What Is Reality Therapy?

Mental health plays an integral part in your overall well-being. You have many choices today when it comes to your mental health. Many experts agree that talk therapy can be very beneficial for those seeking guidance.

There are several different kinds of therapy. One of them that may be helpful for you is reality therapy.

Background of Reality Therapy

Reality therapy was developed in 1965 by Dr. William Glasser.

Since then, it has become a widely accepted and used form of therapy. The basis of reality therapy is choice theory, along with focusing on the present, rather than the past.

The choice theory. Dr. Glasser believes that behavior is the only thing human beings can do, but you have complete control over your actions.

Your behavior can be influenced by your genetic makeup to satisfy the basic human needs. You must meet the following five human basic needs:

The ability to survive, including accessing shelter and food . Feeling loved and accepted Power and success Freedom and autonomy Fun as in enjoyment and pleasure. The Choice Theory states that each individual's behavior is determined by their current needs.

The theory teaches that only you and your behaviour can be controlled, and you cannot influence others' assumptions and perceptions.

While it can be hard to choose between feelings and actions, your thoughts as well as your actions are possible. Humans don't always have the best thoughts, actions or feelings.

These can impact your mental health and overall well-being.

Disconnection. Glasser believes that the primary reason why people act negatively is because they don't feel loved.

The root cause of the pain for many is their disconnection, or inability to communicate with others. There are five fundamental needs. However, it is this that we must fulfill.

Principles of Reality Theory

The purpose of reality therapy is to find a way to meet your basic human needs. Your therapist can also help you recognize your bad thoughts and behaviors so you can make changes.

Keep your eyes on the now. Glasser believed that when a person chooses to make changes in their own behaviour and not others', then they have the ability to achieve their goals.

One of the principles of reality therapy is to focus on the present issues that you're facing instead of things that you have experienced in the past.

Problem-solving. Another important part of reality therapy is problem-solving. Focusing on the present allows you to see the things and people that keep you from fulfilling your goals. One of the goals of reality therapy is to learn how to change your behavior. You must be able to recognize and change negative behaviors so you do not repeat them.

Responsibility and the willingness to make changes. Lastly, reality therapy avoids focusing on symptoms or transference, taking feelings from one situation and applying them to another.

Choice theory and reality therapy apply the concept of personal responsibility, so you alone are responsible for wanting to change.

What should you expect?

Reality therapy is a collaborative and ongoing effort between you and your therapist.

This approach is based on the idea that even if one strategy doesn't work you can still make new plans with your therapist until positive results are achieved.

Connection. Your therapist will work with you to establish a trusting, deep relationship.

You will be able to make real connections and re-connect with other people. Reality therapy seeks to help people who experience problems in relationships or connecting with others, so the goal is to focus on building trusting relationships from the start.

Application. Your therapist will help you apply choice theory and reality therapy by talking about the present. You will be encouraged to self-evaluate your behaviors and not judged by your therapist.

You will be asked to evaluate your feelings and thoughts to determine if they are helpful or unsuccessful in the current situation.

Create a plan. Talking to your therapist can help you develop a plan.

Setting realistic goals is key to achieving them and setting clear steps to get there.

In reality therapy, the plan should allow you as an individual to take control of your life to fulfill your needs. For this to be successful, you must take ownership and commit. Reality therapy does not allow you to place the blame on others if something isn't working.

There are no punishments in reality therapy, so if one strategy isn't working, your therapist will help you go back and work on a new way of approaching the problem.