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Glasser's Reality Therapy

     

GLASSER’S REALITY THERAPY
Reality Therapy was developed in the mid-sixties by William Glasser, an American Psychiatrist, and its techniques, theory and wider applications continue to evolve at his hands. Reality Therapy is a method of counselling which teaches people how to direct their own lives, make more effective choices, and how to develop the strength to handle the stresses and problems of life.

 

 

 

 

The core of Reality Therapy is the idea that regardless of what has "happened" in our lives, or what we have done in the past, we can choose behaviours that will help us meet our needs more effectively in the future.According to Glasser, individuals who escape reality by behaving in inappropriate ways do not need to find a rationale and defense for their illogical behavior.Instead, people must be helped to acknowledge their behavior as being irresponsible and then to take action to make it more logical and productive.For him, each individual must satisfy his own needs in a way that does not conflict with another’s. He clearly states that each individual is responsible for his own actions, and regardless of how disturbed or dependent he claims to be, each person must bear the consequences of his own behavior and make a commitment to act in a responsible manner toward others.

Glasser believes students are rational beings. He was the first to insist that studentsare in control of their behavior, that no unseen factors are forcing them to do this or that, and that they actually choose to behave as they do. He claimed that misbehavior simply resulted from bad choices while good behavior resulted from good choices. They choose their behaviors. They can choose to be good. They can choose to be bad.The role of the teacher is to structure the environment to help students make better choices. Reality therapy helps to provide this structure.

The practice of Reality Therapy is an ongoing process made up of two major components:

1) Creating a trusting environment; and
2) Using techniques which help a person discover what they really want, reflect on what they are doing now, and create a new plan for fulfilling that 'want' more effectively in the future.

According to Glasser, when a student misbehaves, the teacher should use 5 steps of discipline:
1) Help student identify their inappropriate behavior. Do not accept excuses. Do not invite excuses by asking students why they behave as they do. Teachers must ask questions directly to the misbehaved student to identify what they have done to cause problems. The teacher should deal with the present, not with the past. The questions are generally: “What are you doing?” “Is it against the rules?”

2) Have student identify various consequences if his inappropriate behavior continues.
3) Have student make value judgments about his behavior and its consequences. After the consequences have been identified, student is asked to decide

    a) whether or not he wants the consequences to occur and 

    b) whether or not he judges his behavior to be inappropriate.

4) Help student create plans to eliminate inappropriate behavior. When student accepts his behavior is inappropriate and wishes to avoid the consequences associated with it, a plan can be created to overcome the problem. The student should formulate a specific strategy for eliminating his misbehavior.

5) Help students stick to his plan or suffer the consequences if he fails to do so. Sometimes students make a commitment not to misbehave and are unruly anyway. These students should be cycled again through the steps of reality therapy. They may also be required to suffer the consequences they have already identified.

If students refuse to cooperate with reasonable classroom expectations, or if they violate rules they have previously agreed to accept, they may be candidates for isolation from the class. When students are a threat to the educational process, it is appropriate to
exclude them.

First they are isolated from the class but within the classroom. (for ex: a chair at the
back of the classroom).
If they continue to misbehave, then they are isolated from the class and out of the classroom. (For ex: time out room in the building). They are expected to stay in isolation only as long as it takes to produce a workable plan for returning to the classroom.

During time out, students are directed to create a written plan that they believe will solve their discipline problems. The purpose of requiring a written plan is to help students achieve a greater sense of commitment. The plan becomes a contract between the teacher and the students. If problems persist, teachers may ask the parents to get professional help for the child.

Teacher behaviors:

 

WHAT IS CHOICE THEORY? Click to see >>

 

Specifically, all of our behaviour is our best attempt to satisfy one or more of five basic needs built into our genetic structure. Glasser identifies these basic needs as:

Glasser suggests that children be taught about these needs as well as ways of more legitimately satisfying them. Choice theory places a great emphasis on helping children achieve their needs responsibly. Glasser states that when children’s needs are met, they find little cause to create trouble. The task of the teacher is to help them satisfy their needs legitimately and to help them learn to balance their needs.

The seven deadly habits that prevent the establishment of caring relationships between teachers and students are criticizing, blaiming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding students to control them.
In place of the seven deadly habits that damage relationships, teachers should use behaviors that increase a sense of connection between them and their students. The seven connecting habits are caring, listening, supporting, contributing, encouraging, trusting
and befriending.

Classroom meetings:
This is a well-known strategy in Glasser’s theory. The teacher organizes regular classroom meetings for dealing with a student’s problems, or for revising the overall organization and the curriculum of the class. In the meeting, the students and the teacher sit in a circle facing each other, on a rug or in chairs.The teacher explains the students that each of them are free to express their opinions, thoughts, and feelings during the meeting. It is also said that they are not there to talk about the past, but to talk about present and the future.

There are three types of meetings: