Do you ever want

+ to make choices you believe are better for you?

+ to understand why some people make the choices they do?

+ to have a framework to understand the world around you?

+ to know how to solve problems that move you forward in your life?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above questions, read on to get answers on how to grow by learning Choice Theory© and Reality Therapy©.

Several of the Faculty of The William Glasser Institute International studied directly with Dr. William Glasser and were personally approved by him to be on his teaching faculty. Those of us who are in that group consider ourselves “purists” because we learned directly from Dr. Glasser himself. There was no “interpretation.”

What we also observed was the working of Bill’s brilliant questioning mind as he sorted through ideas, concepts and his own experiences working with people with various life challenges. He was looking for an underlying theory, a foundation that would explain why Realty Therapy© worked across cultures, religions, races, genders and geography.

After a few iterations, he created Choice Theory©, an explanation of how and why we behave i.e. make the choices we do.

As I listened and learned what he was thinking, I applied these ideas and concepts to my own personal and professional life.

They always rang true.

I could see that my Basic Needs were not the same strength. I looked back on my childhood, remembered the family stories about me and the challenges I’d faced in my life. I looked at them with a new perspective and in doing so, I personally checked each of the concepts that make up Choice Theory© with my own decisions.

What was as clear to me then as it still is now is that I had an internal drive to be, if not “the best”, then certainly in the top 10%. Other than in high school algebra, anything less than an A or B was not acceptable. That didn’t mean I always made that grade (I barely passed algebra and still don’t understand it). What it did mean is that a C grade felt as if I’d failed. And no, this was not my parents pressuring me. It was me pressuring me.

In looking further at my personal life, I recognized a string of self-destructive choices I’d made in my twenties in an effort to “get” someone else to do something I wanted them to do.

My most rewarding? Professionally was when I made a positive difference in the lives of others. Not that I was perfect. I had to give that one up when in my 30’s because it was an impossibility. What made that easier was knowing Choice Theory©.

The only person’s behavior you can control is your own.

All behavior is purposeful and in that moment meets one or more of a person’s Basic Needs as represented in their Quality World.

All we can do is give someone information. What they do with it is up to them.

Professionally? The load of responsibility I carried for the choices my clients made disappeared. I recalibrated my interactions with them, looking at the choices they were making through a different lens. The lens of Reality Therapy© which also says clients can have the answers to their own problems. Our job is to assist them in figuring out what they believe will work best for them.

Here are four examples of how I reconfigured my interactions after being introduced first to Reality Therapy© in 1978 and then to Choice Theory© as it was developed.

My role when working in child protective services was to be as honest and forthcoming as I knew how to be, to provide information and resources in an effort to support the parents in becoming successful in parenting their child or children.

My role when working as a professional guardian and geriatric care manager was to learn as much as I could about their Basic Needs Profile and Quality World pictures so I could find as close a match as possible for them in an alternate living situation, finding a care giver or end-of-life care.

My role when working with youth aging out of foster care was to understand their goals and dreams, to provide them with the information I had from decades of experience and to stand up for them as they forged a path…not always straight forward in reality although the goal was.

My role in teaching these concepts is to encourage students/participants to do that same inventory of their past, to see these concepts as life-altering both professionally and personally. So much is lost when one only sees them as a “tool in their professional tool box”. In reality, if that is their perception, they’ve not really understood what Bill was saying.

The only person’s behavior we can change is our own is about personal responsibility not about ‘making’ or ‘getting’ someone else to change. And taking personal responsibility for all of our choices, whether good or bad sets us free to find a better choice, to grow and thus change our lives.

We’d love to have you join us on May 18, 2024 at 2 p.m. Eastern and learn more about how Choice Theory© and Reality Therapy© support you in changing your life.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 868 4605 5313
Passcode: 662804

Judith attended her first Basic Training in August 1978. She was certified in Reality Therapy© in August 1979 and became an Intensive Week Trainer and Practicum Supervisor in 1981. In 1991, Judith was approved as Senior Faculty by Dr. William Glasser. She has taught all phases of the Certification Program and presented workshops at Conferences in the United States and Internationally. Currently Judith is the Northwest Region’s representative on the GIFCT-US Board as well as president of the NW Region.