Perceptions are generally based on the present, and therefore, the need to explore the past by delving into it in great detail becomes totally unnecessary. Glasser felt that even if the person exhibited bizarre and extremely strange types of behavior at a particular time, it was because of an innate reason of trying and attempting to find the best solution in order to meet the person's needs at that particular time in his life, and therefore, it was logical and sane to him, if not to others who would sometimes label him as strange or insane. (the Use of Reality Therapy in Guidance in second Level Schools) delinquent would make choices based on the best way to meet his basic needs at that time, and therefore, must not be criticized. This, in essence formed the theory of Reality Therapy of William Glasser, wherein the concept of 'Choice Theory' was emphasized to a large extent, and this became one of the reasons why this theory attained so much of popularity over the years, not only in America but all over the world, where William Glasser Institutions are to be found in every place where there is a need for a new state of the art therapy institute for the individual of today. (the Use of Reality Therapy in Guidance in second Level Schools)
Current Research on Reality Therapy:
The theory of Reality Therapy has not been accepted by everyone as being a special and effective type of therapy. As there will be criticisms for everything that takes place in today's world, so must the criticism on Reality Therapy taken in the right spirit. A study conducted by Christian and Eclectic JC Disciples enumerate the reasons why they feel that Reality Therapy is not as good as it sounds. When the book called Reality Therapy was first published in 1965, it came as a surprise for many conventional therapists who followed the thinking of the time that stated that all patients suffered from their own high-from-reality standards of morality. The therapist would take on the figure of authority and try to convince the patient that he would be happier if he were to be less inhibited and freer. (Reality Therapy, by William Glasser)
Dr Glasser in his alternative therapy attempted to explain that the real problem lay not with the moral inhibitions and high standards of behavior expected of the patient of his own self, but of the fact that the patient's behavior has in fact been insufficient, and when this is corrected with making the person face the real world as it is, then he would have a much better chance at full recovery, as he would eventually have to live in the world filled with other people. Love and personal self-worth must flow between the patient and others who are connected to him in any way, as it is a fact that man is a social animal and will therefore thrive on a sense of self-worth fuelled by others in close proximity to him. It is only when these two basic needs are not met that the individual will resort to irresponsible behavior, and this can be changed with Reality Therapy. Glasser managed to reject completely the theory of a person being 'mentally ill'. Instead, he said that it was the patient's behavior that was more important, and with the total involvement of the therapist in the analysis of this behavior, the patient was bound to delve into the details of his behavior patterns with the specific goal of improving such behavior that may be irresponsible. (Reality Therapy, by William Glasser)
Brian Lennon, the Psychologist and Guidance Counselor of St. Oliver's Community College, Ireland, has conducted a lot of research on the concept of Reality Therapy, and is of the opinion that though the book 'Reality Therapy' was published in the year 1965, the theories have been changed and adapted to the constant changes taking place in the world today. As a result, the theory is no longer the same one that was written many decades ago; in fact, though the basic principles remain the same, there have been quite a few major clarifications and adaptations since that time. Choice Theory was created later, and this theory states that all human misery is based on a break down of human interpersonal relationships, and when this is addressed specifically by the therapist, then the problem could be solved much more easily and quickly. Internal control would be achieved, and the control of external factors would be to some extent eliminated. This was and still is an entirely new vision of psychology and therapy. (From Reality Therapy to Reality Therapy in Action)
When the book was published in 1965, it was hailed as the true 'landmark in psychotherapy', and the book 'Reality Therapy in Action' that came later in 2000 was described as being one of the 'most creative books on psychotherapy ever written'. While the older book described a totally new type of therapy and challenged traditional thinking as well as practices in the field of psychotherapy, the new book served to provide an actual theoretical base for the reality therapy that he had created. The ideas were from a physics graduate and demonstrated the author's origins in engineering and related subjects. This was why it was felt that the tenacious links between perception and behavior could be explained with such ease and understanding, and that was the reason why this concept became such a huge success. William Power's book entitled 'Behavior: the Control of Perception' held echoes of the original 'Reality Therapy' by Glasser, and the various concepts of internal control, of a persons dependence on perceptions rather than on true physical reality were adapted from Power's book, and this was adapted in the book 'Choice Theory'. (From Reality Therapy to Reality Therapy in Action)
What is the relevance of Reality Therapy today for individuals and the general population?
The theory of William Glasser states that all patients denied the reality around them instead of fulfilling their needs and wants responsibly. When the ability to fulfill one's needs was taught to them, they would learn to identify those needs and fulfill them without encroaching on the needs of other people. This theory would benefit an individual as well as an entire group of people. (Historic Overview of Psychiatric Care) it is a fact that Reality Therapy is meant for those persons who are needy of a people friendly and people needy type of psychotherapy that would help them to overcome their psychological problems in an easy way. The theory is based on the five principles of the basic needs that everyone has, which are those of love, freedom, power, belonging, and survival. All individuals on this earth are constantly striving to fulfill these needs, whether they are aware of the fact or not, and this is how the reality therapy helps those persons who feel that they are living unsatisfactory and unfulfilled lives, and helps them, as individuals, to recognize these needs and strive towards achieving them. (Reality Therapy and Choice theory) human being is definitely a social animal, and most of the time in his life is spent in socializing with other people, of his own age and social standing, etc. when a person is made aware of what he wants, he would be able to function better, and this is achieved by the reality theory. The individual may not think of his needs; he may think of his wants, like for example, he will say 'I want to meet my friends on Saturday night', rather than saying 'I need my social and belonging need to be met today'. When the answers to the three questions: what do you want, what will you do to get the thing that you want, and is the plan to get what you want effective and is it working? Reality therapy urges the individual to 'act' rather than wait for another person to 'act'. For example, when the marital relationship is under stress, the spouse is asked to take action and make the other spouse talk to him rather than wait for the other to take action and talk.
Therefore, control is placed in this individual's hands, and it is indeed a powerful motivator since the person can actually do what is in his power to do, when he wants to do it. The concept of 'doing' is in fact at the heart of reality therapy, and both the individual as well as the general population can follow this method. It is an acknowledged fact that emotions are indicators of the state of a person's mind; of whether he is happy or sad, etc. however, emotions cannot be controlled, and the reality therapy helps a person to think…