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Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom

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Dr. William Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness. For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship–destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relatio Dr. William Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness. For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship–destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship right now, he proposes that one or both of you could be using external control psychology on the other. He goes further. And suggests that misery is always related to a current unsatisfying relationship. Contrary to what you may believe, your troubles are always now, never in the past. No one can change what happened yesterday.


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Dr. William Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness. For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship–destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relatio Dr. William Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness. For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship–destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship right now, he proposes that one or both of you could be using external control psychology on the other. He goes further. And suggests that misery is always related to a current unsatisfying relationship. Contrary to what you may believe, your troubles are always now, never in the past. No one can change what happened yesterday.

30 review for Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kater Cheek

    My best summary of Choice Theory is that unhappiness almost always results from an unsatisfactory relationship, and unsatisfactory relationships almost always involve one person trying to control the other. You can't control another person, you can only give them information.* This book expands this to discuss how to use this knowledge to become a better spouse, parent, employer, teacher and friend, though he assumes you don't try to control your friends. I've read a lot of self-help type books, My best summary of Choice Theory is that unhappiness almost always results from an unsatisfactory relationship, and unsatisfactory relationships almost always involve one person trying to control the other. You can't control another person, you can only give them information.* This book expands this to discuss how to use this knowledge to become a better spouse, parent, employer, teacher and friend, though he assumes you don't try to control your friends. I've read a lot of self-help type books, especially those dealing with psychology or philosophy, so when a friend recommended this as a life-changing book, I was skeptical. But, if you get one good recipe out of a cookbook, the cookbook is usually worth the price, so I got it anyway. I had just read another book on interpersonal realtions (Crucial Conversations) and surprisingly, these two books neither conflicted nor overlapped. For example, if the problem is that your child won't do her chores, Crucial Conversations has you sitting down and explaining why doing the chores are important, until the child realizes she won't get dinner until the dishes are done. Choice Theory says to stop nagging and work on spending quality time with your daughter so that she likes you enough to do the chores of her own accord. (Full disclosure: in my experience, neither one works. My kids are pretty lazy.) William Glasser, judging by the cultural references, has been a counselor a long time. He has an impressive list of books, and apparently his career accomplishments also include speaking engagements, school visits, and extensive programs based around Choice Theory. The book got a bit self-aggrandizing at times, but considering how much experience he has, I'll forgive a little of that. His writing skills, however, could use a little help. He does not include charts when charts are called for, and at his most egregious, he invented a term "quality world", meaning...well, it took me like seven chapters to figure out what the heck he meant by that. "Timmy doesn't do well at school because school is not in his quality world", "You should have several people in your quality world" "Frankly, my dear, you're not in my quality world." Finally, I figured out "In x's quality world" meant "Important to x" Why not just say "important?" Like, Tom mourns his ex wife because she's important to him. Done. But then, if he didn't invent a buzzword, he couldn't use it for marketing his school and community development plans, some of which sounded promising. Best part about the book for me was when he had a hypothetical counselling session between himself and Francesca, the heroine from THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Francesca is disconsolate after her lover leaves, abandoning her to the dull life made even duller by his vanished spark of excitement. In this hypothetical situation, Glasser advises her to not dwell on the past, and about Robert (who isn't coming back) but instead to think about concrete things she can do to improve her happiness right now . I liked this idea. I was a little leery of the idea that people choose to be depressed, but he sweetened it by saying that it was sometimes an effective defense mechanism to reduce anger or other things that might ruin your life. Depression as ineffective immune response is more tolerable than "you choose to make yourself unhappy." Worst part about the book was Glasser's tendency to expand his theory too far. Talking about his idealistic utopia in which everyone has this theory makes me think of some unfortunate idealistic utopian concepts from last century. Also, when he says that arthritis and many other common afflictions are caused by unhappy relationships, I get skeptical. It's a great proof, because probably everyone with an illness has an unhappy relationship (in as much as nearly everyone alive has an unhappy relationship with someone) but since there's no proof, it makes me think of other self-help books, where people claim that subluxations cause obesity, or that eating meat causes diabetes. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If you like self-help/psychology books, this is a good one to add to your repertoire. *I think you can control people. Pick up artists, cult leaders, and behavioralists will probably agree with me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    After years of hearing about "powerlessness" how refreshing to recover my own innate voice that said, "you always have a choice" After years of hearing about "powerlessness" how refreshing to recover my own innate voice that said, "you always have a choice"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Drob

