Add news
March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022December 2022
News Every Day |

Growing Good Mental Health with Choice Theory

Thought Provoker:

How do you define good physical health? Do you know what to do to develop, improve and maintain your physical well-being?

How do you define good oral and dental health? Do you know what to do to develop, improve and maintain oral and dental health?

How do you define good mental health? Do you know what to do to develop, improve and maintain good mental health?

A colorful illustration in blues and greens depicting a figure standing atop a globe, holding an orange ball in their hands.During the psychiatric rotation of my undergraduate nursing program, I read William Glasser’s Reality Therapy: A New Approach to Psychiatry (1965). At that moment I knew this was going to be my area of specialty. All of Glasser’s subsequent books, lectures and especially the work I was fortunate enough to do with him have influenced my entire professional career and personal life.

I worked for decades as a psychiatric nurse in traditional psychiatric settings, using the medical model where diagnosing and medicating people was considered to be “best practice.” This is still true today, despite the lack of evidence to support this protocol. People did experience temporary relief of their symptoms and upsets, but never quite returned to a medication free life, or a vibrant and happy one.

Most of these folks developed “side effects” from the medication they were taking, which were often just as bad and debilitating as the original mental and emotional distress that brought them to treatment to begin with. For some, this led them to seek help from a different health care provider. This often led to a different diagnosis, with new medications prescribed.

Rarely were the previous medications discontinued. It was not unusual for me to see patients with more than one psychiatric diagnosis, taking as many as 25 or more medications, and still complaining of unhappiness and unpleasant symptoms.

This is what was considered best practice. Today this is still what is considered best practice. The noteworthy changes that have occurred in the 48 years of my career in mental health include: new, and different medications, and a change in the terminology from “mental illness” to “mental health,” but still without defining what mental health is. There is no information given or discussion about what a person can do to develop, improve and maintain their own good mental health. It’s worth noting that changing the name from illness to health has had no effect on the negative social stigma associated with mental health. Added to the problem is the pharmaceutical industries’ false advertising that medication can “fix a person’s broken brain,” as if that defines mental illness.

What if we changed the mental health paradigm altogether, making it more consistent with the paradigm shift that has occurred for physical and dental health? What if our best practice taught all people what mental health is, and taught people what to do daily to develop, improve and maintain their mental wellbeing? What if we could start right now Growing Good Mental Health?

In 2005 Glasser wrote a small booklet entitled Defining Mental Health as a Public Health Issue. Today, in 2022, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world finally understands that personal mental health is also a public health issue.

Yet we still have not defined what mental health is.

Most six-year-old children in the US can tell you what to do to get into better physical shape. The same is true for dental health. I personally know a few elementary teachers who ask their students to brush their teeth after lunch before they go out for recess.

Imagine an eight-year-old, or an eighth grader, or a junior in high school or college knowing what to do to develop, maintain and continue to grow their own good mental health. Imagine them understanding that their negative experiences create a negative change in their mental health. Imagine that they know what steps to take to improve it. Imagine that they know and accept that there may be times when more help is needed, that they know who to reach out to, and that help is available to them, not something to be stigmatized by or hide from.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant changes in people’s lives, including an awareness of the disruptions, disturbances, and changes in their mental health. Because of my interest in the subject, I set a Google search for “mental health as a public health issue,” and the number of alerts I started receiving increased significantly and continues to this day.

For me, COVID has created an opportunity and a call to action. (More on that later*)

Choice Theory Psychology Explained

William Glasser is the founder of Choice Theory psychology, an internal control psychology. In fact, Glasser, along with Albert Ellis, created the original CBT (cognitive behavioral therapies): Choice Theory by Glasser and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy by Ellis.

Choice Theory is a psychology based on internal motivation. as opposed to external motivation which is the model most individuals and organizations operate from. Internal motivation means that the external world provides us with information, but does not make us do anything; behavioral choices are inspired from within and every individual has the power to control only themself. This allows us to take responsibility for our own life, happiness and choices. Knowing this also allows us to stop the exhausting process of attempting to control other people’s decisions, lives and choices. The only person whose behavior we can control or change is our own.

Choice Theory explains that we choose our behaviors in an attempt to meet one or more of our five genetic psychological needs: safety and security; love and belonging; power; freedom; fun. From birth we begin creating internal pictures of what we want, our quality world pictures, because these things, people, relationships, and experiences satisfy one or more of our needs.

