Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights, Jul 31, 2006Through the Glasser Brightly
Prominent psychiatrist William Glasser, Director of the William Glasser Institute in Chatsworth CA, is the founder of what is well-known in the field as “Reality Therapy.” Issuing from the Therapy modality is his compelling “Choice Theory.” To a fault, Glasser’s work is practical and client-centered; there are two premises in the theory upon which astrological counsel can work most efficiently ... reality and choice .
Getting very real indeed with observation of the human condition, Glasser states what seems to be the obvious, but which is played down or overlooked so very easily in other therapies: ”we are responsible for what we do and we choose all we do.”
The emphasis here is the focus on “we.” In Reality therapy, there is no heavy reference or reliance upon blaming persons and events past for the upsets and ill fitness we may feel. We behave and we do what we do; that is our choice. Alteration of our state of mind and feeling, our sense of belonging wherever we are, our pleasure with who we are, are dependent upon the choices we make to satisfy our needs. The bottom-line is “if you want to feel better, you must change how you are acting and thinking.”
Glasser believes that we even choose our delusions, our misinterpretations of thoughts and actions all around us. –This echoes a major tenet I have in Astrological Need Theory that says no event has any value until we give it value,which, of course, we do in terms of/through our personal lens. And I think Dr. Glasser would agree with that. When clients choose to change behaviors, to alter values to choose more need-satisfying total behaviors, life comes more under control and is more fulfilling.
In Choice Theory, Glasser concentrates on actions and thoughts … not on feelings or physiology, because the latter are not under our control. Glasser returns again and again to the dictum, ”if you want to feel better, you must change how you are acting and thinking.”
Reality therapists and astrologers work hard to help clients make better choices. Our astrology inspects life-development in terms of need awareness and the behaviors to fulfill those needs; the relationship between inner and outer environments, and that process is embraced by measured phases of time. Making better choices for more control of one’s life leads us into the probabilities within time, i.e., when can a change/improvement choice best be made for it to be rewarded. –This is where Arcs and Transits come in to help us help others.
Working with clients, I could count many thousands of times that the Reality Therapist in me replied to a description of an unsatisfactory life situation this way, “Well, how can we change this”? [Use of the “we” here is just personal style to protect the client from a feeling of aloneness; I establish the sense of a two-person support group, strategy session, etc.; it is clearly meant to be “you”.] Glasser says emphatically that without the decision to change, there can be no change.
**Just think of how many people --including you and me— have remained with a desultory situation because they will not choose to change it! The list of rationalizations may be long and impressive, but the fact remains, the reality of the situation is not altered. --And, we must be honest: we must add that the planets will not change that either.For Reality therapy, Choice Rules! The astrological measurements may mark the best or worst times for choice and potential outcome, but the effort must occur within the individual. It’s fair to ask, is this one of the big reasons that astrological predictions can easily fail? Do we take Choice theory into consideration when we consider times ahead?
This is what is behind my teaching to ask the client, “What do you project for yourself in the next year or so?” --How ‘in the flow’ is the client, how decided for change, making it happen … or … waiting for a miracle to drop from the sky?
Glasser writes, “When a client comes into the office and says he or she feels bad, at that moment I know that, no matter what has or has not happened in the past, this client is unable to gain the kind of human relationships he or she needs right now.” Choice Theory teaches that what is wrong with all relationships may at first glace seem to be unbelievably simple: “someone else is not treating the client the way he or she wants to be treated.” --Think about that.
Rushing currents of change potential flow around the island client. What do you want right now? What are you choosing to do right now? What can you do to change this?
Keep these thoughts in mind during consultations. --How many times have you known these reality considerations instinctively or empirically and realized that your client –so desperately wanting that new shot in the arm, the new job, the relationship improvement, etc.— no matter what is going on, will stay pretty much exactly in the status quo of the Now. For many, the transient insecurity involved with choice is all too threatening. This is not pessimism, nor negativism. It’s reality.
Next Update: August 31, 2006