The following articles are about the World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities, which took place August 7 to 11, 2013, in Storrs, Connecticut, USA.

Re-emergence at the World Conference

The World Conference was attended by two hundred and thirty Co-Counselors from all over the world. I was fortunate enough to be invited, along with several fellow African leaders. (Unfortunately, most of us could not make it1 due to problems getting visas.) 

The World Conference is an opportunity, every four years, for the leadership of our organisation to review the Guidelines,2 reflect on the past four years, set goals for the next four years, connect, get good sessions, and confirm the positions of the International Reference Person and the Alternate International Reference Person for the next four years.

I am always amazed at the level of leadership and coordination it takes to get so many minds to think together and collaborate on every issue. How do you get two hundred and thirty people from all over the world toagree on anything? In Re-evaluation Counselling, this is possible.

What makes it work? Allow people to think, and to say what they think. Respect what people have to say. Discharge! 

We all had a chance to think in small groups about changes to the Guidelines and about a new goal. After meeting in small groups, we got together under the able leadership of Tim Jackins. It helps to have a leader with tons of patience (which we all have but some of us are still working on recovering). Thanks to Tim for being such a wonderful role model. He makes me want to become a better leader.

Prior to the World Conference, Barbara Love3 led a workshop for the people of the global majority. Nineteen people attended. This group became my support and my base throughout the conference.

Barbara taught me to be visible—to be at the centre, be loud, and speak, or let my mouth move even if I felt like I had nothing to say. Clearly I failed to do this, but I loved every minute of trying. It was hard. I had a chance to have sessions about why I couldn’t do it. It felt like I was pushing mountains.

At one point I had to interpret into my language in front of the conference. I was able to notice how interpreting was a wonderful thing to do, not for the conference but for my growth. It challenged me to face all the feelings about my language not being “good enough” or important enough to warrant time in such a busy conference. 

It occurred to me as I discharged about this that I was rehearsing messages I had gotten about my language not being good enough and my needing to learn the language of the oppressor “just to be able to get an education” and get a job. This made me angry and want to discharge some more.

I teach Co-Counselling. I have talked about the benign reality in every class I have ever taught. Being an engineer, I tell people that the benign reality is the foundation or the basis for everything we hold dear. But I do not think I have ever really enjoyed myself or allowed myself to truly feel “good” about myself. I mean really good—so good that it makes me cry because it contradicts every distress I have been told is true about me.

I tried to connect with as many people as I could. Half the time I looked at people and wanted nothing to do with them. It was sad. So I discharged on this. It helped. And the more I discharged, the more it became clear that I had much more work to do. I learned that in order to be a great leader, I need to like and to love people enough. I have to play a proactive role in liking everyone, in particular the people I “love to hate” because their patterns and distress “appear” to be directed at me. 

What blows my mind4 is that it all starts with me. I have to love me enough. And you get to remind me how much I love you, and how much it means to me that you are a part of this project with me. And we get to discharge. And discharge again. Discharge clears the thinking, even when it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Bafana Matsebula
Regional Reference Person 
for Southern Africa
Mbabane, Swaziland


1 “Make it” means attend.
2 The Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities—the policies for the RC Communities www.rc.org/publications/guidelines_2013/contents
3 Barbara Love is the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage People.
4 “Blows my mind” means amazes me.


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07