense of humor allowed me to bring clarity and focus to the issues I found most challenging. For this I am most grateful.’ C.C., Leeds, 2007
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training

’Fantastic end to our CCI Core Training with Richard Mills and eight other lovely trainees in Leeds at the weekend. I had my reservations beforehand but with practice and the guidance of Richard, and the support and sharing of my fellow co-counselling beginners, I experienced wonderful soul-touching moments. I think it is a rare and remarkable co-operative and supportive method and look forward with excitement and anticipation to further adventures of the self in the company of warm hearted and caring individuals. Thanks again Richard.’
Martin Davies, Leeds Know Yourself! CCI Core Training 2012

‘All 5 days of the Know Yourself! course were thoroughly engaging (!). Richard’s playfulness and open mindedness made me realise that working through issues (stuff) doesn’t have to be depressing or frightening. There was lots of gaiety brought about through playing games. I feel that the course allowed me to greatly improve emotional fluidity and learn techniques that I can apply independently thereafter, so in a way the benefits are still to come (!) depending on how I use the tool… tbc’
Joanna Klopotek, Leeds, 2012
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training

“Completing the Know Yourself! CCI course over the past few weeks has significantly improved my self-confidence.  Richard Mills delivered ‘easy to digest’ tutorials to the group with a combination of vitality and calmness.  There was plenty of opportunity for participants to practice the various CCI techniques and ask questions.  I met a lot of great people on the course and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.”
– Sarah, Leeds, 2012
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training

‘Once again I had another great group session with Richard that helped me step out of my comfort zone. A lot is learnt in 2 hours.’
– Emma, Leeds, 2014
Confidence Primer

It was a very interesting night, and a great experience. would definitely recommend it.
– Angela Berckley, Leeds, 2014
Know Yourself! Co-Counselling taster

‘…I got a great deal out of the course and it was very enlightening in terms of self-development. I very much appreciate the way you delivered it and have found you as a trainer, inspirational…I have already recommended it to friends as it has been a great experience for me.’
– TC Leeds, Leeds, 2014
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training


“Richard impressed me from our very first meeting, with his insightfulness and his confidence in his ability to help me. Richard’s sessions were practical, challenging, flexible to the situation and ultimately enjoyable. They definitely worked to improve my presence, confidence and impact. Thank you”

James, Engagement Manager, Manchester, 2015

‘Many thanks for a very interesting workshop. I really liked the idea of putting an emphasis on the practice rather than just theory. I have learned what areas should I focus and work on in order to improve the way I present myself. I also enjoyed Richard’s direct and engaging style of teaching. Highly recommended.’
– Bazyli Golinski, Leeds, 2013
Making an Impact! course

‘If you know anyone who is lacking in confidence and perhaps is struggling to communicate at work (or indeed anywhere!) then in my opinion Richard is the chap to contact.  We had reason to enlist the help of Richard for a new young employee that had these issues and I cannot express enough how much Richard has done for this young man – the transformation is incredible.  Clearly Richard knows what he is doing!  Our employee found him easy to communicate with and we  the employer also found Richard to be very accommodating and very easy to deal with.’
Carol Rochnia, Finance and Personnel Officer, York Trust LLP, Leeds
1-2-1 Confidence Coaching for staff, 2014

‘I really enjoyed the “Making an Impact!” course. I found the video format elements excellent and I was particularly impressed with the relaxed atmosphere Richard nourished during the day. This created a supportive environment where people felt they could give and receive open and honest feedback and contributed to a positive learning experience for all involved. I would recommend this course to anyone keen to improve their presentation style (or just to watch themselves giving a talk on video for the first time and learn something for the better!).’
– Richard Mitchell, York, 2013
Making an Impact! course
‘I found the body language primer to be really useful. It’s not every day when you have the chance to practice making an introduction to a group of people and get a few pointers on how you did! Richard Mills provides honest and constructive feedback to all participants.’
– Sarah, Leeds, 2012
Confidence Primer

”I have attended the Assertiveness and ‘Making an Impact’ courses and have seen myself grow because of them. In a recent interview I used a few techniques what I learnt from the courses and I aced the job! I recommend working with Richard and would do so again.”
– Emma, Leeds 2014
‘Assertiveness Skills: Speak Up!… Slow Down’ 

