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Tabitha

Reality Therapy vs. Cognitive Therapy

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I've recently started reading about Reality Therapy, and am having a difficult time distinguishing it from CBT. It seems rational enough, but I don't know what to make of the focus on improvement of relationships. On the outset it seems that relationships are considered a primary (in contrast to the self). Any thoughts?

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Indeed, both types of therapy are in many aspects similar. Reality therapy stress, in my opinion, other aspects than CBT. For instance relationships you mentioned. Furthermore reality therapy emphasize responsiblity for your current state more than CBT. CBT does not work with the responsiblity that much. As you mentioned reality therapy has a slightly different causation in repsect of relationships. However as far as I remember even reality therapy uses cognitive methods for changing relationships and thus client's psychological state. It's worth noting that reality therapy and Glasser's views evolved in time. So, if you read his older works it may look a bit different than his newer ones. For instance relationships haven't been that emphasized in his older works (and I liked that more). Furthermore reality therapy uses a bit different methods (as an example I recall that there is something like the marriage or relationship circle) than CBT.

I have to note that I have read books about both therapies couple of years ago, so it's possible that I don't remember it right. If you are interested in psychotherapy you might have a look in some books by Albert Ellis. He has his own type of psychotherapic system based on CBT. But I have to say that I like CBT the most. Both reality therapy and REBT (rational emotional behavioral therapy - th. of Albert Ellis) has some inherent flawed philosophic notions. But both works of Ellis and Glasser (especially his older works) have some nice insights.

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