Reality Therapy is a problem solving method that works well with people who are experiencing problems they want help solving. As well as those who are having problems and appear to not want any assistance.
Reality Therapy also provides an excellent model for helping individuals solve their own problems objectively. It serves as the ideal questioning series during coaching sessions.
The underlying key to Reality Therapy is the relationship that is established with the person who needs the help. This is most critical when you are attempting to help someone who doesn’t really want your help.
Like a non-voluntary client, a resistant student or your sometimes even your own child. Without a positive relationship, you have no influence. To your helpee, you sound similar to the way adults sound in the Peanuts cartoons. “Whaa, wha, whaa, whaa, whaa.”
Your helpee doesn’t hear you without the relationship. Gary Zucav says, “Relationship is the root of all influence.” This is certainly true. You can have all the knowledge in the world.
But if the person you are attempting to help doesn’t believe you care and have their best interests at heart, they, most likely, will not be listening to you.
So how do you build a relationship?
Reality Therapy provides a model by instructing helpers to create a need-satisfying environment. The five basic needs of all humans are survival; love and belonging; power; freedom and fun.
In a helping relationship, the helper must create an environment where it is possible for the person being helped to feel safe. Feel connected to the helper in some way. To be listened to and respected. To have some choices. And to have some fun or learning with the helper.