‘I found it really helped to rehearse some conversations in a supportive and friendly environment, and to receive some suggestions of things to try. It was a day well spent. ‘
– J, Administrator, Leeds’ 2013
Assertiveness Skills… Speak Up!’ 
”A great opportunity to look at situations from another perspective and practice doing things differently. It was good to meet people facing similar issues and explore in greater depth my own issues.”
– Course participant, Leeds 2006
‘Assertiveness Skills… Speak Up!’ 
‘I sought Richard’s help as I felt I had confidence issues. By supportive conversation and questions he established the direction we needed to take to further examine some root causes and from there to develop a strategy to resolve. A very positive experience for me!’
– Managing Director, Leeds, 2013
1-2-1 confidence coaching client
‘I’ve spent my whole life avoiding embarrassing situations with great cost to any achievement I might have made, but after just a few hours with Richard I have for the first time some real hope of turning things around.’
– Raymond Ore, Croydon, August 2013
‘Finding Your Brilliance’ workshop at Laurieston Hall 
‘Hi Richard – Just want to say what a great day I had on Saturday with you and the other people there. I learnt a lot, particularly from the money exercise.’
– Ian Nicholls, Joiner, Leeds, 2014
‘The Roots of Assertiveness … Personal Power’  one-day course
‘I found it really useful to be able to watch a recording of my presentation.  It enabled me to analyse my own delivery and identify areas to improve on e.g. body language, signposting and intonation.  Richard has a calm and assertive training style. He provides feedback fairly to all participants.’
– Sarah, Lawyer from Halifax, 2013
Making an Impact! course’Fantastic end to our CCI Core Training with Richard Mills and eight other lovely trainees in Leeds at the weekend. I had my reservations beforehand but with practice and the guidance of Richard, and the support and sharing of my fellow co-counselling beginners, I experienced wonderful soul-touching moments. I think it is a rare and remarkable co-operative and supportive method and look forward with excitement and anticipation to further adventures of the self in the company of warm hearted and caring individuals. Thanks again Richard.
‘Martin Davies, Leeds, 2012
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training

“I really enjoyed the course, it was well organised, there were a variety of exercises. One of the exercises gave me a real ‘lightbulb’ moment. I would definitely go to other courses you do”
O.A. February, 2014
‘The Roots of Assertiveness … Personal Power’  one-day course


“Richard is a great professional trainer. I really enjoyed working with him. I’m from Thailand and my English is not my first language but he understood what I was talking about and be patient with me during the whole training course. I would recommend this training for anyone who wants to gain confident in speaking and presentation.”
– Wiyada T, Leeds, 2014
‘Making an Impact!’ course 

“I wanted to do a confidence course for many years: finally I did, and feel great for doing it. Richard is a very knowledgeable person and very understanding on how people feel and how best to help them overcome confidence issues.”
– Danny, Leeds 2014
‘Assertiveness Skills (1): Speak Up!… Slow Down!’

Thanks Richard for facilitating this session in a relaxed, informed way. I enjoyed the opportunity to do something different and was touched by the honesty of communication. I’m keen to do it again.
– Alan C, Leeds, 2014
Know Yourself! Co-Counselling taster

A very interesting evening! I came away with some useful insight into both co-counselling and myself.
– Yvonne, Leeds, 2014
Know Yourself! Co-Counselling taster

“I decided to go on the Making an Impact 1 day course because I have just had a career change and making presentations was something that I would have to be doing to get business. I chose this course because not only was it good value for money but it ticked all the boxes of what I wanted to achieve. Throughout the day I was constantly learning and doing things by choice that put me out of my comfort zone, I learnt to stand up in front of people and deliver a presentation, read and punctuate and articulate my voice and take compliments and constructive feedback without squirming. The day was very relaxed with the right mixture of fun games thrown in which also helped to build my confidence. Richard is an understanding and engaging trainer and helped make the day flow well. I’ll be back for more training for sure.”
– Emma, Personal Development Coach, Leeds, 2013
Making an Impact! course
‘Great Session ! It provide me with lots of insight and met my expectations. Thanks.’
– Diane Holdsworth, Leeds, 2012
Confidence Primer
‘Really enjoyed this – I’ve learned a valuable new life skill which I can’t wait to implement!  Thank you Richard – you the man!!’
– Paul, Leeds, 2012
Confidence Primer
“I found the whole course to be very effective, especially the work on presentation techniques.”
– PS, Leeds, 2006
Speak Up! and Making an Impact! course
‘It was moving to witness people’s struggles with performance, and awesome to see breakthroughs being made right there in front of me.’
– Chris Beale, August 2013
‘Finding Your Brilliance’ workshop
‘I thoroughly enjoyed attending some of Richard’s workshops on a recent Co-counselling week.  His incisive observations and feedback are so valuable.  Richard’s “Gifts” (i.e. observations and feedback) are to be treasured always.  More specifically, on his ‘Finding your brilliance’ workshop, I found him sensitive, insightful and encouraging.’
– Ann, September 2013
Various workshops
Richard ensures that his course is interesting: he uses uses a variety of teaching methods… He really wants the participants to ‘get it’ and benefit from what the CCI training has to offer.  That’s not easy, and I really admire his effort to care, and his honesty in revealing himself, including his ‘weaknesses’.
– Zel, Leeds, 2012
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training
‘On the CCI Core Training course I accessed painful memories, but thanks to Richard’s skilful facilitation, never felt overwhelmed. He provided a safe space to express hurts, but also to celebrate achievements and share laughter. I discovered that I’m a stronger, richer mix of qualities than I’d previously thought…
As a Co-Counselling facilitator Richard is unfailingly professional and unfailingly human. His professionalism means you get a quality learning experience and feel safe with his control of the group. His humanity is evident in the way he presents himself as someone who has shared the same difficult experiences as the rest of us…
‘People ask “What do you mean it’s fun?!” when I tell them about the CCI Co-Counselling course with Richard Mills. They have the idea that counselling is a bleak descent into one’s pain. Richard did invite us to deal with painful memories, but he also had us laughing and celebrating what’s good about ourselves. So I dealt with painful memories from a more positive, resourceful position. Richard’s own sense of humour and enthusiasm provides an environment which makes this all the easier.’
– Tracy Shippey, York, 2009
Know Yourself! CCI Core Training
‘…powerful, challenging and exciting… an excellent and inspirational facilitator.’
– Rosalind Ashling, Perth, February 2010
CCI network

