Archive for September, 2011


“All blame is a waste of time.  No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.  You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.”

 Wayne Dyer

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Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy is the method of counseling that Dr. Glasser has been teaching since 1965. Reality therapy is firmly based on choice theory and its successful application is dependent on a strong understanding of choice theory. Reality therapy training is available to anyone…the first step in learning this tool is to enroll in a Basic Intensive Training.

Since unsatisfactory or non-existent connections with people we need are the source of almost all human problems, the goal of reality therapy is to help people reconnect. To create a connection between people, the reality therapy counselor, teacher or manager will:

  • Focus on the presentand avoid discussing the past because all human problems are caused by unsatisfying present relationships.
    • Avoid discussing symptoms and complaints as much as possible since these are the ways that counselees choose to deal with unsatisfying relationships.
    • Understand the concept of total behavior, which means focus on what counselees can do directly – act and think. Spend less time on what they cannot do directly; that is, change their feelings and physiology. Feelings and physiology can be changed, but only if there is a change in the acting and thinking.
    • Avoid criticizing, blaming and/or complaining and help counselees to do the same. By doing this, they learn to avoid some extremely harmful external control behaviors that destroy relationships.
    • Remain non-judgmental and non-coercive, but encourage people to judge all they are doing by the choice theory axiom: Is what I am doing getting me closer to the people I need? If the choice of behaviors is not working, then the counselor helps clients find new behaviors that lead to a better connection.
    • Teach counselees that legitimate or not, excuses stand directly in the way of their making needed connections.
    • Focus on specifics. Find out as soon as possible who counselees are disconnected from and work to help them choose reconnecting behaviors. If they are completely disconnected, focus on helping them find a new connection.
    • Help them make specific, workable plans to reconnect with the people they need, and then follow through on what was planned by helping them evaluate their progress. Based on their experience, counselors may suggest plans, but should not give the message that there is only one plan. A plan is always open to revision or rejection by the counselee
    • ·         Be patient and supportive but keep focusing on the source of the problem – the disconnectedness. Counselees who have been disconnected for a long time will find it difficult to reconnect. They are often so involved in the symptom they are choosing that they have lost sight of the fact that they need to reconnect. Help them to understand, through teaching them choice theory and encouraging them to read the book, Choice

Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom, that whatever their complaint, reconnecting is the best possible solution to their problem.

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Suicide warning signs    05 September 2009

Some warning signs of suicide

 If you have strong suicidal thoughts at this time, you may wish to exit this site and get more specific advice on the free site

Even psychiatrists find it extremely difficult to predict suicide in patients they know to be ill.  I believe I was the first doctor to publish the idea that predicting suicide is equivalent to predicting the weather; whatever accuracy one may have for the next 24 hours, it gets progressively less the longer the gap is since the patient last saw the psychiatrist.  The weather forecast model of suicide prevention has now been widely publicised by other psychiatrists.  

Of people who commit suicide, over seventy per cent have depressive illness, with schizophrenia and alcoholism making up the majority of other cases of suicide.

In depressive illness cases, the only factor that has repeatedly been shown in research to be associated with suicide is a patient’s sense of hopelessness, ie a belief that they will never recover.  Accordingly, reassuring a depressed person that they will in fact recover is a vital part of reducing the suicide risk.

Other factors in depressive illness that seem to be associated with an extreme risk of suicide are severe problems sleeping (there is perhaps nothing worse than lying awake in a state of great distress while everyone else sleeps), being very anxious and agitated, and being too unmotivated as a result of depression to care for one’s self properly.  People who experience panic attacks, in which they become terrified they are going to die or some catastrophe is going to happen, have an increased risk of suicide.

For those having treatment for depressive illness, the early stages of recovery are in many ways the most dangerous!  At this stage, the patient is still suffering considerably, but is now mentally more focussed, and therefore more able to organise his or her suicide.  Although everyone is relieved when a depressed patient starts to show signs of recovery, great care is needed for the next few weeks, until the recovery is well established, and the emotional pain has subsided.  Similarly, the first few weeks after discharge from hospital for treatment of depression is a period of increased risk of suicide, as the person is again confronted with the remaining symptoms of their illness and the pressures of their normal lives.

Drinking heavily or smoking a lot of marijuana while depressed increases the risk of an impulsive self- destructive act.

A previous suicide attempt is an extremely serious warning sign in people with depressive illness. While one in a thousand people will die from suicide, this risk is multiplied by ten in the first 12 months after an individual has carried out a self destructive act which did not end in death.  

Emotional aloneness markedly increases the risk of suicide.  Therefore, if you lose patience with a person who is very depressed, they may well feel the loss of your support is the final straw, which pushes them to attempt suicide.


Depressed people giving presents to others at an unexpected time, and especially young people parting with personally important possessions, are considered warning signs of impending suicide.


Finally, it must be kept in mind that depressive illness can be fatal if untreated, and a relatively minor problem if treated, but predicting who will attempt suicide, or who will be successful in committing suicide, is extremely difficult, even for professionals.


Important Disclaimer:  This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.


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Exert your talents…

Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire.
Samuel Johnson

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Heed the still small voice…

Heed the still small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and never into folly.
Marquise du Deffand

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