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Cocounselling: what is it?

Cocounselling creates a supportive network of people who reevaluate their lives by counselling each other. It was set up in the 1940s in Seattle. It is now being practised in Ireland.

What's the program?

Iniatially, clients see a cocounsellor for about six sessions. The counsellor's immediate role is to listen. After that period, the client becomes a cocounsellor, and client and counsellor both listen to each other's experiences, problems and hopes. The client is no longer a client, but a cocounsellor.

What happens in a session?

The client is encouraged to tell his life story and is asked whether there is anything in his life he wants to change. You tell the counsellor your life story. He listens both to what you're saying and the tone of your voice. He asks you whether there is anything in your life you want to change.

What's in it for blokes?

Cocounselling sees it as important to undo the conditioning of society.

Can I trust them?

All cocounsellors have experience in counselling others. Many people have found it a hugely supportive network.

As with all therapies, it's a good idea to watch your boundaries: if your gut feels that the person is doing your box in, leave and complain!

Who does the Black Dog recommend?

Contact Terry McMullen, communications and life changing experience facilitator, at 086 3561296. He's cocounselled for 15 years and studied an intensive course in cocounselling in Seattle.

What's the damage?

About 30 euro per session.

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