‘Richard’s perceptive facilitation comes from a deep seated awareness of his own and other people’s journeys.
Working with him can be challenging because he pushes boundaries, but it is always safe, and the joy and fun of accepting a ‘push’ is immense because it always leads to new awareness.’
Fiona Larsen, Reading, 2009
CCI network
‘Richard is a sensitive and aware facilitator. He’s always at the cutting edge of groups with varied ideas to lead the group forward.’
Kathryn, Hamburg, 2009
CCI network
“I have worked with Richard in a variety of workshops and groups over the last ten years and have been consistently impressed by his evident commitment to his own ongoing growth and development.  I appreciate his integrity and clarity of communication as well as the energy and generosity with which he facilitates workshops and groups.  As a client, I have welcomed his blend of support and challenge as an effective catalyst for my growth.  I have especially valued his continued invitations, both spoken and implicit, to be and become more fully myself.”
Dom Hooper, 2009
CCI network
‘I have known and worked with Richard on and off for 20 years now and always found him to be extremely knowledgeable of the therapeutic process. He is clear and precise and encourages others to be the same. This can feel challenging at times but it is in my experience always for the benefit of the participant. He also has a good sense of humour, useful when people are wrestling with difficult issues, but this is done with care and consideration so you always feel safe. I always look forward to being in a workshop where he is present.’
Stephen Gillingham, 2009
CCI network
“I value your authenticity, sensitive observation, precise communication, warmth and humour.”
Alan Carver, Leeds, 2009
CCI network
‘I have attended a variety of workshops with Richard and always find them powerful, challenging and exciting. At the same time I know I am safe, though not so safe that I can’t grow. Richard is steadfast in his integrity, clarity and honesty, and as such I find him an excellent and inspirational facilitator.’
– Rosalind Ashling, Perth, February 2010
CCI network
‘I find Richard’s workshops to be inspirational and often unusual and I always find that I take away a new discovery about myself’.
Bridget Morris, 200
CCI network
‘I think this workshop is a great idea.  I was able to perform and get constructive feedback on my performance (reading poetry), which was very helpful.  It was also good being an audience for other performers and giving feedback to them.’
– Course participant
‘Finding Your Brilliance’ workshop at Laurieston Hall, August 2013

Some words from 1-2-1 therapy clients

Most of the feedback from individuals who have worked with me in 1-2-1 counselling or therapy is information I can’t put onto this page for confidentiality reasons.  However, these three people wrote to me and said I could put these words onto my site, so here they are:
‘Whilst I found our sessions really tough at times you have helped me develop and understand myself more than anyone ever has….You have really helped me take charge of my life and stand up for
myself for which I am incredibly grateful. Your counselling style of sharing your own stories, encouraging self-reflection and your honesty worked perfectly for me. ‘
– BC, Occupational Health consultant,
Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2019
Therapy client
‘Having worked with you for over two years, I have the greatest respect for your unfailing presence, your professionalism, your focus, your understanding and your abilities as a therapist.’
– PB, Bradford, IT professional,
West Yorkshire, 2004
Therapy client
‘When I first started to see Richard, the previous few years had been difficult on a number of levels and had taken their toll on my mental wellbeing, both professionally and personally. I found myself exhausted, incredibly anxious and unable to see a future plan for myself. I was lost.
Addressing the issues I faced was not an easy decision for me, and I consistently found the sessions a challenge. Richard doesn’t so much give you the answers, rather he leads you down a path were you can discover the answers yourself. He makes you think, deeper. For me, it was about realising who I am and why I act the way I do, assuming responsibility for my mental wellbeing and addressing certain issues with the people closest to me.

