Learning Choice Theory – My Story

Deb and Jeff

 

Deb and Jeff

If I had known Choice Theory when I was younger I would have saved myself literally years of trying to meet my needs in some really dumb ways, with often disastrous results. This is a difficult post to write because it’s based on my story and it’s exposing. I won’t go into all the gory details but I want to summarise the basics of Choice Theory which have made a huge difference to the way I live my life. I’m writing it because I hope it can save other people from having to go through what I have, to get their lives working properly.

Ineffectively trying to Meet Needs

I grew up with high power needs in an environment with very few ways to meet them. It was a time when parents were quick to criticise and slow to praise, at least directly. I was pretty much doomed from the start.

I spent the first fifteen years of my adult life trying to meet my power needs via the success and adoration of my first husband. While that strategy worked for a while, eventually it wasn’t enough and my mental health began to suffer significantly. In my mid-thirties I was diagnosed and hospitalised with bi-polar disorder and told I would have to be medicated for the rest of my life.

I might not have known Choice Theory then, but I knew medication wasn’t going to work for me so I set about curing my “bi-polar disorder”. It took me over ten years, but I believe I have done that, although I know my behaviours can still cause bi-polar behaviours to recur. If I had been introduced to Choice Theory I’m sure I would have made the connection between my behaviours and my mental health a lot faster.

Stop Groping Around in The Dark

Accurately Meeting Your NeedsWithout having a good understanding of my needs I see now that I was groping around in the dark, grabbing at any bright, shiny thing that I thought might give my life the meaning, happiness and peace I was desperately searching for.

Recently I’ve been writing articles for other people to use on their websites. I’ve had to make our Personal Need’s profile available for those people because just about every article comes back to pinpointing what people’s individual needs are and how they might be able to meet them. Life really is about meeting our needs and the better we are able to focus in on that the more successful we will be in all areas of our life. You can download your own Need’s Profile in the sidebar so you can target  your needs more accurately, if this is an issue for you.

Focusing on What You Can Control

The only thing we can control is our behaviour and the most important behaviour to control is our thinking. This is because the actions we choose are a result of our thoughts. We can choose thinking that serves us, or thoughts that set us back. This has taken me ages to come to grips with because I didn’t think that I could control the things that I most needed to, in order to meet my needs. I believed I had very little real control over my life. I even made myself more powerless by giving myself a so-called mental illness. Instead of focusing on meeting my own needs I spent much of my life trying to “fix” others. Not surprisingly that didn’t  work so well.

Taking Responsibility

We can only give ourself the power to change our situation if we take responsibility for our part in creating it. Blaming someone else is a huge barrier to change because we relinquish our own power, and  avoid self-evaluating and choosing more effective behaviours.

Self-Evaluation

Self-EvaluationThe behaviours we choose to meet our needs determine how successful our life will be. If our mental health is not what it should be chances are we are not meeting our needs very effectively.

WDEP

In the end Willian Glasser, creator or Choice Theory, tied everything up very neatly in his simple four step strategy:

  • What do you want?
  • What are you Doing to get it?
  • Evaluate (i.e. how is that working for you?)
  • Plan (to meet your needs as best you can)

Even after meeting Jeff it took a few years for me to fully embrace Choice Theory and the work of William Glasser. The mental health industry has made mental health so complex and Dr Glasser made it so unbelievably simple that I found it difficult to grasp its depth. In fact if I hadn’t experienced its value first hand maybe I still wouldn’t have. There are after all, still many bright, shiny and expensive solutions out there.

If you don’t want to learn Choice Theory for yourself learn it for your kids and give them a great start in life.

Solstice Special

Whether you’re entering the winter solstice as we are in Australia, or you’re in the northern hemisphere and are entering the summer solstice; I wanted to acknowledge this as a period of change in the hope that as a global community we are moving into happier times. To do this we’re giving out a 50% discount coupon over this solstice period, for our course “How to deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively”. This course is different because it uses Choice Theory to deal with the underlying causes of stress and anxiety as well as depression and so much more.

Even if you aren’t Stressed and Anxious

At a 50% discount this course is great value even if you don’t suffer from stress and anxiety because it includes the core components of Choice Theory that will benefit you in your relationships with your family, your friends and even in your workplace.

