A brief overview and introduction to Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
Reality therapy is a form of counselling and training based on a positive and optimistic view of human behaviour. The theoretical base comes from “internal control” psychologies – ones that see behaviour as motivated from within rather than by external forces. The main model is “Choice Theory” and was developed by Dr William Glasser, an American psychiatrist.
- The only person whose behaviour we can control is our own.
- All we can give another person is information.
- All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
- The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
- What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
- We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
- All we do is behave.
- All behaviour is Total Behaviour and is made up of four components: acting,
- thinking, feeling and physiology.
- All Total Behaviour is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting
- and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology
- indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
- All Total Behaviour is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognisable
For many people, the concepts of Choice Theory make so much sense. It’s easy to see how they can be applied to every-day situations. That is, until you are personally involved in one of those situations. Then, you fall back into your old habits and start using external control to resolve the problem. Very quickly you realize how ineffective those old habits really are. You know that you should be doing something differently, but don’t really know how to get started.
Human beings are social creatures and need to have people in their lives to survive. These relationships can also result in a lot of grief, both personally and professionally. The concepts of Choice Theory help you to understand why people do the things they do. Once you understand that their behavior is an attempt to get their needs met, you have a different perspective about the situation. You are then able to see through your own emotions and look for ways where both parties can benefit.
Wouldn’t you like to reduce the stress that these important relationships create in your life? Your stress is the signal that something needs attention and Choice Theory will guide the way to mitigate those troublesome situations.