    I'm a big proponent and advocate of this theory, employing it daily in my psychotherapy practice and personal life. However, the book is tedious, repetitive, and unnecessarily lengthy for a relatively simple concept. The author is self-aggrandizing and insists that this is a catch-all/cure-all, which it is most certainly not. He discusses multiple examples of how he used the theory with his therapy clients, including a hypothetical one based on a fictional character from The Bridges of Madison C I'm a big proponent and advocate of this theory, employing it daily in my psychotherapy practice and personal life. However, the book is tedious, repetitive, and unnecessarily lengthy for a relatively simple concept. The author is self-aggrandizing and insists that this is a catch-all/cure-all, which it is most certainly not. He discusses multiple examples of how he used the theory with his therapy clients, including a hypothetical one based on a fictional character from The Bridges of Madison County. Wouldn't you know it, the fictional therapy was splendid and highly successful! Finally, I had increasingly poor tolerance for his turning feelings and states of being into verbs to fit the criteria. You're not "depressed," you are "depressing" or choosing to depress. Similarly, you are "anxietying," "paranoiding," and, I sh*t you not, "heart-diseasing." Summary: great theory, bad book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Azita Rassi

    Some chapters were great and merited five stars, but overall it had lots that could be trimmed. I fully agree with the theory and hope I can put it to practice more often.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    Choice Theory as created by Glasser is really extraordinary. Basically humans choose everything that we do, we are in control directly or indirectly of everything. Hold up there, then why are so many people depressed and miserable, you ask? Well, a person would not intentionally choose to be miserable, but they may choose behaviors and thoughts that make them so. See, the way Glasser puts it (as I understand it) is to say that humans have 5 needs: 1) Love and belonging, 2) Power 3) Survival 4) F Choice Theory as created by Glasser is really extraordinary. Basically humans choose everything that we do, we are in control directly or indirectly of everything. Hold up there, then why are so many people depressed and miserable, you ask? Well, a person would not intentionally choose to be miserable, but they may choose behaviors and thoughts that make them so. See, the way Glasser puts it (as I understand it) is to say that humans have 5 needs: 1) Love and belonging, 2) Power 3) Survival 4) Freedom 5) Fun (I did not place them in any order). And we behave in ways to meet those needs. So, perhaps my need for love is lower than my need for freedom, I may jeopardize relationships with people in order to maintain freedom (which could at times also make me loney and unhappy). I may have such a strong need for love and belonging that I allow myself to be in an abusive relationship--as long as the abuser meets that need (the honeymoon period after violence where the abused is told he/she is loved and that the abuse will never happen again). Here's the deal--humans all have different levels of these needs, and we need to be sure that the people in our lives (ie: romantic relationships) have similar needs as we do...or else it might lead to problems. (Can you imagine the relationship where Person A has a low need for Freedom, but a very high need for Love....being with Person B who has a very high need for Freedom and an average need for Love? Recipe for fighting? I think so...) There is no 'right' amount needed (although he speculates that sociopaths may have a far too low need for love) by anyone, but matching up with others may prove useful. Here's the other big part of choice theory (formerly known as control theory): you can ONLY control your OWN behavior...not the behavior of others. Let that sink in a bit. You can't make other people do what you want them to do. The girl striving to get married can't force her boyfriend to propose any more than the parent (or teacher) can force the child to do school work. We can hope they will do it, but in the end you have to decide if you want to nag and guilt people into doing what you want them to, or if you want to maintain the strong relationship with the person. Excellent book and a great way to think about human relationships. I'd say you should read it too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Arezou Keshavarz

    I liked the idea that you can feel empowered if you know that your feelings and even to a great level, your pain, is under your own control. Even though I felt some parts of the book were hard to relate to (especially the very beginning and the end), the parts I liked about the book were the parts where the author explains how he actually applies this theory to patients in therapy, and how this can strengthen relationships and lead to better and more fulfilling lives and even more productive wor I liked the idea that you can feel empowered if you know that your feelings and even to a great level, your pain, is under your own control. Even though I felt some parts of the book were hard to relate to (especially the very beginning and the end), the parts I liked about the book were the parts where the author explains how he actually applies this theory to patients in therapy, and how this can strengthen relationships and lead to better and more fulfilling lives and even more productive workplaces.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Thomson

