News flash

September 17-23
Volunteer &
Online Access to Workshops

NYC Climate Week
Hybrid Workshops
September 23


Women Reclaiming Our Physical Power
Teresa Enrico
September 30 or
October 1

You Can Start Your Own World Community, Now


With our present knowledge it is possible for every person presently skilled in Re-evaluation Counseling, acting alone, to start an entirely new RC Community. Such a Community can quickly spread to influence and eventually permeate the entire population around this person. From this population it can eventually spread to become a world-wide movement.


The possibility of doing this has been established. One individual’s Community has reached world-wide status. Several hundred other people, by their individual initiatives, have solidly established spreading Communities in new populations. There is no reason why founding and growth of such Communities need any longer be a slow process. We now know enough to have it happen very rapidly.

What such a Community founder will do is to share certain information we now possess with other human beings in ways that allow them to consider, accept, and understand the information, integrate it into their lives and their relationships, and perpetuate the information-sharing process by communicating the information to others.

We have been saying that every RCer will become a leader as part of his or her re-emergence. In more detail we now say each of us must become a leader of leaders. In creating these leaders from the people around us, we can create knowledgeable leaders who will understand how they themselves can become leaders of leaders. They will know how to maintain the chain reaction so that the knowledge of how to relate, how to assist discharge, how to organize, and how to lead is passed on to successive layers or “generations” of contacts.


There will be a tendency, of course, for the information to become obscured and muddled and for the content to deteriorate slightly in being transmitted. We have seen this tendency in the familiar phenomenon of each RC teacher teaching not only RC theory and practice but also some of her own distress patterns. This can be dealt with, however. Both our own experience and basic information theory reassures us of the possibility of eliminating “noise” and recovering meaning from contaminated communication (“noise” here being used in the information theorists’ sense of “deterioration of meaning”). It is possible to eliminate confusion. It is possible to refine and recover clear information from that contaminated by “noise.”

Examples of this are visible in the confusion of some past Communities of RCers who became somewhat turmoiled around the distresses of some teachers or Area Reference Persons. These Communities tend to straighten out as soon as there is a leader, say on the Regional Reference Person level, whose example is clearly rational enough (not necessarily completely rational) that they can look past the difficulties of their local leaders to the more reassuring example of the Regional leader. When this happens the Community members begin to assist the local leaders in eliminating their patterns rather than continuing to criticize them, quarrel with them, reproach them, or attack them.

How, then, does one begin to communicate this essential knowledge in a way that will guarantee that it will continue to be accepted and integrated by the first generation of recipients and be passed on by them in a clear enough and continually re-clarified form to the farther generations of recipients to whom they communicate, and then to the ones to whom those recipients communicate, and so on?


Certainly the common first impulsive idea that one must “tell” people about RC turns out not to be dependable. The portion of the population that is ready to be “told” anything is very small. A little introspection by the first person on how he or she would herself or himself respond if anyone tried to “tell” her or him anything will quickly reassure one of the accuracy of this. Rather, one must model. Rather than “talk RC,” one must “act like an RCer.” One must “be RC” in practice.

One simply needs to turn an interested attitude toward each person with whom one has contact, a willingness to pay respectful attention to the person, a willingness to listen to the person to whatever extent the available time permits, and an insistent skillful turning of the person’s attention away from any distress. One turns to each person one comes in contact with an attitude of appreciation, delight, high expectations, commitment, confidence, respect, and love. It will be very difficult for any person to stay away from someone who is so delighted and positive with him or her. Even though some of them may “test” one at first by repeatedly questioning, criticizing, or attacking one, they will return to make contact over and over again. These people will become one’s constituents, looking to one for leadership and modeling.


This, of course, is the way we would all wish to live our lives. All of us have wanted to be such a model of happy friendliness that other people enjoy us and are attracted to us. The only serious reason for our not having done this before is, apparently, the “ancient habit-pattern” of paying attention to our own old distresses all the time and the accompanying desperate, compulsive hope and attempt to be client, to be listened to by others, and to achieve some discharge this way. This habit-pattern, and these unaware hopes, must be taken firmly in hand. Untrained, unaware people will not listen effectively to us. We will not have workable opportunities or have effective turns to be client and discharge until we have built a Community around us of people with such understanding and skills that they will agree to counsel us well and be able to in a principled way. So, to start such a Community means flatly giving up, from this moment on, all unaware attempts to have other people listen to one and, instead, adopting a uniform attitude of ourselves expecting to listen well to them.

(The Communities have been challenged, at recent workshops, to give up the widespread preoccupation with “getting good counseling” and, instead, to join in a preoccupation with “giving good counseling.” This may turn out to be the only feasible route to “getting good counseling” for everybody.)

If a person persists in playing such a role, such a person will quickly become the center of a large group of people who are glad to spend every moment they can with the person, whose spirits are lifted by every contact with the person, and who recognize that the person is an important influence in their lives.


Already in the early stages of this there will be circumstances when the RCer is in the presence of two or more people at the same time. If such an occasion is not completely preoccupied with work or some other attention-compelling activity, the RCer should quickly, skillfully, and attracting-as-little-attention-as-possible-while-she-or-he-does-it, see that every person has a turn of being listened to without interruption. This will often require “interrupting interruptions” from others, sometimes with a serious “I want to hear what she has to say” and a gesture of the hand. The people in the group will respond to this. If a rare individual does not respond and persists in interrupting, then one can simply out-fierce the interrupter and claim as a right for one’s self the privilege of listening to the person without anyone interrupting. After that person’s “turn” the RCer will move the attention of the group to the next person, perhaps with a question, such as, “What do you think?” or “How about you, Frank?” After a few participations the people who have experienced this having attention without interruption will defend the process and help enforce it in future meetings. In effect, a support group atmosphere essentially consists of having a “turn” being listened to without interruption. There are not only the marvelous benefits of having a turn for oneself but also the benefits of actually hearing others because one is paying attention to what is going on with the others. This is also very gratifying once one experiences it. It will motivate people to eagerly accept this support group format. Of course it doesn’t need to be called a “support group” or anything else. The essence of such a group is just that each person has a turn (roughly equal time when possible) when each has attention from the others without an interruption from anyone. Skillful questioning by the RCer (as its unproclaimed support group leader) often can help people speak more clearly and more spontaneously.

