SELF-TALK Does Deryk really want to kick his dog? : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread

Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of January 24, 2005

Our Choice Theory groups continue to study the concept of Self-talk. Last week I was allowed some insight, by one of my groups when it was necessary for me to connect Self-talk to the Reality Therapy loop. Using the Reality Therapy Loop allows us to do two main things. The second and third questions allow us to identify our current behaviors and determine if what we're doing is productive. The fourth question allows us to identify other behaviors that might be more productive. It is vital that student-clients know whether or not their behaviors are working for them and, as important, the resulting consequences, if the original behaviors are continued. NOW BACK TO MY "AH-HAH" moment. . . .

I wanted them to understand that Negative Self-talk was unproductive, but I first had to address the original Reality Therapy question, "What do I want?" I posed the question to the group on the overhead:

"When you are directed to do something you really don't want to do, what is it that you want at that particular time?"

I really didn't at that time know the answer, but I knew some insight was going to be in the response to that question. Remember, our behavior (Total Behavior) is our best attempt at that particular time to get us what we want. Therefore, Negative Self-talk is our best attempt to get us what we want. What do we want? We finally came up with the following two answers.:

We want to not have to do the chore.


We want to be quickly done with it and have it be easier than the last time.

Given these two choices, it was obvious that we only had one choice. Can you imagine asking your child to do the dishes and they turn to you and loudly say, "No!" Or my son, Deryk, after being told, "Go take care of the dogs.," ignoring me and walking away. I can see me poised in the Crane Technique. . . The first "Want" isn't feasible. So it is the second, being done with the chore, with which we must deal. Consider whether or not using one or more of the following would be productive.:

"Why can't ___________ do this? "Why should I do it?" "Ah man! Not again!" "How come____________doesn't have to do this?" "Hot guy! Why don't you do it?" "I'm not the only child. I could have__________do it!" "Why? Why? Why?" "Do I have to?" "I don't want to ____________!" "Oh man!" "Oh boy!" "Man, this sucks!"

Obviously, none of them would result in a immediate beginning of the task. As important, none of them would result in a positive feeling state during task performance. How about the quality of the product or job. How neatly would the bed be made? The dishes done? The dogs fed? The homework completed? Unless we see the benefit of the task and are able to rationalize how its completion would be need-fulfilling, for us and others, we will probably do a haphazard job with frown on our face, showing our negative feeling state, and kick the dog, who loves us dearly . . . . Feedback?

-- Ted Donato (, January 19, 2005


(Excerpt from Choices Activity News, Week of February 7, 2005)

AH, SUNNY D! Several years ago, my older son, Ronald, used a "straight-up" example of Self-related Self-talk while we were hunting, which I shared with our groups. During the Fall and Winter, we canyon hunt for deer and, if we're real hungry or in need of meat for relatives or special occasions, elk. As we hunt canyons, it is likely that we might shoot something at the bottom or close to the bottom of a canyon. In this particular case, the canyon's sides were covered with shale rock, which caused slipping of both foot and the game we were dragging back up. We each shot one early in the morning about halfway to the bottom. We were unable to pack them up whole; it was necessary to quarter them and drag them. We "leap-frogged" the game toward the truck, taking what seemed to be a long, long, time. Finally, we reached the truck, rubber-legged, sweaty, and thirsty. After I recuperated, I asked Ronald why he didn't stop. He said he didn't quit, because I didn't stop. What a coincidence, I didn't stop for the same reason. I further asked what he was saying to himself to keep going, in spite of the physical difficulty. He told me that he kept telling himself, "After we get back to the truck and load these deer up, I am going to have a big drink of Sunny Delight." Whenever, it is a hot day and I need a cold drink to refresh myself, I think of Ronald and a liter bottle of cold, cold, Sunny Delight, with condensation running down the side. (Then again, I think of High Fructose Corn Syrup content and choose a bottle of juice or water.)

-- Ted Donato (, February 01, 2005.

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