    Very interesting ideas put forth by Dr. Glasser. The main assumption is that you can only deal with what is happening right now, and what your actions will be in the future. You can’t change the past. This is a refreshing idea in a world that insists on digging up the past, or opening up old wounds, to help them heal. In most cases, wounds heal best when left alone. Glasser also emphasizes actions to feeling. You may feel that you want to kill yourself, but what are you going to do that is produ Very interesting ideas put forth by Dr. Glasser. The main assumption is that you can only deal with what is happening right now, and what your actions will be in the future. You can’t change the past. This is a refreshing idea in a world that insists on digging up the past, or opening up old wounds, to help them heal. In most cases, wounds heal best when left alone. Glasser also emphasizes actions to feeling. You may feel that you want to kill yourself, but what are you going to do that is productive that may change your feelings towards your situation. You will find that Glasser takes his theory a bit far in some areas, but the concepts are certainly worth considering.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Naser Farkhideh

    This book opened a door to personal freedom for me. The simple way of explaining such wonderful ideas leave you speechless for hours while you are going through pages like a thirsty wanderer in search of water. The book talks about how easily relationships could be more and more relaxing, fruitful and for god's sake more sensible. After reading this book, relationships are more realistic to me and in more control. The word "control" is not the best one to define anything about this book though s This book opened a door to personal freedom for me. The simple way of explaining such wonderful ideas leave you speechless for hours while you are going through pages like a thirsty wanderer in search of water. The book talks about how easily relationships could be more and more relaxing, fruitful and for god's sake more sensible. After reading this book, relationships are more realistic to me and in more control. The word "control" is not the best one to define anything about this book though since "External Control", that is dominating every aspect of any relationship should be, as the book suggests, replaced with "Choice Theory".

