Reality Therapy Examples (5)

This blog aims to provide you information about reality therapy with some reality therapy examples.

The blog explains in detail the reality therapy, its procedure, its uses, limitations, and a lot more.

So let’s not delay further and find out facts about reality therapy. 

Development of the Reality Therapy

Reality therapy was introduced by DR. William Glasser in 1965. Reality therapy is made on the principles of choice therapy.

It is a widely used and renowned therapy according to which the individuals face conflicts when their primary psychological needs are not fulfilled and it is the individual only who can control his behavior.

This principle of reality therapy is supported by parents,  education professionals, mental health, and social services professionals.

According to Glasser, an individual will be more successful in accomplishing his goals when he modifies his own behavior instead of trying to alter the other person’s behavior. 

What is Reality Therapy? A Definition

Reality therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify their basic primary needs which are not met, set realistic goals, resolve conflicts, and connect with others in a way that the individuals feel a sense of belongingness and meaning with them. 

Reality therapy presents the five basic needs of humans that need to be fulfilled in order to ensure the optimal functioning of the individual and improve his satisfaction with life.

These five basic needs are as follows: 

  • Survival needs; the needs related to food, water, shelter, and sexual needs. 
  • Love and belongingness needs; that includes seeking love and feel connected to family members, friends, relatives
  • Power needs; that includes the sense of accomplishment and a boost in self- efficacy as well as self-esteem. 
  • Freedom needs; which refers to to the feeling of being independent and autonomous, having inadequate personal space 
  • Fun needs; which refers to satisfaction, happiness, and joy

Reality therapy aims to provide assistance to clients in recognizing their unfulfilled primary needs.

The therapy helps them to work on achieving those primary needs through the goal-setting process.

It helps clients accept the reality of the world and make wise decisions that aid them in their goal achievement process by driving them close to their goals. 

How It Works

According to William Glasser’s work (the mid-1960s), reality therapy is based on the notion that individuals face conflicts in their life when their basic five necessities are not fulfilled.

These five basic needs have been discussed above. When one or more of the basic needs are not fulfilled, the optimal functioning of the individual is interrupted and his current relationships are negatively affected.

Thus, it is very important to focus on the present moment at act accordingly. The roots of reality therapy are in choice therapy.

According to choice therapy, individuals choose to live their lives in specific ways and these choices can either help them or act as obstacles in fulfilling their basic needs and achieving their goals.

Furthermore, individuals cannot change the behavior of others, so show the individuals must modify their own behaviors for accomplishing their goals. 

When is Reality Therapy Used?

Reality therapy is a very effective form of psychotherapy. It can be used in a variety of cases.

Reality therapy is used for individual therapy, family therapy, marriage counseling, parenting, education, management, resolving conflicts between relationships, friendships, and addiction therapy.

Concerns and Limitations of Reality Therapy

Reality therapy is a great success and contribution to psychotherapy. Empirical evidence has also proved that reality therapy is a very effective source of resolving conduct issues in schools.

However, the effectiveness of reality therapy has been proved from only a few long term studies.

The empirical evidence also lacks experimental control in the area, sample size, training of teachers, and intentional participation. 

Although reality therapy has been proved to be an effective approach for resolving behavioral issues in schools, there are less researches that show that reality therapy can promote experiences of students, increase your self-esteem and self-concept.

Thus, reality therapy is an effective source of managing symptomatic behavioral issues but not for resolving the causes and reasons for these behavioral conducts.

In addition to this, the reality therapy fails to focus on the unconscious mind, the influence of past and traumatic events on the present, the therapeutic value of dreams, and the place of transference.

Case Studies on Reality Therapy

The use and effectiveness of reality therapy can be best understood by viewing some case studies.

Case study 1 and case study 2 is based on reality therapy. You can read these two to get an idea about how reality therapy works.

The following is the list of recommended books that you can read to increase your knowledge about reality therapy.

These books also provide you with reality therapy examples in the form of case studies to help you understand the process of reality therapy in detail. You can get all of these books from the Amazon Store.

You just have to click your favorite book and you will be redirected to the page from where you can get it.

What is the main focus of reality therapy?

The main focus of reality therapy is to resolve conflicts of the individual, strengthen his connections, and help in the process of goal achievement.

The reality therapist works with the client to help him acknowledge his values, his goals, and how he can modify his behavior to achieve those goals.

What are the three R’s of reality therapy?

The three R’s of reality therapy include realism, responsibility, and right and wrong.

Reality therapy helps individuals identify and achieve their goals, form meaningful relationships, and enhance their problem-solving skills.

What are the key concepts of reality therapy?

The key concept of reality therapy is to help individuals achieve their basic necessities as one or more unfilled primary needs are the reason for their conflicts.

These five basic needs include survival needs, love, and belongingness, power, freedom, and fun.

What is the WDEP of reality therapy?

WDEP is an abbreviation used for wants, doing, evaluation, and planning.

The reality therapy focuses on the WDEP to help clients identify their wants, what individuals are doing to achieve those wants, evaluating whether their behavior is helpful or detrimental for the achievement of their wants, and helping the individual to achieve their goals successfully.

What type of therapy is reality therapy?

Reality therapy is a client-centered approach, based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Reality therapy helps individuals improve their relationships and resolve their conflicts by focusing on the present moment.

What are the limitations of reality therapy?

There are many limitations of reality therapy.

One of these is that reality therapy fails to focus on the unconscious mind, the influence of past and traumatic events on the present, the therapeutic value of dreams, and the place of transference.

This blog aimed to provide information about reality therapy.

We tried our best to deliver you as much information about reality therapy as we could.

The blog also mentioned links form where you can get reality therapy examples, in the form of case studies.

We hope you will benefit from this blog. Let us know if you have any questions or queries. We will be glad to assist you.


Reality Therapy: Constructing Your Future One Choice at a Time by Courtney E. Ackerman (2019)

Reality Therapy | Psychology Today

Reality Therapy Techniques, Benefits, and Limitations

Reality Therapy – GoodTherapy

A Tasty Sample of Reality Therapy | John Sommers-Flanagan by JOHNSOMMERSFLANAGAN (2017)

 A Tasty Sample of Reality Therapy | John Sommers-Flanagan

A Case Study Applying the Reality Therapy Approach – AWS 

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