Choice Theory and Reality Therapy


so welcome to reality therapy and choice

theory and evening with dr. Robert

bubble ding and it's not very often that

you get an opportunity to be interacting

live with a major serous somebody who's

in your textbook and can really lay that

theory out for you and break it down and

that you can ask questions so I hope you

guys all brought questions with you or

that you won't feel hesitant to ask

questions later on when he's ready to

receive them um I'm going to go ahead

and introduce dr. Wilding now we have

students before I do that we have

students here today from rehab and

mental health counseling dr. well

building hopefully you can see on the

webcam who's in the classroom tonight

raise your hand if you're from the

rehabilitation of mental health

counseling program okay and how about

school counseling and any other programs

in the room right now anybody from any

other degree program besides those two

okay great so that's who we have over

here today so dr. Robert welding is an

internationally known teacher author and

practitioner of reality therapy his top

choice Theory reality therapy in the US

Europe Asia North Africa and the Middle

East his busy professional life includes

professor emeritus of Xavier University

faculty associate John Hopkins Hopkins

University and director of the Center

for reality therapy he's a senior

faculty for William Glasser

international and was personally

appointed by dr. Glasser in 1988 to be

the first director of training for his

Institute in this position he's

coordinated and monitored the

certification supervisor and instructor

training programs until 2011

so dr. wombling dr. William Glasser is

the founder of choice theory in reality

therapy dr. wubble ding has always been

known as his right-hand man and he is

carried on the voice and the legacy of

choice theory since unfortunately we

lost dr. Glasser so please welcome dr.

