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Choice Theory Essay

1016 words - 4 pages

By Dalynn HickersonDr. Byron LoydChoice Theory states that all we do is behave (, 2008). People are driven by their genes to satisfy their five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun (Glasser Institute, 2008). William Glasser is distinguished for having developed a cause and effect theory that explains human behavior. This essay will explain how the five basic needs, seven caring habits and seven deadly habits all contribute to the choice theory.Dr. William Glasser, an American psychiatrist, was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925 (, 2008). He received a B.S. and M.A. in clinical psychiatry from Case Western Reserve University. In 1997, Dr. Gasser founded the Institute for Reality Therapy which has been re-named twice and is currently known as The William Glasser Institute. The institute is located in Chatsworth, California and has branched out throughout the world. Dr. Glasser received many awards for his outstanding work, which includes an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco, the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Professional development award in 2003 and ACA’s “A legend in Counseling Award” in 2004 (, 2008).The Choice Theory states that a person’s behavior is inspired by what the person wants or needs at that particular time (, 2008). The ideas of Dr. Glasser are sometimes thought to be controversial by other psychiatrists and Glasser is known for applying his choice theory to issues that include education, marriage and management. His ideas focus on personal choice, personal responsibility and personal transformation (, 2008). Dr. Glasser does not believe in the concept of mental illness unless there is something wrong with a person’s brain and can be confirmed by a pathologist.When people are unable to figure out how to satisfy one or more of the five basic needs built into their genetic structure that are the source of all human motivation, people sometimes choose to behave in ways that are currently labeled mental illness. What is common to these ineffective and unsatisfying choices, no matter what they may be, is unhappiness. When we choose a behavior that satisfies our needs, immediately or eventually, we feel good. When we choose a behavior that fails to satisfy our needs, sooner or later, we feel bad. But the choice to be unhappy is not mental illness.People are driven by their five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun (Glasser Institute, 2008). Survival needs consist of needs for oxygen, food and water as well as constant body temperature. The survival need is the strongest because without this, people would use their physiological needs first. Love and belonging is searched for when the needs for safety and survival are met. People seek affection and belongingness to overcome their feelings of loneliness and alienation. Having the power to protect ourselves from...

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