Choice Theoryis the foundation and underlying theory upon which all of our programmes are based. Originated by Dr. William Glasser, it contends that all of our motivation and behaviours are an attempt to meet out specific wants and universal human needs of:
1. Love and belonging 2. Self worth / power 3. Freedom 4. Fun and enjoyment 5. Survival and health
Although these needs are not in a hierarchy (as in Maslow's development model of motivation), in practice the two most important needs are "the need to love and be loved, and the need to feel that we are worthwhile to ourselves and others" (Glasser, 1965).Behaviours as "Internal", "Total" and "Chosen":
Choice Theory maintains that we are internally motivated (to try and fulfil our 'wants' and 'needs') and that our behaviour is 'total' and made up of four (interconnecting) 'components' of acting, thinking, feelings and the physiology, each one always accompanies the other three components. Acting and thinking are predominately voluntary; feelings and physiology are effectively changed through changing how we act and think.Additionally, Glasser states that "all of our significant conscious behaviour", - that is, all behaviours that have anything directly to do with satisfying basic needs, - "are chosen" (Glasser, 1998) and that the choices that we make are perceived by us to be the best available choices at that time; even though we may later regret such choices and / or other people might perceive them to be ineffective, negative or antisocial etc.
It follows then that we have responsibility for the behavioural choices we make and this is something that we emphasis strongly in our teaching and practice of these ideas. Irrespective of the past we can make more effective and need-satisfying choices today and in the future. This truth can set us free!Choice Theory is offered to replace what Glassier refers to as external control psychology, the present psychology of most of the world. This forcing, punishing psychology is destructive to any kind of relationship (be it between individuals, groups or even nations) and counterproductive to the quality and well being of virtually any kind of organization or enterprise.