William Glasser Reality Therapy & Control Theory

Dr. William Glasser
Reality Therapy & Control Theory
Presentation By Sarah Newman
Who is Dr. William Glasser?
• Chemical Engineer
• Board Certified Psychiatrist
• Author of several books
• Founder of the Institute for Reality Therapy
which services thousands of people
worldwide, teaching them how to apply Dr.
Glasser’s principles to their lives.
The Basics of Glasser’s model
Control Theory (Choice Theory)
• All we do is behave
Reality Therapy
• Is based on choice theory
• Almost all behavior is chosen
• The only person you can control is yourself
• Focus on the present, not the past
• We are driven by our genes to satisfy our
• Avoid the Seven Deadly Habits
five basic needs:
1. Survival
2. Love and belonging
3. Power
• All excuses (legitimate or not) stand in the
way of making connections
• Focus on what you can do (think and act)
4. Freedom
5. Fun
• Be patient and supportive
The Basics of Glasser’s model Cont’d
Seven Caring Habits
Seven Deadly Habits
1. Supporting
1. Criticizing
2. Encouraging
2. Blaming
3. Listening
3. Complaining
4. Accepting
4. Nagging
5. Trusting
5. Threatening
6. Respecting
6. Punishing
7. Negotiating Differences
7. Bribing, rewarding to control
Teacher Responsibilities
• Teach students to make good choices, increasing good behavior
• Create an environment where children can experience a sense of belonging
• Help students to evaluate and correct their own behavior by using a nine-step
questioning process (listed on the following page)
• Hold students accountable for their choices: Accept NO EXCUSES
• Help students to understand that their actions affect others
• Openly recognize students who follow the rules and display appropriate behavior
• Provide support and encouragement
The Nine Steps in Glasser’s Reality Therapy Model
1. The Student is confronted and told to stop the misbehavior.
2. The student is then asked to explain the behavior that was occurring. The teacher
uses “What” questions, not “Why”. This prevents the student from finding
3. If the rule-breaking behavior continues, step 2 is repeated, adding the question,
“Is it against the rules?”
4. The teacher asks the student to make a plan or commitment to find alternatives.
The Nine Steps in Glasser’s Reality Therapy Model
5. Sometimes the students may be asked to go to the “castle” until the problem is
6. If the rule-breaking behavior still persists, steps 2-5 are repeated but the teacher
indicates that support will be provided. The teacher arranges specific time and
location in the near future to help in the development of the plan and to provide
encouragement for it to work.
The Nine Steps in Glasser’s Reality Therapy Model
7. If the student fails to fulfill his or her commitment and plan, the next step is
isolation to a designated room (Principals office or Special Isolation Room).
8. Finally, if the student is out of control, the parents are notified and asked to
collect the student immediately. The student may return to the school when he or
she obeys the rules.
9. If all else fails, the parents and students are referred to an outside agency to
“work it out.”
Throughout this process, the focus is on the student’s BEHAVIOR, not
Student Responsibilities
• Actively participate in all classroom activities
• Work as a class to create a set of rules and consequences for when those rules are
• Learn to work in groups of students with varying levels of skills and abilities.
• Recognize and self-correct inappropriate behaviors
• Accept responsibility for their actions and know the consequences of those
Pros & Cons
• Students learn to think about their actions
and to take responsibility for them.
• The teacher’s sense of control can be
• Students learn to work in groups and with
• It is difficult for teachers to give responses
students who are on different levels of
without encouraging students to make
learning than themselves.
excuses for their behavior.
• Students enjoy teaching their peers and
learning from them.
• Students are not dependent on the
teacher for everything.
• The students needs of survival, belonging,
power, fun, and freedom, are met.
• The teacher may not be able to fully apply
Glasser’s model due to circumstances
beyond his/her control.
• Class meetings may consume more time
than is desirable.
• Is not proven to entirely eliminate