13 February 2020

Appreciating Re-evaluation Counseling

This letter to the editor may have arrived too late for publication, so I'd at least like to share it here:
I found Jay Efran's "In Search of New Ideas" [Psychotherapy Networker Jan/Feb 2020] helpful and fascinating, and I appreciated his inclusion of Re-evaluation Counseling. But to someone who practiced RC for much of the period between 1985 and 2015, his description represents only one facet of a multi-faceted practice. Yes I agree—as a licensed therapist who has also sampled a variety of modalities—that the "discharge" process could not be consistently counted on for healing of a distress recording. But there were many affecting factors—the experience of the counselor, the client's stage of change, the quality of supervision—much as in any other therapy. I see my current job as psychotherapist as motivating clients to act on their thinking instead of their feelings. In RC settings I witnessed at least as much, if not more, progress toward that goal as in any other therapeutic setting. To attend an RC workshop was more than "exchanging time." There were cutting-edge insights presented including how oppression is experienced by different constituencies, healing trauma, and how to be the change you want to see in the world. Whether Harvey Jackins' insistence on operating outside the "mental health system" was out of stubbornness or out of necessity, I experienced him as a brilliant and compassionate innovator. I would be half the counselor I am today had I not begun with RC.

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