(717)737-9068 Free Consultation * 24 Hour Services Available 

"For appointments in Pennsylvania please click here"
Home
 Table of Contents
 Emotional Problems
  Anger
  Anxiety
  Depression
  Frustration
  Grief
  Guilt
  Lack of Confidence
  Self-Esteem
  Stress
 Eating Disorders
  Anorexia
  Bulimia
  Binge Eating
  Eating and Weight
  Emotional Eating

  Excess Weight

  Weight Control

 Relationships
  Co-dependency
  Loneliness
  Loved Ones
  Rejection
  Separation / Divorce
 Addictions
  Drug and Alcohol
  Food
  Gambling
  Internet
  Sex / Pornography
  Spending / Shopping
  Work
Behavioral Problems
  ADD
  ADHD
  Adjustment Disorder
  Bipolar
  Borderline
  Conduct Disorders
  Explosive Disorder
  Hypochondria
  Kleptomania
  Mania
  Multiple Personality
  Obsessive/Compulsive
  PTSD
  Schizophrenia
  Sleep Disorders
 Phobias and Fears
  Fears and Phobias
  Acrophobia
  Agoraphobia
  Claustrophobia
  Monophobia
  Panic Attacks
  Phobias
  Social Phobia
  Performance Anxiety
  List Of Phobias
 Sexual Concerns
  Sexual Concerns (M)
  Sexual Concerns (F)
  Bisexuality
  Exhibitionism
  Fetishism
  Frotteurism
  Gay and Lesbian
  Gender Identity Issues
  Sadomasochism
  Sexual Orientation
  Voyeurism
  List of Paraphilias
Helpful Information
  Aging
  Communication Skills
  Non-Verbal Comm...
  Personal Growth
  Skill Enhancement
Adoption / Infertility
  Adoption
  For Adoptees
  For Adopting Persons
  For Birth Parents
  Infertility
Privacy
Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy is based on a concept called Choice Theory (originally called Control Theory). It has become well established in the US and internationally, and it has also been widely applied in education.

Definition of Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy is a particular approach in psychotherapy and counseling. Reality therapy was developed by William Glasser, a psychiatrist.  Glasser believes that people who are behaving in inappropriate ways do not need help to find a defense for their behavior. Instead, they need help to acknowledge their behavior as being inappropriate and then to learn how to act in a more logical and productive manner. Reality therapy attempts to help people control the world around them more effectively so that they are better able to satisfy their needs.

The Reality Therapy approach to counseling and problem-solving focuses on the here-and-now of the client and how to create a better future, instead of concentrating at length on the past. It emphasizes making decisions, and taking action and control of one's own life. Typically, clients seek to discover what they really want and whether what they are currently doing (how they are choosing to behave) is actually bringing them nearer to, or further away from, that goal.

Reality Therapy is a considered a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy; that is, it focuses on facilitating the client to become aware of, and if necessary, change, his/her thoughts and actions.

More about Reality Therapy

The following outlines some of the critical concepts of Reality Therapy.

Involvement

Establishing a relationship with the client is believed to be the most important factor in all types of therapy. Without this relationship, the other steps will not be effective.

Behavior

Emotions are a source of information about how we are doing and whether we are happy with what is going on in our lives. But it is very hard to choose and to change our emotions directly. It is easier to change our thinking and our behavior. So Reality Therapists approach changing "what we do" as a key to changing how we feel and to getting what we want.

Current behavior and evaluating your behavior

While traditional psychoanalytic and counseling often focus on past events, Reality Therapy and Choice theory solutions lie in the present and the future. 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.  The therapist asks the client to make a value judgment about his current behavior which presumably is not helping, otherwise the client may not have negative consequences from behavior motivating enough to seek therapy. In many cases the therapist must press the client to examine the effects of his behavior, but it is important that the judgment be made by the client and not the therapist.

Make plans and perform actions

Plans for making better choices are at the heart of successful Reality Therapy. The counselor helps the client to make a workable plan to get what he or she wants. It is and must be the client's plan; not the counselor's. The essence of a workable plan, in Reality Therapy, is that it is a plan the client can implement - in other words, it concentrates on the things that are in the client's control to do.  The client is likely to need some suggestions and prompting from the therapist, but it helps if the plan itself comes from the client. It is important that the initial steps be small enough that the client is almost certain to succeed, in order to build confidence.

Commitment to the plan

The client must make a commitment to carry out the plan. This is important because many clients will do things for the therapist that they would not do just for themselves.  In some cases it can be helpful to make the commitment in writing.

No Excuses, No Punishment, Never Give Up

If there is no punishment, then there is no reason to accept excuses. The therapist insists that the client either carry out the plan, or come up with a more feasible plan. If the therapist maintains a good relationship with the client, it can be very hard to resist carrying out a plan that the client has agreed would be feasible. If the plan is too ambitious for the client's current abilities, then the therapist and the client work out a different plan.

Control

Control is considered a key issue in Reality Therapy. To meet their needs human beings need control.  Control can be very positive and helpful but it gets us into trouble in two primary ways: when we try to control other people, and when we use drugs and alcohol to give us a false sense of control. At the very heart of Choice Theory is the core belief that the only person I can really control is myself.

Practical Principles of Reality Therapy:

Focus on the present and avoid discussing the past because all human problems are caused by unsatisfying present relationships.

Avoid discussing symptoms and complaints as much as possible since these are often the ineffective ways that counselees choose to deal with (and hold on to) unsatisfying relationships.

Understand the concept of total behavior, which means focus on what counselees can do directly-act and think. Spend less time on what they cannot do directly; that is, changing their feelings and physiology.

Feelings and physiology can be changed indirectly, but only if there is a change in the acting and thinking.

