Questions unswerable due to forum type : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

I have been able to peruse this particular website for approximately one year. During that time, I have encountered a few questions I believe could be concisely answered or responded to with questioning to inspire investigation by the inquirer. But found myself disappointing when I read the response and found something similar to, "this question is unanswerable in this forum." My first thought, "They don't want you to write a book, but perhaps a concise educated guess." I assume that the individuals' reason for not answering may indeed be that the topic is in fact very large and in depth knowledge would take much new information and interpersonal interaction. Today, I came back to the site and saw a question regarding Choice Theory and anxiety. My immediate thought, "I know, I know, 'question unanswerable in. . ." But there was no answer. Hey, simply off the top of my head I would've written something like, "As my Uncle Forest Gump used to say, 'Anxious is as anxious does." The Total Behavior of anxiousing--anxious thoughts, actions, feelings, and physiologies? What are they? What would happen if you change the actions? The physiologies? Etc. Hey, I might be wrong. . . . Feedback?

-- Ted Donato (, June 04, 2002


Ted, I haven't come across those "unaswerables" but anyway here's my attempt at answering your query about anxiety.

Glasser's idea of total behaviour is that the four components you mention are inseparable, hence to change one is to change all. This gives great hope in counselling since it means that the person who is "depressing", for example, is mainly aware of the feeling component of a behaviour that has other more easily changed parts. A simple walk in the garden ("acting" component) may be the first step back to a more balanced life for this person. The important thing is that the person can make choices (especially of doing or thinking) and that anxiety is not a problem but the signal that there is a problem.

The pharmaceutically dominated world of psychiatry would have us believe that all these phenomena are "disorders", "chemical imbalances", "illnesses" ... Glasser holds they are choices and normally the best choice the person can make at the time. Anxiety has a very healthy function in alerting us to dangers and indeed the physiological components of anxiety are all geared to improving our defence system.

So, to apply such ideas to myself, if I feel anxious I will ask myself what is going on in my life, what choices am I making that are increasing these signals, what choices could I make to move in a healthier direction. I will not reach for medication that will numb the key component of my defence system, my brain.

Hoping this is helpful.


-- Brian Lennon (, June 04, 2002.

I would like to thank blenon for his concise and reasonable response. This forum is indeed adequate for concise answers. In addition, I find it enjoyable to learn that some share my views and enlightening to discover new ideas via others' novel thoughts. TD

-- Ted Donato (, June 07, 2002.

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