Robert welding

okay well thank you and I appreciate

that those kind words and I like that

kind of introduction there we go now you

can talk sorry I appreciate that

introduction and I also like the idea

that you did not use the word expert

because if you look at the word

etymologically and X is a has been and a

spurt is a drip under pressure so I'm

glad you didn't use that word okay

anyway I guess that's not a real funny

line but I thought it was one time okay

so I just want to ask you something when

you hear the phrase reality therapy what

pops into your minds maybe one or two

people could could describe what

thoughts do you have about that all

right so anybody want to anybody want to

chime in all right so doctor one more

thing were you able to hear that okay I

could not hear a word so all right well

I've got a microphone on right now so

let's see if I stand really close to

somebody if you can hear enough where it

may be on the beliefs as restructuring

them and maybe more focusing on the

concrete's of life as it is and trying

to sort of rectify

cognitive distortions in that okay so

you think you you kind of connected it

with existential counseling all right


any other ideas I'm like the Micro for

the human microphone being passed around

we all think differently and we each

have our subjective experiences well I

think there's some connection with both

comments there are some similarities

between reality therapy existentialism

because we emphasize the individual

responsibility of people and we put some

emphasis on choosing I'll make some

distinctions with that later on but we

do deal with the reality that the person

believes he or she has we we deal with

their perception of the world and that

of course is very different for

different people so I just wanted to ask

you that question to sort of get you to

think about it and respond to a few

comments that you might have I'd like to

talk about two major components and then

I'd like to do a demonstration if

somebody would roleplay simulate a

client of some kind and I'd I would talk

to you using these ideas is that okay

that's okay okay all right now I'd like

to begin the basic principle discussion

by asking you a couple of questions

does anybody in this room think that

traffic could cause you some stress

would you raise your hands please okay

how many people don't think that your

job could cause you some also some

stress and anxiety okay and it's

interesting that you feel that because

what we're going to say is that your job

does not cause stress and traffic does

that cause anxiety so when you think of

that that sounds like kind of crazy

stuff well I'm not saying you don't feel

it of course you do you feel anxiety you

feel stress what the trick is where does

it come from and I I sort of seduced you

into answering it yes those outside

forces cause those feelings in us well

that's certainly the conventional wisdom

that those outside forces cause our

behavior our feelings our actions think

but we're going to teach the opposite of

that now I'm not suggesting we don't

feel anxiety of course you do

you live in Austin Texas currently

you're going to feel fear no elsewhere

you've had your share of trouble in

Florida and anybody that isn't a little

bit upset about it probably has never

watched what's television but the point

is what really where does it originate

and we're going to say our behavior

whether it's something as perhaps

controversial is what I said or perhaps

more conventional where does it come

from we're gonna say it comes from five

sources one of them is survival you want

to survive you want to preserve yourself

I mean you have a need for that we're

going to call these needs your

body generates Behe I mean it generates

up behaviors circulating the blood

digesting a food etc all those are

survival behaviors self-preservation

that that we have perhaps we're born

with some of them but we can choose some

of them also for some survival behaviors

that you choose if you have a job you're

trying to survive survive in that job

but it gets a little bit complicated but

anyway that's one of the motivators the

other one that's more practical and

usable and I suggest you are mark it

down as really the most important

component of human motivation and that

is belonging for connectedness with

other people and if you can help your

clients connect with other people you'll

be doing them a real service and almost

every problem as a belonging aspect if

you look at the DSM the Diagnostic

Statistical Manual it's the book of


it's the Bo P the book of problems and

everybody in there has got some kind of

a diagnosis some kind of a problem

almost everyone and I can I suggest you

just open it let it fall open and I'm

going to something and see if there

isn't a belonging problem or a

relationship problem that's implied in

those symptoms how about depression

does that have any relational aspect how

about aggression

how about loneliness how about attention

deficit disorder or oppositional

defiance all of these things have been

longing aspects now that's what we're

going to deal with in reality therapy

here's a little controversial principle

you don't have to know everything about

the problem the person is in order to

help them because you know about the

alternative you know about mental health

that's why you can help them now you can

carry any principle too far

so just take that for when it's the next

human motivator is the need for power or

inner control you like to feel to

control your life and sorry about that

you should be good now okay are we all


yes I want I taught at Xavier University

okay we just lost in the n-c-double-a

tournament so we're all very sad about

that hmm which of course isn't caused by

the loss that's caused by the one thing

to win and not getting what we want


yeah which is power achieved fun all


and that's the third need isn't a need

for freedom or to make choices people

like to make choices and then the last

one is fun or enjoyment so I suggest to

you when you work with people and

they're upset about something asked him

a very simple question when was the last

time you really had fun like he had a

good belly laugh now with a disturbed

person that's a very weird question

because the conventional wisdom is to

find out what's causing this and what's

underlying it and early childhood

experiences and so on and all of that is

fine it's certainly legitimate but the

point is reality fit or you take some

more here-and-now approach and we say

what's missing in your life right now so

when you work with a trauma victim just

ask yourself when was the last time they

really had fun sometimes it's a very

long time when was the last time they

made choices that they felt good about

when was the last time they felt some in

