William Glasser – Some Ideas

I had the pleasure of presenting at the William Glasser Institute’s International Convention in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Dr. Glasser is a psychiatrist whose first contribution was REALITY THERAPY, one of the earliest of what is now referred to as “cognitive psychology.” He then started working with schools and made perhaps his most significant contribution to the field of education when he introduced CLASSROOM MEETINGS. He then extended his ideas by developing “CHOICE THEORY” (originally referred to as “Control Theory), which basically proposes that all we can do is control ourselves by the choices we make. From W.Edwards Deming, Dr. Glasser introduced “LEAD MANAGEMENT” (vs. “Boss Management”). His current thrust is to bring achieving MENTAL HEALTH to the general public.

I propose that if you practice POSITIVITY to yourself as well as with others, if you become conscious of the CHOICES you continually make, and if you REFLECT on how to handle adverse situations (the three principles to practice of Discipline without Stress), you will have good mental health.

Dr. Glasser refers to a person’s “quality world” and that we do things to satisfy our quality world (the pictures in our minds) and avoid those things that don’t. I refer to this as one’s “self-talk”—the conversations we have with ourselves. The most important point to remember here is that if you change the pictures in your quality world—or change your self-talk—you will find it easier to change your behavior.

Here are two thoughts from William Glasser, M.D.:

—All we do is give information to others.
People choose their responses to this “information” that is conveyed in words, tone of voice, gestures and other external stimuli.

—One’s behavior is an attempt to a solve problem.
If you look at a young person’s irresponsible behavior as an attempt to fix a frustration, your chances of working with the person—rather than doing something “to” the person—will increase.