  9. 5 out of 5

    ThePagemaster

    Some words are better left unsaid, and some books are better left unwritten. Choice Theory is a textbook example of such literature. The content is not unlike most people’s lower intestines: stinky, and loaded with danger. I’m at a complete lack of words for describing just how disgusting this capitalistic gospel of opportunism really is, but I will try my best. One way to think about Choice Theory is that it bears some resemblance to what I would imagine it’d be like to be the victim of an abusi Some words are better left unsaid, and some books are better left unwritten. Choice Theory is a textbook example of such literature. The content is not unlike most people’s lower intestines: stinky, and loaded with danger. I’m at a complete lack of words for describing just how disgusting this capitalistic gospel of opportunism really is, but I will try my best. One way to think about Choice Theory is that it bears some resemblance to what I would imagine it’d be like to be the victim of an abusive relationship filled with domestic violence. You know, you meet this guy who at first seems fairly interesting and charming. You enter the relationship with enthusiasm and joy, but you quickly realize that something isn’t right. That’s what this book is like. I went in with optimism, hoping to be inspired to make a change for the better, but was instead launched into an endless pit of anger, hatred, frustration, and despair. But what’s more important is that I, by finding and reading this book, believe myself to have identified the origins of the reprehensible mass psychosis that is now called the ”low arousal approach”. More on that later. The main idea of the book is somewhat intriguing, albeit predictable. As you no doubt have already guessed, the premise is that we choose much of what we think, how we react, what choices we make in life, and even how we feel. Sure, I can accept the premise. It’s common sense if nothing else. However, the way the author of this abomination of a book puts it is downright apalling and absurd. An adequate example of this is his use of verbs. Instead of ”being afraid”, the author will write ”afraiding”, indicating that you choose to be afraid. It could be true in some cases, and in many others I’m sure that there are ways of dealing with said fear that will yield more favorable results than listening to the screaming voice of the amygdala. Yet he doesn’t stop there, and in at least one instance he uses the expression ”PTSDing”. Yes, you read that right, PTSDing. As if post traumatic stress disorder is something you choose. As if phobias are something you choose (see: phobicing). As if arthritis is something you… yeah, you get the point. I’m by no means a medical expert, but I have a hard time believing that arthritis is something you choose. He also doesn’t really seem to have understood what depression is. Presented in the book is a theory saying that depression is not a neurochemical phenomenon, but rather *drumroll* something you choose. I recently had a discussion about this with the elusive Professor Fractal, and we ended up both agreeing that it can be true for some people in some situations, but this guy is clearly of another opinion. The first anecdotal example he gives has to do with a client who was dumped by his wife. It had been a week and he could barely get out of bed, but he mustered the energy needed to drag his sorry ass to William Glasser (I just remembered that this is the name of the author… because of the William Glasser institute he makes recurring references to). The therapist told him that he needed to tell her what he felt by means of writing a letter or a text message. Wow, what a genius. Didn’t see that one coming! Glasser says that it wouldn’t be particurlarly useful if he wrote the letter, explaining that it has to be the client’s own words. They would review it together before the guy sent it. The woman who is now his ex-wife took it to heart and what do you think Glasser suggests then? Yes, you guessed it, she too should pay a substantial fee to come see him in his study. So now we have both parts of the once married couple paying for his services. Examples like these are used liberally, many of which will have others come in to pay for his therapy. There’s no lack of praise from his customers, and it doesn’t take long for the reader to see where this is going. Glasser seems to suffer from delusions of grandeur; as if he believes himself to be the second coming of Jesus or something. The gospel of Captain Obvious is here to stay, as are his disciples, and if only more people could accept Choice Theory into their lives, the world would become akin to the paradise once lost due to the workings of a talking snake and a magical fruit. He keeps coming back to this time after time. We can see that this is more of an entrepreneur than an enlightened visionary. There’s more. What I will now describe may not be something the less vigilant among us will pay attention to, but here it is. Glasser avails himself of the big 5 psychometric trait theory (recently popularized by Jordan Peterson), but he doesn’t call it as such. In fact, he doesn’t even mention the theory. Rather, he uses his own words to describe the traits, perhaps as a way to make it seem as though this is his own creation. One example is what he calls ”the need for power”. Someone with a high need for power will not be willing to compromise and cooperate – they want to have things their own way, and will do nothing to meet the needs of others. On the contrary, someone with a low need for power is the opposite of that, and is not shy to do these things, finding solace in having relationships work as well as they can, even if it means giving up a lot. This is trait agreeableness. As if that wasn’t enough, Glasser doesn’t even make a single reference to one Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power, anyone?), which I think is intellectually detestable. Again, this is a sign of a lack of humility on behalf of the author, who above all else would like for the reader to think of the concepts as Glasser’s own. There was also ”need for freedom”, the lower end of which I think would roughly correspond to a combination of low trait openness and a high level of conscientiousness (see: conservatives), and I won’t waste more space in describing the other ones. I’m open to the possibility that this book was intended as some sort of torture device. When describing the ”needs”, he repeats himself so much that you wonder if you’re slowly going insane, or if he’s actually writing at the level of an insecure and troubled teenager trying to make his way through high school. It’s either that, or he assumes that the reader really is dumb as a rock. Glasser even suggests that people (such as criminals) should take courses that force them to read his stupid book. See? Torture! Yes, I know what you're thinking, "what you're describing is brain washing, not torture". Yet I maintain that in order for something to qualify as indoctrinating, it has to be convincing, which this decroded piece of garbage is not. Now, I mentioned something about the low arousal approach at the introduction of this vehement outpouring of miscontent. The method, which has to be explained to people who don’t work in teaching professions or are otherwise employed in a school setting, roughly says that you should never do anything to aggravate a student/child. You should instead give them a choice, and should never make them feel as if they are forced to do anything they don’t want. According to the pioneer of the Swedish pedagogic psychosis Bo Hejlskov Elvén (who in turn bases it on the bullshit of some other guy), kids who can behave, will behave. He also says that if you are under the age of 15 or something like that, you will never learn a thing from punishments, reproach, and negative feedback. This is possibly the origin of such a ludicrous outlook on developmental psychology. Glasser says all the things Elvén says, including the thing about punishment never doing much good for anyone. He says that the reason middle schoolers dislike learning and school more so than lower grade students do is because more is demanded of them in terms of coercion. Right, coercion. That is the only good thing about the book that I can currently think of. The word coercion. I didn’t know what it meant before, but now I do (it means to communicate in a way that pushes people to do stuff they really don’t want to, like persuation without conviction). I also learned the word ”rancorous”, which by the way is a great description of the guano that the readers of this book have to put in their brains. Thus, my vocabulary has improved by a couple of words compared to before I read it. I have to get back to a loose end that until now has remained unconnected, namely Glasser’s view on depression. The client has to change what he wants, since he still can’t have his wife back, so Glasser tells him that there is surely someone out there who is better for him. The client accepts the proposal and eventually finds a new wife and has never been happier. This is what the author uses to demonstrate that depression is not a matter of neurotransmitters, but one of choice. First of all, feeling down for a week is not necessarily the same thing as depression. It’s too soon to say. Everyone suffers defeat every now and then, and some people will need a little time off to put themselves back together, but most will eventually bounce back again. It is the people who do not, even after months, who will clinically be regarded as depressed. Some of these will need antidepressants, such as SSRI’s, and others can claw their way through it by proceeding in the best of possible ways. Glasser says (if I remember this correctly) that he has never prescribed antidepressants to a single client. I don’t necessarily disagree with refraining from doing so, since most would agree that it’s better to surmount your issues without the need of medication if it is at all possible. However, it isn’t always so. It is his notion of depression merely being a choice, and always a choice, that bugs the living bajesus out of me. What else is there to say that I have not already? I don’t know (well, I do...), but this book is clearly intended for the mentally challenged. It’s worse than the Bible, and while the ideas are not in and of themselves repugnant, the delusional author pieces it together in a disastruous way that is comparable to the great flood of the Old Testament. The impact on the reader is almost equivalent, and he/she is left with an acrid sense of bitterness; a rancorous indignity and anger that may require professional help. My bullshit-o-meter reached previously unfathomable heights, and I do not recommend this book to anyone. While some say that all clouds have a silver lining, no such thing can be found here, not in these parts. On the other hand, it may be good to have Choice Theory lying around if you run out of toilet paper. One psychometric trait out of five possible

