Re-evaluation counseling is a form of therapy used to disperse the oppression and feelings of isolation felt by adults within modern human society. The key aspect of therapy is the use of emotional discharge, which involves pairs of people alternately talking about the distressing events that took place during their childhood and adult lives. It does not require a professional psychologist and is therefore open to all members of society regardless of their economic position or the cultural view of therapy within society.
Theories of re-evaluation include the idea that each member of society is affected by oppressive patterns within society. Each member becomes an oppressor or the oppressed depending on the issue being discussed. Patterns of oppression can include issues such as sexism and racism. The International Re-evaluation Counseling Communities has been working to end the oppression of humans through racism since the 1970s to allow the people of the world to be freed from oppressive societies.
Cycles of oppression and oppressive behavior have been introduced into human society over centuries to alter the way each person interacts with other members. Re-evaluation counseling theorizes that human beings are inherently good-natured and produce cooperative relationships with other humans when patterns of oppressive behavior are not present. The natural psychological state of human beings does not include repressed feelings that are introduced to humans through historically-entrenched patterns of behavior. Counseling aims to break these patterns of behavior by eliminating repressed feelings that lead to the continuation of behavioral patterns.
Under this theory, human society requires its members to repress their feelings of hurt, pain, and distress felt from a young age through to adulthood. In doing so, the natural ability of human beings to coexist as a cooperative, happy society is affected negatively. Using re-evaluation counseling allows human beings to unblock their personalities from the negativity and return to a state of happiness and cooperation directed towards their fellow members of society. The aim of counseling sessions is to emotionally unblock each person to promote healthy human relationships.
Counseling is completed in pairs, with one person talking about distressing events from their past and the other listening and offering guidance and advice. Education courses are available to teach attendees how to listen effectively and to assist their re-evaluation counseling partner in working through repressed issues. Within counseling sessions, each partner takes turns being the talker and listener to assist the other in resolving emotional problems.