Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy

Developed by William Glaser, reality therapy seeks to solve the psychological problems in an individual’s life by dealing with present challenges or concerns in the individual’s life while ignoring his or her past life. He argues that psychological problems or health issues arise when five basic needs are not met in one’s life. They include fun, freedom, love, power, and self-worth (Thompson, 2015). Failure to obtain satisfaction of these needs, one develops a present problem and hence the need to focus on the present life (  The therapist gets involved with the client and forms a good relationship as a foundation for other steps. The problem is evaluated, future plan to solve it formulated and commitment to accomplish this is reached (Thompson, 2015).

The therapist forms a rapport with the client who is a high school student. He alludes to his mother’s tireless effort to have his needs satisfied besides encouraging him to get a B. Through prompts, the comments by his mother gave him a sense of satisfaction as seen from how he is happy feeling when she praises him for getting a B grade. As expected, the client is at the conventional stage of development because he seeks to work within his mother’s set norms and expectations.

Moreover, the therapist focuses on the client’s present condition and needs (Thompson, 2015). He asks questions like, which grade he wants to get, how he wants to get the grade, or what does it take to have a B grade. The preadolescent’s suggestion is to do a twenty minutes study in algebra as a step towards the B grade. The therapist tries to influence his decision by motivating him to do more than twenty minutes. He does this without necessarily pushing him but inviting his suggestions. We can see the therapist using an analogy of a baseball player to create a vivid picture of the struggle it must take to perform (

The use of prompts is effective since the approach is patient-oriented and it does not make the patient feel pushed to change what he is currently doing (Thompson, 2015). As the therapist, I would conclude the meeting by appreciating the effort contributed by the adolescent towards solving his present need and motivate him to set a higher goal and incentives. The next meeting would begin by checking if he accomplished the plans, did better or failed to follow the plan.


Thompson, R. (2015). Counseling techniques: Improving relationships with others, ourselves, our families, and our environment. New York, NY: Routledge Retrieved May 8, 2018, from Retrieved May 8, 2018, from