Glasser has worked with choice theory for half of his 40 years of psychiatric practice. Basically, choice theory helps its users avoid confrontation and ask pertinent questions. It sees conscious or unconscious desire for external control as the main problem in the four major personal relationships: husband-wife, parent-child, teacher-student, and manager-worker. If you think you can control others, it counsels, you are in for trouble, for the only person you can control is yourself. So all personal problems are both present problems and relationship problems. Glasser urges anyone in a relationship to ask, before taking a step, whether that step will keep the two related persons at least as close together as they are now; if it will, it may be worth taking. Combining choice theory and reality therapy in his practice, Glasser has been able to shorten the durations of his treatment programs substantially. As he presents them here, his theories and approaches can be applied in education and business as well as for self-help.
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Date of Publication: 05/01/1999