Genetic intensities--Explanation? : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

I would like more information about genetic intensities and references for reading more. Thanks, TD

-- Ted Donato (, October 16, 2003


In the early nineties at a faculty retreat in (I think) Phoenix Glasser introduced this idea. As he says in "Staying together" he got everybody to fill out the needs intensities of their own father and mother. They handed this list to their neighbour and, based on the criteria given by Glasser the neighbour tried to guess if the couple listed were likely to have had a reasonable longterm relationship or not. The predictions were so accurate that Glasser pursued the idea and gave his keynote spech on the topic at the International Convention in Dublin(Ireland) in 1994. He used the concept in his book "Staying Together" in 1995 to try to predict the chances of the relationship between himself and Carleen succeeding. At its simplest, you rate yourself for each of your genetic needs - Love-Power-Freedom-Fun- Survival; giving yourself a 5 if you perceive that your need is at high intensity and 1 if it's really low. You do the same for a partner or potential partner. If, for example, both of you have a P5 then unless you can work out a way of sharing power in you life it is likely that you will be in for a tempestuous time. If one is a FR 5 and one is a FR 1 then it is fairly obvious that discord and separation may be on the horizon. If the fun needs of the couple vary widely eg. FN1 and FN5 then this may not be a good thing either. Regards.

-- ken lyons (, October 18, 2003.

Genetic intensities as reflected in Quality World items or lack of. Very recently I received a very concise explanation from Ken Lyons. From his explanation, it was learned that applying this concept enables use to determine compatability and predict longevity in relationships. Another question arose while connecting this new information to other CT/RT concepts. Currently in our social skills program, we are investigating our Present Quality Worlds (PQW), identifying items (things, activities, states of being, and persons) we perceive to be currently need-fulfilling. Our students are encouraged to list only appropriate PQW items, those showing care for self or the individual, others and property. To date, we’ve looked at our needs for Fun and Power. This week we started looking at our Freedom need. As expected, our students had very few items listed or illustrated on their Freedom pages. I assured them that Freedom is a need that increases with their ages and that one day they would have much access to items to meet their need for Freedom, i.e., driver’s license, job, own apartment, going away to college, etc. I encouraged patience and understanding, emphasizing that their choice to become well educated will have a great infuence on their ability to effectively gratify their need for Freedom. Nuff said. . . But when I did some self-reflection, it was brought to my consciousness that I had few Freedom items in my PQW. In all truth, there are times that this frustrates me. Overall, I find myself to be a happy contented individual, but I do occasionally frustrate over my Freedom or lack thereof. My question, Does the small number of Freedom items, indicate a low or great genetic intensity regarding my need for Freedom? Duh, in addressing this issue, I believe I have answered my own question. . . , but your insight?

-- Ted Donato (, October 21, 2003.

I can see that doing freedom needs with young people would be difficult.A method that works well with adults might not be appropriate here. In this method you can do a spider diagram reaching out from the word "Freedom". Attached to it immediately might be boxes like "Freedom from" and "Fredom to" This introduces two very different, but nonetheless vey real, concepts of freedom and there would be different sets of pictures for both concepts. Also I would imagine that even young people should be able to recollect times when "I feel really free" and see what pictures come to mind? I can see the power in telling them that as the grow older a whole range of potential pictures will unfold to allow them to fill their freedom needs, but Glasser argues that the need intensity does, in fact, not change and remains constant for life.So what changes is the methods and pictures you choose to fill the need. Though they may well get a driving licence they may choose not to drive anywhere much, and they may well chose an apartment right near home and again choose not go anywhere really. Equally their choice of job may show that the idea of being totally free and galloping around the world may not hold any great attraction for them.The idea of 'marrying the girl next door' may be a cliche but it can often be true nonetheless. I can appreciate the point you make about your own situation and freedom but what happens us as adults is that complications and conflicts very often set in immediately.For example Your "Freedom" need must be balanced against your "Love and Belonging" need. The cares of a wife and family often mean that the freedom need must be shelved, and the resulting frustration error experienced, for whatever time it takes. When things settle down, often our freedom pictures reassert themselves or new ones are generated. It might be easier to more accurately asses your own true freedom intensity by seeing what pictures you had when you were footlose and fancy free. You could then see how many of these you voluntarily pushed to the back of your QW album to accommodate other needs eg. "Love and Belonging" Regards,

-- ken lyons (, October 21, 2003.

