Choice Theory, developed by Dr. William Glasser, is the explanation of As Dr. Glasser explains in the most recent of his widely read books, Choice Theory, all. Choice Theory is a psychological model that explains why people Glasser teaches that “the only person whose behavior I can control is me”. → Degree in Chemical Engineering. – → Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. – → Established Educator's Training. Center to create a model.
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Introduction to Choice Theory: Teaching Students. Responsible Behavior. A Distance Learning Graduate Course. Based on the Work of Dr. William Glasser. William Glasser's Choice Theory. • Choice Theory: behavior is central to our existence and is driven by 5 needs. • Focuses on the 5 concepts of: 1. Survival. 2. William Glasser's () Choice Theory and found that he, too, deliberately uses verbs, like "I depress" instead of nouns, like "I suffer from depression" and that.
It is as if conflict arises from very fundamental aspects of how our minds work. Some causes of conflict, from the point of view of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, are these:. Satisfying our fundamental needs. Satisfying my need for power will bring me into conflict with other people who have an equally strong need for power.
Choice Theory : A New Psychology of Personal Freedom
Satisfying my need for freedom will bring me into conflict with people who have a strong need for power or belonging in the case of belonging I may be mistreating a loved one by indulging my need for freedom. Satisfying my need for fun may bring me into conflict with other people too. Generally speaking, conflicts can be thought of as true or false.
A true conflict has no satisfactory solution, at least in the short term. In a true conflict there is no single solution which will satisfy both sides. In a false conflict there is a solution, often tough and unpalatable, which will resolve the issue. Mary insists that she wants to live in Dublin, John insists that he wants to live in London. Neither is willing to live anywhere outside of one of these cities. This is a true conflict. There is no solution which will satisfy both.
How might they handle this conflict? Here are some possibilities good and bad, satisfying and unsatisfying, from the perspective of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory: Keep the conflict going.
One way is to keep the conflict going for a long time. This could include fighting, threatening, coaxing, sulking resenting, depressing getting depressed , getting sick or drinking to name but a few.
This may be ineffective and painful and could destroy the relationship. Turn it over to time. In other words, postpone a decision and get on with doing things which both find meet their needs. The things which meet their needs may not be the same for each of them — what matters is that each can put his or her energies into satisfying activities in which they are not in conflict, while postponing a decision on the major conflict.
Perhaps Mary wants to do an evening course which will take three months. Perhaps John wants to join a health club and get into shape. The world never stands still and something may happen in the meantime to resolve the situation that they are most in conflict about — which city to live in.
Try it and see. A third approach is to agree to try one solution for a time and then to assess whether it is acceptable to both parties. So John might agree that they will live in Dublin for four months and then look at the situation again.
This approach is common in industrial relations — usually where the union agrees to try out a new work arrangement and the management agrees to a joint review after six months or a year. Grieving over someone who has died or over a relationship which has irrevocably ended or over a situation which has changed for the worse perhaps children grieving because their parents have split up is an example of a true conflict.
There is a conflict between wanting the old situation and having to live in the new. There is no immediate solution which will resolve the conflict in a satisfactory way. Only time, and doing other things which are satisfying, will heal the grief.
There is no true conflict between maintaining my weight at its present level and eating all I like — so long as I am willing to run many miles a day. There is no true conflict between working and studying for a degree — so long as I am prepared to spend my evenings studying and my money on fees instead of other things. If there is a single behaviour which would resolve it, then the conflict is a false conflict.
Perhaps we stay because we are afraid of failure if we try to go it alone, or for the sake of someone else caught in the same bad relationship or because we need the money to educate our children. So there are good and bad reasons for staying in a false conflict.
Good reasons often reflect our values: Bad reasons may have to do with fear, a poor self-image or a habit of blaming the rest of the world for our problems.
In Reality Therapy and Choice Theory, depression is seen as a way of dealing with the gulf between what we have and what we want. Because depression is seen in this way, Choice Theory always holds out the possibility of overcoming depression.