I would whole-heartedly recommended Richard. Six months after my first session, I find myself in a much more positive frame of mind, and armed with the awareness to deal with my issues going forward.’ – PH, Website designer,
Leeds, 2011 Therapy client

Peoples’ stories

These personal stories were given by various co-counsellors present at the annual CCI European gathering in 2008, which took place near Edinburgh.

Sarah H.
As a result of the family I grew up in, I learnt from an early age that the safest approach to life was to be agreeable and invisible. I learnt to keep my opinions and feelings to myself to such a degree that I lost touch with what they actually were, buried as they were beneath layers and layers of fear and shame. I was quite the agreeable, passive, smiling doormat!

Since my late 20s I have been gradually unlearning all the restrictions I took on board as a child, and have been reconnecting with who I actually am – and co-counselling has played a huge part in this journey. Co-counselling gives me a safe space to explore my feelings, to express who I am, and a space where I am met with acceptance and approval.

Through co-counselling, I have grown in confidence in expressing my opinions, my needs, my feelings and my boundaries. I have explored my patterns in relating to other people, and have moved from a place of shame to a place of self-approval. I have learned how to ask for support, and how to take things at a pace that suits me, rather than needing to move at the same pace as other people. I have significantly changed how I interact with men, both in personal relationships and in work settings.

Co-counselling has also helped me to “lighten up” – as I’ve shed a lot of my unhealthy rules and restrictions, I have found a huge capacity for spontaneous fun, creativity and playfulness.

Ursula A. Teacher

I am a co-counsellor only since 1 ½ year. I think the self-confidence is growing practising counselling and the awareness of oneself and others. I was very lucky to get in contact with a counselling community in my neighbour town and to learn the fundamentals so I was able to get in contact with the international CCI 2008 in Scotland. It is a supporting feeling to belong to such a network.

Virginia H. Civil servant


I was in total despair and misery at the time of the breakdown of my second marriage (the first had ended in an acrimonious divorce). A friend recommended co-counselling to me (I knew he had needed help at some time in his own life) and gave me JanPieter’s phone number to contact. We met, talked, and I joined the fundamentals course he was just about to start. That gave me the space to grieve, and the tools to begin to process my hurt, grief, and anger.
I have remained a coounsellor ever since – about 15 years, I think. I have participated in fundamentals, I have helped to write the consititution for CCIS, have acted as chairman for our AGH, attended 3 CCIs and helped to run the one at West Hinton, and been a member or a support group for the last 8/9 years.
It has become an essential part of my life, as an outlet for emotions, a forum for discussion, debate & learning, and a source of fun, joy, new experiences and hugely rewarding companionship. It keeps me sane and reasonably balanced, and I hope I shall never have to live without the powerful outlets it offers me, and the countless opportunities to learn & enjoy new things.

Sarah H.

Acceptance and approval at times when I can’t give it to myself
Laughter, fun, silliness
A safe space to experiment, explore and express
Healing loving attention
A space to be myself
Validations, celebrations, supportive challenge
Learning from others – countless moments of modelling & inspiration
Being in community
Improving the dynamics between my body, mind and heart
Dancing, meditating, singing
Freedom to choose how to be
Invitation & opportunities to stretch and grow at my own pace
Nurturing time to be soothed and healed
Sharing my shame and letting it go
A multitude of mirrors reflecting myself back to me
A diverse community of humanity
A rich feast, a place to play out my patterns and receive well-intentioned feedback
A space to mend and heal the parts of myself that have been broken and damaged in the past
Similarities and uniqueness
A mosaic of magical moments
A safety net, a web of connections, a tapestry of humanity
Becoming more alive, taking up residence in my own body, taking up my own space in the world
Allowing my power and my tenderness to co-exist in harmony
An emergence of my true nature
Speaking my truth even when my legs and my voice are shaking
Connecting with my colourful, creative self
A place to feel my deepest darkest feelings safely
An empowering journey of re-discovery
Permission to sob, rage, shout, stomp, howl, shake, tremble, weep, let go
An extensive menu, and free choice to choose for myself
Learning to live in the moment
Skills and confidence in disagreements/conflicts
Creative problem solving

K. Female, Therapist
Attending Fundamentals Training has changed my life! It has helped me to find a confidence and an acceptance of myself that I did not know I felt. I have learnt to know my strengths & weaknesses with greater awareness. It has taught me how to manage conflict.


