Re-evaluation Counseling is a process whereby people of all ages and all backgrounds can learn how to exchange effective help with each other in order to free themselves from the effects of past distress experiences.
Re-evaluation Counseling theory provides a model of what human beings can be like in the area of our interaction with other human beings and our environment. The theory assumes that everyone is born with tremendous intellectual potential, natural zest, and lovingness but that these qualities have become blocked and obscured as the result of accumulated distress experiences (fear, loss, pain, anger, embarrassment, and so on), which begin early in our lives.
Any young person would recover from such distress spontaneously by use of the natural process of emotional release, or "discharge" (crying, trembling, raging, laughing, yawning, talking). However, this natural process is usually interfered with by well-meaning people (for example, “Don’t cry” or “Be a big boy”) who erroneously equate the emotional discharge (the healing of the hurt) with the hurt itself.
When adequate emotional discharge can take place, the person is freed from the rigid pattern of behavior and feeling left by the hurt. The basic loving, cooperative, intelligent, and zestful nature is then free to operate. Such a person will tend to be more effective in looking out for his or her own interests and the interests of others and more capable of acting successfully against injustice.
In recovering and using the natural discharge process, two people take turns counseling and being counseled. The one acting as the counselor listens, draws the other out, and permits, encourages, and assists emotional discharge. The one acting as client talks and discharges and re-evaluates. With experience and increased confidence and trust in each other, the process works better and better.
Sustaining All Life facilitates "mini-sessions" at the Sustainable Innovation Forum in Paris, 2015 (COP21), where participants take turns listening and being listened to