Denial and Excuse Making : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

Hi, I am in the process of preparing a presentation for my Interviewing Skills and Techniques Class on Denial and Excuse Making. I need reference material and I have no idea where to start. Could you please give me some ideas?

-- Bonita Philibert (, October 26, 2000


Bonita, for the last several years during my Choice Theory experience, I have been in the process of developing a social skills program at Kirkwood Elementary. During this time, I have had to deal with students choosing to deny wrong-doing or misdirected behavior. When questioning an individual, I choose not put them in a spot where they could lie. I ask, "When I ask the people who saw exactly what happened, what will they say?" At this point, the student/client could report from a 3rd person perspective, as he/she is fully aware of the event(s).

However, I would think you are addressing a situation in which an individual choosing to deny an existing state of condition, i.e., dependency, abuse, etc. Know that Choice Theory is an action counseling and is optimal when what the individual is doing is "matching" with what he/she wants (the goal). Someone in denial or a state of blaming, is not in a position to recognize that their behavior is inappropriate, perhaps because they have a vague idea of what they want. I would suggest you first have them identify what they want and then have them identify their existing behaviors. "Is what you are doing, getting you what you want?" They may state they want "to be healthy" or "in a safe stable relationship." As they say in White Swan, Washington, "The proof is in the putting." Meaning, do as you say.

I have incorporated in my instruction the idea WE CHOOSE OUR BEHAVIORS, CONSEQUENCES AND OUR FEELINGS. Being healthy and a stable relationship are consequences of chosen behaviors.

In short, choose to read Dr. Glasser's books and check our Robert Wubbolding's Reality Therapy with Children.

-- Ted Donato (, November 28, 2001.

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