Using Total Behavior to identify behaviors corresponding with positive state of being : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread


Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of April 26, 2004

Our Choice Theory groups we have continued to learn how the four components interact in both a positive and potentially negative manner. However, it has been emphasized that using Choice Theory via Reality Therapy, one can continue to choose appropriate behaviors and wanted consequences, even though the condition of our Feeling component might be negative, i.e., disappointment, anger, frustration, separation, etc. Recall that excusing or blaming are not justifiable Total Behaviors, because we must self-question with "Is what I am doing working or going to get me what I want?"

We did some interesting things while working with the state of being of Trustworthy. I had difficulty eliciting discussion, until I had them focus upon places where it was important to be Trustworthy. Some places that were identified--school, businesses, church, doctors' and dentists' offices, cafeteria, restaurants, theaters, laundromats, someone's car/truck, someone's house, relatives' houses, near mailboxes, pool, in the neighborhood, parks, libraries, and at home. I had to chuckle when someone mentioned laundromat. As a single man, I used to wash at a laundromat and occasionally left my stuff unguarded to run errands. Come back. . . . hey where'd my clothes go? From that point, we identified Thoughts and Actions one might choose when being Trustworthy.

Thoughts--"I am doing something good.;" "I respect property.;" I want that, but it is not mine.;" "I realize that it is not good to steal.;" "I want that, but I have no money.;" "I will not touch anything.;" and "Anyone can trust me."*

Actions--ask permission to use someone's property, observe shoplifting laws, use others' property carefully, return borrowed property then expected, return lost property, respect others' homes, and respect others' property.

*This insight greatly impressed me. Could Self-talk be better? I know, I know "Any situation no matter how good or bad can always be made better."

-- Ted Donato (, April 21, 2004


This week we continued by examining the State of Being of Healthy in our 3rd through 5th grade Choice Theory social skills classes. When we are choosing to be Healthy,

we might have the resulting Feelings--proud, excited, happy, and educated;

Our Physiology might be--strong, strong bones, fast-healing; Some Thoughts--"Taking vitamins will keep me healthy.;" "When I stay away from drugs, I will stay healthy.;" "Drinking milk will keep my bones strong.;" "I am so clean!;" "It is good to be clean.;" and "I am proud of myself.;"

Some Actions a healthy person might choose--running, eating meat, eating vegetables, going to the dentist, playing basketball, playing sports, drinking milk, drinking juices, taking vitamins, avoiding junk food, eating fruit, playing soccer, exercising, playing football, eating beans, jumping, drinking water, swimming, going to the doctor, getting a physical check-up, playing volleyball, going to Subway, eating cereal, riding a bike and wrestling.

Some places we could choose to be healthy--a track, restaurant.

-- Ted Donato (, April 27, 2004.

Choosing to be healthy (cont'd) Other Places at which to be Healthy--cafeteria, Skateland, Kids' Castle (amusement facility with climbing toys, etc.).

Some other thoughts--"I don't want to eat my vegetables, but I should to be healthy."

Some other actions--staying away from tobacco, eating yogurt, staying active, limiting TV, washing hands often, lifting weights, hiking, playing tennis, jumping rope, working/doing chores, and FISHING.

-- Ted Donato (, April 28, 2004.


Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of May 10, 2004

Our Choice Theory groups have begun studying personal character traits (States of Being), by identifying related behaviors and thoughts. We have been using a Circle Map. I modeled the usage last week. First, I wrote my name in the middle circle; within the the outer circle I listed my character traits, i.e., punctual, supportive, trustworthy, active, healthy, and safe. From these character traits, I drew lines-- for each line I indicated a related action/behavior or a related thought. This was very similar to the activity we did during our Thinking Maps training. Some examples:

PUNCTUAL--leave early, arrive early, write appointments down, watch the clock;

HEALTHY--eat well, eat salads, take vitamins, exercise, get plenty of sleep, going to the doctor and dentist;

SAFE--drive defensively, buckle-up, think before acting, follow driving laws;

CONFIDENT--try my best, believe in self, study, ask questions, practice;

ACTIVE--go places with others, spend time outside, play sports, hunt, fish;

COURTEOUS--open doors for others, help others carry things.

This week the students will be given a Circle Map and will identify character traits describing themselves. (They will use the open ended statement, "I think I am _________.") As important, they will identify actions they choose to validate these character traits. A real value will come when students may want to be a certain way, but do not know corresponding behaviors. Last Wednesday, a 5th grade girl said under her breath, after I showed my mind map, "I'm not healthy." To this I responded, "Good." Not "good" that she was not healthy, but "good" she was expressing her wish to be "healthy." I then went on to relate how if we do want to be a particular way, we must choose related behaviors and we will then be that way. Be cool! (What does that look like, huh?)

-- Ted Donato (, May 06, 2004.


Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of May 17

Our Choice Theory groups continue to investigate their character traits, using the Circle Map and by drawing posters. Last week, while in a 3rd grade classroom, one student was overhead saying,"I don't have any more room." It's important that you realize that the room or space he was talking about was where on our Circle Maps we were writing our positive character traits. After he said this, it made a lot of sense to me. He is a fine young boy, who treats others well and conducts himself in a very appropriate manner. He is one of many of our West Elementary students I would want to cross paths with my own children one day.

I have made the following comments about our Circle Maps and character traits/States of Being.:

--"If you are having trouble writing a Way to Be in outer circle, think of an appropriate behavior you choose and ask, 'When I am doing this, how am I being?' For example, 'When I am petting my dog's neck after giving him water to drink, even though he is 'stink' and in dire need of a bath, how am I being?'" KIND

--"In order for us to be a certain way, i.e., kind, honest, trustworthy, responsible, we must have related behaviors in place." The proof is in the putting. Gotta have "Go" with the "Blow." Or as your Uncle Forrest used to say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

--"As the our group's Circle Map is being done on the overhead, you might see particular ways you'd like to be. If you really want to be a particular way, pay careful attention to the attached behaviors, choose to do some of them, and you will be that way. Remember, our Acting and Thinking components steer our behavior--think of how you'd like to be, identify actions, and choose to do them. You are what you do!"


-- Ted Donato (, May 13, 2004.

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