Life Skills

Reality Therapy – What Is It and How Can It Help?

  • Feb 28, 2024
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Reality Therapy – What Is It and How Can It Help?

A person who is looking to make changes in their life currently, rather than focusing on past events, may benefit from reality therapy. Every person has basic needs, such as the need to be loved. This type of therapy views the behaviour of a person as choices they make. Different choices will allow them to have these needs met. A mental health diagnosis isn’t as important with this type of therapy, as the goal is to help a person make better choices so they have more control over their life.

When Is Reality Therapy Beneficial?

Any person, regardless of age, might benefit from reality therapy. It has been used to treat addiction, anger management issues, and more. People in leadership positions often benefit from reality therapy sessions, as they use these sessions to improve their problem-solving skills and learn how better to coach and motivate employees. It might also be of help to those who struggle with anxiety, an eating disorder, or interpersonal relationship problems and is often provided as part of an outpatient mental health program.

How This Therapy Differs From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and reality therapy share many similarities. However, key differences exist that a person should be aware of. CBT looks at the patient’s thought processes and emotions in great detail. Reality therapy is more focused on present-day issues and how to meet needs and goals best. Emotions don’t come into play as much with reality therapy.

The Typical Session

As previously mentioned, reality therapy sessions rarely touch on past difficulties. The goal of each session is to find a solution to present-day problems while delving into how and why the patient’s current behaviour interferes with their ability to form relationships or move ahead in life. The therapist helps the patient figure out how to reconnect with important people in their lives and make new connections. Excuses and blame won’t be tolerated, as it interferes with the ability to achieve these goals.


Four things will be examined during reality therapy. What does the patient want (W) and what are they doing (D) to achieve this goal? Evaluating (E) the patient’s behaviour is part of this process, as is developing a plan (P) to alter the behaviour that prevents them from succeeding. The goal is to help the patient meet five basic needs: power, love and belonging, freedom, fun, and survival. When these needs are met, people can work toward their life goals and maintain better relationships.

Distinguishing Truth From Fiction

Many people live in a perceived world. This is their idea of what reality is. However, they also have a quality world, a world they would like to live in. When there is a significant gap between these two worlds, problems are seen. The therapist helps the patient bring the two worlds more into alignment.

Men and women who believe reality therapy will be of benefit need to find a therapist trained in this treatment option. When doing so, ask how they might be of help and whether they have dealt with patients with similar issues. Learn about their process and the treatment timeline to see if they will be a good fit. With the right therapist, a person will find they can achieve their life goals and be more satisfied, so begin this search today. A better life is within reach.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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