A Welcome Message to New Co-Counselors from Tim Jackins
If you are beginning to be interested in Re-evaluation Counseling, or as you begin to learn Re-evaluation Counseling, as you begin to learn to Co-Counsel, I extend a welcome to you from those of us who have been Co-Counseling (and developing and learning Re-evaluation Counseling) for a longer period of time. Welcome to what can well be an interesting part of your life.
Re-evaluation Counseling is not very "old." Now (in 2016) it is about sixty-six years old. It has been pursued continuously by some of us throughout that period and by more of us through a portion of that time. A great deal of information and experience has accumulated. I can't hope to summarize much of that experience in this short letter of welcome, but I can, perhaps, offer some perspectives on it that will be useful.
Natural, not suppressed
In beginning Co-Counseling you are beginning the systematic re-learning of a very important relationship and process. This process is natural to all human beings, but most of us were discouraged from pursuing it when we were very young and have had difficulty in using it ever since. This difficulty arises in part because we were trained not to use the process but also because the process requires at least one partner to make it work, and such partners have not, in general, been available in the worlds in which we have lived.
You will be learning how to take turns listening and paying attention to each other with another person. By doing this, you will be assisting yourself and one or more other people to recover certain abilities which you inherently possess but which you may not have had a chance to develop. Among these is the ability to deeply enjoy life, which seems to be the natural birth-right of every human being. You will also be acquiring certain tools for achieving and enjoying excellent relationships with other people.
Most of this information will come to you in your class work, in your reading of the literature about Re-evaluation Counseling, and in your practice of Co-Counseling with your partner or partners.
If you are fortunate, you are likely to be "enchanted" with the early results of your Co-Counseling. Even if you have some difficulty in the beginning, you're likely to be quite impressed by what other students in your class are able to achieve. It sometimes happens that a new student of Co-Counseling gets the impression that Re-evaluation Counseling is a "wonder process" that works of and by itself. This can lead the student to feel quite disappointed when hard work and difficulties appear. It is important, I think, to say to you at the very beginning that there's no "magic" involved. Re-evaluation Counseling is a workable process, but it requires thoughtful work to make it function. It will challenge you to use your most thoughtful determination and effort in order to achieve the best results.
Similarly, although your teachers and the experienced Co-Counselors and leaders of the Co-Counseling Communities are, in my opinion, very fine people, you should remember also that they are ordinary humans like yourself. They still may have many difficulties from which they have not yet freed themselves. They still are capable of making mistakes. They still can have lapses of thoughtfulness. They are by no means perfect or likely to act perfectly in their relationships with new Co-Counselors, nor with each other. They are just people like you and me.
They are engaged in a workable and worthwhile process, but most of them (most of us) still have a long way to go. To expect perfection of them, or to think they will "solve all your problems," or even that "Re-evaluation Counseling works" would be to set yourself up for some future disappointments. Re-evaluation Counseling doesn't "work" - it can be made to work.
You, in general, will get just as much out of your counseling as you put into it. Your gains will go as far as you persist. Though much of what you have to learn and work through will be a great deal easier for you because other people have already persisted and worked through similar difficulties and will share what they have learned with you in class and through the literature, your own progress will still require effort, thinking, and persistence on your own part.
In past years, many people have taken one or two series of classes in Co-Counseling and have Co-Counseled for a few months and then have not done any further study or further organized effort in Co-Counseling. They have simply taken what they have learned and have continued to apply it as far as possible in their lives. They were quite satisfied with what they had gotten from Co-Counseling.
This can be your choice as well. You may find that you have "too many other things to do." You may even find that you have not been able to make the Co-Counseling continue to work for you well enough to motivate you to persist. If that happens, it happens. You are very welcome to have had an introduction, or an introduction and a small amount of experience beyond that, with Re-evaluation Counseling, and then to have taken your knowledge into the world to use it to the best of your ability. Please know that those of us who have persisted in going farther send our good wishes with you.
