Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reality Therapy

This past week in my theories course we studied reality therapy. Each week in my theories course we answer questions about the current theoretical orientation that we are studying questions such as: what would be the goal with yourself as the client in (insert therapy orientation here). We basically apply the principles of the various types of therapies that we are learning about to our own life/self in an effort to show that we understand how to apply them to various issues. I can see the benefit to this but I also wish we had to apply and come up ways to work with clients with a variety of presenting issues using the current therapy techniques we're learning about possibly using case studies to do this and come up with how we would approach working with that client.

Even with this though I find myself being drawn to reality therapy and I agree with the basic principles behind it. You might be thinking that reality therapy is basically just bringing people back to reality, and in some ways it is but in other ways along with most other modalities of therapy using these techniques is an art form. Reality therapy tries to figure out exactly what it is that you want from your life, exactly what your doing to try to get there and exactly what you could change and do instead of get the real results that you wish to have. It looks something like this:

Reality therapist are concerned with helping you to understand how the current choices and behaviors you have made or are making are creating the current issues within your life. One of the goals of this type of therapy (and all others really) is to help you take responsibility for your own actions and to learn that the only person you can control is yourself. Reality therapy also helps you define your needs and I found this illustration online to show you what is considered basic needs for everyone:
Once you accept responsibility for your part in your life you can begin to work towards making changes in your life to move you toward the life you really want to have. You have to focus on the present in order to get there and this type of therapy really doesn't advocate hanging on to your past which most of us tend to want to do. Our past only defines our future if we allow it. And with that I leave you to ponder.

What do you want from life and what are you doing to get it?

Source 1, 2,3


  1. Just wanted to say hello. I'm a new reader of your blog and have added it to my blogroll. Great breakdown of reality therapy! I think my favorite part of grad school was figuring out what theories I was most drawn to and jived with my own personal views of humanity.


  2. Hi Jessica! Glad you found my blog it gets lonely over here :) I am reading yours and adding it to my blogroll as well! I love any/all blogs related to counseling :).


  3. I agree with your blog.I like your post that you give a big opportunity to take advice on therapy.Thanks for useful tips!!
    Therapist Counseling

  4. This may be one of the more difficult things to do while in graduate school; find a theoretical orientation. I find my values and philosophical orientations play a huge role in this. In terms of reality therapy, I think Glasser hit the nail directly on the head providing a theory that provides clients with choices. When I review my philosophical leanings I find my inspirations are from Locke and DeToqueville and their ideas on the individual and society frame liberty and freedom manifesting through individualism. This is somewhat, in a micro fashion, that Glasser espouses in Reality Therapy. I also believe Reality Therapy is a simple enough concept and generally is hardwired in all of our brains that it provides an easy place to start with our clients, without confusing them with complex narratives on our phi.osophical approach. This is going to be a great forum and look forward to contributing. I am a graduate student at Texas A&M and a Wounded Warrior and have a great deal of interest in helping my brothers in arms with their TBI and PTSD issues.

  5. And the most difficult thing to do after you graduate is to let go of your theoretical orientation!

  6. I was so glad to find this blog that I did a little dance! I'm writing my (first) orientation paper right now, and I have been getting a lot of flack from my cohort because I chose reality. I don't know that it is where I will end up in the end (I really want a more bio-psycho-social approach, but that wasn't really an option) but it really does make sense to me right now.

  7. am hapi 2 find a this,am a reality therapist in practice