Reality Therapy is the method of counseling that Dr. Glasser has been teaching since 1965. It is now firmly based on Choice Theory and its successful application is dependent on the counselor’s familiarity with, and knowledge of, that theory. In fact, teaching Choice Theory to counselees (whether clients or students) is now part of Reality Therapy. Since unsatisfactory or non-existent connections with people we need are the source of almost all human problems, the goal of Reality Therapy is to help people reconnect. This reconnection almost always starts with the counselor/teacher first connecting with the individual and then using this connection as a model for how the disconnected person can begin to connect with the people he or she needs.
In Reality Therapy they are classified under five headings:
- Power – which includes achievement and feeling worthwhile as well as winning.
- Love & Belonging – this includes groups as well as families or loved ones.
- Freedom – includes independence, autonomy, your own ‘space’.
- Fun – includes pleasure and enjoyment.
- Survival – includes nourishment, shelter, sex.
One of the core principles of Reality Therapy is that, whether we are aware of it or not, we are all the time acting to meet these needs.
In reality therapy sessions, the person’s thoughts and actions are considered the most appropriate material to actively work on, as these are within a person’s control, rather than feelings or symptoms, which are affected by changes in made in the relevant thoughts and actions. Blame and externalizing control are avoided, as these are viewed as impediments to developing healthy relationships. Regardless of the particular complaint, the best possible solution lies in improving connections with others, and specific changes in thoughts and behavior are made in the service of this goal. The practice of Reality Therapy is an ongoing process made up of two major components:
- Creating a trusting environment; and
- Using techniques which help a person discover what they really want , reflect on what they are doing now, and create a new plan for fulfilling that ‘want’ more effectively in the future.
Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT)
The first research for VRT was done in the early 1990s. Virtually Better, the company Zimand works for, was founded in 1995. VRT was first used for people who had a fear of heights. Virtual reality has been studied in recent years as a possible treatment for phobias. A new study shows that virtual reality therapy combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy is just as effective as conventional treatment for panic disorder with agoraphobia, reports the Doctor’s Guide. An added benefit is that the process is quicker. Developed by Dr. Young-Hee Choi, the process known as experiential cognitive therapy consists of only four sessions
Virtual Reality (VR) is a new, state of the art, powerful technique that immerses you into a virtual environment, using a head mounted display and trackers. This technique creates a visual, auditory and sensory environment that psychologically exposes you to your fear, whether it be flying in an airplane, speaking in front of a large group of people or driving on the highway. Fears and phobias are overcome by combining virtual reality and biofeedback/cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, through a process known as counter-conditioning, leading to success rates of 93%.