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William Glasser and his Choice Theory. Christopher Ward 2009. Dr. William Glasser. An American psychiatrist who is the developer of the Reality Theory and Choice Theory.

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dr william glasser
Dr. William Glasser

An American psychiatrist who is the developer of the Reality Theory and Choice Theory.

Received a B.S. and M.A. Case Western Reserve University in 1953 and completed his residency at UCLA and the Veterans Administration Hospital of Los Angeles.

Received an honorary degree from the University of San

Francisco in 1990, American Counseling Association’s

Professional Development Award in 2003, and the ACA’s

“A Legend in Counseling Award” in 2004

what is choice theory
What is Choice Theory?

…The gap between what we have and what we want.

…that outside events never "make" us to do anything.

…What drives our behavior are internally developed

notions of what is most important and satisfying to us.

…all we do is behave

…that almost all behavior is chosen

…that we are driven by our genes to satisfy

five basic needs

what is choice theory continued
What is Choice Theory?continued:

People are driven by six basic needs. All of our choices and behaviors are

based upon the urgency for SURVIVAL, POWER, LOVE, BELONGING,


Glasser asserts that 95% of all discipline problems are misguided efforts of

children trying to achieve power.

By understanding the drives for SURVIVAL, POWER, LOVE, BELONGING,

FREEDOM, and FUN in people, we become more conscious of the need for

our world to be a quality world of our choosing.

what is choice theory continued1
What is Choice Theory?continued:

Choice theory states that:

* all we do is behave,

* that almost all behavior is chosen

* that we are driven by our genes

to satisfy five basic needs: survival,

love and belonging, power, freedom

and fun.

what is choice theory continued2
What is Choice Theory?continued:

The basic needs are:

1. Survival - food, shelter, clothing

2. Power - feeling important

3. Love/Belonging - feeling accepted

and loved by others

4. Freedom - free to choose what we

want to do with our lives

5. Fun - the ability to find enjoyment in

life by learning and playing

axioms of choice theory
Axioms of Choice Theory:

Axiom. n. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate

  • We control our own behavior.
  • All we can give others is information.
  • All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
  • The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
  • What happened in the past equals who we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
  • We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
  • All we do is behave.
  • All behavior are made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology.
  • We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
  • All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.
relationships habits

Seven Caring HabitsSeven Deadly Habits

1.Supporting 1.Criticizing

2.Encouraging 2.Blaming

3.Listening 3.Complaining

4.Accepting 4.Nagging

5.Trusting 5.Threatening

6.Respecting 6.Punishing

7.Negotiating differences 7.Bribing, rewarding

to control

what can you do with choice theory
What can you do with Choice theory?

You can help staff replace external control psychology as the psychology that

drives the system. In practice, this means moving along a continuum toward


Relief from self punishment and a non-controlling psychology that gives us freedom

to sustain the relationships that lead to healthy, productive lives. Students and faculty

will learn to choose how to behave at any time, and we can’t control anyone else's

behavior but our own . Along with an environment classroom/work place that can be

both intrinsic and extrinsic, to benefits all types of learners.

intrinsic vs extrinsic
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Intrinsic property is a property that an object or a

thing has of itself, independently of other things,

including its context.

Extrinsic (or relational) property is a property that

depends on a thing's relationship with other things.


So which is it?

I believe it is both equal and separate.

Choice Theory works not just with the

individuals needs and want but the

relationships developed in a classroom.

bob sullo says
Bob Sullosays

Dr Glassersays

“This {Reality/Choice theory} that we need not be victims of

our past or our present unless we choose to be.”

“When people learn to apply the principles of Choice Theory, they are

taught how to more consciously self-evaluate so that the behaviors they

choose have the best chance of helping them achieve what they want

in ways that are responsible”


1. The William Glasser Institute. Home of Choice Theory. The William Glasser

Institute. 2009. October 25 2009 http://www.wglasser.com/


CHOICE THEORY. October 25 2009.


3. Schneller. Dr. Pete. Choice Theory. Control Theory - Overhead. 2009.

October 25 2009. http://www2.muc.edu

4. Van Nuys, David Ph.D. An Interview with William Glasser. 1995-2009.

October 25 2009. http://www.mentalhelp.net

5. The William Glasser Institute. Classroom Management Theorist and

Theories/William Glasser. 2009. October 25 2009. http://en.wikibooks.org