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Reality Therapy- Dr. William Glasser

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Oralie Entz

on 4 October 2014

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Transcript of Reality Therapy- Dr. William Glasser

Reality Therapy- Dr. William Glasser
What is Reality Therapy?
- Reality therapy is a counselling method created by psychotherapist Dr William Glasser around 1965

Reality therapy is an example of the confronting and contracting model.
The teacher / therapist wants students to:
 Confront the action
 Reflect on behaviour and facts of actions, consequences
 Isolate until the ready and commit to change
 Contract is created between the student and the teacher

students are rational human beings and deserved to be treated as such
- not meant to be “cold and dictatorial”; teacher serves as guide

Techniques and Strategies
Glasser's approach is a 10 step discipline process that involves the teacher both observing and assessing their own and their students' behavior.
Old Wine New Bottles
- Glasser rejects the top-down approach to learning because students feel like they don’t belong; schools need to be re-imagined
- he believes too many schools believe in Theory X, an industrial psychology term applied to education:
o The students can’t be trusted and need supervision
o Their payment takes the form of grades
o Doesn’t work and they’re not learning – just dumping out knowledge

- Glasser’s theories are based on importance of choice and belonging/connectedness to the person’s behaviour and identity

- believes that genetically we are social creatures and that unsatisfactory or non-existent connections with people we need (parents, friends, teachers; important people) are the source of almost all human problems

- goal of reality therapy is to help people reconnect

“Dr. Glasser teaches that if we can't figure out how to satisfy our power need by respecting each other, our days on earth are numbered. He offers choice theory to replace external control and has dedicated the remainder of his life to teaching and supporting this idea.”
--William Glasser Institute

In 1998 Glasser published his ideas on
Choice Theory and stated:

o All we do is behave
o Most of our behaviour is chosen
o that we are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs:

1. survival (basic needs like water, food, shelter)
2. love and belonging (we need to be accepted by our peers)
3. power and recognition (the ability to achieve our goals and be seen as competent)
4. freedom (to have free choice)
5. fun

 Similar to the worker whose job is to put hub caps on cars on an assembly line and gets paid when he gets rid of them
 Could get a car in front with no wheels because of poorly run line ahead of them
 They dump off the hub caps in the back seat and have still done their job, giving the factory, or teacher, what they wanted
 Ex. “How many pages does this have to be?” and they fill in the pages required

- In Theory Y:
o Students can be trusted and have free movement;
they are involved in their learning
o Subsequently, they invest in their studies and work hard in school
- In Theory Z, the newest…
o Students can be trusted to work in groups and act freely to complete tasks
o Have the ability to control their learning and develop a quality product

There will still be issues in the classroom, but it’s the difference between discipline problems and
discipline incidents
o Incidents happen. Problems are recurring for a reason

Step 1:
What am I doing that is causing the students' behavior.
Step 2:
Is my behavior effective/helpful? If not, stop doing it.
Step 3:
Interact with students throughout the day, not merely when misbehaving, to establish positive relationships. Maintain a non-judgemental view of the student. Do not place guilt of judgements on students regarding themselves or their behaviors.
When a student does not follow the rules:
Step 4:
Ask the student what they are doing. Remind them if they can not remember or are unsure
Step 5:
Ask the student if what they are doing is against the class/school rules or norms of acceptable behavior.
Step 6:
Make a plan with the student about how they will behave next time. Explain to the student there will be a consequence if their plan is not followed. Help the student to come up with a natural consequence. The plan then becomes a signed statement, when both the student and teacher sign the contract to show their agreement and commitment.
If the plan is not followed:
Step 7:
Isolate the student from the other students within the classroom. Ask the student to reflect on their behavior and their plan. Follow through the consequence.
Step 8:
Isolate the student within the school
Step 9
Send the student home
Step 10
Ask for a professional help to support the student at school and help for the parents at home if need be.
Steps 1-3 fall under Visually Looking under the Teacher Behavior Continuum. These steps all involve the teachers' behavior that may not be noticeable to the students
Steps 4-6 fall under Questions and Commanding under the Teacher Behavior Continuum. Asking the student what they are doing and whether or not it is against the rules. Telling the student to create a plan for next time.
Steps 7-9 fall under Acting and Isolation under the Teacher Behavior Continuum. Having the child isolated within the classroom, within the school and finally at home in order to reflect on their behaviors and plan.
Class Meetings
Meetings can be for various purposes, one of them being problem solving when a students' behaior has an effect on all classroom relationships, not only the relationship between student and teacher. It is important that the students and teacher sit in a circle for the meeting. During this meeting students have the opportunity to express how other students' behavior effects their learning and well being at school. This is an integral part of Glasser's beliefs as it has the students become awards of and responsible for their actions and their consequences.
Aims to hold the students responsible for their behavior and the consequences. The success of failure of the plan is the responsibility of the student and is dependent on their behavioral choices.
Use of class meetings, as it increases the sense of belonging and classroom community
Whether or not a natural consequence can be found that will be a deterrent for poor behavior choices
Glasser's 5 Needs Activity
1. survival (basic needs like water, food, shelter)
2. love and belonging (we need to be accepted by our peers)
3. power and recognition (the ability to achieve our goals and be seen as competent)
4. freedom (to have free choice)
5. fun (laughter, stimulation)


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