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Mastering RC, by Leading and Studying

From a talk by Tim Jackins at a teachers’ and leaders’ workshop in Hebron, Connecticut, USA, May 2000

It’s interesting and it can be tough to start RC in a new place. I did it back in 1970 in the San Francisco Bay (California, USA) area, at the time when Co-Counseling first spread out from Seattle (Washington, USA).

When you start RC in a new place, it’s more difficult to habitually turn to somebody else for answers. You have to give up the habit of doubting yourself. You might be right, or you might be wrong. That often isn’t the important issue. The important thing is that you figure it out as best you can—and then do something. If you’re wrong, you find out quickly and you can correct it.

Somebody simply trying to make RC happen seems to be enough for the people you are teaching. They’re tolerant of you having to figure it out with them.

A lot of people learn Co-Counseling best by going out and teaching it to someone else. It’s one of the great benefits of being a leader in RC. You thought you knew counseling; you thought maybe you could make it work. Then you try to communicate it to someone else, and that really makes you think clearly about it.

It’s one of the ways I learned counseling very, very well. Actually, there were two ways. One, I taught a lot of classes in the early 1970s—maybe too many. At one point I was teaching ten classes every week. I was trying to get other people ready to teach as fast as I could. I learned a tremendous amount, because we learn by putting something into practice. That’s how we really learn everything.

The other way I learned was from my father. When he came through town to give a talk, I would set it all up and then find a corner where I could essentially hide, where no one would notice me and I didn’t have to pay attention to anything but what he was saying. I actually studied him—everything he said and how he worked with people.

The first RC workshop was two weeks long. My father gathered people from across the country to teach them counseling all at once so they could go back and teach it. Following the workshop I essentially memorized two weeks of tape recordings, so that I knew everything he did and every response he got. I understood the tone of voice he was using, and why. We can learn a lot about counseling by studying in that way—studying people and studying the literature, audiotapes, and videos.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00