  • The Needs that Drive all our Behaviour
  • Our Quality World
  • Our Perceived World
  • Our Comparing Place
  • What Do I have Control Over ?
  • What can I Change ?
  • The Road Forward

These seven modules are basic Choice Theory and comprise nearly half of the course. Being proactive and learning these core facets of Choice Theory may mean that you will never have to live through severe stress and anxiety. You will certainly improve your mental health, your wellbeing and the quality of your life. To get the course with the 50% discount click any of the links, including right here, I know you’ll be glad that you did👍

Thanks for reading, have a great week and an even greater life.

 

Deb 😊 💐

Choice Theory Online

Deal with Stress & Anxiety Effectively

We are so excited; after months of work we are opening up our first Choice Theory online course: How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively

Prior to Covid 19 I had planned a range of elaborate launch options but with everything that is going on in the world, we decided to just get it out there because we truly believe that the world needs this course right now

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Our First Course: – Dealing with Stress and Anxiety Effectively


This is our first course and is a good example of how all our courses will be structured. You receive online access to a series of short videos with accompanying activities and downloads. You also have the ability to ask questions. The videos give you information and the activities help you to apply what you’ve learned to your own life situation.

If you are wondering how to deal with stress and anxiety effectively this course will answer your questions. You will learn how to: –

  • Zero in on the specific causes of stress in your life
  • Self-evaluate so that you can change the behaviours which are distressing you
  • Use stress effectively in your life moving forward
  • Make choices that align with your individual needs
  • Understand what stress is and how you are creating it
  • Engineer inner peace and resilience
  • And so much more

You can learn more about it here.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help you live your best life using Choice Theory. Choice theory really is the gift that keeps on giving. The more you learn about it the deeper you go and the more life works. People also come to Choice Theory because a specific area of their life is not working and they want an effective resource that will change that.  This is another reason we are creating our online courses. They teach Choice Theory basics, but in a way that is appropriate whether you know anything about Choice Theory or not, and the courses are directly related to specific problems or goals.

Choice Theory

Choice Theory OnlineMost people know of Choice Theory via a smattering of required learning they did during a psychology or education degree. Over the years it has had to compete for attention amongst a few other theories such as Cognitive Behavioural Theory and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, all of which cross over in some ways. Choice Theory has probably not received the attention it deserves because of its apparent simplicity, but also I believe, because it hasn’t had particularly accessible platforms for delivery.

Dr William Glasser, the developer of Choice theory wrote a number of books on the topic as well as on many variables of the topic, and his idea was that people get together in groups to develop their practice of it. There is also a formal pathway of courses you can take via the network of William Glasser  Organisations around the world, but these are expensive and require days of attendance or months of study.

My Personal Experience

I didn’t come to Choice Theory via a psych or education degree. In fact, until I met Jeff, I had never even heard of it. The simplicity and structure of Choice Theory intrigued me and I quickly completed the four-day Basic Intensive program, followed by the Basic Practicum. With each intensive learning phase came a period of wonder and renewed understanding of myself, my needs and behaviours.

Like anything you need to stay aware and when I needed Choice Theory the most I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I blamed others for my own unwillingness to address issues and I didn’t pay attention to meeting my needs. The end result was catastrophic and I ended up in hospital. Fortunately, I had Jeff and I knew enough Choice Theory to get back on track quickly.

Choice Theory requires us to take complete responsibility for our behaviour and until we actually try to live that, we don’t realise how far we fall short of it. It is so much easier to look outside of ourselves for reasons why we are the way we are, and yet the closer we come to taking full responsibility the more control of our life we achieve.

The hardest part of all this for me was accepting that my thoughts are a behaviour and create my feelings and emotions. This, along with understanding that all our behaviours are an attempt to meet our needs is perhaps the core of Choice Theory

Ongoing Support

Ongoing supportGlasser wanted people to understand the concept (and reality) of internal control, that is, that we are not controlled by circumstances outside of ourselves, nor are we victims of life’s curveballs, but rather we are the architects of our thinking and our behaviour. While the world is coming to understand the importance of mastering our minds, mindfulness and mindsets, we are still bombarded with opposing messages like “he/she/it made me”, “that’s just me”, “I just lost it.”The transfer of this knowledge into continuous action is an ongoing process that benefits greatly from sustained input and support.

Although still in its infancy, we will grow Choice Theory Online into a resource and community that provides that sustained input and support. If you would like a Choice Theory meme each day to help maintain a Choice Theory Mindset you can sign up here.

The other way to stay in touch with us is by downloading the Needs Profile in the sidebar. Understanding our needs so that we can effectively meet them is a great first step towards living our best life.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and we would be happy to answer them. Your comments are so important because they help us to know how we can serve you better.

Kindest Regards

Deb