control achievement accomplishment and

when was the last time they felt

connected with people and what prevents

them from being connected so you could

explore all of that with any kind of a

client are you with me on this

yeah yeah all right okay so anyway those

are the basic human needs and then then

we build specific wants in our head and

out of our wants when we don't have a

way want we generate behavior behavior

being action thinking feeling and

physiology so that's really all I want

to explain about that right now and and

that is to reiterate what I said does

your job cause stress well of course you

feel stressed who wouldn't feel stress

on some jobs of course because we have

needs and when they're not fulfilled

we're going to generate some kind of

behavior so the idea here is that every

behavior but many of them are chosen

just think about that for a moment does

traffic cause aggravation well not if

you're a traffic cop I mean you finally

got something to do and so so what

causes the aggravation is not wanting

the traffic but there you got traffic

and you don't want it so that's what

causes it like I say many people are

going to feel aggravation when they're

stuck in traffic but suppose you're

going to a meeting that you really don't

want to go to and you're stuck in


why are you gonna feel stressed well

maybe not maybe you have a good excuse

so anyway you got my point I like I say

any principle can be taken to extreme

and so we're not saying this that you

should tell clients oh well you're just

causing is yourself get over it

that's not that's that's not a very

appropriate way to to deal with and I

was talking as somebody recently who

works with trauma victims and they take

they talk the idea that you're it's

using your behavior well I would never

tell a trauma victim you're making

choices because you don't have a hundred


control over your behavior especially

your feelings but what my suggestion is

okay these things happen you get

startled or you're afraid of certain

people or or whatever it may be are

let's see if we can't work on improving

it I would never tell a trauma victim

that they're choosing anything I would

say it just happens don't worry about it

and so I'm kind of adding to the choice

theory what I what I'm calling the

spectrum of choice you know the spectrum

it was in the DSM so we can have a

spectrum of health and that is something

we have complete control over and other

things we have very little control over

so if you're driving your car and

suddenly you're skids

which you don't in Florida I know but up

here we got a little kind of snow so we

skid and but you're startled you have a

physiological feeling and you have maybe

fear and so on those are just

spontaneous events we don't choose them

but you choose the next behavior perhaps

the next choice of action but so that

would be one way of very little control

over but as you sit there you have

control over whether you're sitting

whether you're standing whether you get

up walk out those behaviors you have

complete control over so there's a wide

range of control when we say the word

choice so I'd like you to think about

that and consider using the concept of

choice but don't shove it down anybody's

throat when they really reject the idea

that they're choosing their behavior so

we certainly don't choose everything I

got a haircut today and I noticed my

hair is a little gray well is the gray

being a choice

what do you think they said no no I can

tell you it's not a choice okay

okay there's a question there

observation I see somebody's hand

oh yeah sure sure yeah you could color

it I've been thinking about that but but

you don't have a choice over that a

natural process

it just happens so I don't want to

minimize the idea of choice but I just

want to point out there's a range of

control that we have okay so that's the

quick summary of the choice theory and

I'd like to move to a discussion of

reality therapy now which will take a

little bit more time but first of all do

you have any more questions or comments

about the choice theory before we take

questions I'm gonna experiment with

something I'm gonna try and use the

audio on the other computer and see if

it picks up the whole room

can we do that really fine No all right

just a moment okay

all right I guess I did not work very

well my hope was that the microphone was

somewhere in the middle of the room but

it looks like that's not where it is so

let me turn this out down a little bit

out there so that we don't bleed and get

feedback again here yeah and then I'll

walk around and take questions from

people is it kind of dark in that

classroom it's it looks a lot darker on

the camera that you see than it does

actually in the room it's actually

pretty light in the room okay especially

up front no yeah so questions so far

anybody have any easy questions

okay difficult questions disagreements

we have one thank you for that question

I would suggest is the kind of label we

give to people whose lives are out of

control who have made some choices that

have gotten them in and great deal of

trouble and after they take a drink or

two if they're a real you know certified

alcoholic they don't have any much

control over what what they do after

that I mean in a sense of drinking I

mean that's the first step of a a I

learned my life is unmanageable so I'm

out of control so I would not I don't

think that the disease concept of

alcoholism or drug addiction has any

opposition to reality therapy when the

the American Medical Association I think

it was 1957 they they said alcoholism is

a disease

well you

people argue with that and we have a lot

of non-medical people who deal with it

so I are we practicing medicine if we if

we counsel alcoholics no surely not and

so but but yeah a person can believe

it's a disease or not I think I think

most people would say in some kind of a

disease and the purpose of the disease

the concept it it removes the guilt from

the person and remove it helps them

relax about it and then therefore they

can undergo a treatment for alcoholism

or drug addiction a lot better than if

they're afraid or they they're feeling

bad nothing then when we tell them their

choose thing you know I don't think

that's gonna be too helpful so you could

say well it's a disease but we're going

to talk about letting go of some of it

yeah I've said I like that have you ever

had another disease that you got rid of

yeah well maybe this is one you can get

rid of at least you can arrest it stop

it and and maybe you'll always you know

have some some craving or perhaps not we

don't know but but you can control what

you do that's the point and so that's I

teach this at many conferences on drug

addiction I just I just came back from

Las Vegas where I was at the u.s.

