- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (January 6, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060930144
- ISBN-13: 978-0060930141
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Allow me to give you the good parts: 1 only you can choose what you do, trying to coerce others or trying to please others is a waste of time and effort, and you'll get frustrated. 2 everyone has secret stats the way mario kart characters have stats. Learn your stats and try to match yours up with your sig other. stats are: power, fun, freedom, belonging, And love. 3 people have a vision of what they want in their life, if you want them to do something not in that perception, forget it. If you want them to discard something in that vision, forget it. 4 depression is a choice you subconsciously make when reality is at conflict with your vision. So is arthritis and chronic back pain (yes, he does say that).
This is a dangerous book. It is a book for lives in crisis. But it is also a book that everyone should read, and read again. The sooner you read this book, and re-read it, the sooner you will find the freedom to finally choose happiness, without guilt. Possibly the most important self-help book you will ever read.
Best of all, this is a wonderfully readable book. The reader gets acquainted, up close and personal, with real people who present real problems-problems all too familiar to most of us. Within the privacy of the counseling room, we are treated to word-for-word accounts that demonstrate how Dr. Glasser sets the stage for those who are troubled to open new and liberating doors for themselves. We are even treated to a view of the psychiatrist-writer counseling literary characters, such as Francesca in THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.
The book, REALITY THERAPY, published in 1965, brought Dr. Glasser to international prominence. A book about counseling, it pioneered a movement, now widely followed. The current style of counseling is no longer aloof and mysterious, no longer rooted in futile attempts to re-live the past, but rooted in the here and now and directed toward need-fulfilling involvement with others. This new book demonstrates, in a most persuasive way, the startling idea that we choose all that we do. What a liberating idea! We even choose misery at times, but usually we have better choices, and the author shows us graphically that we are free to make these.
Much of the unhappiness that most of us endure-at least, periodically-stems from the widespread belief we hold that people can be forced, through threats or rewards, to do things they do not want to do. Glasser refers to this massive tendency toward coercion, ever present in our society, as external control psychology. Choice Theory is the exact opposite of domination and invasive power. The new choice theory is, indeed, a remedy for all this misery. Without resorting to threats or bribes, we can vastly increase the likelihood that people will do what we want them to do if we learn and apply choice theory. Glasser's convincing explanation of this practical way of improving our relationships is the great achievement of this book.
Though not a book about religion, we find here a consistency with the Golden Rule, as the author himself points out. This remarkable book explores the relationships that most affect the quality of our lives: love, marriage, work, and family relationships. The author shows how schools can be true centers for quality learning. In a chapter on management in the workplace, Glasser shows why W. Edwards Deming met with such stunning success, first in Japan and later in America. Glasser also gives his view of why Southwest Airlines has been so extraordinarily successful in a highly competitive industry.
Having pointed the way to quality in our most important relationships, Glasser offers a bold proposal for creating quality communities. His proposal for vast social impact is not just a remote ideal; he describes the steps that are now being taken in one American city. If Corning, New york can do it, why not your community?
Dr. Minor Morgan is an attorney and practicing psychologist in Dallas, Texas.