The Need for Policy

Re-evaluation Counseling consists of an ever-growing body of theory and policy that is based on a specific set of assumptions (see The Postulates). It reflects the most accurate, logically consistent picture of inherent human functioning. Theory and policy continue to emerge as increasing numbers and varieties of people apply RC around the world. Much of our theory and policy goes against the many patterned assumptions of the various societies, cultures, and sub-cultures. It often takes time, study, discharge, and re-evaluation to expose the full extent of these patterned assumptions. However, fully understanding and participating in RC depends on it.

Most Co-Counselors have to learn the meaning and importance of correct policy. The concept of correctness itself seems to restimulate many oppressive situations—it has been used for oppressive goals throughout history. Others decide it’s easier to just let people (patterns?) “do their own thing.” Many middle-class people, especially, have been taught not to take a stand on issues; they unawarely follow “a policy of no policy.”

In Co-Counseling, the “correct” policy is the one that moves individuals and a group forward in an emergent direction. In fact, policy functions for a group the way a direction functions for an individual. Where a policy is incorrect, things don’t work well for a group, just as an “incorrect” direction will keep an individual from moving rapidly through distresses. Where a correct policy or direction is determined and then followed, individuals move more rapidly in emergent directions and problems disappear or are handled effectively.

A good example of this occurred a number of years ago. At the annual Reference Person’s Workshop to revise the Guidelines and decide on International Community policies,* people disagreed about introducing issues of liberation and oppression into RC theory and policy. However, a decision was made to do so. Within six months, it became clear to all that the policy was correct. Outreach to oppressed populations had been talked about at length before then, but it only became a reality since then. And individuals found that the encouragement to work on areas of oppression was key in moving out of many seemingly unrelated chronic difficulties.

Hence, it is RC policy to determine correct policies wherever possible.

There is also a policy about the role of leadership in proposing policies. Discussions always work better when someone makes an initial proposal. This approach releases the greatest amount of thinking; it effectively brings out any new information needed to correct the original proposal; it provides a model of initiative and thought, as opposed to one of confusion and vacillation that only tends to restimulate the same. Everyone is expected to direct any negative comments to the issues, rather than to individuals, and to offer concrete alternative proposals in each area of disagreement.

There are times (not often) when general agreement cannot be reached after a certain amount of time and exchange. Experience has shown that it is better for the leader to decide on a policy based on the best information available, than to continue in vacillation. This method will bring in new information, particularly about the effects of the policy on individual re-emergence (after there has been sufficient chance to discharge), often making any needed corrections easy to discern.

Where policies have previously been widely accepted by the RC Community, and have proven themselves to be correct, they are no longer open to revision by new Co-Counselors. Many, in fact, have become part of the theory (for example: each human deserves complete appreciation; the addictive and hurtful nature of alcohol, tobacco, and most drugs).

The fight for correct policy is an important one. Our policies are the cutting edge in our struggle against the world’s irrationality. Our understanding of their importance and how to develop them will be increasingly useful, both in RC and in the wide world.

Joan Karp
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

 *Before World Conferences we held these Annual Reference Persons Meetings.


Last modified: 2018-03-04 07:20:58+00