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Reality Therapy

  1. Robert E. Wubbolding

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0780

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Wubbolding, R. E. 2010. Reality Therapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Center for Reality Therapy, Cincinnati, OH

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


William Glasser developed reality therapy in a mental hospital and a correctional institution in California in the 1950s and 1960s. Although reality therapy is rooted in the work of Alfred Adler, who described human beings as social creatures and behavior as purposeful, many mental health professionals saw Glasser's ideas as controversial. Believing that human beings choose their behavior and are at least in partial control of it, he held his patients responsible for their actions and treated them as such. When approaching his supervisor, G. L. Harrington, and explaining how he perceived patient behavior, he was greeted with the encouraging response, “Join the club.” From that point on, Glasser and Harrington enjoyed a mutually cordial and professional relationship that resulted in the 1965 publication of Glasser's book Reality Therapy.


  • psychological therapy;
  • reality therapy;
  • treatment methods