Reality Therapy For Mental Wellness

Reality Therapy: A New Approach To Mental Health Care

Initially developed by Dr. William Glasser in the 1960s, reality therapy quickly gained popularity for its simplicity and effectiveness in helping people live more fulfilling lives. Even though the principles and techniques have stood the test of time, only recently has it begun to gain traction as an approach to mental health care, and with good reason. Reality therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and addiction.

Read on to learn more about reality therapy’s principles, techniques and more.

What Is Reality Therapy?

Reality therapy is based on the idea that psychological symptoms are not a direct result of mental health conditions but rather consequences of unfulfilled basic needs. It follows the belief that our thoughts and actions shape our existence and that we can change our lives by altering our behavior. 

The process it follows aims to reframe thoughts as plans, giving the patient a set goal to work towards when building new habits or altering current ones.

The Principles Of Reality Therapy

Reality therapy empowers individuals by guiding them to help recognize the reality of their choices and modify their behaviors into more effective ones. It follows five main principles:

  1. Behaviors

Behaviors are placed into two categories; organized and reorganized. Unhelpful behaviors an individual repeats to satisfy their needs are classified as organized. Reality therapists strive to reorganize these behaviors into new ones which might be more beneficial.

  1. Control

Reality therapy emphasizes the importance of self-control and discourages outside influences from having an effect on behavior.

  1. Responsibility

Taking responsibility for mistakes made in the past can help individuals commit to improving their behaviors.

  1. Action

Planning and following new behaviors with the help of a therapist can greatly improve an individual’s mental well-being.

  1. Staying In The Present Moment

Focusing on the present moment to implement new actions and behaviors that will satisfy unmet needs is more beneficial than looking back into the past.

Reality Therapy Techniques

Reality therapy can be approached through various techniques that aim to transform an individual’s current behavior. Examples include:

  1. Reframing

A therapist will guide the individual and help them recognize unhelpful or negative perceptions to restructure them into a more helpful outlook.

  1. Action Planning

The goal of this technique is to self-reflect and plan future actions based on what an individual believes will best suit their needs.

  1. Behavioral Rehearsal

By practicing appropriate social behaviors, this method aims to prepare individuals to respond appropriately should they find themselves in this situation in real-life.

  1. Self Evaluation

This technique encourages individuals to make behavioral changes based on pragmatic, achievable goals.

Contact Us Today To Start Your Journey Towards Mental Wellness

At Southern Connecticut Behavioral Health, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones achieve mental wellness and regain a sense of order and calm in your life. 
If you live in or near New Haven, Bridgeport, or Milford, Connecticut, and are looking for an experienced and compassionate mental health team, please give us a call.