It will not take much experience with these sorts of relationships, both with the individuals and in the groups, before people will begin to function better and will enjoy it. Some individuals will notice that something special is going on, will be especially enthusiastic, will reach to strike up close friendships with the RCer.


Such an individual, carefully chosen, should at some time be  asked “Could you listen to me for a couple of minutes? I need to think out loud about something. I just need to be listened to, you don’t need to do anything else.” When permission is granted (or at least not denied) the RCer should then spend the two minutes in actually thinking out loud about something of interest.

The RCer should not become careless and plunge into being an unaware client or into heavy discharge. It will frighten the new listener if you do.

The two minutes will be fascinating to listen to if the RCer is actually thinking out loud. At the end of the two minutes the RCer should stop, regardless of how eager he or she feels to continue, and say “Thank you very much, that really helped. I seem able to think much better if someone is listening to me.” and then “Can I listen to you for a couple of minutes?”

If the person says yes, then he or she should be listened to and if the person says no, then he or she should be listened to (because he or she will undoubtedly go on talking if only to explain how she or he doesn’t need to be listened to, and will drift into exactly what he or she wishes to do, which is talk while being listened to). The RCer can, at the end of two minutes, find some tactful way of interrupting or can decide to listen a little longer, but not much longer. The idea of equal turns is good to establish before dependency patterns can creep in and try to distort the peer relationship into a caricature of a one-way counseling relationship.

These informal support groups can happen in an automobile going to work or coming from work, on a lunch hour, on the job, during a coffee break or on a social occasion. As the number of people who willingly participate grows there will be a need for additional leaders to develop. The people in the group who are quickest to catch on will, in general, be eager to be asked to “help,” that is, to begin to lead. If the RCer spells out exactly what she wants them to do and how they can do it they will be happy to try it in spite of their shynesses and will be overjoyed to talk about it afterwards. The RCer will eagerly listen, praise, and admire, as the new leader reports.

A number of people can learn to do this and then be called together to discuss their experiences. You now will have attained the form, unlabeled, but nevertheless definite, of a Wygelian leaders’ group. Now you have leaders with you, helping communicate RC knowledge (not necessarily the name) effectively to all the people around you. They will become a leaders’ group which will meet when there is something to meet about and each have a turn on the usual four points of a Wygelian leaders’ group agenda. They will help you to carry on your (and now their) project of improving the environment or creating a happy community. Particular titles can be invented and used for the project if people need a way of referring to what has been going on.


At some point the RCer will feel that more organized communication of more of the theory will be necessary to keep her or his time from being swamped with requests for more information. At such a point it is possible to take a carefully chosen article or book, and say to one of the enthusiasts “I found this book. It seems to be about people trying to do the same sort of thing that we’ve been doing. I don’t know whether they do it as well as we do, or whether they have anything to offer us but I’d like your opinion on it. Would you take a look at it and see if you think there is anything we can learn from it?” If they report, “No, there is nothing we can learn from it. We do it better,” accept that but try it on someone else. Somewhere along the line the fascination of the literature will begin to take hold. It may be that some people will find their own enthusiasm and become effective literature agents where we ourselves would be awkward if we tried to do all the pushing for them.

As people become more aware, the question of who or how many should know about RC will be easy to decide. It’s very possible that a community of a thousand people can develop without its members ever knowing its relationship to the RC project, and yet function as well or better than the existing RC Communities have done. After all, it is the information and content, not the labels, that determines how well things work.

I would envisage that such efforts will usually bring in many people who will want to have continuing contact with the organized structure of RC itself and who will be very good for us to have with us. These people will perhaps relax and refresh those of us who have become a little rigid in our use of RC. Those of us who because of overwork and persistent patterns have become a little rigid, dogmatic, and sectarian in our use of this important knowledge may be lifted out of our ruts to a certain degree and learn from the rapidly spreading theory and practice how RC should have been done in the first place.


The RCer may have to contradict and go against any academic guilt and worry about “giving credit” because he or she should offer RC theory and practice as his or her own ideas. It is important to recognize that people (out of past bad experiences) tend to be suspicious of any organized activity or any organization or any sect or dogma or theories. If the RCer will think back to his or her own pre-RC attitude he or she will recognize this is true for himself or herself. So it is quite important that the individual RCer present these ideas as her or his own thinking. The person in contact with the individual RCer has no reason to fear a single individual person of his or her own acquaintance and is likely to find it very interesting and satisfying that the person has such good ideas. If it is presented as something “a man in Seattle said” or as “an organization that I belong to” or “something I want you to join,” people will be repelled and suspicious. It’s much better to present new ideas as your own ideas.

(To reassure you, as a principal author and developer of the ideas that are encompassed under Re-evaluation Counseling and as International Reference Person of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities, I hereby give you free permission [and in fact encouragement] to present all of RC as your own ideas that you have thought of yourself and absolve you of any necessity of giving credit to me or the RC Community at any time in the future.) 

Harvey Jackins

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00