Richard Charles, Teacher
When my father died I didn’t say goodbye to him. On his last day his eyes were closed and he could no longer speak: I sat with him and held his hand for the first time in 20 years, and for one moment he opened his eyes and we looked at each other. That moment of connectedness stays with me of course, but I do so wish that during the five months of his dying I could have put words to my feelings, my wishes, my griefs, my joys, my thanks, even. And I wish I had the skills to communicate some of these to him and in a way he could hear them, with me respecting and knowing about the defenses he had naturally developed as a youngster. I didn’t even say ‘thanks’.

Well, I don’t blame myself – I was only 29 and had never heard of the term ‘personal development’ and I thought ‘psychotherapy’ was for nutcases, and I thought ‘counselling’ was careers advice for students.
Things are different now. I still don’t say to my mum and sisters ‘I love you’ but I’ve moved a lot in their direction. My mum’s 82 and I’m not leaving it all to her dying day.


Cornelia D. Curative education
When my mother died I got a lot of support from my co-co teacher, she allowed me in a role-play to get out all my anger which helped me a lot and also I could figure out how to give a statement to the girl working at my working place with being clear and constructive.


Judy T. Academic
I really value the contact with people who have learnt to be in touch with their truth. I also value the sense of fun and creativity which is an essential part of becoming my true self and is really enjoyable.
I have started to become a whole person since doing my fundamentals course and am able to express my feelings and talk about the good and the bad things in my life in a healing way.


Dymphna H. Diplomat
Co-counselling gave me the courage to leave my marriage and change my life. I did my fundamentals in 1983 and was suddenly surprised to find that it was ok to express my feelings and that I could make space for myself amongst all the tasks of raising five children and caring for my husband. After two years of co-counselling I got myself a job teaching art history in the art school and I moved with my children to another part of the city. Of course I got into a mess with my emotions and new relationships for a few years but gradually I gained self-confidence and strength and negotiated to get my job back in the diplomatic service, and lived a fuller life that I would have if I had stayed in the married role I had been conditioned to believe was the right one. Without co-counselling I think I would not have dared to try new things and to listen to my inner self.


Till W. Nursery teacher
To me co-counselling has become an oasis, a free space – on the one hand, for working on ‘old stuff’ of my childhood, and on the other hand, it’s something very precious to me to cope with all kinds of distress in every-day life.

Through co-counselling I have discovered how much energy I actually have.
I learnt to co-counsel nearly 20 years ago. After periods of doing a great lot of and others of doing hardly any co-counselling I have for about five years have regular co-counselling sessions every one or two weeks.


Marlies T. Female.Teacher and trainer
I started co-counselling while I was living in Mozambique (1980-89) where I felt that I needed input for emotional growth. I took the fundamentals during a holiday in the Netherlands, it was great. I felt I could open myself towards my emotions, it was like learning and clearing my mind and body. I got a lot of energy and a feeling of renewal.

Together with my husband I am part of an ongoing couples group. We meet about 4 times a year. We do sessions and we support each other in communicating challenging topics. This stimulates growth of my relationship with my husband.
Regular sessions are like sending my car to the garage on a regular basis. I send my body and mind in revision. I have regular phone sessions which help me very much to feel where I am at that moment.
An extra is that the co-counselling community is an international community. I experience this community as a possibility to learn about different cultures in co-counselling – different national cultures and different co-counselling community cultures.
Specifically we have ways how to deal with conflicts which help in many occasions to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way. We work from trusting the conflict partners to find some common ground. I some occasions we agree that we disagree and try to live together in the community in that way. The fact that we work with support and trust persons helps a lot when working in difficult conversations. For me co-counselling is a life-changing learning experience!


Sue G. Programme Manager
Co-counselling taught me many skills that I use regularly at work….. and in all aspects of my life…..

Listening carefully without interrupting
How to be comfortable ( stay grounded) with someone getting angry or upset
The importance of validating people – saying thank you – really increases people willingness to work hard and to be even more productive
How to give feedback when it feels uncomfortable to give – getting support for myself to do this
Not dodging difficult situations because I can not cope with the fall out … cos it ‘presses my buttons’
How to ask for help with something in a clear straightforward way
How to say no to things
How to take my whole self to work – how to be more congruent
The importance of eye contact
Being in touch with my body – looking after myself when I am sick – how to take time off work – how to share my body with someone in joy.
How to celebrate my own successes – and that being OK
The importance of fun and games and lightness at work and home
Believing in people – trusting them to use their own resources – getting out of being a ‘rescuer’
How to relate openly and honestly to people
Where my boundaries are …and where other peoples are
How not to get ‘stuck’ in my feelings if I don’t want to be
How to cry, laugh, shake and express my emotions physically (a quick trip to the loo to shake and ‘be’ frightened really steadies my nerves before an important presentation!)
The importance of getting help to keep to my goals
How to work well in a peer team
How to lead well
How to experience joy and be fun to work with
How to live well!

