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Extending the Theory and Practice of Co-counselling

Convenor: John Heron

Two-day workshop: 20 &21 January 2009, 10 am to 5 pm. (Non-residential)

Venue: South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry,

11 Bald Hill Road, South Waitoki.

Eligibility: Teachers of co-counselling and active co-counsellors.

Arrival: 9.30 am for a 10 am start. Bring a cushion and lunch to share (teas, etc., provided).

Facility fee: $10 per person, or $25 per person (if we need to hire a marquee which seems likely given the numbers so far enrolled). Pay cash on arrival.

Booking: Please be sure to book in advance by sending an email with your full name and telephone number to If no email, then phone 09 420 4496.

Travel: After enrolling you will receive travel directions to the Centre.

Background and focus: This workshop has been convened at the request of CCI teachers from the USA and Europe who are attending the CCI gathering here in New Zealand 12-18 January 2009. They have asked me for “a workshop in which you are given the space to converse with us about your current thinking on co-counselling”. For me, this means carrying forward the discussions I had with them in Wales in 1995 and again in Italy in 1996 about the possibilities of making a spiritual account of human nature central to the theory and practice of co-counselling. These possibilities will be the main focus of the workshop.

Programme: The provisional programme, open to revision in consultation with participants, will consist of a mixture of the following:

presentations of my views, questions and answers, small group discussions, practice sessions on co-counselling innovations, large group airing of a diversity of views, exploring a consensus on whither co-counselling and CCI.

Here are some of my topics:

1. Making explicit in words the embodied spirituality, the relational spirituality and the transcendent spirituality already implicit in co-counselling.

2. Making these spiritualities explicit in several innovative ways of co-counselling: as client; as counsellor; in contract setting; and in co-creative interactions between the two – before a session, as part of the client’s contract, and as a whole interactive session.

3. Keeping and transforming/extending the meaning we give to ‘client’ and to ’counsellor’; or using new terms such as ‘creator’ and ‘co-creator’.

4. Affirming co-counselling as dogma-free, that is, as a form of collaborative experiential inquiry in which every co-counselling session is way of revealing, validating and revising the spiritual and other principles on which it is based.

5. Exploring the idea of CCI as a federation of both humanist-minded and spirituality-minded co-counsellors, whose common ground is the basic importance of the way of regression, catharsis and insight.

John Heron

15 November 2008