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Clinicians can use Reality Therapy (RT) worksheets to effectively treat their clients. These worksheets provide clinicians the tool to effectively establish a treatment plan throughout the therapy process.
What is Reality Therapy?
Reality therapy is a form of cognitive based therapy that is more patient focused. One of the more unique principles, reality therapy’s core belief is that psychological symptoms are not brought on by mental illness, but one has learned to use these behaviors to achieve their needs fully. Reality therapy teaches patients to think past their immediate feelings and control how they behave in problematic moments. With less focus on diagnosis, RT allows patients to learn to make better choices that achieve a more fulfilling outcome in a variety of different areas of life.
Foundation Through Choice Theory
In 1965, Dr. William Glasser created Choice Theory that became the groundwork for reality therapy. Choice Theory emphasizes one ability to control their actions and emotions and their limited ability to control that of others. Choice theory states that all behaviors have a purpose that is to achieve fulfillment in one of five basic needs which are:
The basic need of survival is described as one’s psychological desire to obtain all things necessary to sustain life like shelter, good health, security and even reproductive sex.
Love and Belonging
This basic need encompasses one’s need to have deep connections with people like friends, family, co-workers, pets and intimate partners.
Power describes one’s need to achieve in life and feel as though they “made a difference.” It also includes their need to be competent, recognized and respected; continuing to their need to leave a lasting legacy.
The basic need of freedom describes one’s innate need to move freely without restriction. It includes one’s need to have choices and make autonomous decisions.
Fun encompasses the need for pleasure, humor, relaxation and relevant learning.
Which Conditions can Reality Therapy Treat?
While reality therapy doesn’t attempt to address any specific medical diagnosis, it has been seen to be effective in treating those struggling with eating disorders, addiction and substance abuse, anxiety and phobias. In a broader sense, Reality therapy is used in couples therapy, parent-child therapy, and group family therapy. In addition, many companies provide RT to employees in leadership roles to help them sharpen problem solving skills.
How Effective is Reality Therapy?
Having been in practice for many years, reality therapy is a proven method of treatment for people suffering from a multitude of mental health disorders. Multiple studies show great deals of improvement in social anxiety, interpretation bias and interpersonal relationship for adolescents that underwent group therapy. In addition, studies have shown patients benefit from improvement in self esteem and decisions making from receiving reality therapy.
While boasting such great results some researchers do illuminate considerable limitations of reality therapy. Some researchers fear that while clinicians helping patients develop new thought patterns allows for them to unknowingly impose their own values upon the patients. Also, some researchers find that Dr. Glasser’s denial of patients’ need for medication and mental illness all together received considerable pushback from the psychiatric community.
How Does Reality Therapy Work?
Based on Glasser’s work, reality therapy runs on the theory that mental health symptoms present themselves when people aren’t fulfilling one or more of their 5 basic needs. When met with these circumstances some people experience problems like poor communication within familial and interpersonal relationships, addiction and other behavioral problems. Continuing to build upon Glasser’s work, reality therapy helps patients come to the realization that the only way one can control external factors of their situation is to control their behaviors. Reality therapy usually spans from 6 to 12 sessions in which clinicians provide patients with techniques to reevaluate choices of the past and present and identify which choices have left them feeling unfulfilled in problem scenarios. While there are many techniques that are commonly shared by clinicians, some of the most successful are:
Usually introduced early in reality therapy, clinicians introduce the concept of self evaluation in the process of identifying problems areas for patients in treatments. Through the use of reality therapy worksheets and talk therapy, clinicians use the WDEP system to better formulate a plan of treatment. The WDEP system is a 4 step system that consist of:
Usually referring back to the 5 basic needs, patients make clear their goals in therapy and in life.
Clinicians assist patients in identifying specific behaviors they use to achieve their needs and goals in life.
Clinicians help patients to evaluate the choices that they’ve made and make, assessing their effectiveness in allowing them to achieve their previously stated goals in the Wants step of the WDEP system.
The patient and clinician work together to create a plan to avoid falling into patterns realized in the evaluation phase that might hinder the patients from achieving their goals and fulfilling their basic needs.
This technique teaches the patient to use action plans to make sound decisions in troubling areas of life that will better help them achieve their goals. Clinicians encourage patients to include techniques like focusing on problems they have the power to change rather than those out of their control. With emphasis on taking responsibility for the choices they make rather than making excuses, clinicians tend to promote goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound called SMART goals.
Commonly seen in other cognitive behavioral therapies, cognitive reframing is a technique clinicians use to try to change a patient’s thoughts or thought processes about a specific thing. By encouraging patients to take responsibility for their actions, clinicians help patients to start working toward solutions for their problems rather than focusing on their past choices and fearing those of the future.
Clinicians commonly use the technique of behavioral rehearsal to allow patients to practice implementing newly learned methods of effective communications skills and conflict resolutions. This technique has particularly positive benefits for those doing couples or group therapy.
Research has shown that many people seeking reality therapy report feeling a deep disconnection in personal relationships. Usually attributed to things like criticism and complaining, clinicians work with patients to identify and address poor relationship habits by implement the seven connecting relationship habits which are supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating differences
Final Thoughts on Reality Therapy
Reality therapy is a patient focused therapy that allows patients to take responsibility for the choices that they make in their lives. Clinicians extend encouragement to their patients while they learn to make calm, calculated decisions to better achieve fulfillment of their basic needs in life. RT has been used since the 1960’s and has been proven to have considerable success for many patients seeking to live more fulfilling lives. While some researchers have voiced concerns about the disregard of medication and diagnosis within this therapy style, patients report great increases in self-esteem, mental health, decision making, social anxiety, interpretation bias and interpersonal relationships.
Why Reality Therapy Worksheets?
Reality Therapy (RT) worksheets are tools used in therapy to help individuals identify and achieve their goals by focusing on the present moment and taking responsibility for their own choices and actions. RT is a type of therapy that aims to help individuals recognize the choices they have in life, and take steps to create the life they want.
Some of the key benefits of using Reality Therapy worksheets include:
- Taking responsibility for choices and actions: RT worksheets can be used to help individuals take responsibility for their choices and actions, and recognize that they have the power to create the life they want.
- Focusing on the present: RT worksheets provide a structured approach to focusing on the present moment and the choices individuals have in the present. By focusing on the present, individuals can identify concrete steps they can take to create the life they want.
- Building relationships: RT worksheets can be used to help individuals build stronger relationships by improving communication skills, including active listening, empathy, and problem-solving skills.
- Identifying needs and wants: RT worksheets can be used to help individuals identify their needs and wants, and develop a plan to meet these needs and achieve their goals.
Overall, RT worksheets provide a valuable tool for individuals looking to take control of their lives and create the life they want. By focusing on the present, identifying needs and wants, taking responsibility for choices and actions, and building relationships, individuals can achieve their goals and lead a more fulfilling life.
Why Our Reality Therapy Worksheets?
Our Reality Therapy Worksheets are designed to help practitioners deliver Reality Therapy to their clients more effectively.
Key Features of Our Reality Therapy Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
Benefits of our Reality Therapy Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
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