Mark B.  Health Worker.
My benefit of Co-Counselling:

I still remember doing my fundamentals in Bristol over 20 years. I felt a sense of relief to be able to share my secret worries and shed many tears. I also discovered a freedom in just letting go and being myself – feeling free and playful. I am moved even writing these words. Co-counselling has given me back a sense of who I am. I realised how depressed I had become and overcame this. I was able to take risks, such as improving my relationship with my parents. Stumbling into a co-counselling fundamentals was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.


John T. Trainer.
After over 20 years I still find it valuable to have regular co-counselling sessions both to deal with my feelings about day to day issues that come up and

to work on one or two things about me that I still have not sorted out. Over this time I have tried a few other methods of therapy or personal development
and I have not found that they can do more than co-counselling can.
Overall, co-counselling has helped me to become more loving and less defensive.

Two particular things I would pick out. One was coping with a slight overweight and associated eating patterns problem. I had been co-counselling on and off about this for quite a long time. What was interesting to me was that I was aware of the moment when it changed, not in a co-counselling session but it was at a co-counselling event. From that moment on my eating patterns changed and I now have no difficulty staying at the weight I want to be.

The other is the experience of being with other co-counsellors. Generally co-counselling leads to people being more self-aware, self-confident and
emotionally competent. I find it a pleasure, fascinating and very hopeful to experience how these people tend to interact in ways that are effective, caring
and not collusive. Also how we can organise and make decisions without any formal structures or hierarchies.


Steve R. Coach.
I discovered co-counselling at a time when I was very unhappy and had little or nothing in the way of personal support. It was a relief to find a place safe enough to begin to allow out some of the feelings that had been suppressed for many years.

At that time I was very shut-down and defended, nursing a lot of old hurts. I was uncomfortable in groups, and could appear withdrawn or even hostile. So I tended to get critical feedback about people finding me aloof and unapproachable, and not knowing who I was. Early co-co residentials were extremely challenging, as I knew nobody and nobody knew me. I was surprised to encounter tight groups of people who had known each other for years.

Gradually I began to find friends and allies and to feel a little more comfortable. Over the years co-co has been a vital part of my growth and development, complementing other effective ways of working . It has given me a place to work through many of the old traumas and discover new ways of being and of relating to others, as I have steadily become more confident and more visible.

Starting to teach co-counselling recently has reminded me just how much I value it. And I haven’t heard that I’m unapproachable for quite some time now – although people still find me challenging in other ways.

Kate M. Administrator.
This year when my son was gravely ill. I came closer to despair than I have ever come. The co-counsellors who lent a hand to support me were a lifeline which helped me to carry on supporting my son and keeping him alive.

I was able to come back from the hospital each day and have a session on the phone or in person and really wail, scream, cry and rage out my frustration and grief. It was as if I could say anything to my counsellor and be held and supported.
Because of them, because of co-counselling, and because I know how to be a client, I was able to keep going, to keep functioning in the outside world, even under difficult circumstances.
I come from a family where the habit is to bottle everything up and carry on until we break down, or turn to drink to suppress our feelings. Through co-counselling I have learned how to let my feelings out, to cry, laugh, scream, shake, yawn, shout, or whatever I need to do, within a session. After a session I can carry on thinking and functioning so much better, even when life is tough.
It is my ongoing practice to keep in good health.


Bobby M. Female. Therapist
I used to work as an engineer with machine tools. People puzzled me, they were hard to understand. I’d make friends and think everything was wonderful, then suddenly it ended and I never knew, never found out what happened, what did I do wrong? So I focussed on the machine. This was good, everything clear and comprehensible. When a machine went wrong there was a reason capable (ultimately) of being found and corrected.

Doing co-counselling enabled me to learn about people. I learned to make friends and stay friends. I can love and equally be loved. Being equal is really important to me and is key to relationship and friendships working well long term.


Alan T. Computing.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I had been doing co-counselling for only a year or two (in 1984 or 1985, in fact), I was struggling to write something difficult and technical at work, a guideline about which technology should be used in particular circumstances – something needing technical accuracy but also a high-level vision which captured all the really key points of the various options and set them in perspective alongside each other. I tried to write it one day and got stuck, all my drafts had some major problem. I tried to write it another day and the same thing happened; I had successfully produced other similar documents but on this one I was really stuck.

That evening I had a co-counselling session and worked on completely different stuff, got out a lot of feelings about other things that were going on in my life at the time – I no longer remember the details but almost certainly about relationships; a lot of discharge – mainly fear. In the morning I had a go at my difficult technical document for a third time and words that expressed everything I wanted to say just flowed onto the page, I had finished it in a couple of hours and it captured exactly what I wanted to say.