Ken, I appreciate your sharing the ideas of "Freedom from" and "Freedom to;" I will use my explanation of our Freedom Need. As interesting is the stance that one's genetic intensities do not change over time. Personally, when I was "footloose and fancy free," I recall having the funds, time and real opportunities to "be free." I opted not. As I have considered my frustrating, one thought comes to mind concerning a boat. I want a boat for Fun, Power, Freedom, and Love and Belonging. But as my current financial situation stands, the boat may be several miles upriver. But in reality, I believe I don't really want to buy a boat or really want one, due to impracticality (I live 100 miles from fishable water.) ; what I want is the ability to say, "I really could buy a boat, but I choose not to." Either way, I will not make the choice to buy a boat, but I frustrate because the opportunity to choose is not there.

Counting coup comes to mind. This term regards an Indian warrior placing himself in dire straights during battle to strike a fallen or live foe when being shot at by his enemy. He has counted coup after striking his foe with a stick. He could have killed him, but he chose not to. After doing so, respect is his by his fellows and respect and thanks from his foes. I, though not a warrior, am a hunter. I have found myself counting coup on animals that give themselves to us to allow us to continue to live. I have had animals in my sight and let them live, but have thought, "Thank you for offering yourself to me and my family, but not today." Ken, I want to count coup on a boat, "I could buy you today, but no. . ." You have a good one. TD

-- Ted Donato (, October 22, 2003.

F.Y.I. Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of October 27, 2003

We have examined our need for Freedom, defined as the ability to make decisions and choices in our lives. When, and if, we are in need of Freedom, we might be feeling angry, impatient, or anxious. In addition, we might be having thoughts similar to-- Why don't I ever get to pick?; Why don't I ever get a chance?; How come I never go first? or They/he/ she are/is always bossing me around. Our students are coming to understand that access to Freedom increases with age. One day, they will have access to many items to gratify this need, i.e., driver's license, car, job, going away to college, own apartment, etc. It will be emphasized that their choice to educate themselves well will have a great bearing on their ability to effectively meet their need for Freedom, as well as the other needs.

Recently, I received a suggestion on how to explain Freedom to our students. Not only are we able to meet our need for Freedom as mentioned above, but also when we consider Freedom in these ways-- Freedom to _______________. and Freedom from_______________. I would encourage using these cloze phrases in conjuction with the Reality Therapy question, What do I want? One would then identify new behaviors or current behaviors leading to what is wanted. In the present, our students will be asked what thing or activity do you currently use or do to allow you freedom to do something else? OR What thing do you use or activity do you currently do that allows you Freedom from having to do something else?

Feedback? Suggestions? TD

-- Ted Donato (, October 24, 2003.

Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of November 3, 2003

HOW INTENSE ARE YOU? An interesting idea, genetic intensities, came to my attention recently. This concept refers to the level to which we need a particular need. If we have a high intensity, we require a need to be filled often and well. A low intensity would indicate that the need isn't required to be met often or frequently. According to Dr. Glasser, our intensity levels do not change with age. Meaning, if you required much Fun as a child, you still require much Fun to be contented. The same applies to the remaining needs--a need for much Power, Freedom, and Love & Belonging as a child, the same level is needed today for contentment or freedom from frustrating. Dr. Glasser utilizes this concept in his investigation of relationships, regarding compatibility of persons and predicting longevity in relationships. Perhaps my initial concern about the small number of Freedom items in my Quality World is unfounded. Maybe I have so few items is because I have a low genetic intensity regarding my Freedom need. But, hey let's not get crazy! I'd still like a few more Freedom items to access. TD

-- Ted Donato (, October 30, 2003.

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