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Glasser argues human misery comes from unsatisfying relationships. We need to abandon external control psychology, where we seek to control others and believe others control us, in favor of choice theory where we focus on only what we can control: our own behavior. In truth, all we can give one another is information, and it's up to us to choose what to do with that information. This can be a difficult thing to accept, but once we focus on what we can do in the present, and that's what matters. Glasser argues human misery comes from unsatisfying relationships. We need to abandon external control psychology, where we seek to control others and believe others control us, in favor of choice theory where we focus on only what we can control: our own behavior. In truth, all we can give one another is information, and it's up to us to choose what to do with that information. This can be a difficult thing to accept, but once we focus on what we can do in the present, and that's what matters. Regarding total behavior, it includes four parts: the direct control of our actions, and thoughts which can indirectly control our feelings and physiology. All behaviors have a purpose of meeting one of five needs: survival, belonging, power, freedom, and fun. In this case, Glasser sees dysfunctional behavior and mental illness as choices--a view that challenges the common view point of mental health and medical professionals. We choose to depress and anxietize, to gain some sense of control. Whether or not you agree, it's a thought provoking idea. Of course in life, I think the picture is more complex, with internal and external factors work together in explaining behavior. Glasser also applies his theories in several case studies, as well as in domains such as marriages, families, parenting, work settings, and schools. The gist is we don't get along from using external control psychology, and if we used choice theory life would be this quality world he envisions. I feel he gets a bit idealistic in his view of how society could look on paper based on his theory, but it still can be useful to apply in life. Overall I'd recommend this book for those interested in learning about the theory behind Reality Therapy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gazelle

    In Choice Theory, William Glasser puts aside the traditional way of psychotherapy. (Something that I've always had problem with). He criticizes what he calls External control psychology. The book contains three main parts that describe how this theory would adjust to different situations and how can we be able to make use of it in different parts of the society from household to school, working places, neighborhoods and prisons. What I really liked about the book is the fresh perspective that is In Choice Theory, William Glasser puts aside the traditional way of psychotherapy. (Something that I've always had problem with). He criticizes what he calls External control psychology. The book contains three main parts that describe how this theory would adjust to different situations and how can we be able to make use of it in different parts of the society from household to school, working places, neighborhoods and prisons. What I really liked about the book is the fresh perspective that is no longer under control by Freudian-ism. I am so sick and tired of digging into the past, to point fingers at people and matters that hurt us once, just to unconsciously try to find the reason of our miserable life in it, and to refuse the responsibility of fixing it. Something which cannot ever be fixed and will only lead us to feel like a victim who can't have any hope and any kind of control over his/her life. (Only cause we got hurt in the past does not mean we should give up on the rest of our life). I am not really sure, but from what I learnt, Choice Theory give people a chance to leave the past and think about the remaining of their life, to decide if they want to carry on being the victim that they once forced to be or decide to choose another kind of thinking and live the rest of their life free from the old pains.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

