Reality Therapy

Reality therapy is a client-centered type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes improving current relationships and circumstances while paying less attention to and discussing past occurrences.

Reality Therapy


Reality Therapy is a therapeutic approach that was developed by psychiatrist William Glasser in the mid-20th century. It is based on the idea that individuals have the power to control their own behavior and make choices to meet their needs. In 1965, Glasser published the book "Reality Therapy," in which he outlined the key principles and techniques of his therapeutic approach. The book presented a shift from a focus on pathology and unconscious drives to an emphasis on personal responsibility, choice, and the present moment. Glasser also founded the Institute for Reality Therapy in 1974, which contributed to the dissemination of his ideas and the training of therapists. He applied the principles of Reality Therapy to education, management, and personal development. Later, Glasser introduced the concept of "Choice Theory" in the 1990s, emphasizing the importance of understanding the choices people make in their behavior.

Focus theme / core-concept

It focuses on helping individuals take control of their lives by making better choices.
The concept underlying Reality Therapy is that everyone strives to satisfy five fundamental needs, and when any of these needs go unmet, it can lead to mental health issues.
These five essential needs encompass a sense of self-worth and accomplishment (Power), belonging and affection (Love and belonging), independence (Freedom), enjoyment and contentment (Fun), and the assurance that basic necessities like food, shelter, and intimacy are provided for (Survival).


Personal Responsibility: Reality Therapy emphasizes that individuals have the power to make choices that influence their lives. Therapists work with clients to foster a sense of personal responsibility, helping them understand that their behavior is a result of their choices.

Clarifying Goals: Therapists collaborate with clients to define clear, achievable goals that are consistent with their values. This process involves exploring what clients want in various aspects of their lives and developing a plan to work towards those objectives.

Reality Testing: Reality Therapy encourages individuals to assess their beliefs and perceptions against objective reality. Therapists help clients challenge distorted thinking and adopt more realistic perspectives, fostering a healthier mindset.

Problem-Solving Skills: Therapists guide clients through a systematic problem-solving process, helping them break down challenges into manageable components. This involves brainstorming potential solutions, evaluating their feasibility, and implementing effective strategies.

Achieving a Quality World: Reality Therapy encourages clients to envision their ideal life and work towards creating it through purposeful choices. Therapists help clients identify specific actions and behaviors that contribute to their overall well-being and fulfillment.


In Reality Therapy, therapists focus on four aspects to facilitate changes in an individual's life:
- Enable to make effective choices
- Able to perform Responsibilities
- Have Commitment and Willingness to change oneself

By delving into these categories, therapists assist clients in identifying the underlying factors influencing their behavior and achieving lasting transformations.


Some key techniques used in Reality Therapy include:

WDEP System: The WDEP (Wants, Doing, Evaluation, and Planning) system is a structured approach that therapists use to guide clients through the therapeutic process. It helps clients clarify what they want, assess their current behaviors, evaluate the effectiveness of those behaviors, and develop plans for making better choices.

Seven Caring Habits: These are behaviors that clients are encouraged to adopt to build healthier relationships. The seven caring habits include support, encouragement, active listening, acceptance, trust, respect, and negotiating differences.

Positive Language and Framing: Therapists help clients use positive and constructive language when discussing their issues and challenges. This helps shift the focus from problems to solutions and goals.

Choice Theory Psychology: Therapists educate clients about the principles of Choice Theory, emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility and the power of choice in shaping one's life.

Clients might receive guidance on creating "SAMIC3" plans, which are characterized by being- Simple. Achievable. Measurable, Immediate, Consistent, Client-centered, and Committed to.