And, as is clear below, Choice Theory does not see depression as being bad all the time. Sometimes it is better than the alternatives — what is important is not to trap ourselves in depression. What is more important is to know that the path out of depression begins with changing what we want or changing how we behave.
Depression can do four things for us and knowing what these are can help us to begin the climb out into the light. These four things can be thought of under the letters ACHE. Depression is often considered an alternative to anger and sometimes it can be better to choose depression than anger. If you make a habit of lashing out when anything goes wrong, you can alienate other people and often make matters worse. Consider how many relationships anger has destroyed.
Consider how many lives anger has destroyed. Anger has its place, and it often gives us the energy for change, or the energy to stand up for ourselves. But it can be destructive too. Depression can be a safe, temporary alternative to anger. It becomes unsafe when it goes on for too long.
Depression gives us a certain amount of control over people and situations. It may help us to avoid taking risks, to stay in a safe environment. To a certain extent, people will try to avoid upsetting us when we are depressed.
If we are absolutely devastated by something that has happened, depression may give us the only control over our lives that we can handle at the time. The price for this control, however, can be high because of the suffering that comes with depression.
By definition, nobody enjoys depression — if we did, it would not be depression. Depression brings us a certain amount of help. This may be help from friends, from a doctor or from an institution. Some people need this help for a time. Again, if it goes on too long people may stop helping us and in any event depression is a high price to pay for the help we get.
Depression can get us help without us having to ask for it. Depression can excuse us for not doing what we should do. It can be a way of avoiding pain. If I am depressed, how can I be expected to get out and about, dress well, work, face my problems etc? Yet, very often, it is only by doing these things — even, at an extreme, by doing something, anything at all — that I can start to climb out of a depression. So if I am depressed Choice Theory would say that I can begin to climb out of the depression by taking action.
I have no direct control over the feeling of depression. I may, if I am in the depths of depression, have little or no control over my thoughts. All I can control is what I do. Maybe all I can do is get out of bed and sit by the window, or get out of bed and go downstairs and that may be enough to start getting the depression to lift. When I can do a little more, I should try to do something more. Ideally I should focus on small things that I want and that I can get.
I may also need to change what I want — in this case to accept that my children will never return to live with me. For instance a person in an abusive situation may have to choose whether to stay or go, though both choices are painful — there is, nevertheless, a choice and that realisation may empower the person to choose to get away.
Unfortunately, we can get an instant sense of control from alcohol and some other drugs. But our lives are never more out of control than when we are drunk or drugged. There are very few people in this world who ever woke up with a hangover to find that they had fewer problems than they had when they started drinking the night before.
Excessive drinking and the use of drugs have to be replaced by doing something else — and that something else has to have a fair chance of getting us what we want in life. Many people working in the addiction field have found this approach useful.
The solution is in the present and the future Counselling is often thought to involve delving into the past. Practitioners of Reality Therapy also visit the past but probably to a lesser extent than those who use other therapies — this is not a criticism of those who use other therapies, it is simply a way in which Reality Therapy is different.
In Reality Therapy the past is seen as the source of our wants and of our ways of behaving. Not only are the bad things that happened to us there but our successes are there too. The focus of the practitioner of Reality Therapy is to learn what needs to be learned about the past but to move as quickly as feasible to empowering the client to satisfy his or her needs and wants in the present and in the future.
This is because it is our present perceptions that influence our present behaviour and so it is these perceptions that the Reality Therapy practitioner helps the client to work through. It is very much a therapy of hope, based on the conviction that we are products of the past but we do not have to go on being its victims. Differences There are many ways to meet our needs for survival, belonging, freedom, fun and power. People differ in how they meet these needs.
We all need to eat but I want a steak and you want a pizza. We even differ in the details: if we both want steak I may want mine medium and you want yours rare. I want a government which will pay for social services for people on low incomes; you want a government which will cut welfare and taxes.
To the extent that we can respect the fact that other people — including those nearest and dearest to us — want different things than we want, we can live in harmony.