Journal counseling a convention and it's

all on drug addiction they like the

ideas I've been back seven several times

and they really like the ideas because

you don't blame people for for their

problem whatever it may be I saw you

last year actually doctor were building

at the annual addiction behavioral

health conference you are presenting app

and we get this question a lot from

people about the disease concept and the

paradox between disease and choice can

somebody have a disease and also have


and I'm curious if you think that this

example fits in and what you talked

about with choice theory or reality of

therapy being compatible with the

disease concept instead of opposed to it

necessarily I had a co-worker who she uh

she had a seizure like unexpected out of

nowhere never had a seizure in her life

but when she had that seizure she made a

whole lot of choices one of those

choices was to go get an evaluation to

find out what was going on so she went

to a doctor who in turn referred her to

a specialist and she took the

responsibility to go to that specialist

and get the appropriate testing and when

she got the testing the doctor shared a

diagnosis with her and then she took

responsibility and made choices to learn

about her condition and she also learned

about some of the potential triggers for

seizures so for example when I was

leaving that agency we decided to go do

office laser tag because what's more fun

than office laser tag with other

counselors so we went and she said you

know what I'm gonna go with you guys and

I'm gonna hang out in the lobby and I'm

gonna play video games with you and

stuff but I'm not gonna go in the arena

because I did my research and they're

strobe lights in that arena and strobe

lights serve as a trigger for me and

could potentially trigger a seizure so

I'm not gonna go in there she made a

choice to avoid that trigger

she also when she had a seizure at one

point she had she made the choice to

surrender her driver's license until

she'd been seizure-free for six months

as the law requires so that she wouldn't

be in jeopardy or risk and that that

comes with a lot of unique challenges

for her and so we would not say that she

chose epilepsy oh no what we would say

is that she is choosing recovery and

she's choosing to be informed and to

take appropriate action and get

appropriate help so that she remains in

remission and and indeed has gone now

for years without another seizure

because of it does that sound compatible

with that sort of paradox of choice and

disease well I think it's perfectly


I mean we wait you know you get a

disease you don't choose it but there

are still choices as to what to do about


and I think that's what we stress with

people and somebody might role play such

a client and it was maybe been blamed

for their condition and I'll illustrate

how to handle that and I think this is

not at all

this is a very empowering system you

don't put people down even if they make

made a you know inappropriate choices

the question is your yard and you only

got one day at a time

what yeah my wife just said your example

was excellent ah thank you I mean this

is the flu season up in the north

country here and both my wife and I have

had the flu and I had a virus at one

point did I choose virus no virus is not

my friend

and what somehow I got a virus which

they tell me is different than whatever

it is I had to stay home all that time

and effort about a week and so did I

choose a virus no but I chose to take

care of it I mean this is reality I mean

that's why this is called reality

therapy because this is a way people

really though okay let's talk about the

the reality therapy itself which is

which is different than the choice there

I mean I should I should explain that

the choice theory is the explanation

it's the theoretical explanation behind

reality therapy now you might hear that

differently you might hear that

different interpretation and but I think

this is the correct way to look at it a

theory explains something else and the

something else is what you do when you

implement the theory let me give you an

example Glasser defined the difference

this way he said choice theory is the

train track

and reality therapy is the train if you

think of it that way

you need a train track to direct that

the Train and you need a train to

deliver the product one without the

other doesn't work so in other words the

choice theory gives validation to the to

the system now there's a third element

in this which is the research behind

reality therapy I don't know if we have

time for that but there is research that

validates reality therapy there are

studies and you can look them up if you

care to and and so some of the best

research is coming out of Korea out of

Korea the Rosen's a Kim who is a former

dean at Sogang University says she has

500 master's thesis and doctoral

dissertations on reality therapy think

of that and and you don't hear about

that I said Rose please translate them

into English well she says okay okay and

she doesn't do it she's got a lot to do

but but so I just wrote a book on this

and I quoted one of them that is

translated into English and so there are

studies that validate this so anyway

that's the third so you know the theory

the practice and you have the research

that everybody talks about research

evidence evidence-based research we

can't we don't have any official

approval to call it evidence-based but

we can call it evidence supported and

that's what I call it and social workers

say evidence informed so that is

epically sound because I've checked it

out with some of the hotshot ethical

people okay so at any rate that that's

that now the reality therapy if you have

the chart the cycle chart can they get

that you have it on your desktop

okay okay just the front just everybody

see that yeah but I would suggest that

you maximize it and make it even bigger

like making it take up your screen do

you see the green little green circle in

the upper left-hand corner of that box

yeah that little green there you go yep

that's it click on that's good

oh isn't that beautiful

I don't hear anybody agreeing okay oh

they're agreeing you just can't hear

them okay so now we can't do everything

on this chart but we can do some things

the lower rectangle means environment

it's the atmosphere it's the

relationship it's the music between

people and you'll notice a double I mean

a I broken line between the procedures

and the environment because you can't

completely separate them there's plenty

of research that says what helps clients

mostly is the relationship so if you can

establish a relationship with clients

with students with whoever you're

dealing with your whatever the client

may be in school or in an agency if you

can do that you can really make a lot of

progress because that's what it takes

and so maybe reality therapy and all the

systems are simply tools for enhancing a

professional counseling relationship so

I want to put this thing in in context

the upper rectangle is what I formulated

it is a simple acronym to remember the

procedures and the first one is a W

which means that

exploring what people want related to

their needs what do you want to get out

of this counseling what do you want from

the people around you from your family

from your job from your manager from

your supervisor from your spouse from

your partner from from your teacher from

the classes you take so what what do you

want is a very important question and

many people are not used to being asked

that so now it we have to adapt this to

the person we're using it when I teach

this in Japan and my friend Misaki

Kakutani says you ask people what they

want it's it's kind of intrusive it's

kind of harsh

so in in Japanese they rephrase it to

what are you looking for what are you

seeking which to my Western ear sounds

the same but it apparently is quite

different sounding in Asian cultures so

yeah we can learn that we can learn that

idea of adapting our interventions to

the person and to the well they not

everybody every culture is the same but

but it's something to consider that's

what I'm saying the D is what are you

doing how are you spending your time

tell me what you did yesterday tell me

what went through your mind your

self-talk tell me how you feel I always

bring it to the presidency and say now

you did you did business how do you feel

about that even how do you feel right

now about talking about it and most of