    Okay, guys, this is a MUST read for everybody! I was at my most vulnerable point in life when I piked up this book, and I still can't believe how it healed me down to my bones. This book is a manual for being a human being. Do you want to know where your feelings come from? Why you feel and do things? William Glasser explains in the simplest chopped-down form, what it is to be human and how we can try to get along with each other better. If we feel unhappy at any time in our lives, it can be tra Okay, guys, this is a MUST read for everybody! I was at my most vulnerable point in life when I piked up this book, and I still can't believe how it healed me down to my bones. This book is a manual for being a human being. Do you want to know where your feelings come from? Why you feel and do things? William Glasser explains in the simplest chopped-down form, what it is to be human and how we can try to get along with each other better. If we feel unhappy at any time in our lives, it can be tracked down through our relationships with others. Having bad relationships (of any kind) can damage us badly....but it is all about the choices we make with ourselves, our words, our feelings. Now that I have finished reading this book, and I'm so excited to be a human! I can't wait to make new relationships with other humans and enjoy their company!:)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kp

    I will admit to some skimming and choosing certain parts to skip, but overall I thought the book had some excellent key ideas that could help improve the relationships of many that I know. His tone is a little self-righteous and most of his examples are presented in a case-study style from people he has treated. However, I do feel I have a broader language of expression in terms of my own needs and how I can serve those needs without using them to attempt controlling others. Give it a perusal, a I will admit to some skimming and choosing certain parts to skip, but overall I thought the book had some excellent key ideas that could help improve the relationships of many that I know. His tone is a little self-righteous and most of his examples are presented in a case-study style from people he has treated. However, I do feel I have a broader language of expression in terms of my own needs and how I can serve those needs without using them to attempt controlling others. Give it a perusal, absorb what is helpful.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deane P.

    Nothing new about the information presented - what is new and dazzlingly brilliant is the way the information is connected, and the implications for lasting peace and happiness in all levels of society from the most personal to the most global. There are few books I would consider to be "life changing". This is one of them. Nothing new about the information presented - what is new and dazzlingly brilliant is the way the information is connected, and the implications for lasting peace and happiness in all levels of society from the most personal to the most global. There are few books I would consider to be "life changing". This is one of them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris Weaver

    I found this to be one of the two most helpful theories to follow when dealing with teen-age students, helping them to guide their decisions to get the results they desire. Great help to my counseling profession.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pedram Lajevardi

    I enjoyed reading this book. Too often we blame a conflict or a stressful situation on others, and forget about the impact we can have. Many examples in the book make it easier for the reader for the reader to understand the concept.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Romeo Verga

    William shows a shift if focus from placing blame on external things and empower yourself to make different choice if not better by shifting your thoughts and actions

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bjorn Sorensen

    It comes down to this-would you consider a talk with a friend or a session with a counselor as productive if they never brought up the past? This could leave you in a conundrum-you can't talk about your upbringing, and, by extension, you can only talk about your actions and relationships in the present. Yes, this flies in the face of a lot of psychology, that we are a product of our upbringing and our environment. Glasser says that relationships are paramount, that you should do something with s It comes down to this-would you consider a talk with a friend or a session with a counselor as productive if they never brought up the past? This could leave you in a conundrum-you can't talk about your upbringing, and, by extension, you can only talk about your actions and relationships in the present. Yes, this flies in the face of a lot of psychology, that we are a product of our upbringing and our environment. Glasser says that relationships are paramount, that you should do something with someone you care about with this mindset-Will what I'm about to do or say bring me closer to this sibling, husband/wife, student, child, friend, or drive me further apart? So the two sides come together-we don't dwell on the past, but the absence of this crutch is balanced because each of us only focuses on what we do as individuals. I don't blame my wife for my unhappiness, for example. I have a choice in the matter. I have no expectations from her and only think about what I can contribute to the relationship. This instead of what the relationship is or isn't doing for me. This will expand our personal freedom in surprising ways. So-by extension, we don't force students to learn things that may or may not be important to them. This points to project-based learning, or each student learning at their own pace, and/or students finding authentic audiences for their work (i.e. not always their fellow students, teachers or parents). See my review for Ted Dintersmith's "What School Could Be" : ) If managers took a minute or two to get to know their employees, the adversarial system of workers comp could be transformed. It's hard to detract a star, but the book needs to be updated and some issues clarified. Glasser mentions the "process" for choice theory, and uses the term "quality world" but doesn't clearly explain either (there is, however, a fantastic explanation of our five basic needs and how these are different for each individual). The book is instead too much a of a 90s-style plug for his seminar services. Also, I think the past can be helpful sometimes. A hypothetical example-I carry around some tension due to having a controlling parent and moving around a lot as a kid. Understanding this would help me give myself a little bit of a break, to relaxing a bit more into who I am. I wouldn't dwell on it too much, but the recognition could take a little weight off. But I recommend this book either way-it encourages you to take decisions that are best for you. I've always thought that kind of happiness is your true gift to the world.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lilly J

