Reality Therapy and Depression

Reality Therapy and Depression work well together. At least that’s what we are finding out more and more as we progress through to the latter half of the decade. At our centre in Plettenberg Bay, we use this method of therapy to help people suffering with all kinds of depression, anxiety and obsession.

Depression and compulsion, or both, or derivatives of both, are enmeshed in the cases of obsession and compulsion we are seeing at our facilities today. There are many ways to skin a cat, and reality therapy as such is one of those ways, or interventions if you will.

Although we may not be aware of our needs, we know that we want to feel better. Driven by pain, we try to figure out how to feel better. Reality therapists teach clients choice theory so clients can identify unmet needs and try to satisfy them.
Choice theory teaches that we do not satisfy our needs directly. What we do, beginning shortly after birth and continuing all our lives, is to keep close track of anything we do that feels very good. We store information inside our minds and build a file of wants, called our quality world,which is at the core of our lives.

Although we don’t always know it, oftentimes, we are attempting to choose to behave in a way that gives us the most effective control over our lives. This is not always the case in our thinking. So obviously this tendency doesn’t help us much in our problem solving.






A primary goal of contemporary reality therapy is to help clients get connected or reconnected with the people they have chosen to put in their quality world. In addition to fulfilling this need for love and belonging, a basic goal of reality therapy is to help clients learn better ways of fulfilling all of their needs, including power or achievement, freedom or independence, and fun. The basic human needs serve to focus treatment planning and setting both short- and long-term goals.

This we gently help clients do through an array of uniquely crafted skills exercise’s and assignments. We use Wilderness therapy, person centered therapy and lean heavily towards allowing modern existential therapy to lead the way of healing. People who have been to a drove of rehabs or psychiatrists before should perhaps learn to try newer more client rather than counsellor centered approaches. Through these processes we are told by ground breaking psychologists of today that that “Working within socially acceptable and ethical boundaries, you will help clients set realistically achievable goals for improving health, enhancing human relationships, gaining a sense of inner control or power, becoming more autonomous, and enjoying life” Wubbolding (2007).

“When we assist students and others with burnout, depression, grief of all kinds and trauma that has come up out of nowhere from childhood, we find that serving their basic needs to heal what was broken, and serving this with the space to allow the client to take the lead, we get the best long term results by far,” says Mark L Lockwood, Clinical Director at The Sanctuary Depression Wellness Centre.

Clients are not expected to backtrack into the past or get sidetracked into talking about symptoms. Neither will much time be spent talking exhaustively about feelings separate from the acting and thinking that are part of the total behaviors over which clients have direct control. Feeling are only one part of the matrix. Mark continues “add to this thinking and action in terms of behaviour and you have yourself a prize race horse, heading for healing. Above and beyond this, add too our own personal values. Who we are as people. What we prize most in this world. What regrets keep us awake at night, and what tools do we use to keep these losses in their shallow graves.”

It is important to keep in mind that although the concepts may seem simple as they are presented here, being able to translate them into actual therapeutic practice takes considerable skill and creativity. This is where professionals who have experience and organised training come into play. Along with many other governing interventions, the law states no institution can allow counsellors to counsel clients until they have been clean and sober for three years themselves. Sadly we are seeing clients turn into counsellors almost overnight at many centres, and the backlash ends with clients who return to centres again and again for another go at it, to find the same outcomes. Although very well intentioned at times, it just doesn’t work. So choose your interventions carefully of course, and use these linked resources to do so.

Techniques used in the practice of reality therapy can be described using the acronym ‘WDEP.’ Each letter stands for a group of strategies. ‘W’ stands for the client’s ‘wants.’ ‘D’ stands for ‘doing.’ ‘E’ stands for ‘evaluation,’ and ‘P’ stands for ‘planning.’ Many clients coming into reality therapy for depression and stress need to discover what it is they truly want in their lives. Our centre provides the space and environment for this to happen.

Reality therapy focuses on the current issues affecting a person seeking treatment rather than the issues that person has experienced in the past, and it encourages that person, through therapy, to change any behavior that may prevent him or her from finding a solution to those issues. This type of therapy encourages problem solving. There are five keys that centre around Reality Therapy and Depression and obsessions. to learn more about these concepts and where you want to move to in your life contact us. Here are the 5 divisions :

  • Power: A sense of winning, achieving, or a sense of self-worth.
  • Love and Belonging: To a family, to a community, or to other loved ones.
  • Freedom: To be independent, maintain your own personal space, autonomy.
  • Fun: To achieve satisfaction, enjoyment and a sense of pleasure.
  • Survival: Basic needs of shelter, survival, food, sexual fulfillment.
help for depression
Where do you find yourself in this world right now? Time for Change? Get in touch +824424779

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