What is Reality Therapy?

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Reality Therapy states that individuals, not mental health issues, are responsible for their actions and behavior. People make choices that help them get their needs met, but some of these choices are unhelpful, leading to poor relationships skills and ways of relating to others. The therapist’s goal is to motivate individuals to take responsibility for their choices and behavior.

Counselors traditionally use Reality Therapy in prisons and schools. They can use it for individuals, couples, or groups.

Some mental health professionals claim Reality Therapy doesn’t validate mental health diagnoses.

Motivation, behavior, choices, and action are core components in Reality Therapy. Your therapist might help you understand each of these concepts and how they apply to your life. Therapists often spend time asking clients what their needs are. These can range from small things, such as desiring to rid yourself of a bad habit, to larger-scale issues, such as wanting to get your needs more fully met by your partner. Your therapist will help you decide what behaviors can more efficiently get your needs met.

Much of Reality Therapy involves identifying how your behavior, thus far, hasn’t been helpful. Once you gain this understanding, you will be more likely to make choices that align with getting your needs met in healthy, positive ways.

Therapists Who Specialize in Using Reality Therapy