    The kind of book that everyone must read at least once and should read several times in there life. “A choice theory world is a tough, responsible world; you cannot use grammar to escape responsibility for what you’re doing.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    Great book, one of my first books that I didn't feel time while reading it. although chapters 10 and 11 were a bit dull to me. Great book, one of my first books that I didn't feel time while reading it. although chapters 10 and 11 were a bit dull to me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kruno Stjepanović

    A refreshing view on human psychology and relationships. While not a self-help kind of a book, it is certainly very useful and with advice everyone should incorporate in their lives.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An okay choice, a review of Choice Theory by William Glasser M.D. Throughout my life I have read many nonfiction books, but few have presented such a contrast of astounding conceptualization and minimalist writing as Choice Theory. The author William Glasser, M.D. is clearly a master of the mind, but a novice when it comes to pen and paper. Personally I believe that due to this contrast the book can be considered as fulfilling neither the qualifications of true excellence nor those of mediocrit An okay choice, a review of Choice Theory by William Glasser M.D. Throughout my life I have read many nonfiction books, but few have presented such a contrast of astounding conceptualization and minimalist writing as Choice Theory. The author William Glasser, M.D. is clearly a master of the mind, but a novice when it comes to pen and paper. Personally I believe that due to this contrast the book can be considered as fulfilling neither the qualifications of true excellence nor those of mediocrity instead it is left sequestered to a sad middle ground somewhere in between. Throughout the book the author speaks of many concepts and ideas but centers on a single central concept, choice theory. The beginning of the primarily is written to introduce this idea to the reader and goes on to talk about the author's idea of humanity's basic desires, such as power, survival and so often tying these into choice theory. The idea of humanity's basic desires as presented by the author himself was mostly sound however some of the concepts seemed illogical or possibly warped by the authors opinion. It would have been easier to understand these concepts if the author had presented more conclusive evidence to support the ideas. The author related these first two sections of the book by using statement such as¨more will be explained about these psychological needs as I go further into the intricacies of choice theory.¨(Glasser 27) From there the book went on to present several psychological concepts used to show how the author came up with the idea of choice theory in the first place. However around the center of the book it began to become repetitive and could have done a much better job of retaining the reader's attention. Finally the author provided a thorough and reasonably engaging explanation of how to apply choice theory in your life by presenting in depth explanations and a variety of examples While the book did a fairly good job of meeting most of my criteria, I still thought that it was only an okay book. This was just a okay book because despite the revolutionary concepts it portrays it does little to engage the reader and is very poorly written. My first criterion is the quality of ideas presented. This criterion is important because I believe that the primary goal of a nonfiction book should be to present the reader with new ideas and concepts that are sufficiently ingenious or revolutionary to retain the reader's attention.To achieve and maintain the relationships we need, we must stop choosing to coerce, force, compel, punish, reward, manipulate, boss, motivate, criticize, blame, complain, nag, badger, rank, rate, and withdraw. We must replace these destructive behaviors with choosing to care, listen, support, negotiate, encourage, love, befriend, trust, accept, welcome, and esteem¨(Glasser19).My second criterion is quality and quantity of the evidence provided to support the various ideas presented in the book. Even though one must except that this is a general audience book and hence can not take such enormous liberty to regale to reader with evidence as more scientific books, It shows such a profound lack of evidence that it troubles even the most inocuos of minds. A particular example of this could be for instance the complete and utter lack of a citations page. My third criterion is how engaging the book was. One of the authors more engaging moments is for example when he writes ¨To begin to approach that goal, we need a new psychology that can help us get closer to each other than most of us are able to do now.¨(Glasser 78). However unfortunately instincts of engaging writing such as this are few and far between. This criterion is important because I believe that for a nonfiction book to achieve true success it must not only present exceptional ideas but must also present them in an engaging manner. My opinion is more or less aligned with my judgement of the book in generneral. I didn't like the book because I personally felt that it wasn't very engaging.Another reason I didn't like this book was because the writing pace was incongruous throughout the story. At the beginning of the book it had a very fast writing pace however closer to the middle of the book the writing pace slowed down tremendously. However at the same time I didn't think it was a terrible book due to the sheer quality of the ideas presented.Overall while it was a okay book, It was also not something which I overly enjoyed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abolfazl Kakaey

