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The Human Side of Human Beings: The Theory of Re-Evaluation Counseling Paperback – Aug 1982

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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: 0.6 x 15.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By daniel moorhouse on 29 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
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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By elvi on 25 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting but full of unnecessary diagrams. Wouldn't recommend this book to friends.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A Skeptic Who's Grown to Believe in and Support the Theory 25 Mar. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
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.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Useful, no-nonsense perspective 6 Dec. 2000
By Patty Wipfler - Published on
Format: Paperback
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!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A simple little book with some useful tips for dealing with emotions. 20 April 2014
By Nils - Published on
Format: Paperback
I ran across Harvey Jackins's book "The Human Side of Human Beings" years ago.

The main point that I took from it, and still feel is true, is that things like laughing, crying, letting out anger, and even yawning (which Jackins lumps together and calls "emotional discharge") can be useful -- i.e., that it's better to let ourselves cry when we need to, than to hold it inside -- and that people can get over bad feelings and feel better, and get out of their ruts and live better lives.

In other words, if we let ourselves cry when we need to, we'll be able to think more clearly. Holding in tears can make us more likely to behave compulsively and irrationally. Letting ourselves cry also lets us think better, because our thinking is no longer being hampered by undischarged emotions. He also makes the point that men need to cry as much as women do. Crying isn't masculine or feminine, it's just part of being a human being.

This is a simple idea but it can be life changing.

All in all, I like the book and recommend it. The information in it has helped me a number of times.
Inherent Goodness and The Brain as a Jukebox 24 Mar. 2015
By Markus Youssef - Published on
According to this author, humans do bad/harmful things because they are hurt. "Hurt people hurt people." He believes that when we are hurt, parts of our brain become blocked leading to an exile of our more innovative and higher functions ("the human side of human beings.)"

"We do not have bad people; we have good people acting bad when they are short-circuited by the emotional scar tissue which has been loaded on them ... We do not have a warped species of creatures ... we have a ... gifted species who create art, music, science, and beauty and make no negative moves except when 'turned off' and acting as puppets whose strings are pulled by old scars of hurts ... " pg 68

In other words, everything we do that's not from our inherent loving nature comes from our hurts. We are born good but do harm/bad because of our hurts. The book explains how we've all been hurt and that we can facilitate our healing, in part by refraining from a phrases like, "There, there, don't cry," since they interfere with the mind and body's urge to heal itself. "The damage repair processes are specific in character, dependably characterized by the outward manifestations of 1) crying, 2) trembling, 3) laughing, 4) anger discharge, 5) yawning and 6) interested, non-repetitive talking." pg 93

One part of this very short and easy to read book, which can read in about half an hour, covers how a part of our brain acts like a jukebox. When something resembles a past hurt, the jukebox/brain sends down a disc onto the turntable and then clouds how we see the present because we are, at the same, thinking and feeling a past experience. "One might say that, 'reminded too much of' the old distress experience, we are forced to behave as if we were some kind of 'juke-box.' In effect, the new experience 'pushes the button.' The recording of the old, miserable experience then rolls out as if from a rack onto a 'turntable in our head.' ..." pg 45


"The experience which 'reminds us too much of' the old distress experience and thus triggers the distress recording into 'taking over' may be itself a distress experience. It may contain occurrences intrinsically distressing to us. ... It does not, however, have to be intrinsically distressing to have this effect. ... In the grip of the re-stimulated distress recording, the person ... feels terrible feelings ... This distressed behavior is bad enough. It is, however, not the last of the mischief. The 'thinking machinery' is inoperative once again. Once again information is fed through the sense channels to an intelligence that isn't functioning. The information input from this new experience is new. It cannot be evaluated, however, while the rational processes are interrupted. This information input also mis-stores in the same way as the original distress experience. ... The effect is a snowballing one. ..." pg 48

The author reasons that this is what makes a person irritable and unhappy. New hurts and repeated reminders of old hurts without resolution "leaves the person predisposed to be upset more easily, by more things, more often, more deeply, and for longer periods of time." pg 51

The recommendation is for friends to schedule more time talking and listening to each other.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Give it six stars. 15 Dec. 2004
By J. Shackelford - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
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