CHAPTER I:  What to Expect

The following is a short description of what a human being may be like, in the important area of the human’s response to the environment. It is a descriptive model of what you may be like, an attempt at a general guide to understanding all human beings and the source of their apparently contradictory activities.

This descriptive model has grown out of a deliberate and continuing attempt, now fourteen years in progress, to take a fresh look at human beings, to see what they are actually like without assumptions from past theories and models. This fresh look has been difficult to accomplish because of the depth and persistence of the suggestions with which all humans are burdened during our childhood and education years, but it has remained a clear goal during the period this model has been developed.

You may find this theory difficult to think about at important points where it is in sharp conflict with the theories you were expected to accept uncritically at your mother’s knee, in Sunday school, from your psychology classes or from reading “psychological” fiction. The effort is worth making; these differences from older theories are among the most important things this description has to offer.

These differences require that this description be thought about. It cannot be accepted uncritically on the recommendation of any authority because it carries no such recommendation. The theory of Re-evaluation Counseling cannot be of much use to you unless it makes sense to you!

If this theory does make sense to you, it can happen that you find yourself uncomfortable about some of its implications, especially if you are a parent. Speaking as a parent, I can only say — “Welcome to the club.”

In distinction to this description’s differences with older theories, you may find it in remarkable agreement with your own experiences. It has been painstakingly assembled as the summary of actual experiences of hundreds of people.

I think you will find this descriptive model to be well-constructed. It assumes or defines a small number of simple concepts and these are related directly to common experiences on which there is general agreement. With these the model proceeds to a useful and consistent explanation of complicated and diverse phenomena.

This descriptive model leads directly to useful activity, to the tackling and solving of human problems, and provides consistent guidance for this activity. It leads continuously to the examination of new questions and to the opening of new fields of thought. New attitudes towards long-unsolved and vexing problems of human behavior, sociology and philosophy can appear as corollaries emerging from the central theses of this model.

You are likely to find this description of a human being useful to you, in the sense that you can cope with and solve certain problems that arise in living better with it than without it.

What follows is an outline of this theory.


Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07