Reality therapy is a counseling approach that is based on the choice theory concept. REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Theory) on the other hand is used to deal with feelings, behaviors and beliefs that are both destructive and irrational so as to maximize happiness and productivity. It is mostly used to deal with anxiety disorders, depression and phobias.
This paper aims at outlining the key concepts, procedures and techniques used in the two therapies and which is preferable to the writer and why it is. It is important to note that both forms of therapy focus more on the future than the past. REBT is based on certain principles namely: irrational thinking causes harmful emotions, emotions and actions are an individual’s responsibility, practice assists in the learning of realistic views and finally it is possible to get deeper acceptance of oneself and hence attain greater satisfaction. The techniques and procedures are: A- activating element, B- belief, C- causing emotional consequence, D- disputing, E- effective philosophy and F- a new set of feelings.
This is usually used by those who require quick results in taking control of their lives. The reality therapy on the other hand assumes as its key concepts the fact that human beings create a world of wants and also behavior is the way they perceive the world so as to make it fit into this created world of wants. These wants include love and belonging, freedom and fun and power or achievement.
The techniques and procedures applied in this therapy include: W- wants, D- doing and direction, E- evaluation and P- planning and commitment (Corey 2008). This therapy is very effective because it encourages an individual to focus on making the future better by facing the reality of present day and coming to terms with what has happened. This form of therapy is very useful when dealing with reluctant clients. It starts off by getting the story from the client to know where the problem lies and after that an environment that seems to satisfy the above mentioned wants is created by the counselor.
This is then followed by enquiry into what are the needs and wants that the client has that have not been fulfilled and what are his or her thoughts about the situation. One can ask questions like “What did you want to happen?” Once this has been established, what the client is doing about the situation is then explored. This focuses on the direction that the client is taking in solving the problem and dealing with it. It is supposed to discover if the client is taking positive steps towards acceptance of the situation and move on with life. The question to ask is “What do you think you should do about the situation? The next step is to constantly evaluate the client to ensure that he or she is making an effort to change and sticking to the planned behavior. To assist in this, the counselor can ask “When that situation occurred, how did you react? Are you satisfied with your reaction?” This helps the clients to make the change that they would like to see in themselves and they are responsible for their change.
The counselor assists the client in making plans that are realistic and can be followed and thus assist the client to commit to accomplishing them because they are achievable (Corey 2008). I would prefer to use the reality therapy because it focuses on the present and what is achievable. In this way it is easier to help the client get in touch with reality and deal with the current issues. It is also good to use when an individual is an unwilling client because the counselor allows the client to express him- or herself in an environment that is encouraging.
The client is also in charge of the change occurring hence assuming responsibility for the change in behavior. The counselor is also able to help the client accept the past and focus more on a future that is better than the experienced past.ReferenceCorey G. 2008, Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 8th Ed.
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