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What is Reality Therapy? Who is Reality Therapist?

There is another approach as well which is reality therapy. But what is reality therapy? Let's know about it.

Neha Mehta Anxiety 22 Jul 2022
What is Reality Therapy
24 Days Ago 100 Reads 8 min read

Does your present don't sound like one in peace? Is your behavior getting extreme lately? Are you troubled with your present self today? Don't worry, We have got your back! 

Everybody faces different problems in life. Anxiety, education, marriage issues, and many more. Normally what a therapist would do is make you let go of your haunting memories, treat your past traumas, and so on. But there is another approach as well which is reality therapy. But what is reality therapy? Let's know about it.

What is Reality Therapy?


Reality therapy is a form of therapy where the focus is laid upon the present and it sees the behavior of a person as the result of choices made by him. The therapy is of the view that your present behavior does not occur due to any mental illness but it is you who chooses different behaviors to meet your basic choices. These choices which determine your behavior are tagged as essential choices in anyone's life. And these are explained in a therapy called Choice Therapy on which Reality therapy is based.

Reality therapy rejects mental health conditions and does not deal with their diagnosis. When you look into your past to solve your present-day problems, it is time for reality therapy to come into its application. It does not deal with your past but makes you focus on the present condition. It forms a part of psychological treatment

Goals and Aims of Reality Therapy

Reality therapy works with a definite goal and aim which is to let you meet your basic choices without even hampering your behavior and solving these issues by focusing on your present. It also aims at making you responsible and accountable for your behavior.

1. Focusing on Present

There are times when you would feel you are frequently and regularly angry or irritated. Reality therapy aims at solving these behavioral issues by focusing on what present-day conditions and which choices make you behave this way and solving these problems.

2. Meet a Person's Basic Choices


Reality therapy helps you meet your basic choices which are called the basic needs. These needs or choices are survival, love, belongingness, fun, power, and money. Reality therapy aims at providing this without letting you hamper your behavior.

3. Help People Bear The Responsibility For Their Behavior in The Present

Another aim of reality therapy is to let you bear the responsibility and be accountable for your behaviors. It helps you realize that you are responsible for your behavior and you need to work on it.

3 R's of Reality Therapy

The use of reality therapy and its main focus is based on the 3 R's of reality therapy: Realism, Responsibility, and right or wrong. The 3 R's form the basis of treatment used by reality therapy. 

1. Responsibility

Reality therapy makes you realize your responsibility for your behavior. When you can bear the responsibility for your behavior and be accountable for it then comes right or wrong in the play.

2. Right or Wrong


When you become responsible then you can see and differentiate in your behavior the right and the wrong. You can acknowledge which part of your behavior was right and which was wrong.

3. Realism

After the above two steps reality comes. Now you can distinguish between right and wrong when you come into reality. You stay in the present and find solutions in the present to work on your behavior.

Who is a Reality Therapist?

Reality therapists are the ones who specialize in reality therapy. They are the ones who claim and believe that the actions and behavior of a person in the present are because of their present needs and are not influenced or determined by their past. 

Their role is to help you to move away from the past and not focus on it. They help their clients to focus on the present and look at the symptoms rather than being submerged in the cause of the behavioral issue or situation. They focus on symptoms and treating them not the cause and ask their clients to do the same. They do not focus on mental well-being or mental health.

Benefits of Reality Therapy

There are many benefits of reality therapy. It is useful in many cases like addiction, child counseling, marriage, couple counseling, education, management, individual therapy,y and many more. It is also used by psychiatrists, and prisoners also. They help the person to change their present situation without touching their past.

1. Helpful in Cases of Addiction


Reality Therapy has shown good results in cases that deal with addiction. It does not focus on how the person got addicted but it focuses on the level of addiction the person has in the present day and takes the required steps to move towards de-addiction.

2. Improve Couple Relationship

Couples seldom face problems in their lives be it of any kind. Reality therapy works on studying the choices which compelled the present behavior or action and then working upon it. It helps the client not look at the past but focus on what they have today and what they can do. It works on solutions that deal with how to make your relationship strong.

3. Helpful in Parenting


Parenting involves both parents and their children. Reality therapy helps the parents to overlook their child's behavior in the past and their mistakes rather than focus on how they can mend their relationship with their child and work on understanding them and helping them.

4. It Helps You With Healthy Relationships

Reality therapy helps you with healthy relationships as you will focus on improving your present and detach yourself from the past in all ways. It works upon making your relations better with your friends, family, co-workers, and others as you will work upon your symptoms and present rather than sitting and reminiscing about your past. It improves your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-awareness.

5. It Changes Your Negative Thoughts And Actions


Mainly people think and ponder over their past deeds and past incidents. It spreads a cloud of negative thoughts over their mind and inhibits them from thinking about their present. Reality therapy helps you look over your present situation and make you stay away from past and negative thoughts. It helps you think of what possible solution can help you with your present actions and behavior.

6. It Also Helps in Education And Management

Reality therapy helps people with education and management. Students often are unable to think how they can make their present better instead start finding solutions in the past. Reality therapy guides them, showing them the way they can work upon present availability and make their future bright. Even in management, it helps in finding solutions. For example, if in an event some mishaps happen people who have had reality therapy will try to mend it rather than reminiscing about why it has happened.


In the end, it is just the present that matters. The past is gone and no one can go back in time and change it. Neither one can travel to the future and see what the consequences are. It is about what you do in the present and what choices you make. Reality therapy helps you in treating symptoms rather than causes. It removes the cause from the equation. For reality therapists, it is only 'symptoms/present behavior or action + solution found in the present' which reach the ultimate goal of peaceful life.


1. What is reality therapy used to treat?

Reality therapy is used in many different fields like couple therapy, individual therapy, addiction, child counseling, parenting, marriage, family, education, and many more.

2. What treatment techniques are involved in reality therapy?

Reality therapy techniques involved are self- evaluation, meditation, planning, watching out for your behavior, focusing on the present, and total detachment from the past.

3. What are the things to consider while choosing a reality therapist?

When you choose a therapist, it will be based on your personal choice and should be one who has expertise in reality therapy. You should also know that he/she won't look at your mental health conditions.

4. How does virtual reality therapy work?

Virtual reality therapy works with the help of specialized computers and virtually created environments with the help of VR systems. They created illusionary scenes which look real and treat PTSD and other mental health issues.

5. What is choice therapy?

Choice therapy is closely related to reality therapy and is based on prioritizing your essential choices which are freedom, survival, love, fun, and power as basic needs of life. It states that humans behave in certain ways to fulfill these choices.

People Also Read:

Consult A Good Therapist

How Psychologist Helps You

Myths and Facts about Psychologists

How many Child Therapies Are There

  • Recommended

    Neha Mehta

    Consultant Psychologist

    Hisar, India

    Available - Online

    Language: English, Hindi, Punjabi

    Expertise: Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Sleep, IQ Testing, ADHD

    Book Online Consultation Now

    Rs. 4,000.00/30min*

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