May 11, 2013 marks the 88th birthday of William Glasser, MD founder of the Glasser Institute and the concepts of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
Dr. Glasser’s groundbreaking work in the early sixties laid the foundation for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). His theoretical constructs, known as Choice Theory, helped to form my underlying philosophy for how to reach out to and understand those suffering from mental illness, and be able to provide them with the insight and motivation to understand that they had the power to choose a better life. Dr. Glasser’s counseling technique, known as Reality Therapy, provided me with a simple, yet effective method for counseling clients with confidence, regardless of the intensity or seriousness of the situation. I was lucky in the early stages of my counseling career to have been afforded excellent training in both of these concepts, and I was fortunate that my employer ensured that I practiced the techniques until they became second nature.
As I progressed in my education and understanding of more complex counseling techniques and began working with ever increasingly challenging patients, I did so with an ease and level of comfort I owe entirely to my experience and understanding of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. The theory and philosophy behind these principles are now core beliefs in my personal life, and have allowed me to take on ever-challenging aspects of my career as a manager and now as the administrator of a large behavioral healthcare facility. Through the insights provided by Dr. Glasser’s work, I know there are things I can control and things I cannot. I also recognize that I have limited energy to give at any given time, and as a result should always focus my energy on the things I can control – my thoughts and actions.
Happy Birthday Dr. Glasser! Thanks for all you have given me and so many others. Our field owes you a great debt.
New Hope trains all staff in the principles espoused by Dr. Glasser.