the time they'll say oh I feel a little

better and then I suggest if you can

feel a little bit better just by talking

about it think how much you could how

much better you will feel when you take

action so w-what do you want D what's

going on in your behavior your behavior

means action thinking feeling and even

physicality the key in the heart of

is self-evaluation is what you're doing

helping you and you notice all the lines

going back to the D and there's a lot of

a lot of self evaluation that we can

help a person conduct is what you're

doing working for you I had a young

woman who wanted to move out of her

mother's house into her father's house

she was about 16 and what was she doing

to get what she wants

well she was skipping school breaking

mill curfew telling off her father doing

all of these things and she thought that

I would get her out of the father's

house ours out of the mother's house to

live with her father which was a bit of

a surprise but anyway that's what she

wanted and so I asked her the simple

question is what you're doing going to

get you what you want and she there was

this long pause and she finally said I

never thought of it that way she never

connected what she wanted with her

behavior what she was doing that's why

she came for counseling what she didn't

know that's why she came but that's the

way I look at it and so self evaluation

now if you're dealing with a person who

is what's the word who is raised in a

family where there's addiction where

they are addicted themselves they have a

very hard time with this what they can

learn it we helped them examine what

they're doing and is it working for them

then the P is the plan of action a plan

of action as you see it says Samak Samak

means s for simple K is keep it simple a

for attainable M for measurable so

simple attainable means like what are

you going to do today and M is

measurable like when we're with whom and

how many times are you going to do your

plan is immediate knots in the distant

future and then C is controlled by the

planner now this fits quite nicely with

the responsibility that you some of you

have which is to

come up with treatment plans and there

was an article that I co-authored that

was in the Journal of counseling and

development last October I urge you to

get that and to read it because it

connects reality therapy with the

responsibility to to make treatment

plans and you can make plans relative to

belonging took to achievement or inner

control you can make plans treatment

plans that fit in with fun or choices

and so those that can be spelled out in

quite nice detail

okay so there's there's the summary of

it and as I said I can't go over

everything on the chart oh let me add

one thing under environment do you see

where it says lower right side it says

things to avoid and if you can teach

this to your clients you will be doing a

big service to them

I always ask a parent for example who

has a problem with a teenager do you

argue with your teenager and then I say

how is it working and they say it just

makes things worse I said I got a


don't argue if it's not doing if it's

not working stop doing it don't blame be

is boss manage but let's just say blame

don't blame and then see is criticized

don't criticize or put them down

certainly in counseling we we can avoid

it but also as you work with clients and

they have relationship problems which

most people do in one way or another

teach them these this ABC very simple

keep it simple don't argue don't blame

don't criticize and what do you do well

you could talk about their D what are

they doing parent can talk about that

with their child I had a friend who told

me his 18 year old son demolished their

car just wiped it out he wasn't hurt but


or was the total loss it was a fairly

new car the kid that the father said I

did the cruel thing to him

that I could ever do I didn't argue I

didn't blame and I didn't criticize and

I said what did you do he said I said

nothing can you imagine that kid he said

that boy was walking around on eggshells

for a month waiting for the for the

hammer to fall he never said a word

about it

he didn't argue he didn't blame him he

didn't criticize him he just said I

figure that's part of having a family

something like that is going to happen I

said oh my gosh and okay so that's just

an example but all right now I'd like to

get this off the screen

must be a simple way here if you move

your pointer up to the top of that

window where you see the PDF you know I

had one question although I probably

should have said it while that was up

under evaluation it says eight types and

it's got eight arrows coming away from

evaluation but I don't no idea what

they're taking us to so what are they

where are the eight types of evaluation

on that chart or is that good okay I

kind of skimmed over that okay Andy is a

computer whiz and yeah at first it's

like lurking back to the D is what

you're doing getting you what you want

and then is what you're doing okay is it

acceptable is what you're doing against

the law those are three types of

evaluation and then it looks you see the

arrows also

back to the W that means is what you

want realistic is it attainable like the

fifteen-year-old says in school I want

to be left alone how realistic is that

and then also a self evaluation of the

level of commitment which is and I

skimmed over that how hard do you want

to work at this and is your level of

commitment if it's weak is that going to

help you who is that gonna get the job

done so they're making judgments the

clients making these guys about

themselves not judgments in the sense of

self condemning but but simply is this

really is this really helping me and

then another one is a I like this one a

self evaluation of their perception

especially their perception about their

inner control or locus of control

because some people say well I don't

have any control I didn't bring this on

everybody else is causing my trouble and

the question is well is that really true

and how much of all this hassle are you

causing yourself and usually people will

say well maybe a little bit and so

you're helping them evaluate their their

sense of control is everybody else

causing them Browns or are they bringing

some of it on themselves so so that's

the idea of the self evaluation and the

many many kinds of self evaluation but

the essential one is what you're doing

helping or hurting you okay all right

thank you yes let's do a roleplay

demonstration we have about 45 minutes I

think we can go a little longer than

that that's okay with me but no we'll do

a short roleplay we don't want too long

so if somebody could come up and sit up

open the front there where I can see all

right so we're gonna need a volunteer

who wants to participate in a role play

that would be willing to come up here

the computers at all right we got one


come on up now that I have some rules

for role plays you should see you know

you have to be somebody other than

yourself okay

well see I don't like to do real

counseling in public can you see okay

where is your face what's up oh yeah

that's weird it's actually not showing

the webcam dream she's not gonna be able

to see you unless like I see her and you

can see her okay she can't see

I control I turn this way

okay no I don't think that is just going

somewhere maybe




but you change your mind

hold on just a moment actually I'm

plugged something so let me fix it real

quick did she change her mind about

doing this Rena

well can you see her right now or no yes

I could see your self but I'm not look

over here oh you have to look over that

that's ok you on the computer for me to

face this way but I can see you facing

that way it's ok there we go

we'll figure this out somehow but you

come over clear yeah this way there we

go ok ok are you standing or sitting

she's standing I'm standing it's ok we

do it your way but I just thought I'm

working I'm gonna sit now yeah try it

and see oh yeah ok ok ok

now idea is to be somebody else because

I don't like to do real counseling in

public but though and then can you think

of a client or conglomerate of clients

yes that might come for counseling yes

is there a particular mental illness you

want me to focus on her whatever you

want what's your favorite mental illness

well I'm working in a cute care right

now so probably like borderline

personality disorder oh good okay I

could shoot something easier