It's also possible that you will go farther than that and become a fairly skillful Co-Counselor, and then, as you begin to use your skills and reclaimed abilities more in non-counseling activities, will become so busy in the wide world with your improved life and functioning that you will conclude that, for now at least, you don't have the time for Co-Counseling, that other things are more important than Re-evaluation Counseling, and you will simply not keep good contact with us more persistent Co-Counselors. Perhaps you will plan to simply go ahead on your own with a slightly altered future and enhanced abilities and enjoyments. That, too, is just fine. You are under no obligation to other Co-Counselors to persist beyond the point where it seems profitable or possible for you to do so. In the past many people have gone just this far with the use of Re-evaluation Counseling.
However, the progress in the living and functioning of Co-Counselors who have persisted in their use of Co-Counseling has become increasingly impressive in recent years. This is probably partly due to striking recent progress in developing the theory, a process that seems to be accelerating. A number of advanced techniques are now available which expedite the gains of counseling remarkably. So, although you are completely free to "taper off" on your Co-Counseling training and practice, I would not recommend you do so if you can avoid it.
There is a substantial group of Co-Counselors who have organized themselves into what we call a "Community" or "Communities" of Re-evaluation Counseling. We in this group have decided that the information, the fellowship, the goals, and the apparently unending possibilities involved in working together with other people to use Co-Counseling and to advance the theory and practice are worth a persisting effort.
To become a member of the Co-Counseling Communities it is necessary that you not only participate in activities but that you make a contribution, that you share in the many, many facets of work and activity that the Communities sponsor. There are several dozen publications, for example, with special readerships and constituencies. There are workshops and support groups and leadership roles and publications for people of different ethnic backgrounds, different national backgrounds. There are special workshops for people who seek liberation from particular oppressions, such as those of racism or sexism or classism.
There are special relationships in the Community, and competent leaders, for women and young people and men and college professors and black people and many other groups. There are support groups for people who share similar interests and backgrounds. These come together and use Re-evaluation Counseling in special ways to solve problems connected with their backgrounds, their oppressions, their professions, or their interests. There are "Information Coordinators." These are individual Co-Counselors who undertake to be information centers for Co-Counselors of a particular background, experience, or profession.
These activities, workshops, publications, support groups, and leaders' meetings are situations in which the mastering of Re-Evaluation Counseling and the use of it for personal advancement and re-emergence can be pursued intensively. To participate in them it is simply necessary that one help support and carry out these activities to the extent possible in one's living situation.
Long-Term Commitments and Leadership
It is possible that, as you feel the workability of re-emergence and the innately human simplicity of the discharge process, and as you sense the implications of this for human beings in the present world situation, you will become interested in making this a major activity in your life. This will be parallel to and supportive of your other main interests, whether they be professional, family, cultural, religious, or artistic.
To those of you who decide to do this and wish to explore "going all the way" for total re-emergence for yourself, for preserving the world, and making the entire world situation rational - a very special welcome. There is a substantial number of people already committed and functioning in this way, and those of us who are in this position are eager for others to join us. We feel a great need for more people who are willing to grow into leadership, who are willing to make deep commitments and persistent address to the development of Re-evaluation Counseling knowledge and application. It doesn't matter what your age or gender or background or education or ethnicity or profession is. We have need of you (if you are interested) just exactly as you are and exactly in the situation you are in.
If you find yourself this deeply interested in the implications of Re-evaluation Counseling at some point, remember also that I and others in the leadership are interested in you and will be glad to hear from you. We will arrange whatever encouragement, contact, and assistance for you that it is possible to arrange.
Once Again, Welcome
Again, a warm welcome to Re-evaluation Counseling, to whatever depth you pursue it. All the rest of us Re-evaluation Counselors are "pleased to have you aboard." More introductory readings are available here.
International Reference Person for the
International Re-evaluation Counseling Communities