Rudolf G. Engineer
Co-Counselling sessions clarify and verify my thinking. Clarify means that I can distinguish better between more or less important matters

for me. Verify means, thoughts about myself are looked at carefully whether they really belong to my convincing and feelings or if they
are just thoughts I’ve picked up for other reasons. This clear thinking (and ongoing updated thinking) is a great help in making
decisions and in discussions about ventures and aims with colleagues. I know what I want and I can communicate this more easily and directly.
That is an always noticeable advantage in my private live too.


Janice W. Researcher.
Over 10 years ago when my children were quite young, I realized that I had to find a better way to deal with my feelings of frustration and anger. I knew that it was completely unfair and quite destructive to react to my children’s needs through my distress. I began to search for help and found co-counseling. I learned how to release my distress in a healthy manner by gaining an understanding of my behavior – where the negative emotions were based and having weekly sessions for discharge. My issues revolved around my own childhood: anger at my parents for not meeting my needs, feelings of guilt for things I did as a child – not having the skills required to make certain decisions, incongruity with messages I received in my youth and what I wanted as an adult. I have learned so very much about myself and how I see the world. The enormous gift of co-counseling has enriched my life more than I can express – the true understanding of how people relate to one another and the richness of making connections through love, respect and recognition. I appreciate being human and not being hung up on fears. I no longer rate myself in a friendship as being the source of solutions for others’ problems. Each person has the knowledge and ability to resolve their own issues with the love and support of a trusted person who knows how to listen. My children know that I believe in them, that their mother knows they are brilliant, capable and very special individuals. I have learned to listen to myself, to those around me and to cherish and celebrate life.

Rachel W. Managing Director of a Training Company
I started co-counselling in 1991 aged 22. Some of my friends in Manchester had introduced me to it and I had been doing ‘co- listening’ with others for a few years. At the time I was looking for a way to process some feelings of depression and difficult stuff about my family. I was a high achiever at school and got a buzz out of succeeding in everything I did but at the same time there was a feeling of loneliness and emptiness inside which I think is where my true feelings were buried. It was a revelation to me that people would support each other to let out ‘difficult’ feelings and this was so liberating.

It was liberating to let out anger, sadness and frustration and have a safe place to do this. A lot of the stress in my body was released. I was also in therapy at the time and maybe from the outside it looked as I was overdoing it a bit. I found it easy to let stuff out and did loads of catharting for a number of years. I co-counselled with friends and people locally twice or three times a week for about 3 years. Perhaps what I struggled with was integrating my world of feelings with the outside world, the world of work . There seemed to be such a huge gap between my inner world and what was going on outside. I never really managed that well until recently. Now I run a training company which I set up and which has been very successful. Maybe all of a sudden the timing was right and I could match up the different parts of myself in a coherent way. Perhaps I just do things in an extreme way? If I could do one thing differently I would have done more not just to let out feelings but use the insights to run the rest of my life more successfully. For this I have used co-coaching, having done coaching training later on.

Being a co-counsellor has supported me to be more fully myself, accepting different aspects of who I am. Sometimes being able to do a non-verbal session is very liberating, as I get bored of using words all the time. At other times it is useful to just talk and reflect on things. I have been in a number of support groups, most of which have last around 6 months. I have done loads of residential events and is my way to be absolutely whacky and have tremendous fun- in fact I would like to be who I am in a residential more of the time (I’m sure others will feel the same way themselves). I am grateful for all the fun and absolutely lovely times I have shared with my co-counselling friends as we make our lives the best they can possibly be.


Sheila L. Secretary.
Co-counselling has made it possible for me to join groups of all kinds, educational, social, therapeutic, without suffering from extreme anxiety and panic. My daily life had been very inhibited and I had not been able to advance in my job or travel easily away from home because of panic disorder. After some time using co-counselling sessions and groups to unravel my past life, and rethink old negative ways of feeling and behaving, I now take great delight in joining groups of all kinds for learning, music, socialising, travel and not least co-counselling. I see the co-counselling groups as a wonderful microcosm of my life at large, and enjoy feeling free to try out all sorts of new ways of being with people, to my great joy. Every co-counselling group I attend, particularly the residentials, I marvel at how much I have changed. I am able to speak up clearly, take part on an equal basis and I’m experiencing a lot of joy, fun and fulfillment along the way. Co-counselling and my marvelous fellow co-counsellors have provided the backdrop to a different kind of life for me, full of new people, new experiences, adventures, variety, confidence and growth and continue to enhance my life and my relationships on a daily basis.