    Most of the books and authors talk about same things with different languages and don't have a new mindset. But this book is totally different in regard to mindset and method. Mr. Glasser learns new beneficial concepts that can lead to change our lives, if master them, even when just know them Most of the books and authors talk about same things with different languages and don't have a new mindset. But this book is totally different in regard to mindset and method. Mr. Glasser learns new beneficial concepts that can lead to change our lives, if master them, even when just know them

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kao Narvna

    Choice theory helped me--to some degree--take control of my life. Everything in our life happens because of a decision, and people make thousands of decisions each day. The sections of this book regarding dealing with people was especially helpful to me, recognizing types of harmful people based off the evident decisions they keep making time and time again. I have a copy covered in sticky notes with especially fantastic portions sitting around somewhere. I fully recommend this to anyone who feel Choice theory helped me--to some degree--take control of my life. Everything in our life happens because of a decision, and people make thousands of decisions each day. The sections of this book regarding dealing with people was especially helpful to me, recognizing types of harmful people based off the evident decisions they keep making time and time again. I have a copy covered in sticky notes with especially fantastic portions sitting around somewhere. I fully recommend this to anyone who feels like they've lost control of their lives, or perhaps simply wants to ponder the choices we make when dealing with ourselves and others.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arlene Yanxiang

    This book is trying hard-sell too much. It is slow, rumbling, jammed with irrelevant (and misleading) thoughts (human is the only animal that care about strangers?! Hey have you heard of penguins?). The author has a tremendous amount of confidence in believing the book is revolutionary. I can't tell the difference between his "revolutionary" theory and the most widely-used cognitive behavior theory. His theory is right and I believe he is a good counselor, but this book is just annoying to liste This book is trying hard-sell too much. It is slow, rumbling, jammed with irrelevant (and misleading) thoughts (human is the only animal that care about strangers?! Hey have you heard of penguins?). The author has a tremendous amount of confidence in believing the book is revolutionary. I can't tell the difference between his "revolutionary" theory and the most widely-used cognitive behavior theory. His theory is right and I believe he is a good counselor, but this book is just annoying to listen to, not to mention the narrator has this exaggerated teen voice...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Cox

    The basic idea of choice theory is pretty interesting; people respond more thoughtfully to choices than controlling edicts. The author spends too much time discussing examples of this simple idea, and hardly any time on the justification or empirical support for this idea. The author uses the phrase "quality world" excessively and does not offer justification for this phrase. It strikes me as an ambiguous phrase and even in the context of use, it was impossible for me to derive its intended mean The basic idea of choice theory is pretty interesting; people respond more thoughtfully to choices than controlling edicts. The author spends too much time discussing examples of this simple idea, and hardly any time on the justification or empirical support for this idea. The author uses the phrase "quality world" excessively and does not offer justification for this phrase. It strikes me as an ambiguous phrase and even in the context of use, it was impossible for me to derive its intended meaning.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Damos

    Some phenomenal concepts that might lead us towards a perfect world. Some good examples of practice & some a little far from my willingness to try. I once had a psychologist talk to me about the balance between connection & control & think this book contributes to me understanding this. I think this book is about finding peace - is it a peace we can find in this world? Maybe... A great book that walks a different path to current society.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book is great. I can only read so much at a time, then I have to process for a while.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Required reading for my graduate level counseling class. Helps readjust your perspective and improve your daily thought process.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tolkiengirl

    Liberating. We all have a choice.

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