Reality Therapy. Overview Formulated by William Glasser stemming from his doubts about the traditional psychoanalytic approach. Established Institute.
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Overview Formulated by William Glasser stemming from his doubts about the traditional psychoanalytic approach. Established Institute for Reality Therapy of the Education Training Center and the William Glasser LaVerne College Center both in Los Angeles. (Gilliland & James, p. 270) It is geared toward verbal clients in the technological society of the United States. (Gilliland & James, p. 291) Common sense teaching approach that targets problems, not people
Reality Therapy Basic Beliefs Emphasis is on responsibility Therapist’s function is to keep therapy focused on the present We often mistakenly choose misery in our best attempt to meet our needs We act responsibly when we meet our needs without keeping others from meeting their needs Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 11 (1)
Responsibility To fulfill one’s needs, in such a way as to not deprive another of their ability to fulfill their own needs. Focus on total behavior: acting, thinking, feeling, physiology.
Major philosophies and nature of humans Basic premise of theory is that the brain operates to gain the perception of what is wanted from the environment. People control what they perceive, not what actually exists. A fundamental philosophical tenet of control theory is that people are ultimately self-determining. Internal and external psychosocial pressures may relate directly to present emotional functioning but in the long run clients are autonomous, selective, responsible people who can control their own behaviors, thinking and destinies. (Gilliland & James, p. 271)
Major personality constructs Everything clients do is to satisfy their basic needs. The brain is a control system with inborn genetic instructions that drive both physiological and psychological needs. Physiological needs are those that ensure the survival of the individual and the species.
Five Basic Needs the need to survive (physiologic), the need for love and belonging, the need for power, the need for freedom, the need for fun.
Basic Needs All internally motivated behavior is geared toward meeting one or more of our basic human needs –Belonging –Power –Freedom –Fun –Survival (Physiological needs) Our brain functions as a control system to get us what we want Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 11 (2)
Basic Tenets Nothing that drives our thinking, feeling and behaving is moral or immoral. (Gilliland & James, p. 272) Control theory states that we choose behaviors and in choosing, we discover consequences that are desirable or undesirable. (Gilliland & James, p. 273)
Glasser identified two general types of personality: People who view themselves from their own internal frames of reference Those who perceive of themselves as others see them.
Identity Success Identity—where one comes to possess a willingness and set of skills for attaining our basic needs in positive and constructive ways Failure Identity—failure to attain one’s needs in responsible ways
Development of Identity In each of the above identities, three stages of development exist: Success Identity –Needs are fulfilled in positive ways –We cope with life through positive and constructive symptoms (i.e., altruistic activities, effective thinking, positive affect, effective behaviors) –We become positively addicted to life-enhancing choices. Failure Identity –Giving up: We perceive that we cannot attain our needs. –Choosing negative symptoms (i.e., negative thinking, debilitative feelings, and negative physiological conditions) –We become negatively addicted to activities which we perceive to give us instant belonging, power, etc. (i.e., alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, work) (Gilliland & James, pp. 274-275)
Love and Worth A person’s success identity is based on experiencing both love and worth in balance. Love but no worth can lead a person to become dependant on others for validation, worth without love can lead to alienation because there is never a feeling of being cared for by significant others. (Gilliland & James, p. 275)
Nature of “maladaptivity” Maladaptivity is equated with the failure identity. This is characterized by a person’s tending to be lonely, self- critical, and irrational. A maladaptive person’s behaviors are likely to be rigid and ineffective, often exhibiting weakness, irresponsibility and lack of confidence. Maladaptivity generally begins during the very early years of life, when the individual does not or cannot fulfill the need to experience love or self-worth. The person who does not feel worthwhile cannot give and receive love in appropriate ways. Since all behavior is an attempt to control perceptions, Glasser says that people choose their misery to gain control over others and to excuse their unwillingness to do something more effective. Glasser describes a person rather than being in a state of depression as engaging in “depressing.” (Gilliland & James, p. 276)
Depression described as ACHE: A=Anger C=Control H=Help E=Excuse
Major goals of counseling The major goal of counseling is responsible behavior on the part of the client. The overall objective is to help the client feel better. This is accomplished when the client is able to meet needs by taking effective control of his or her life. (Gilliland & James, p. 277)
Major techniques/strategies The major techniques and strategies employed by reality therapy are: confrontation (the counselor allows “no excuses” for inappropriate behavior), plans and contracts (similar to other behavior theories), being specific and “pinning down” the client (the counselor will probe the client’s plan until it is completely specific and detailed) and resolving conflicts. (Gilliland & James, pp. 282- 285) Cognitive-behavioral approach to counseling process. Explore problems, evaluate behaviors, create a plan and goals.
Procedures That Lead to Change: The “WDEP” System W Wants - What do you want to be and do? Your “picture album” D Doing and Direction - What are you doing? Where do you want to go? E Evaluation - Does your present behavior have a reasonable chance of getting you what you want? P Planning – “SAMIC” Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 11 (3)
Planning For Change S Simple - Easy to understand, specific and concrete A Attainable - Within the capacities and motivation of the client M Measurable - Are the changes observable and helpful? IImmediate and Involved - What can be done today? What can you do? C Controlled - Can you do this by yourself or will you be dependent on others? Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 11 (4)
Major roles of counselor and client The major role of the counselor in reality therapy is to talk about, focus on and reinforce positive and constructive planning and behaving on the part of the client. (Gilliland & James, p. 282) Believe client needs to be responsible. The client’s role is to be the sole judge of his or her own behavior, to identify what they are doing to cause the difficulty or failure and decide what they must do to begin to behave in more responsible ways. (Gilliland & James, p. 280) Counseling environment is one of authenticity, warmth, rapport and trust. Client must be heard. Focus on here and now.
Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy - Chapter 11 (5) Total Behavior Our Best Attempt to Satisfy Our Needs DOING – active behaviors THINKING – thoughts, self-statements FEELINGS – anger, joy, pain, anxiety PHYSIOLOGY – bodily reactions