William Glasser’s Choice Theory Essay

William Glasser’s Choice Theory Essay

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Dr. William Glasser was a distinguished psychiatrist and author known for his distinctive views about mental illness. Glasser broke away from the traditional model of psychotherapy in the early 1960s to develop his own model of counseling. Dr. Glasser began with the development of therapy before he developed his theoretical stance. Glasser created what is known as Reality Therapy. Glasser first defined Reality Therapy as “a therapy that leads all patients toward reality, towards grappling successfully with tangible and intangible aspects of the real world” (p.6).
In 1967, he founded The Institute for Reality Therapy. In 1969, Glasser published Schools Without Failure. Glasser suggests that children be taught about these needs as well as ways of more legitimately satisfying them. Choice theory places a great emphasis on helping children achieve their needs responsibly. Glasser states that when children’s needs are met, they find little cause to create trouble. The task of the teacher is to help them satisfy their needs legitimately and to help them learn to balance their needs.
In the late 70’s, Glasser was introduced to control theory systems through the writings of William T. Powers. In consultation with Powers, Dr. Glasser applied Powers’ knowledge of how systems work to the field of human behavior.
By 1980, he had begun to form the idea that led to choice theory: why so many people are unhappy in their relationships. Unlike all other living creatures, only human beings are genetically driven by the need for power. We try to satisfy that need by using what he calls, external control psychology – literally trying to force people to do what we want them to do. This struggle has led to the symptoms described in the DSM-IV. ...

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Glasser, W. (2000). Reality therapy in action. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
Howatt, W. A. (2001). The evolution of reality therapy to choice theory. International Journal Of Reality Therapy, 21(1), 7-12.
Lary, B. K. (2013). Explaining Glasser's 'Quality World'. International Journal Of Choice Theory & Reality Therapy, 33(1), 44-50.
Palmatier, L. (1998). Crisis counseling for a quality school community. Bristol, PA: Accelerated Development.
Rapport, Z. (2006). Replacing Mental Disorders with Unhappiness. International Journal Of Reality Therapy, 25(2), 30-31.
Sommers-Flanagan, J.& Sommers- Flanagan, R.(2004).Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice: Skills, Strategies, and Techniques. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Wubbolding, R.E. (2000). Reality therapy in the 21st century. Muncie, IN: Accelerated Development (Taylor & Francis).

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