The Life Principles of Reality Therapy
This week has been spring break at PUC, but life has kept moving pretty quickly none the less. One of the things I have been working on this week is the Glasser biography. An editor had been working on the manuscript for over a month, making corrections on grammar and sentence structure, deleting what she felt was unnecessary, and commenting on areas that lacked clarity. I received the edited manuscript last weekend and have been carefully going over the corrections and suggestions since then. I thought she did a very good job. I also thought I was pretty good with the English language, however it is a bit humbling to have your work carefully edited by someone who knows what they are doing. After reviewing her edits I re-wrote sections that she felt needed it, defended anecdotes she felt should be taken out, and re-evaluated some of the ways I characterized certain events and people. Today I sent back to her a copy of the manuscript in which I edited her edits. It is actually a rich process. I think within the next month I will be able to answer the question, “When is your book coming out?”
Going through the entire book in a few days has brought back into the forefront of my thinking a lot of Glasser’s ideas. For instance, there is a table in the book that summarizes the principles of reality therapy, the therapeutic approach for which Glasser became famous. These principles are really quite powerful. Just in case one or two of them have slipped your mind, I list them here –
Principles of Reality Therapy
Make a PLAN
NEVER GIVE UP
Although Glasser did not come at these from an intentionally spiritual perspective I think there is something very Christlike about these principles. While they were initially designed to guide the process between therapist and client, Glasser came to view them as a way of life, a set of guiding principles from which anyone could benefit. In other words, the principles could help a therapist working with a patient, but they could also help a person working through a life challenge on his own.
Positive involvement is about the need for positive relationships based on a warm, caring regard for another person. Whether counselor and client, husband and wife, supervisor and employee, or teacher and student, positive involvement is essential. In my next blog I will share a story from the biography that exemplifies the principle of involvement. The story happened to Glasser on the first day of his first job.