Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom
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A New Psychology Of Personal Freedom
By William Glasser, MD
Southern California psychiatrist William Glasser, the author of Reality Therapy, believes
that almost all human misery is caused by people trying to control
others. In fact, he says, the only behavior we can control is our own;
by the same token, no one can make us do anything we don't want to.
It's only when we give up spending our energy trying to force others to
conform to our ideas or to keep them from doing the same to us that we
are able to live the way we want to.
Glasser makes this
somewhat difficult material easier to understand with examples and case
studies from his own practice. For instance, he tells a man whose wife
has left him that his only choices are to change what he wants her to
do or to change the way he is dealing with her. While doing these
things will not necessarily bring his wife back, Glasser says, it will
certainly make him feel better. Glasser writes: "When we actually begin to realize that
we can control only our own behavior, we immediately start to redefine
our personal freedom and find, in many instances, that we have much
more freedom than we realize."