Introduction To Reality Therapy


1 CE


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Introduction to Reality Therapy is a one-hour course presenting an overview of key concepts, including: background information, particularly the contributions of Dr. William Glasser, view of human nature, role of the therapist, goals and techniques, example applications, and strengths and limitations.

The first module of this course provides both an introductory video to the course, as well as an introduction to reality therapy, including background information on the work of the founder of reality therapy, William Glasser, and factors influencing the development of reality therapy. An overview of the six ways in which reality therapy differs from conventional theories of psychotherapy will be presented, as well as an introduction to the five basic needs.

In the second module, an overview of reality therapy’s view of human nature is presented, with an emphasis on its key tenets: focus on consciousness, belief in a health/growth force, need of identity, optimistic views, and control theory.

The third module reviews the role of the therapist in reality therapy, including the important concepts of choice and change, action-orientation, with an emphasis on the role of confrontation.

In the fourth module, the goals of reality therapy are discussed, with an emphasis on the six criteria to judge healthy behaviour.

Module five discusses the process of reality therapy, followed by an overview of specific techniques commonly used in reality therapy. First, the process of reality therapy will be presented, with an emphasis on the eight steps of therapy, followed by an overview of the importance of the planning process and success orientated behaviour. Next, some techniques used in reality therapy will be presented, including teaching, positiveness, employing humor, confrontation, role-playing, and feedback.

Module six focuses on practical applications of reality therapy. First, an overview of reality therapy with individuals, couples, and families will be presented. Next, an overview will be presented of one commonly used application: the WDEP system. This will be followed by an overview of the steps incorporating goals and techniques of reality therapy. Finally in this module, the importance of the evaluation of current behaviour in reality therapy will be discussed.

In the seventh module, strengths and limitations of the reality therapy approach to psychotherapy are examined. Strengths discussed focus on the key concepts of accountability, responsibility and freedom, while limitations focus on the therapy’s emphasis on the present and denial of acknowledging the unconscious the role of biochemical process in mental illness.

The course concludes with three (3) quiz questions to review what you have learned. 

Learning Goal​

By the end of the course, the participant will have a basic understanding of Reality Therapy.​

Learning Objectives​

  • Define reality therapy and summarize contributions of Dr. William Glasser. 
  • Summarize reality therapy’s view of human nature. 
  • Describe the role of the reality therapist. 
  • Summarize the goals of reality therapy. 
  • Identity techniques of reality therapy. 
  • Summarize one popular application of reality therapy, as well as the steps incorporating goals and techniques. 
  • Identify and differentiate strengths and limitations of reality therapy.

Reality Therapy Clinical Supervision

Connect with one of our seasoned, well-trained clinical supervisors to enhance your time with clients and receive guidance that benefits your practice. Clinical Supervision is a valuable part of counsellor development because it provides the perfect bridge between theory and practice. You get the personalized attention you need when designing the best way to help your client!


Bradley, E. L. (2014). Choice theory and reality therapy: An overview. International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, 34(1), 6-13. https://www.wglasserinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/18_IJCTRTFALL2014.PDF#page=6 

Glasser, W. (1975). Reality therapy: A new approach to psychiatry. Harper Perennial. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Glasser, W. (1985). Control theory: A new explanation of how we control our lives. Harper Perennial. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Lennon, B. (2019). The practice of reality therapy; Learning to counsel with choice theory psychology. Independently Published. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Wubbolding, R. E. (2000). Reality therapy for the 21st century. Routledge. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Wubbolding, R. E. (2011). Reality therapy. American Psychological Association. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Wubbolding, R. E., & Brickell, J. (2017).  Counselling with reality therapy (2nd ed.). Routledge. - Amazon Affiliate Link

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