I attended a training in borderlines and

somebody said what you do with

borderlines is you refer them to

somebody you don't like yeah I could do

like I don't know I could pick like

depression or something oh whatever you

want I mean you could be borderline well

be borderline

mean because they're kind of challenging

so so now how old do you want to be I

don't know should I be a different age

than I am well that's up to you just

pick an 86

it's my really pretty six okay and what

would I know about your gonna be a he or


she and what do I know about her what do

you know about me yeah a little bit

I've been a heavy substance user for

most of my life is this stuff that I'm

telling you or just no no good that I

would know this ahead of time

oh okay that I'm a heavy substance user

I have a lot of the maybe

attention-seeking behaviors maybe

there's some up and down emotional

bipolar type that's enough yeah yeah and

and so now is she a red is this a

residential program it's acute care so

no no so it's a outpatient its impatient

but it's um it's the average stays about

a week yeah okay that's fine I just was


alright so how long has she been there

when you make these things up because

this is wrong okay so she or me or I'm

so I'm afraid of myself I've been in the

facility for let's say five days okay

okay so

now what will her name be make up a name

Sheila Sheila all right now I'd like the

people in the class to look for a couple

of things look for if I help her make

self evaluations that would be one thing

look for do I ask her anything in the

area of her wants or desires look for

something that I might do that's

unexpected unexpected in her mind or

unexpected in your minds

okay so we'll just do this for a few

minutes and then we'll stop and we'll

can you hear me yes am I talking too


no no you're good


quiet okay

so well Sheila I'm the counselor for a

year and you've been here five days yep

and so what do you think about this

place I think it's a joke I don't even

know why I'm here okay so it's two

things you think about if it's a joke

you know I know why you're here with

that yes no somebody else must think you

need this place yeah true yeah like the

stupid doctors here those are the

doctors think yeah somebody sent you

here yeah my one of my family members

yeah what did they say they just thought

there's something wrong with me and they

just couldn't deal with me anymore

they just they had like fed up and I was

fed up at the same time so right yeah

yeah so you had that in common yeah okay

because a lot of people in this program

they don't seem to have anything in

common with their families but you have

have that in common that you're both fed

up yeah okay well that's a start

so what do they say you did

that they were unhappy with I don't know

it started over some stupid situation

but I just feel like I was unjustly

accused of doing something I didn't do

and then I wanted to just tell my family

member what the heck I thought and they

said I was being irate and I went crazy

and all this stuff and I think they're

crazy and they need to just listen to

what I'm saying oh so you want them to

listen yes okay okay

and whatever you said they they didn't

listen is that right right so what do

you think they want from you as far as

how to communicate I don't know

well they weren't happy with the way you

tried to communicate listening to me so

I had to yell that's what I mean okay

and how'd the yelling work out for you

well you know now I'm here so there you

are so are you now in agreement that

that didn't work yelling back at them

that it didn't help you I mean I'm not

blaming you I'm just asking if it if it

got you what you wanted well when you

put it like that no I mean I don't wanna

be miss to be hospital yeah yeah sure

the idea back the idea of this hospital

is to get you out and so what do you

think about it for you is there a better

way Sheila to try to communicate with

them rather than yelling at them I mean

I don't know if someone's not gonna

listen to me I I mean what did what am I

supposed to do I just I started getting

really angry and then I want to be

violent and I want you know take my

violence out and other people yeah

and that didn't help much mm-hmm

a lot of us as human beings do new

things that don't work do you know

anybody who kind of gets along with

their family do I know anybody yeah in

most people have issues I think your

problems but yeah don't come to the


so they must they must work it out


okay and you want to try something that

they tried to avoid coming here okay

well I mean practice far as the I mean

you don't want to be here and so they

think you have a problem I didn't say

you had the problem I said they think

you have a communication problem yeah

I'm sorry

yes are you interested in the days that

you have left here to try to figure out

how to communicate with them I mean I

might as well give it a shot at this

point what do I have to lose I'm real

here so I'll do whatever to get out okay

okay so who around here is there anybody

that kind of irritates you around here

like in the classroom I mean no I mean

in the hospital in the hospital yeah I

told you I don't like my doctor she

irritates me because she's okay so the

doctor irritates you do you ever yell at

the doctor how's that working for you

um it doesn't work really good because

they don't listen she usually just walks

away oh wow yeah I guess that's not such

a good thing I have a hunch Shellie if

you are willing to to kind of lower your

voice they might listen okay do that um

I can try

well you don't yell at me right now no

I'm not yelling

right well you're making me mad pardon

me you're not making me angry in being

accusatory yes yes or not that's true

but but so so if somebody is accusatory

I'm just asking is there a better way to

talk to them and I suggest I always

suggest this no matter what you say say

it in a low tone on a voice yeah that's

something that I struggle with yeah well

do you have control over your tone of

voice or

absolutely I do where you do you may not

have control over how you feel but you

have control over what you don't you say

and the tone of voice I mean yeah so

would you be willing to make a plan to

do something okay I have these little

cards these little uh you know these

file cards about this side

that's a file card okay would you be

willing to take this card that I give

you right now yeah right now okay you

have it now and would you be willing to

okay good good all right would you be

willing to write three letters on there

yes doing it right um right now

yeah yeah right now P writing see Oh

what dearest one is it t t second one is

o and the third one is V V as in victory

victory the POV lvk what do you think

that means

tío V we just talked about it phone tone

oh don't a voice TOB willing to carry

that with you you don't have to flash it

around but carry it with you and when

you feel like yelling at somebody just

remember you know you can hold that card

you could keep it on you whatever you do

with it but just it's a little reminder


to talk and a low tone of voice like an

idea actually

pardon me that's a good idea yeah it's

all over your tone of voice yeah and I

don't remember

I forget how loud I actually talk yeah

so maybe when I swing too it's even

worse when you get angry you're not

aware of your actions right Laurel how

you feel

yeah that's true so I'm saying when you

feel like yourself you're getting angry

try to bring your attention down to the

erections ah ok and this little thing

would help you it just it sounds like

you're saying come back to like the

present moment come back to the present

moment focusing on your actions and then

your action is the tone of voice actions

totally ok let's practice this right now

okay suppose I said something that

really upset you what would you have

done how would you have said something

to me prior to our conversation say that

one more would you would you well if if

we hadn't had this conversation and I

said something that annoyed you yes how

you how would you talk to me and I were

walking down the hall and I say

something I'd be like why did you say

that it's nap

is that how you would say that or would

it be a little bit more vigorous sure

can you tell me how you would say it

scream it why did you say that a little

louder louder okay all right so that's a

tone of voice did you did you hear your

own tone of voice yeah that's really

