In the early 1960’s Dr. William Glasser, a psychiatrist, developed an approach in counseling known as the Reality therapy. This approach stipulates that current relationship and the interaction level of mental processes like thoughts and emotions influence our present behaviors.
The use of reality therapy in groups creates a people-centered and people-friendly approach in identifying an individual’s responsibility in his or her behavior. A good relationship between the counselor and the counselee is achieved by embracing reality therapy. This therapy can be applied in limitless dimensions such as in education, where participation, relevance and reasoning have a great impact on the education system.
There exist various theories of the reality therapy. These include the identity and choice theory. During the early stages of development of the reality therapy, the identity theory was mostly considered. However, later, profound improvements were incorporate to come up with the choice theory.
To achieve the desired results of the reality therapy, a considerable amount of assumptions were embraced in the choice theory. This axioms included, nobody can control someone else behaviors, information is the only thing we can give or get from people, life is all about behaving, psychological problems are relationship problems, people are very creative, unsatisfying relationship is the current problem, and painful past events have a great impact on the current behavior.
Nonetheless, with all these assumptions, the choice theory helps in redefining freedom and improving the standards of the current relationships. It indentifies the fundamental needs such as power, love, freedom, fun and survival.
Therefore, our behaviors are influence by the desire to satisfy these needs. The choice theory is beneficial in that, it provides adequate guidelines regarding the improvement of individual’s personality and behavior to fit the normal trend of rational human beings.
The choice theory considers that people carry around images or perceptions in their brains, both of the anticipation of what they expect and the exact nature of reality.
Notably, most individuals in their youth stage exhibit numerous characteristics of the types of personalities they would like to establish. Additionally, children develop images of the kinds of food they value and these images continuously linger in their minds.
People’s perceptions need to be continuously replaced by satisfactory alternatives in order to prevent misery caused by the rigid human nature. Clarification of the human behavior is adequately covered by the theory on the pertinent matters that govern growth and development of manners.
The choice theory of reality therapy is substantially applicable in the classroom management plan in schools. It is effective in boosting the morale of underperforming student. Using this theory, school’s psychologists can provide counseling to students with emotional trauma and behavioral disorders. School counseling creates positive therapeutic rapports and boosts the students’ self-esteem.
Additionally, reality therapy is effective in coaching whether in athletics or life skills lessons. It creates a good rapport among the participants, a conducive teaching and learning environment, and a definitive purpose to objectives establishment. Moreover, the application of this theory is important in self-concept improvement, and tackling posttraumatic stress disorders and childhood obesity.
During the counseling process, it is essential to incorporate the magnificent aspects of reality therapy. These aspects focus on concentrating on the present situation and avoidance of past regrets or complaints to achieve the outcome for both the counselor and counselee. The counselor needs to have an apparent understanding of the counselee’s behavior to avoid criticizing and blaming him or her.
Focusing on the essentials while minimizing passing judgment and coercion significantly encourages the counselees in their resolve to improve their behaviors and personalities. A definite plan should be avoided, but rather suitable alternatives should be offered by the counselor to the counselee to avoid being subjective.