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- This approach focuses on the here-and-now of the client and how to create a better future, instead of concentrating on the past.
- It emphasizes making decisions, and taking action and control of one's life
- Typically clients seek to discover what they want and whether what they are currently doing is actually bringing them near to, or further away from, that goal
- Love and be loved
- -Establishing a relationship with the client is believed to be the most importatn factor in all types of therapy, here as well.
- Current behavior and evaluating behavior
- -The therapist must focus the client on current behavior rather than past experiences.
- Planning Possible behavior
- -Plan some behavior that is likely to work
- -The plan comes from the client and is designed to have some success at the beginning
- Look at what can be done instead of past failure or idealized behaviors.
- Commitment to the plan
- -The client must make a commitment to carry out the plan
- No excuses, no punishments, never give up
- -If there is no punishment, then there is no reason to accept excuses
- -Either carry out the plan or come up with a more feasible plan
- Reality Therapy is based on Control Theory
- -System of brain functioning
- -The human brain functions like a thermostat that seeks to regulate its own behavior
- -These needs are innate and not learned
- -Effective satisfaction of these needs results in a sense of control
Five Basic, Genetically Endowed Needs
- Survival-- food, clothign, nourishment, shelter, personal safety
- Belonging- Connecting, love with groups as well as family and loved ones
- Power-- learning, achieving, feeling worthwhile
- Freedom-- independence, autonomy, one's own space
- Fun-- pleasure and enjoyment
Theory of Personality
- The personality develops as an attempt to fulfill the five innate drives:
- -Physical survival
- We generate behaviors and through experimentation we find them to be either need satisfying or need threatening
Characteristic of Reality Therapy
- The only person you can control is yourself
- Choice and discovery
- -Humans choose behavior
- -These behaviors are either effective or ineffective
- -Collections of "wants" is the world the person would like to live in, or "quality world."
- -As the behaviors are chosen, the person either succeeds (success identity) or fails (failure identity).
- Reject Transference
- -The therapist is not anyone but themselves
- -Relationship with client is important
- Keep therapy in the present
- -Whatever mistakes made in the past are not pertinent now... we can only satisfy needs in the present
- Avoid focusing on the symptoms
- -clients think that if they could be symptom free they would find happiness
- -Symptoms can be viewed as the body's way of warning them that the behavior they are choosing is not meeting their needs
- Challenge traditional views of mental illness
- Stage 1- Giving up- unable to fulfill needs effectively
- Stage 2- Choosing a negative symptom
- -Although ineffective, the symptom is the best effort at the moment to do what... fulfill a need
- -WDEP system
- Stage 3- Negative addiction
- -Even more ineffective but have the immediate satisfaction of need fulfillment
- Stage 1- "I want to change, and I want to grow." The desire to fulfill without infringing on others
- Stage 2- Positive symptoms
- -Altruistic actions, effective thinking, positive feelings, and effective behaviors
- Stage 3- Positive addictions
- -Meditation and noncompetitive exercise
Theory of Personality
Endless discussion of diagnosis, past history, and external uncontrollable events is not effective in reaching quality living.
- Purposeful behavior- to fulfill needs
- Behavior as a choice
- Emphasis on the present
- -"We do not need to find the nail that caused the tired to lose its air."
- -What is needed?....
- Role of the therapist
- -Creates an environment that is "firm, friendly, and conducive to change."
W- "What do you want."
- Help the client to formulate, clarify, and prioritize the elements of the "quality world."
- Help the client to perceive inner control and realize that he or she can increase it by getting the sense that he or she is in some way in control.
D- "What are you doing and waht is your overall direction."
- Where are the current choice taking you?
- Where would you like to be in a month?
E-Self-evaluation- this is the cornerstone of the therapy
- Forms can include:
- -Evaluation of wants as realistic
- -Evaluation of wants as genuinely beneficial
- -Evaluation of behavioral direction
- -Evaluation of specific actions
- -Evaluation of perception
- -Evaluation of plan of action "If you follow through, then..."
- Professional sefl-evaluation
- Many find it difficult at first
- Look for possiblities, minimize focus on failure and maximize attention to "What can be done?"