Our daily lives are composed of a constant series of self-evaluative cycles, comparing what we want and need with our perception of the world. When there is a difference between what we want and what we perceive we’re getting, we are driven to behave, in an attempt to effect change. Thus, all of our behaviors are purposeful. But all behavior, although purposeful, may not be effective. And even purposeful and effective behaviors may not be responsible. Responsible is defined as a person’s ability to meet their need without interfering with another person’s ability to meet their needs.

Attempting to control another person’s behaviors is almost always irresponsible, leading to damage in the relationship.

In an attempt to better understand Choice Theory psychology, let’s look at the many choices people made during COVID-19. If you were worried about your own health and safety, and the security and survival of others, you probably wore a mask and practiced physical distancing. In fact, these may be things you continue today. You probably quarantined, if possible, for your own protection and the safety of others. Getting vaccinated was never a question for you, you did it to stay safe and healthy even though it was inconvenient and uncomfortable. Because it was important to you, and you chose these things, you never felt your freedom or power were being infringed upon, although you probably felt unhappy about your lack of connection, fun and freedom.

You probably also changed the way you met your needs for love, power, fun and freedom. Suddenly the world was learning and using Zoom for connections, shared holiday dinners, playing new games, going to school and working remotely. It wasn’t the same and yet, because health and safety were your strongest need, alternative methods were found to meet your other needs.

However, if you believed that COVID-19 was not a health and safety issue as reported, you may have done only a few of the above, or none at all. You felt your freedom and power to make autonomous decisions were being imposed upon. No matter what anyone else said to you or threatened you with, you were not going to change your mind or your behavioral choices. Your need for power and freedom were/are more important than your perception of the threat to your health and safety.

Whose position was correct? It depends on what need was most important to you, as well as your quality world pictures, and the way you perceived COVID-19 and the world.

Evaluating the difference between what you want and what you have motivates you to take action, to behave, in order to achieve more of a balance. The practice of Choice Theory involves having an awareness of the choices that will meet your needs, and self-evaluating whether your behaviors are helping you achieve what you want in a way that doesn’t interfere with others doing the same.

Choice Theory involves shifting from an external control psychology, the belief that our behavior (thoughts, feelings, actions and to a certain extent our physiology) is determined by outside forces, such as luck, circumstances and other people, to an internal control psychology, knowing we always have choices and understanding that we direct and are responsible for our choices and resulting consequences.

Definition of Mental Health

My definition is based on Choice Theory psychology. I do not mean to say that this is the only or the best definition, but using this model informs all the work I do with others. I would invite and encourage all practitioners to develop and use their own definition for good mental health, sharing it with their clients so everyone knows and agrees with the goals you are aiming for.

In Glasser’s small booklet, Defining Mental Health as a Public Health Issue, he writes:

As I will now begin to explain, mental health can be accurately described as an entity totally separate from mental illness and I offer the following description: You are mentally healthy if you enjoy being with most of the people you know, especially with the important people in your life such as family, sexual partners and friends. Generally, you are happy and are more than willing to help an unhappy family member, friend, or colleague to feel better. You lead a mostly tension-free life, laugh a lot, and rarely suffer from the aches and pains that so many people accept as an unavoidable part of living. You enjoy life and have no trouble accepting other people who think and act differently from you. It rarely occurs to you to criticize or try to change anyone. If you have differences with someone else you will try to work out the problem; if you can’t you will walk away before you argue and increase the difficulty.

You are creative in what you attempt and may enjoy more of your potential than you ever thought possible. Finally, even in very difficult situations when you are unhappy — no one can be happy all the time — you’ll know why you are unhappy and attempt to do something about it. You may even be physically handicapped and still fit this criteria.

My definition of Mental Health is somewhat simpler: For me to be mentally healthy, my daily objective is to meet my needs for safety, love, power, fun and freedom. When I do, I feel satisfied and content. On those days when I’m experiencing discomfort, anger or frustration, I ask myself: What do I want? What do I need? Which need is not being adequately met and which is driving my discontent? Is what I’m doing now helping me get what I want and need? Can I make better choices about what I’m doing? Do I need to make different choices about what I want?

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Glasser’s ability to present his ideas in an uncomplicated, straightforward way has always been appealing and it has meant that these ideas can be understood and practiced by anyone, at any age, anywhere. However, putting these simple ideas into practice is very challenging.

