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Despite our best efforts at being proactive and avoiding problems by practicing Choice Theory, Lead Management and/or Quality School ideas and strategies,  there will be times when we will have conflicts or problems in our personal and professional lives.  Reality Therapy can help us help ourselves or others gain more effective control over ourselves in almost any situation.

Reality Therapy is a method of counseling / problem-solving, based on Choice Theory which is aimed at helping people gain more effective control over their lives.  It is an approach that has been proven effective in counseling, parenting, education, leadership, and management.  Key components in the Reality Therapy process involve helping people (ourselves included):

1. Take an honest look at both what they want and
    what they are doing to get what they want.
2. Evaluate the effectiveness of what they are doing.
3. Use this self-evaluation as a springboard for 
    positive personal change.

Reality Therapy can be used by individuals, by groups, even by organizations to solve problems, to plan, and to improve.  Below is a more detailed explanation of the process of Reality Therapy.


The Process of Reality Therapy

I. The Environment

A. Establish personal involvement - be friendly.
B. Clarify roles.
C. Provide a needs-satisfying environment.

         - physical and emotional safety and security
         - connectedness
         - strength, skill recognition
         - choices
         - fun

D. Accept no excuses for irresponsible behavior.
E. Avoid the past unless related to present or source
            of strength. 
F. Avoid punishing, criticizing, or protecting from
     reasonable consequences.
G. Do not be overwhelmed by clients’ stories.


II.  Procedures That Lead to Change

A. Help people realize that all behavior, even painful behavior, is a choice.
B. What do you want?   (Help person clarify his or  her Quality World picture in   
     this specific situation)
C. What are you currently doing to get it?
D. Is what you are doing helping you get what you want (now or in the long run)?
E. Would you like to try something different?
F. Make a plan (SAMIC3*: simple, attainable, measureable, immediate, consistent,
     client-centered, commited to).  A do plan is best.
G. Get a commitment.
H. Follow-up.  Never give up.

Practice, practice, practice is the key to mastering the skill of Reality Therapy.  Role playing with a partner or in a triad, with one person playing the helper, one person the client, and another to provide feedback, is the best way to practice.

*(Bob Wubbolding, Understanding Reality Therapy, 1991)

Role-playing Scenarios

 1.  A student is failing due to a lack of homework
 2.  An employee is chronically late to work.
 3.  A friend is unhappy in his/her marriage.
 4.  A client wants to reduce the stress in his/her life.
 5.  A friend hates his/her job.
 6.  A student disrupts the class with his/her class clown
 7.  A  colleague is afraid to approach the boss about a
       work-related issue.
8.   A friend wants to lose weight.
9.   A child can’t seem to get ready for school on time.
10. A student cheats on a quiz in your class.
11. An employee is disappointed he or she did not get
      the promotion he/she applied for.
12. A client wants to quit smoking.
13. An employee has trouble meeting deadlines.
14. A student is failing because of low test grades.
15. A friend has a chance to get an exciting new job, but
      has to move to get it and doesn’t want to move.

Choose one of the above or make up a problem on your own.  Try to avoid problem-solving, and try to focus on using the Reality Therapy Process.  Remember, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!


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