Term Paper: Reality Therapy a New Approach to Psychiatry

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¶ … Reality Therapy; a New Approach to Psychiatry by Dr. William Glasser. The writer explores the book and its contents and holds it against other theories in the field of mental health to more fully explain Glasser's viewpoint. There was one source used to complete this paper.

The field of mental health while still in its relative infancy has made significant advances in recent history. From the days of Sigmund Freud and his theories that everything is related to sex to the current thinking that refute those claims many ideas have been developed about how the human psyche works. Different theories have been developed as well as many different styles of treatment ranging from behavior therapy to talk therapy and everything in between. A leading expert in the field of mental health, Dr. William Glasser wrote Reality Therapy; a New Approach to Psychiatry to illustrate what he believes to be the most direct and straightforward approach to helping clients with their mental health issues. The ideas presented are unconventional even given the time that has passed since he first published the book in 1965 and still provide many excellent ideas and suggestions for those who work in or are interested in the mental health field.

REVIEW

As with other areas of mental health science time will tell if Glasser's ideas are scientifically sound and workable in the every day world, however, to this point they seem to be withstanding scrutiny.

While the ideas themselves are unconventional and extremely challenging Glasser puts together a book that provides an almost blueprint step-by-step approach to the theory that he believes will revolutionize the mental health industry.

One of the things that Glasser does that lend positive credibility to the book is to illustrate several examples of real patients to underscore the way the therapy works in contrast to Sigmund Freud's many ideas and beliefs (Glasser, 1989).

He also describes his theories and treatment and contrasts them against the more well-known current treatments that are being used in the world today.

The book aims to change the way theoretical orientation is viewed and it meets that challenge head on and does so with excellent writing skills. Glasser doesn't dumb the book down for the average reader but he does appear to keep in mind that not everyone will want to read a literary styled book and instead writes it on a laymen level that flows without difficulty (Glasser, 1989).

Whether he is critiquing the theories that are out there or pointing out why his approach is superior he does so without sounding superior or overly judgmental, in fact he does credit the history of the mental health industry for helping him get to the point that he could develop a treatment regime he believes will work more quickly and with longer lasting results than previously adopted therapy methods (Glasser, 1989).

Glasser underlines the idea that people who use behavioralist or cognitive behavioralist or person-centered another type of therapy method can easily adapt to what he suggests in the book and believes that the adaptation will not only benefit the clients but will help the therapist nail an easier more viable approach to getting clients on the path to mental health.

One of the most important aspects in this book is that it is not meant solely for those who work in the mental health profession. Anyone who reads the book should be able to take away helpful suggestions about how to deal with various situations. A person who has never been trained in the field of mental health will be able to teach herself or himself how to deal with the difficult people in their lives. He writes the book in such a manner that the laymen will be able to pick it up, use it and succeed.

Glasser uses an approach that is not uncommon (Glasser, 1989). His therapy treatment module expects the reader to change the way they handle difficult people in their lives. He explores the reasons one cannot expect to change the thinking and behavior of others, and explores the reason it is best to simply change one's own behavior and approach (Glasser, 1989). While this is similar to other theories including the behaviorist approach he drives home the fact that it is within the control of the reader to do and that once it is attempted that control will grow and the self-confidence will increase providing a stronger understanding of how to do it in the future.

While many therapy treatment models suggest ways to deal with the difficult person Glasser explores the ways that it can be done in a constructive manner that not only helps deal with the difficult individual but also provides constructive and positive outcomes.

One of the differences in this and other approaches that is laid out in the book is when this approach to treatment is used it sometimes can have a ripple impact on society by the way the client handles situations. Most therapy models provide help for the client with little regard to how the rest of society chooses to act. The reality treatment approach written by Glasser allows clients to stop any toxic behavior being brought to their lives, but by the very way that they respond to such behavior it is possible that they will provide a ripple impact on those toxic people and perhaps have a small part in changing the way society behaves. While he does not address this in the book anyone who reads it can see that it may be a benefit not addressed in type.

The book focuses on difficult people a lot and how to deal with those people. His approach initially seems to be like many other approaches but his belief that the reality of life is there will be difficult people and learning to handle them will provide the most optimum outcome is a new approach (Glasser, 1989).

In the world of difficult people few can argue about the trouble or difficulty that troubled adolescent girls can create. Glasser brings his expertise to the table with the experiences he had working with a population of not only troubled female adolescents but institutionalized troubled female adolescents. These were adolescents that had been removed from their home environments due to the nature of their personalities and their refusal or inability to adapt to the world around them.

Glasser uses real life examples from the girslt aht he worked with while maintaining their privacy at the same time.

One example that he used will touch the heart of every reader. The girl came from an environment that anyone would rebel in. Non-caring parent, ghetto lifestyle and used by the various men she encountered with little thought to the fact trhat at the time she was just a small girl (Glasser, 1989).

This case study that he illustrates provides concrete evidence that reality therapy can work. She is taught to accept her past, move toward her future and concentrate on HER life, HER desires, HER ability to make those goals happen.

His book also teaches the reader how to recognize a toxic person. It has long since been known that people who attract toxic people tend to migrate again and again to toxic people. This is a pattern that must be broken if the cycle is to stopped. Glasser examines toxic people and their M.O. without labeling them as such to help the reader understand how to recognize who they are and how to walk away from them before they can get a hold on their life.

One of the things that Glasser does in the book is address the attacks on Freud without actually discussing those attacks. Glasser presents therapy in a light of building blocks (Glasser, 1989). Just as in math one… [END OF PREVIEW]

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