There is more to Choice Theory psychology than I have explained here, but this is a good beginning. The more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn and that you want to learn.

COVID-19 presented challenges for all of us, no matter what your circumstances. There are many people in the world who are growing their good mental health and creating a happy life following the tenets of Choice Theory. But has it been working during COVID?

*Growing Good Mental Health: Is It Working?

Several colleagues and I started a project in March of 2022 to find the answer to: Is your knowledge and practice of Choice Theory helpful in grappling with the impact this virus has had on your life?

So far, we have received survey responses from people in more than 11 countries, with the majority of people stating that Choice Theory has been valuable or highly valuable. We are continuing to reach out to our international Choice Theory community to get more survey data. And since Choice Theory is being taught in our many Quality Schools around the world, we have plans to create a survey asking similar questions of that demographic.

Our goal is to share the results of our qualitative grounded research with the largest audience possible, and invite people to start GROWING GOOD MENTAL HEALTH. We hope this will be a giant step forward in changing the mental health paradigm in the world.

Read also

Car IQ and Verra Mobility Partner on Toll Payment Suite 

Georgia Runoff Election Results: Polls Closed at 7 PM – Warnock Pulls into Lead with 71% Precincts Reporting

CA WFO SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY Warnings, Watches, and Advisories

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

Why the power grid is an 'attractive target' for domestic terrorists: report — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Why the power grid is an 'attractive target' for domestic terrorists: report

Sports today

Новости тенниса

Давыденко оценил шансы Медведева удерживать первую строчку рейтинга ATP длительное время

Спорт в России и мире

«Спартак» уступил «Локомотиву», прервав шестиматчевую серию побед


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today


Португалия сыграет против Швейцарии на Чемпионате мира-2022

Новости России

Game News

Bioware celebrates Dragon Age Day with a new Dreadwolf teaser


«Спартак» уступил «Локомотиву», прервав шестиматчевую серию побед

Губернаторы России
Алла Пугачёва

Игорь Николаев публично поддержал оскорбительную тираду Аллы Пугачевой в адрес россиян

Тула вошла в топ-10 популярных направлений для зимних фотопрогулок

Трамваи семи маршрутов задерживаются на северо-западе Москвы по техническим причинам

В Москве прошел социальный форум «Совместная работа региональных отделений Союза пенсионеров России и органов власти по сохранению здоровья пожилых людей»

Край возможностей: карьерные перспективы на Дальнем Востоке

Красный диплом МГУ, арт-дилер и родители-чиновники: что известно о новой пассии Тимати Паулине

Премии, Конкурсы, Батлы, Концерты, Презентации, Тусовки, Праздники и Мероприятия где вы сможете принять Участие или Выступить!

25-летняя красавица Паулина стала новой девушкой Тимати

Паулина Фирстова — новая девушка Тимати, которая в разы лучше всех его прошлых (доказываем по фото)

Как сложилась личная жизнь тунеядца из «Приключений Шурика» Алексея Смирнова

Надаль, Циципас и другие игроки Топ-10 рейтинга ATP получат по $200,000 за участие в United Cup

В Костроме Алексей Смирнов проинспектировал ремонтные работы на теплотрассах

Первая ракетка Казахстана не изменил положения в топ-40 рейтинга ATP

Заболеваемость гриппом и ОРВИ превышает эпидемические пороги в Москве

Топ 9 маркетплейсов. Что и где продавать новичку 

Народ Нагорного Карабаха не видит своего будущего в составе Азербайджана: Рубен Варданян – в интервью немецкому телеканалу

Край возможностей: карьерные перспективы на Дальнем Востоке

Игорь Николаев публично поддержал оскорбительную тираду Аллы Пугачевой в адрес россиян

Радио Менеджер. Ротация песен на Радио.

Режиссер из Новосибирска поставит на сцене театра «Школа драматического искусства» спектакль по рассказу Достоевского

Евгения Медведева отметила Всемирный день катания на коньках на легендарном катке ВДНХ

Волочкова опубликовала провокационное фото, сменив купальник на веники

«Ведомости»: Россия готовит три ответа после введения ценового потолка на нефть

В зимнем декоре. Какие новогодние акции и мероприятия уже идут в Москве?

Жителей сёл в России могут обязать платить за электроэнергию по городским тарифам

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Карди Би

Карди Би снялась в наряде с иллюзией голого тела

News Every Day

Hans Niemann in the sole lead at the 3rd El Llobregat Open

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости