Choice Theory Versus Reality Therapy

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This article presents detailed answers for two questions ofren asked of teachers and practitioners of choice theory and reality therapy: What is the role of the past in the practice of reality therapy; Does choice theory and reality therapy give adequate attention to the outside world? The answers presume a working knowledge of choice theory and reality therapy, as well as previous study, reading or training in the principles of reality therapy In a previous discussion (Wubbolding & Brickell, 2007), we provided responses for frequently asked questions such as, "What is the difference between choice theory and reality therapy?", "What is the WDEP system?", "What is the suitcase of behavior?", "Does reality therapy deal with feelings and emotions?",…show more content…
However, we emphasize the use of the word influence, rather than the words determine or cause. As Glasser contends (1965): "We are the sum total of our past experiences, but we don't need to be a victim of them unless we choose to be". Although this statement needs a lot of unpacking, it nevertheless provides a major stance regarding the reality therapy approach to dealing with the past that can be applied to many client/life issues. However, there are exceptions such as cases of trauma and abuse that may require specialist intervention by a qualified professional (as discussed further in this article), and a few other issues that may necessitate a review of past behaviors or life events (again discussed further in this…show more content…
A more expansive view of the principle involves the following considerations. 1. As with any theory and methodology including choice theory and reality therapy, a blind and rigid adherence to the principles takes their real life use into a realm in which clients and students become secondary, if not irrelevant. Rather than a puristic and unthinking view of theory and practice, it is more useful to expand the principles and apply them to the specific needs of clients and students. 2. Many agencies require a social history of clients. In fact, one of the best predictors of future behavior is past performance. When asked by someone for a loan of $1,000, any sensible reality therapist would seek a history of the loan seeker. Does the loan seeker have a history of failure to repay loans? Or is the request based on a solid credit record? A reality therapist hiring an associate would want to know if the applicant has a history of child abuse, or prison time for dishonest behavior. Teachers who boast, "1 don't read the records or the previous teachers' comments" make a serious mistake. They not only show disdain for other professionals' measured judgments, they also can make themselves unaware of such health issues as students' asthma, epilepsy, diabetes or serious allergies as well as delinquent or possibly dangerous tendencies. Knowledge
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