A co-counselling session is based on two people getting together and each taking turns to be counsellor and then client (or client and then counsellor). They choose how long the session is to last, and they both have equal time in the two roles. No money is exchanged. They have both learned the same set of techniques on the foundation course, and know what to expect from their counsellor.
Example 1:1 session
- John and Dave decide to have a session together.
- They meet up at a time and place decided by themselves.
- They decide to spend an hour together, and split this time equally between them.
- For half an hour, John is the ‘client’ and Dave is the ‘counsellor’. During this period John is working on issues that he decides on. He is using the session exactly as he chooses in ways that he learned on the course. Meanwhile, Dave supports John by listening, generally giving John his attention, and sometimes coming in with prompts or suggestions (called ‘interventions’) that he learned on the course that they both did.
- After John’s session they swap roles: Dave is ‘client’ and John is ‘counsellor’.
- When they’re both finished they go their separate ways.
Co-counselling in a group
Co-counselling can often take place in a group, where everyone is client for an equal length of time. Doing co-counselling in a group can be a particularly powerful way of getting to ‘below the surface’ to the feelings and senses that need working on. If you have never done this kind of emotional work in a group this may sound daunting at first. The co-counselling culture and framework helps you with this: there is no obligation to do anything you don’t feel inclined or ready to do – ‘the client is in charge’…