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The Human Side of Human Beings: The Theory of Re-Evaluation Counseling [Paperback]

Harvey Jackins
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Rational Island Publishers; Later Printing edition (Aug 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885357079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885357076
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 15 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,198,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I have read this book many times since first reading it 6 years ago, and every time I read something new. One thing the book does is provide a systematic method of dealing with human distress, which works, in which you can put to use in relationships with family, friends, neighbours, work mates, and just about anywhere there are other humans.
In another sense this book has been a foundation of clarity, if I ever need to take stock and find a good perspective, this book can provide that. The information is of utmost value to human beings-whether they are among the poorest people in the world in Sub-Saharan Africa, or the CEO's of top U.S. corporations.
It is this book's revolutionary insights in to human distress that explain why you may have ever doubted the fact that humans are good (that somewhere you have always known to be true).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting but full of unnecessary diagrams. Wouldn't recommend this book to friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book 25 Jun 2014
By elvi
I love this book. It is very small and elegant. It is simple and a different conceptual framework from the cognitive approach, or schema therapy. It reminds me of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma - The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences by Peter Levine though written 30 years before!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Skeptic Who's Grown to Believe in and Support the Theory 25 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Unknown Binding
This theory, at first, seemed to wrap up too neatly the complexity of human emotional distress and its relation to irrational thinking and acting. It's a small book and I've re-read it a few times, and I have a very, very hard time coming up with specific criticisms.
This book was recommended to me by a practicing re-evaluation counselor and very likely the most intelligent AND most genuinely happy person I've ever known--as well as a dear and trusted friend. My limited experience with co-counseling in my own life and his decades of positive, life changing experience with the theory have grown on me and turned me into a supporter.
Another reviewer mentioned similarities to L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics/Scientology. Not coincidentally, Jackins and Hubbard worked together on this theory (allegedly), and Hubbard saw an opportunity to spice the theory up at the expense of its integrity and package it for the marketplace.
In short, the book is a 30-minute read that offers an interesting theory on the human mind and what separates us from other living creatures. It promotes tolerance, listening, the building of strong interpersonal relationships, and offers hope for drastically improving your life by making reasonable efforts and self-bettering sacrifices. And unlike Hubbard's theory, it doesn't claim to be able to remedy all of your current and potential psychological and emotional problems.
Come into reading it with an intelligent, critical, and open mind and it can only help. Needless to say, this is only my own humble, yet genuine and informed, opinion.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, no-nonsense perspective 6 Dec 2000
By Patty Wipfler - Published on Amazon.com
I happened upon this book about 25 years ago, after reading lots and lots of psychology books. The ideas presented here are simple, but profound. I've used the idea that rigid behavior results from moments of distress, and that the emotional damage done to people can be healed by listening to them, in a wide range of ways since then. Jackins takes a refreshing departure from psychobabble, and I use his perspective daily in my work with parents and children, to explain why we parents have to make such an effort not to repeat the behavior of our parents when we're under stress, and why children seem to get upset over the smallest things over and over again. Overall, it's a generous attitude toward human nature that is taken, one that offers hope and simple things one can do to help oneself and to help others in a practical yet significant way. It's worth a read!
30 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and unscientific 20 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
In this engagingly written little book, you will learn that Jackins' theory of distress patterns is, in his words, the sole explanation of "what is wrong with people." You will also learn that Jackins has discovered the solution to "what is wrong with people" in what he calls "discharge" which includes such cathartic processes as crying and laughing.
This book is misleading because of what it does not say. What you will not learn from this book is that Jackins' theory is practically identical to L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics theory, the precursor to Scientology. Much of the criticism of Dianetics could equally be applied to Jackins' theory. You will also not learn that Jackins' concept of "discharge", which is commonly called catharsis or abreaction in the psychotherapy world, is a well-known but controversial technique and is considered to have limited usefulness in and of itself by the three most widely used psychotherapies: cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy and behavior therapy. Finally, absolutely no references are given in this book to related work, making it quite difficult to evaluate its claims. Despite the impression one might get from the introduction, the theory espoused in this book is not a scientific one. You will search in vain throughout the literature of Re-evaluation Counseling for any scientific research that supports or validates the methods or theories described in this book.
If you are looking for some good "self-help" books based on solid empirical evidence and scientifically tested principles, I would recommend "Feeling Good" by David Burns or "A Guide to Rational Living" by Albert Ellis as good places to start.
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it six stars. 15 Dec 2004
By J. Shackelford - Published on Amazon.com
The Human Side of Human Beings is one of those rare books which deserves more than five stars. Give it six. Harvey Jackins deftly outlines what we've always known, deep down, to be true about people. And does it in a way where you realize you've always known these things.

There are things each of us has a tough time remembering. This book takes universal truths that are often submerged in cultures and individuals and brings them back up where we can use them.

Jackins also adds some insights to the human pot of knowledge. His concept of a "distress pattern" makes it easier to picture how fear and sadness get stored, and how greatly they can interfere with every good goal. And he shows how recovering from distress, a process every baby fully understands, can be readily accomplished by adults, even while that same distress is trying to run our lives.

I've given this book to about forty friends. I once took a copy to my brother in prison. The guards in the lobby had to look at everything I intended to take inside. While I waited for him to be brought up to the visiting area, they established that the gifts were safe, then spent the rest of time reading the small book with the plain blue cover. When my name was called, I walked over to get my stuff. "This is really good," one guard said. "I'm going to get a copy." His co-worker smiled. "Me too."

If you're interested in a better world, great friendships, teaching, parenting, addictions, genius, learning processes, global peace, or good science, this is a must-read.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bang for the Buck (and your time) 14 Nov 2010
By Dawn M. Davidson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a little book that packs a big punch, in terms of important information. Describing the underpinnings of what developed into Re-evaluation Co-Counseling, this book provides clear information about how early childhood experiences can get locked into place in our psyches, influencing our reactions to situations far into our future, long after we've forgotten the original event. Jackins' politics and ideas may not be for everyone in the end, but this book provides a great deal of food for thought packed into a very small package. Well worth the time of any counselor or coach to read, for sure, and probably worth the time of nearly everyone else as well.
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