man smiling and problem solved

Problem Solving With Reality Therapy (Part 3 of 3)

Do not dare to miss out the recent articles. Read them below:

Problem Solving With Reality Therapy (Part 1 of 3)

Problem Solving With Reality Therapy (Part 2 of 3)




Assessment of the current behavior

The next step is the most crucial in the entire process. In the next step the helper asks helpees if their current behavior is likely to get them what they say they want.

This is the step where the helper comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. If the person is already aware that what he is doing is not working, then they are already in distress. They are ready to try something different. So the helper comforts the afflicted by helping them find a solution.

Otherwise if the person is unaware that he needs help, this will be the step that drives the point home. Answering this question is likely to afflict the comfortable by holding up a mirror of their own behavior.

Ask if it is likely to be effective in getting what he or she wants. If the answer is no, then they generally experience enough discomfort to at least look at some alternatives.

The final step

The final step in the Reality Therapy process is to help the helpee come up with a plan. He then will tend to do something more effective. This is best accomplished by helping the person focus on those things. Things that are within his or her control—his or her own thoughts and actions.

We don’t help a depressed person by simply saying, “Cheer up!” People cannot directly control their feelings but they can directly control their actions and thinking.

Similarly, people like to focus their time and attention on what others could and should do. This will give them what they want but attempting to control others is generally a fruitless activity.

Helping people to focus on changing their own behavior and thoughts is generally the goal of Reality Therapy.


Of course there are many subtle nuances to the process. I have only provided a thumbnail sketch of the method. But you can easily see a variety of applications as mentioned in the introduction to this article.


— end —

lady crying over a problem

Problem Solving With Reality Therapy (Part 1 of 3)

Problem Solving

Reality Therapy is a counseling method that was developed by Dr. William Glasser in 1965. However, it is so much more than a counseling technique.

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 key

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.


Continue reading:

Problem Solving With Reality Therapy (Part 2 of 3)