Allow Ourselves Time to Grow [1]

by Harvey Jackins

Co-Counseling tends to be effective from the very beginning if people really make an effort to listen to each other well. For both client and counselor to pay attention to the client and to encourage discharge, allows the tremendous ability of the client’s mind to throw off the distress and recover its vast potential to begin to operate.

There is a great deal more to learn that will help make these fundamental processes be more effective. This knowledge has continued to accumulate throughout the forty years since Re-evaluation Counseling began, but it is still in operation currently.

“Learning to Co-Counsel More Effectively” is an ongoing, permanent process and one that enhances our functioning and our enjoyment of living in ways that are very precious to all of us who have experienced them. The speed of re-emergence seems to be accelerating, but this will tend to be obscured from each person’s awareness about himself or herself by the fact that our goals and ambitions tend to extend and become loftier even faster than our progress.

We need to be patient with ourselves about our progress—not resigned or discouraged—but patient. Re-emergence is a very complex process, and distresses that have been installed and restimulated for scores of years may take some time to fully eliminate.

If every one of us had access to the very best counselors that we have developed, progress could indeed be dramatic. These very best counselors, however, have, universally and correctly, decided that they will spend much of their energy teaching other people to become teachers so the knowledge can spread. All humanity needs to be eventually involved in this. They also seek to exchange help with others on the same level as themselves as a step to preparing a large enough leadership body for the events ahead.

A large minority of chronic patterns are not sufficiently contradicted by permissive counseling. The directive counseling that these require involves finding, constructing and implementing “contradictions” to the contents of the chronic pattern. In the nature of the chronic pattern, the client will be pulled to identify with it and defend it. The development of enough confidence in the counseling process itself to risk accepting the counselor’s guidance to this extent may take some time.

People who share a common oppression will tend to find some beginning safety in this commonality. Yet patterns of oppression can become internalized and accepted as reality. Or they can become rehearsed against others in a similar oppressed role. Thus a Co-Counselor outside that particular oppression will find it much easier to devise effective contradictions against such internalized patterns of oppression but may face a difficult task in winning the confidence of such a client enough for them to accept such help.

The whole concept of contradiction (we define “contradiction” in RC as anything that helps the victim of the pattern see the pattern as not present-time reality) has only partially been explored.

There are great areas of mistreatment in the current societies that are still largely unfaced. The physical mistreatment of children, both by parents and in the schools, was until recently “officially approved” by the society and its spokespersons. The existence of a vast, seamy underground culture involving the sexual abuse of children is currently just emerging into the open. This is a phenomenon that it would be impossible to understand unless we had come to understand the mechanisms of the distress recordings and their perpetuations. The peculiar and distinctive sets of patterns installed upon the members of the different economic classes in our societies are still only beginning to be explored.

We have built what we call “Communities” to enable us to organize and keep in touch with the accumulating resources of Co-Counselors and knowledge. Membership in these Communities requires some commitment and dedication and agreement to try to eliminate the intrusion of patterns into our relationships with each other.

It takes time and experience to understand these things well and use them well. Sharing the precious insights that we have unearthed accurately and widely with others is a satisfying and rewarding activity, but is not always easily seen as such by beginning Co-Counselors. Assuming leadership is essential to one’s full development and yet people in our societies have been subjected to enormous conditioning against doing so.

To summarize, Co-Counseling is an ongoing activity. It is not a substitute for living. It is not something to become obsessed with to the exclusion of other activities or enjoyments. Yet a certain amount of commitment, persistence, and patience are called for.

To attend a fundamentals class and have a few good sessions has seemed to some people to produce more changes in their lives than they have dared to hope for, but there is much more possible. I hope the reader participates fully in this promising future.

[1]  Appeared in Present Time No. 8, July 1972; revised 1991.

Last modified: 2023-04-15 09:24:12+00