loud maybe it's really louder on when

you do it yeah Wow

as you're choosing to do this now

that makes I'm actually I'm suggesting

maybe you could choose

to say it differently in a lower tone of

voice yeah I gotcha so if you were to

say it in a loader lower tone of voice

how would it sound why did she say that

what do you I can't remember what I said

why didn't you say that yeah okay maybe

that's a reasonable you say that yeah

well that's a reasonable question and

it's a very calm tone of voice now which

way is better for you better hmm

in terms of consequences yes okay let's

start with consequences in terms of

consequences which is better

uh speaking lower okay which way did you

feel more in control definitely well it

was they were both purposeful oh sure

so I felt in control I think both ways

oh you did that's surprising so you

really felt in control both ways which

means you could choose the second one


well I've done this a while okay now see

a hard time is about up for today but

I'd like it would you be willing to

carry that piece of paper that I gave

you with the oh I mean with a voice and

that would be something to work on yeah

thank you don't strike me as a weak

person so I think you can handle this

yeah no I'm definitely I agree okay anko

what's let's say what's today is your

fifth day and it's about

nine o'clock in the morning could you

kind of tell me how it went in a couple

hours you could just come by my office

and tell me how it went I mean it would

take five seconds just walking around

with the carton in my hand tell you how

that went oh you know don't wave it

because you don't want people thinking

about that thinking about that yeah yeah

ya know how it went if you blew your top

or if you were patient okay in a couple


sounds like a plan I got nothing else

good that's a good plan now I won't let

one last idea of what's the most

important idea that you will take with

you from our conversation the control

the idea that I felt in control of both

of those tones of voice giving me the

power to choose okay oh okay good that's

a very good lesson to learn okay well

thank you for stopping in and I'll talk

to you later

hey thanks okay did she do a good job



you hear me yes we can hear you here

okay all right let's say let's hear some

comments well first of all let's hear

from Sheila and she back there somewhere


here all that okay oh it was really good

too bad you missed it she said it was

the last thing that she said was it was

a very non judgmental flow yeah yeah

that's a good observation because she's

getting a lot of criticism isn't she I

mean people get angry at someone like

this and I get impatient and they blow

their stack and and and she gets a lot

of harsh comments in fact in fact she so

harsh that they kicked her out and

center the hospital I mean it hurt you

that's what it looks like so I I that's

why we have counselors because we can

put some distance between ourselves and

their problem that doesn't mean we don't

try to understand it but we're not

affected personally by it as much as the

family would be at least

what else any other comments from Sheila

she's thinking okay well that's okay was

there anything unexpected

so she said first how you basically had

her yelling that was unexpected and then

she's sure it sort of joined in with you

on quieting it yeah I wanted her to hear

her own voice when she had when she had

control she's and indirectly to teach

her actually has some choice in this and

then she can contrast that with when she

does the opposite so I wasn't telling

her oh you're just choosing to do it but

indirectly I was trying to teach her

there's some element of choice because

if you can choose to do it right now in

front of meeting well there's a little

element of choice at least and that but

I'm not going to tell her and and

stressed oh you're just bringing this

trouble on yourself because you're

making bad choices what good would that


I thought that she's probably rude

before she said that was a point well


okay anything unexpected there's a class

F is somebody talking no nobody's

talking yet okay from the class that was

there anything that you thought was

unexpected all right

okay so she said linking the commonality

between herself and her family and how

they both wanted or needed to be heard

yes yes I admit so I think talking about

being able to therefore empathize with

family where we're all wanting the same

thing which is to be heard you know yeah

they all want the same thing and and I

try to look for something people have in

common even if they're fed up even if

they're like a couple one couple wants a

divorce they come and they they wanted

of course I say well do you agree on

that when was the last time you ever

agreed on anything and I'll say well

it's been a long time but you do agree

on the fact that you wanted them worse I

mean that's kind of scraping for

something in common but it is true that

if they do have that in common now if

they have that in common maybe they have

something else that we can build on so

you know I think that was quite

unexpected and and what did you think

about the last part of that where I said

what was the most important thing that

you will take away

I suggest that you ask every time you

have a counseling suggested counseling

session that you that you ask at the end

of the session what will you take away

from this that's positive don't ask how

it went I want to ask well what's the

plus and what's the - now I don't get

into that what will you take away from

this or what's the most significant

thing that you remember and watch their

nonverbal behavior when you ask that

question because their eyes go up like

this because they're thinking and

they're thinking about something

positive now why I asked that question

well because they're thinking about

something different very frequently but

also there's evidence and Scott Miller

there was every research study that's

ever been done in history he says that

by the way he has a a website I think

it's Scott P Miller it's Scott just go

to nowhere you'll get some musician but

he's he's he has research where he says

if you just ask that question the

clients improve their behavior and they

stay in counseling they don't run away

as quickly so that's that's very

important to hold them in counseling it

especially when you're kind of

challenging them the clad as I was I was

challenging not her personally but her

her behavior her choices and yeah but it

didn't bother her much and because I

wasn't as she said I wasn't being

judgment and we kind of we kind of

related it not to her inner problem or

her diagnosis but her behavior as far as

communicating those I mean it's a pretty

safe topic with clients and so you know

you can ask about their current behavior

like when when was the last time you hit

a conversation with your spouse or your

partner or with your parent or your or

your teacher or your child when was the

last time you had a conversation and how

did it go and what was

a tone of voice when you talk to them

and what was that purpose instilling the

boys so it's always a mutual thing I

mean usually and so how did you talk to

that child when you said you know you

would be their study or we're going to

send you to Canada well you know how did

that go was were you satisfied with it

would you be willing to talk to them in

a different way and so there you're not

blaming them you're just helping them

make a better choice any other comments

or disagreements with nobody trying to

do to make it easier for the students to

interact with you I'm gonna try and turn

down the the system volume completely

and then I'm gonna turn the laptop

volume up and walk around with it I

think that will actually work better let

me try that room okay that's good all

right sorry guys hopefully this will

work a lot better can you hear us okay

okay great can you guys hear this okay

all right I think this will work then so

questions comments in the session today

we you suggested the tone of voice plan

can you comment on from a reality

therapy perspective how you know watch

how involved should the therapist be in

suggesting plans for the client well

other people say well the plan should

come from the client well ideally that's

true but if the plan could come from the

clock they might not probably wouldn't

be your client so the idea is that if

they cannot formulate a plan you can

make a suggestion and I might have

forgot this but I usually would say can

