The following are some reminders about "techniques" that have played a good role and become somewhat standard.

"Techniques in Re-evaluation Counseling are general summaries of what has been found to be helpful or workable in the past experience of other Co-Counselors. At best, they are general indications of workable processes to be used in a session and almost always need modification for any particular situation in a particular session with a particular client."
(The List, 5.255)

"The correct specific technique is the one you invent at that moment, for that client, that session."
(Quotes, page 25)

"If you even borrow, as a formula for the present session, what you did yourself last week, you've quit thinking."
(Quotes, page 25)

Broad and General

  • Paying attention
  • Listening
  • Contradicting the distress
  • Loaning confidence
  • Putting attention away from distress and on reality
  • Directions
  • Repeating phrases (repeating a key phrase over and over)
  • Allowing the client to rehearse the distress while being pleased with the client and unbothered by the distress
  • Self-appreciation
  • Validation
  • Discharging on earliest memories
  • Taking responsibility for everything
  • Acting as our inherent, human selves
  • Participating in rational activities
  • Taking action now and discharging later
  • Goal-setting
  • Taking or offering a different viewpoint than the one the client had been holding
  • Planning to live every moment well
  • Strategizing for re-emergence
  • Playing games
  • Keeping client's and counselor's notebooks up to date

More Specific

  • Commitments
  • Frameworks
  • Synopses
  • Counselor contradicting the client's distress
  • Client contradicting his or her own distress
  • Contradicting different components of the distress (tone of voice, facial expression, posture)
  • Taking a different role than usual in the recording
  • Telling the story--early memories
  • Making up stories, using fantasies for occluded material
  • Scorning fear
  • Over-exaggerating fear
  • Expressing terror cheerfully
  • "First thought"--flash answers Interrupting control patterns
  • Checking for identifications
  • Telling dreams
  • Speaking to God or to one's "dear departed"
  • Two people making lists of what each one wants in their relationship, etc.
  • Early sexual memories
  • Early memories about money
  • Early memories of people with a different skin color, religion, gender, etc.
  • Physical struggling with the counselor in an agreed-upon way
  • Attention to the counselor (to the environment when client has little attention available)
  • Random memories--factual memories, pleasant memories, little upsets
  • Rapid review of related experiences Re-telling an incident of powerlessness in a powerful role
  • Aware physical contact and closeness Appearing to "over-meet" a "frozen need"
  • Taking just a small step out of a heavy negative feeling ("I'm not the worst person who has ever lived.")
  • Standing guard
  • For stutterers: have them repeat the one word they never stutter to enthusiastic applause over and over
  • Exaggerated overagreeing with the content of the client's distress with a tone of great seriousness
  • "I wish" for... (stating goals)
  • "The generalized understatement"
  • The exchange of roles
  • The Reality Agreement

Working on Oppression

Oppressed role:

  • Telling about the reality of the oppression
  • Expressing pride

Internalized oppression

  • What do you like about being a Wygelian
  • what's hard about it
  • what do you want others to understand
  • what do you want others to never say or do again

Working on oppressor material

  • Earliest memory of Wygelian
  • Times you were effective as an ally
  • Times you didn't stand up
  • Caring about/closeness with Wygelians, making friends


  • Taking pride in one's identity
  • Claiming it, cleaning it up, throwing it out

Specific Techniques

Harvey Jackins, Katie Kauffman, Diane Shisk
Seattle, Washington, USA

Last modified: 2015-02-11 21:14:02+00