Syste T
Male. Teacher Trainer.

When I did my first fundamentals in Co-Counseling I was 39 and I could cry, which I couldn’t since ever I was a child! I felt so much relieved and happy! I learned since that time so much about my own feelings that I could handle them much better. It was wonderful to feel how well it went to express my emotions and not needing to be afraid of having fear and distress. Since I knew I could easily get rid of them by discharging in a safe place. I still use sessions to discharge, but for me it is now more important to use the time of a session to focus on the future and make concrete action plans.

Five years ago I was trained as a practitioner and later on as a master and a trainer of NLP. This improved my ability to work as a client to chose for focussing at my empowering thoughts and recognize my depressing thoughts and especially chose to stay at the side of the cause, to take initiatives, to look for more options, to look for the positive intentions of the other. Therefore I have the idea to be much more successful in my life!
I’m member of an ongoing couples co-counselling group for 12 years, member of an regional group, and doing regular telephonic sessions.

Feedback about the CCI network

The feedback comments below are from co-counsellors in Co-Counselling International (CCI).

‘Co-counselling has been the most positive step in my personal development in the last 10 years: it has helped to enable me to live my life to the full.’
(Ann McWatt, Cumbria)

‘Co-counselling has helped me to become more open, confident, expressive, and more assertive, loving and considerate.’
(Pascoe Hooper, Edinburgh)

‘Co-counselling is one of the things that underpin my life.  It helped me enormously on my personal journey, and in understanding myself and other people.’
(Jo, Sheffield)

‘Co-counselling gave me a whole new way of looking at myself, and the co-counselling course itself had a huge impact: I realised that I have far more autonomy than I had ever thought.’
(Kristal Clark, Leeds)

‘I found co-counselling particularly helpful around the time of my mother’s death. It helped me to heal my relationship with her before she died, and to deal with the feelings that came up at that time and later.’
(Paul, Birmingham)

‘Recently a friend said to me: ‘having a baby – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done’, and I thought, is it the best thing I’ve ever done?… and the answer was ‘no’, because it wasn’t something I ‘did’, it was something that was in my heart all my life. Was it moving to Unstone? No, because others were involved and it was a process. It could well be doing a Fundamentals of Co-Counselling course and all that has passed in my Co-co life since then. All the growing and fun I’ve had in safe environments to take risks.’
(Bobby – not the Bobby mentioned above)

‘Co-co has undoubtedly changed my life in a big, big way. It’s made me self confident, self aware, assertive, emotionally expressive, exuberantly joyful, content, resilient, honest, given me more gorgeous friends than anyone has a right to have in their lives and some of the best hours/days/weeks of my life basking in their company, enabled me to tap into resources I never dreamed were in me, shown me how loving, intimate and connecting human beings can be, made me appreciate and celebrate my life and been a fantastic tool and resource on my journey. Long, long may it continue.’
(Jane McCardel, Glasgow)

‘Co-counselling has helped me cope with depression by helping me address inner conflicts and become more at ease with myself. My confidence has grown and I am more able to assert myself without losing my temper. I cope better with difficult situations, and I am much more sociable. Co-counselling has definitely helped me become more cheerful, more honest with myself and better able to respond creatively to life’s opportunities and challenges.’
(Nigel, Leeds UK.)”

‘Co-counselling really helped me in several ways; it assisted me in making contact with deeper, truer parts of me underneath my anxiety and fears; supported me in coming to terms with losses in my life; gave me some really useful skills in listening, communicating and relating to people; introduced me to some wonderful “real” people.’

(Dom, Edinburgh)

‘Having done my ‘Fundamentals of Co-Counselling’ course, I’ve been able to share myself with people, within the Co-Co community, many of whom have become friends. My life is richer since I became a Co-Counsellor’
(Alan Carver)

‘I attended my first co-counselling fundamentals at a time when I was deeply unhappy and seriously considering suicide. A friend said ‘Try this instead, you just might find it works’. I wasn’t keen, but felt I had nothing to lose — two weekends aren’t that huge a commitment. I had more fun than I’d had in the previous fifteen years. It was also an emotional roller-coaster: there was joy terror, anger, fear, grief. I’d had no idea all this had been boiling inside me …So for starters the course DID mean there would be a ‘rest of my life’ …. A year later the same co-co teacher phoned me to say she was offering another course. It was just the right moment. I joined the new course, and not that long after trained to become a co-counselling teacher. I still teach co-counselling today, with enthusiasm. The benefits to me personally have been and continue to be huge. I am open to being contacted and will answer questions etc.’
( (Ms.) Bobby MacLaughlin, 33 Wellington Lane, Dublin 4, Ireland.
+353 1 668 0316 bobby@catalase.com)