Avoid criticizing, blaming and/or complaining and help counselees to do the same. By doing this, they learn to avoid these extremely harmful external control behaviors that destroy relationships.

Remain non-judgmental and non-coercive, but encourage people to judge all they are doing by the Choice Theory axiom: Is what I am doing getting me closer to the people I need? If the choice of behaviors is not getting people closer, then the counselor works to help them find new behaviors that lead to a better connection.

Teach counselees that legitimate or not, excuses stand directly in the way of their making needed connections.

Focus on specifics. Find out as soon as possible who counselees are disconnected from and work to help them choose reconnecting behaviors. If they are completely disconnected, focus on helping them find a new connection.

Help them make specific, workable plans to reconnect with the people they need, and then follow through on what was planned by helping them evaluate their progress. Based on their experience, counselors may suggest plans, but should not give the message that there is only one plan. A plan is always open to revision or rejection by the counselee.

Be patient and supportive but keep focusing on the source of the problem.

Additional Information

For more information about Reality Therapy and other therapeutic approaches, please click on the linked websites listed below.

The Center for Reality Therapy
Angelfire: Bright minds - Reality Therapy
The William Glasser Institute home page

Would You Like Personal Assistance?

If you really want help dealing with your feelings and emotions, changing your behavior, and improving your life and the approach and office hours of typical therapists and counselors do not fit your life style or personal needs, I may have a solution.

By using very flexible office appointments, telephone consultations, email, teleconferences, and the willingness to travel and meet with you personally in your home, office, or other location, I can be available to help you anytime and anywhere.

Feel free to contact me now for your free initial consultation. Once you become an existing client, you will be given a pager number where you can reach me whenever you need.

To Contact Dr. Berger
 Office Phone   9 am to 5 pm EST  (717) 737 9068
 After Hours  Message and Paging Center  (717) 761 5989
 Home Phone  Given after you become an active client  
 Email  Send mail directly from this website  Contact Form
  Contact Dr. Berger
F.A.Q.
Help is Available
  Who I Can Help
  How I Can Help
  What You Can Do
  Fees
  About Dr Berger
What Is a
  Psychologist
  Psychiatrist
  Clinical Psychologist
  Educational Psych...
  Forensic Psychologist
  School Psychologist
  Social Worker
  Life Coach
  Personal Coach
  Executive Coach
  Therapist
  Mental Health Prof...
  Pastoral Counselor
  DSM-IV
Types of Treatment
  Behavioral Therapy
  Biofeedback
  Cognitive Behavioral
  Desensitization
  Electroconvulsive
  Gestalt Therapy
  Hypnotherapy
  Neurolinguistic
  Psychoanalysis
  Psychotherapy
  Rational Emotive
  Reality Therapy
  Family Therapy
  Group Therapy
 Tests
  Intelligence (IQ)
  Myers-Briggs
  MMPI
  Neuropsych
  Rorschach (inkblot)
 Famous Psychologists
  Allport, Gordon
  Beck, Aaron
  Binet, Alfred
  Chomsky, Noam
  Ellis, Albert
  Erikson, Erik
  Erickson, Milton
  Freud, Sigmund
  Fromm, Erich
  Glasser, William
  Harlow, Harry
  Jung, Carl
  Kinsey, Alfred
  Laing, R.D.
  Leary, Timothy
  Lewin, Kurt
  Perls, Fritz
  Maslow, Abraham
  May, Rollo
  Piaget, Jean
  Pavlov, Ivan
  Rogers, Carl
  Satir, Virginia
  Skinner, B. F.
  Wolpe, Joseph
Contact
  Psych Associations
  Disclaimer
  Privacy
 
Psychologist
Anywhere Anytime
                                    Copyright 2005 Dr Vincent Berger                                     

 

Psychologists and Psychologist
Psychologists Psychologist
 Psychologists Allentown Pennsylvania Psychologists Hermitage Pennsylvania Psychologists Penn Hills Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Altoona Pennsylvania Psychologists Highspire Pennsylvania Psychologists Philadelphia Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Baldwin Pennsylvania Psychologists Johnstown Pennsylvania Psychologists Phoenixville Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethel Park Pennsylvania Psychologists King of Prussia Pennsylvania Psychologists Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethlehem Pennsylvania Psychologists Lancaster Pennsylvania Psychologists Plum Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Black Mountain Pennsylvania Psychologists Lansdale Pennsylvania Psychologists Pottstown Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Camp Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists Lebanon Pennsylvania  Psychologists Progress Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Carlisle Pennsylvania Psychologists Lemoyne Pennsylvania Psychologists Radnor Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chambersburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Levittown Pennsylvania Psychologists Reading Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Marysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Ross Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Colonial Park Pennsylvania  Psychologists McCandless Pennsylvania Psychologists Rutherford Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Drexel Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists McKeesport Pennsylvania Psychologists Scott Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Easton Pennsylvania Psychologists Monroeville Pennsylvania Psychologists Scranton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Enola Pennsylvania Psychologists Mount Lebanon Pennsylvania Psychologists Shaler Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Erie Pennsylvania Psychologists Mountain Top Pennsylvania Psychologists Sharon Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Greensburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Murrysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Springfield Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hampton Pennsylvania Psychologists New Castle Pennsylvania Psychologists State College Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hanover Pennsylvania Psychologists Norristown Pennsylvania Psychologists Steelton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hazleton Pennsylvania Psychologists Penbrook Pennsylvania Psychologists Upper St Clair Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Willow Grove Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Mifflin Pennsylvania Psychologists Williamsport Pennsylvania Psychologists York Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania  
Psychologists
Psychologists PA
Psychologists Pennsylvania