If we cannot respect these differences, then we must live in conflict. For any two people some of the things in their Quality World will overlap i. We must be willing to allow these differences if we are to have harmony in our relationships.
Total Behaviour To get what we want, we behave. We are engaging in one behaviour or another from the time we are born to the time we die. But this behaviour has components and when these are put together we can think of them as constituting Total Behaviour. At any time, four things are happening for us: what we are doing, what we are thinking, what we are feeling and what is going on in our bodies.
Sometimes these activities work in harmony. For instance, if we are pleased we may be smiling doing , thinking positive thoughts, feeling content and physically relaxed. If we are angry we may be shouting doing , thinking angry thoughts, feel that we are in a rage and have our hearts beating quickly and our muscles tensed up.
Often, the four activities are going in different directions. Your body may be tensed up with heart racing and adrenaline pumping. And what you are doing may be thumbing idly through an out of date copy of Hello! You could say that at any one time we are behaving in each of these four ways: feeling, thinking, doing, physiology.
We can call this combination our Total Behaviour. If we can change one of these, then we have a good chance of changing the others. It is hard to change our feelings directly. It is easier to change what we are thinking and easiest of all to change what we are doing.
So the golden rule is: if you want to change how you feel, begin by changing what you are doing or what you are thinking. Which of these leads me from one moment to another?
If I am led by my feelings I may be in difficulty: if I feel angry I may lash out at someone or I may become depressed to suppress the anger. Moreover, if there is something I need to do, it would be a mistake to wait until I feel right about it before I do it. If I am led, on a moment-to-moment basis, by how I feel, there is a good chance I will never make the call, or that I will postpone it until I am in trouble and cannot put it off any longer. But I can change my focus so that I am purpose-led instead of feelings-led.
I am still very aware of my feelings — they are the warm, beating heart of my life — but my purpose is my moment to moment guide and my orientation is towards doing. With the phone call made, I — hopefully — feel relief, a return of energy, perhaps even a little elation.
Paradoxically, by focusing on what I can do rather than on what I feel, I arrive at a point where my feelings become pleasant and positive. Sometimes the good feeling takes longer to arrive.
But I will get there, if I have the courage to keep working at it — and it will help greatly if I have friends to help me along the way. This raises an important point about the things we want: Sometimes I cannot move ahead unless I change what I want. For a time, part of the pain I am in comes from wanting something I can never have or can never have again.
This wanting and this pain is part of grieving. But eventully, to be able to get on with my life, I must be willing to give more of my attention to other needs and wants in my life. This is so even though when I start to do this I will still be in pain.
It is a bit like taking a picture and moving it to the back of your album instead of keeping it at the front. So in order to bring about change in our lives, we must do something different or change what we want. If I want to be a good athlete but I spend my mornings in bed, I must change what I do — get up and start running instead of snoozing — or change what I want — perhaps decide that what I really want out of life is to be a couch potato.
We can also change what we think and this is helpful but sometimes our emotions are so strong — with grief or depression for instance — that all we can change is what we do, and our thoughts have to follow afterwards. Everybody Needs Control We try to control ourselves, people and situations to meet our needs or to get what we want. Everybody needs a certain amount of control to meet their needs for power, belonging, freedom and fun.
You need a certain amount of control but so does your partner. The boss needs a certain amount of control but so does the worker. The parent needs a certain amount of control but so does the child. When people fail to recognise that the other person also has a need for control, the stage is set for conflict. If, however, we are willing to negotiate and compromise we can find ways to cooperate and create a better life. Sometimes we ask for what we want.
This respects the sense of control of both parties. Sometimes instead of asking, we demand what we want. Control is all around us.
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The agenda for this presentation is as follows: Description and Overview of the theory - Resha Shallow 3. Implications for learners of reflective practice - Amisha Young 4.But it is very, very hard to change our emotions directly. Socialising with people is an effective way to meet our need for belonging.
The William Glasser Institute. Anger has its place, and it often gives us the energy for change, or the energy to stand up for ourselves.
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. I have practised mindfulness for over 25 years.