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Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom Paperback – January 6, 1999
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Southern California psychiatrist William Glasser, the author of Reality Therapy, believes that almost all human misery is caused by people trying to control others. In fact, he says, the only behavior we can control is our own; by the same token, no one can make us do anything we don't want to. It's only when we give up spending our energy trying to force others to conform to our ideas or to keep them from doing the same to us that we are able to live the way we want to. Glasser makes this somewhat difficult material easier to understand with examples and case studies from his own practice. For instance, he tells a man whose wife has left him that his only choices are to change what he wants her to do or to change the way he is dealing with her. While doing these things will not necessarily bring his wife back, Glasser says, it will certainly make him feel better. "When we actually begin to realize that we can control only our own behavior, we immediately start to redefine our personal freedom and find, in many instances, that we have much more freedom than we realize," Glasser writes. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Glasser has worked with choice theory for half of his 40 years of psychiatric practice. Basically, choice theory helps its users avoid confrontation and ask pertinent questions. It sees conscious or unconscious desire for external control as the main problem in the four major personal relationships: husband-wife, parent-child, teacher-student, and manager-worker. If you think you can control others, it counsels, you are in for trouble, for the only person you can control is yourself. So all personal problems are both present problems and relationship problems. Glasser urges anyone in a relationship to ask, before taking a step, whether that step will keep the two related persons at least as close together as they are now; if it will, it may be worth taking. Combining choice theory and reality therapy in his practice, Glasser has been able to shorten the durations of his treatment programs substantially. As he presents them here, his theories and approaches can be applied in education and business as well as for self-help. William Beatty --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
I have had my copy for over three years and have read it at least twice each year. It is my scientific companion to other writings that have helped make my life and relationships better.
Instead, Dr. Glasser puts a square focus on the power of choice; breaking free of the external control of others (through what he refers to as "choice therapy"), and the unhealthy domino effect that it has in every dimension of life. The result? You are forced to own your behaviors and their consequences, while exercising personal freedom.
Central to the theme of choice, is the concept of a "quality world" which he constantly refers to.
The quality world is predicated upon people (we most want to be with), things (we most want to own or experience), and beliefs (which govern our behavior).
Each of us, from the time we are born, formulate some idea of what a quality world is, and unconsciously base our state of happiness upon it - whether it's attainable or not. Our happiness then, is contingent upon how closely reality resembles this mental idea that we unknowingly carry with us.
Our parents are the first people in our quality worlds. Our attachments to them, and their efficiency in satisfying our many needs and demands as an infant establishes a precedent. Much of what we experience in childhood helps to create the pictures and template for our quality worlds as we get older.
But it changes. The people change. The things change. And often the beliefs change. When they do, a new template is created upon which your idea of happiness must mirror your tangible reality. The closer the fit, the greater the happiness.
His ability to correlate the nuances and dynamics of the Quality World concept into every area of life - including education, is brilliant. The perspective and curriculum in his schools that promote the use of knowledge, versus merely being schooled, is innovative. Helping students to incorporate teachers into their quality worlds is logical, and apparently VERY effective.
Many of the people I've had conversations with about this "Quality World" concept immediately identify with it and are able to better understand the disenchantment with their work, spouse, friends, and lives in general.
Choice Theory is a MUST have for psych students, fans, and future therapists. It will easily distinguish itself from other books in your collection, and provide you with tools that you can access and use immediately.