Reality therapy was developed in the 1950s by William Glasser and has been more recently expanded upon by Robert Wubbolding. Using concepts that included an existential, behavioral, and cognitive freamework, Glasser initially worked with delinquent youths and severely disturbed adults. Glasser believes that people are not victims of their past and can make choices in their lives to change their perceptions of themselves. In Glasser’s more recent writings, he states that we have five inborn needs: love and belonging, power, freedom, fun, and survival and he proposes that every behavior we exhibit is an attempt to have these needs met. However, Glasser also believes that sometimes we learn dysfunctional ways of getting these needs met, and these dysfunctional behaviors become the basis for how we perceive reality. He asserts that we continue to exhibit these behaviors, even if they are destructive, in order to maintain our view of the world. Through the counseling process, Glasser believes that clients can be shown how they are creating their own reality through the behaviors they choose. Understanding that they create their own reality, clients can learn how to choose new behaviors that will ultimately affect how they view reality and how they feel; thus the term choice theory (Glasser, 2001).
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