I make a suggestion

and usually they say yes so that's

always good a good thing to do before

you suggest a plan but but

keep in mind our client is not just the

person in front of us the client is

their family the client is the community

and they expect something from us as

counselors so we can stick to our theory

rigidly you know about not suggesting

anything but what people expect

something of us rightly or wrongly and I

think if we are willing to intervene and

help them even suggest by suggesting a

plan I think we're you have to kind of

watch them and if they if they seem open

to the idea then go ahead with it

but if there's if they're adamant about

refusing any help or any any idea of

your involvement I think you've got a

hold back on it but but one thing you

could say you know if you don't want to

hear my suggestion is that going to help

you see bring it back to the here and

now as far as the self-evaluation goes I

mean clients will sometimes want to

fight with you and and I I say to them

you know yeah I'm on your side if you're

fighting thing with me how is that gonna

get you and so you don't take it

personally you just use it as material

for counseling everything is material

for counseling that they say so to play

devil's advocate just say she does yes

we can say well that don't work that was

useless that tone of voice you know

forget about that didn't work at all I'm

still stuck here

how would you followup with that mm-hmm

I'd say well you tried didn't you

roleplay with me I'd say you tried yeah

I try maybe it was not a good plan you

know I as I think about it I think I

pushed too hard for that maybe you got a

better idea

okay what would be a better idea Sheila



your Sheila what this what does

what do you say do you see how hard it

is when you're not resisting right you

know what what I were a woman at a

workshop told me some time ago and it

was so good I wrote it down he says it's

hard to resist when no one is attacking

and so it's hard to resist what I do in

reality therapy because I'm not

attacking and you even showed it right

then because you were kind of stumped

about how to now the client would be

better at resistance than you are of

course because they're more practiced at

it but at the same time you're what you

were feeling is exactly what they feel

only they feel it much more right yeah

my instincts were to blame the therapist

yeah laugh if I then saying okay I spy

accepting the blame it stole my Thunder

so to speak yeah yeah yeah I said maybe

it wasn't a good plan well we got that

one out of the way

let's try another one you know really

when you it's kind of thinking of the

real world when you drive somewhere and

you get lost what do you do

it's try to figure out how to get there

you don't give up and go home usually so

that could happen of course but you get

my point is is you keep trying so you

get there it's kind of like taking a I

mean I knew somebody took the legal Bar

Exam about three times and that's

unheard of I mean he just kept trying

finally passed it so driving from

Orlando to Tampa and to get lost you

don't flunk Tampa you find a better way

no the same way here find a better plan

okay thank you for that observation

doctor wobbling I think this is anybody

else have

quick I think this is actually a really

important point to highlight because

when I when I read or hear about

criticisms of reality therapy one of

them that I hear like there are certain

excerpts from the book choice theory

that I really like to share with

students and in one of them

dr. glass er is is talking talks about

coercion and in the attempts to youth

force to get people to behave the way

that we want them to behave and he

called up control psychology I think it

is external control external psychology

and he criticizes it but then he also

talks about in that same excerpt how

choice theory postulates that we choose

every everything including our own

misery and at that point I lead some

students because sometimes some students

say wait a second you're saying that I

choose my own misery that that 2dm

de-emphasizes all of those external

variables as things outside me and

people could use that philosophy than to

justify discrimination for example or

oppression and say well you're just

choosing your own misery inside yourself

so and and then it feels like you're

blaming the victim that's the phrase I

hear sometimes from people or yeah

ways theory now but what I see you doing

saw you doing a moment ago was not using

power or resistance but really just sort

of rolling with that resistance like

somebody would a motivational

interviewing and I'm kind of wondering

what you would say though about some of

those criticisms that choice theory

could then be used to blame the victim

yeah see I I think essentially the

choice theory is empowering the victim

but empowering the victim helping them

become a victim wise not rather than

victimized and and

yet I understand that criticism we

choose our misery I just don't agree we

choose our misery I think we choose our

actions somewhat but I think you have to

kind of take this and temper it a little

bit nobody chooses to the perast

themselves or to feel panic a panic

attack or something like that with the

choice is what are you going to do about

it so I think the the ideas are flexible

and you can argue with them I do what

it's worth I wouldn't I would encourage

people don't reject the theory because

you don't like a couple things about it

the only way you're gonna have a theory

that you agree with completely is to

invent your own and that's pretty tough

to do can't even pull that off agree

with my own yeah what I said I can't

even pull that off I can't even agree

with my own theories all the time so I

certainly do a lot I don't agree with

your human beings you know that so so I

don't think this is a cult where you

have to agree with every little nuance

we choose our well I've got a couple

more Placer says he doesn't believe in

schizophrenia well hell it's in the book

I mean 500 people researched it so you

can throw it out if you want but people

are doing those behaviors that we label

schizophrenia or whatever it might be so

you know we just have those those

disagreements so I suggest don't throw

out the whole theory because there's a

few items in it or a few offhand

comments made by dr. glass or that you

don't like so you know I think that's

that's these are not cults these are

just ways to help people and I always

say at least from my demonstrations and

explanations take what is useful leave

aside what is not useful

and there are certain things I've left

the side and come choosing our feelings

and choosing our misery I've kind of

left that aside to tell you the truth

yes between us and the rest of the world

well we are recording this so no I'm

glass or wood glass err I mean I know

know him well enough that he would not

he probably wouldn't disagree with you

he would say oh ok you can you couldn't

hold that fear that principle that some

of these things are not choices but you

can hold that and still do a reality

therapy so you know and I think what's

useful and and implemented questions ok

yeah I think our times about up isn't it

it's pretty close yep yep so ok any

other questions when I taught graduate

students I used to say say in the class

what you would say in the parking lot

afterwards that's a good one though they

sometimes did but I think I have a hunch

that many things were set in the park

but it doesn't matter but but so so I

hope you will use almost forgot I want

to plug my book in 2017 by American

counseling Association it's called

reality therapy and self evaluation so

if you want to get it you can get it

from a CA where you could I have some

too but order through a CA and so for

Amazon Amazon it's probably cheaper I

don't know for sure I don't wanna I

don't wanna I take that back I don't


though anyway thank you for the

opportunity and Aaron thank you for

setting this up and being patient with

my rather limited technical skills my

wife has more and she helps thank you

thank you because we're having lots of

tech problems on our side too but it

worked out okay I think I think it

worked out okay and feel free to use

that role play or any part of this it's

okay with me we'll wrap things up for

tonight oh thank you so much you have a

good evening thank you you too you're in

good hands the students are in excellent

hands I can tell you the