Choice Theory/Reality Therapy

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Major Theorist
William Glasser
View of Human Nature/Personality
1) Human beings operate on a conscious level and are not driven by unconscious forces or instincts.
2) A health/growth force exists within everyone
Control Theory
argues that all behavior is generated internally
The health/growth force is manifested on two levels
the physical and the psychological
Physical health/growth force
there is the need to obtain and use life-sustaining necessities such as food, water, and shelter
According to Glasser, human behaviors was once controlled by
the physical need for survival
Four primary psychological needs include
Belonging, Power, Freedom, Fun
Belonging
The need for friends, family, and love
Power
The need for self-esteem recognition, and competition
Freedom
The need to make choices and decisions
Fun
The need for play, laughter, learning, and recreation
Identity
psychologically healthy sense of self
Identity needs are met when a person is
accepted by others
Especially important in the process of identity is the experience of
love and worth
When needs are met people achieve a
Success identity
When needs are not met people establish a
Failure identity
Failure identity
a maladjusted personality characterized by a lack of confidence and a tendency to give up easily
Glasser thinks there are two critical period's in
children's lives
First critical period
Between ages 2 and 5, children learn early socialization skills. During this period, children especially need the love, acceptance, guidance, and involvement of their parents. If these are not forthcoming, a child may begin to establish a failure identity.
Second critical period
Between the ages of 5 and 10, children are involved with school, where they gain knowledge and self concept. Many children develop a failure identity during this period because of socialization difficulties or learning problems.
Reality Therapy proposes that
human learning is a lifelong process based on choice
Choice Theory
the idea that people have mental images of their needs and behave accordingly; thus individuals are self determining
Self Determining
Individuals can chose to be miserable or mentally disturbed; they may also choose to behave in positive ways and give up trying to control others
Role of the Counselor
Practitioners serve primarily as teachers and models, accepting their clients in a warm, involved way and creating an environment in which choice and change can take place
Counselors immediately seek to build relationships with clients by
developing trust through friendliness, firmness, and fairness
Counselors emphasize on
choice, and positive constructive actions, and aspects of the clients' lives that can be controlled
Counselor client interactions focus on
behaviors that clients would like to change and ways to go about achieving these desires
The goal of reality therapy is to
1) help clients become psychologically strong and rational and realize that they have choices in how they treat themselves and others
2) help clients clarify what they want in life
3) help clients formulate a realistic and viable plan to achieve personal needs and wishes
4) have counselors establish meaningful relationships with their clients
5) focus on behavior and the present
6) eliminate both fear of punishment and exuses from clients' lives
If the goal is reached individuals become
autonomous and responsible
Responsible behavior
allows individuals to take charge of their actions and obtain their goals; it also keeps them from interfering with others or getting into trouble
Success Identity
enables clients to live more productive and harmonious lives
Reality Therapy Strives to prevent
problems from occurring
Six Criteria to judge whether a person is choosing a suitable and healthy behavior
1) behavior is noncompetitive
2) behavior is easily completed without a great deal of mental effort
3) behavior can be done by oneself
4) behavior has value for the person
5) client believes that improvements in lifestyle will result from the behavior
6) Client can practice the behavior without being self critical
SAM I2 C3
Simple, attainable, measurable, immediate, involving, controlled, committed, consistent
Reality Therapy relies on
action oriented techniques
Action oriented techniques
helps clients realize that they have choices in how they respond to events and people that others do not control them any more than they control others
Some of the more effective and active techniques are
teaching, employing humor, confronting, role playing, giving feedback, formulating specific plans, and making contracts
Reality therapy relies heavily on
teaching as a primary technique
Specialized learning situation is made up of three separate but interwoven techniques
1) involvement
2) unrealistic behavior
3) Positiveness
Humor
the ability to see the absurdity within a situation and view matters from a different and amusing perspective
Confrontation
counselors challenge clients about certain behaviors as a way of helping clients accept responsibility for their actions
Role Playing
to help clients bring the past or future in the present and assess how life will be different when they start behaving differently
WDEP System
Wants, direction, evaluation, plan
Strengths and Contributions
1) is versatile
2) concrete
3) addresses the resolution of conflict
4) its stress on the present
5) emphasizes short-term treatment
6) has national training centers
7) contributed to counseling by successfully challenging the medical model of client treatment
Limitations and Criticisms
1) ignores other concepts, such as the unconscious and personal history
2) belief that all forms of mental illness are attempts to deal with external events
3) too simple because it has few theoretical constructs
4) susceptible to becoming overly moralistic
5) dependence on verbal interaction and two-way communication
6) keeps changing its focus and emphasis
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