Thursday, February 27, 2014

G273 E-Reading Taking Charge of Your Life; How to Get What You Need with Choice-Theory Psychology

Title of the book: Take Charge of Your Life: How to Get What You Need with Choice-Theory Psychology

Author: William Glasser


Publishing Date: 2011

ISBN: 9781462037438


Are you seeking a happier and more satisfying life? In "Take Charge of Your Life, " author Dr. William Glasser details the choice theory-a science of human behaviors and principles for regaining and maintaining internal control-and the role it can play in helping you regain your personal freedom and choice. "Take Charge of Your Life, " a revision of his 1984 book, "Control Theory, " includes choice-theory applications. He explains choice theory using personal examples and illustrative stories that allow you to learn how to improve your relationships and take charge of your actions. Topics include marital and relationship problems, parenthood, alcoholism, diseases, and psychosomatic disorders. For each situation discussed, Glasser ties behavior to the pictures of what people want in their heads. He explains how the pictures got there and how people can choose new behaviors to get what they really want. In "Take Charge of Your Life, " Glasser offers a real model of empowerment. He shows how you can become a part of the equation that adds happiness and connection to the world in which you live now and to the world of future generations.

Other Works: 

His other books include Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom, Reality Therapy: A New Approach to Psychiatry, Quality School RI, Counseling with Choice Theory, Positive Addiction, and other books that relate to Choice Theory.


William Glasser (May 11, 1925 – August 23, 2013) was an American psychiatrist.
Glasser was the developer of reality therapy and choice theory. His ideas, which focus on personal choice, personal responsibility and personal transformation, are considered controversial by mainstream psychiatrists, who focus instead on classifying psychiatric syndromes, and who often prescribe psychotropic medications to treat mental disorders. Glasser was also notable for applying his theories to broader social issues, such as education, management, and marriage, to name a few. Glasser notably deviated from conventional psychiatrists by warning the general public about the potential detriments caused by the profession of psychiatry in its traditional form because of the common goal to diagnose a patient with a mental illness and prescribe medications to treat the particular illness when, in fact, the patient may simply be acting out of unhappiness, not a brain disorder. Glasser advocated the consideration of mental health as a public health issue.


Subconsciously/ consciously you are responsible for yourself.

Problems Addressed:

When soft approach doesn't work on people, use tough love on them. Basically he describes how to take control of one's life as well as how you're responsible for yourself in ways you never thought possible.

Summary of Content:

No matter what, if you use the choice theory that he recommends its highly probable to regain your life as well as self back.


" In this book I explain that we are not controlled by external events, difficult as they may be. We are motivated completely by forces inside ourselves, and all of our behavior is our attempt to control our own lives." (page 2)

Main points:

1. Everything we think, do, and feel is generated by what happens inside us

2. Replacing external control with the new choice theory psychology

3. The pictures in our heads

4. our values-driven behaviors

5. why we behave

6. creativity and reorganization

7. craziness, creativity, and responsibility

8. psychosomatic illness as a creative process

9. addicting drugs: chemical control of our lives

10. common addicting drugs, legal and illegal

11. conflict

12. criticism

13. taking charge of your life

14. choice theory psychology and raising children

15. controlling ourselves or others with pain or misery

16. choosing to be healthy

17. how to start using choice theory

Why Its interesting or informative:

This is a really volatile book because it will anger a lot of people and so forth. The idea isn't new to me; that we are responsible for our own miseries which is what the author seems to be reiterating.

Supports thesis: 

The book does support the thesis well and does detail in ways that people are controlled by external forces whatever shape they may be.

Address Issues: 

Basically we are allowing external circumstances control our lives, and if we are miserable or sick its our own fault rather than those of external forces. While the author does try to give control to us, its really not applied to everyone but is instead very selective. If you are part of the middle class then this book may be something you could relate to, but lower than that, I doubt the book will fly over well.

Ideas in book with larger ideas: 

The book itself isn't even culturally friendly and it seems to encourage barriers of sorts between people. There is an example of a middle aged daughter with an elderly mother where the author basically encourages the daughter to treat her like part of the schedule rather than a person, which will cause the mother to lose control of her daughter and help her become more independent. Its an interesting advice but the problem I have is that its not friendly towards the elderly population. What if something happens to the mother? Should the daughter continue to treat her like part of a to do list?


While there are some things that I do agree with, there are much more that I disagree with. For one thing people are dependent on money to provide food and other necessities in life, thus should all quit in this time and age? If they do, how will they get the food and so forth? Making decisions is also hard and unfortunately when one needs money for survival (food, toiletries, doctor and so forth,) how is the negative situation something they're responsible for? What of those that live in undesirable communities? How might it be possible for them to come to a better life in this economy? Circumstances take choice away, and survival is more important than anything else.


I think he did use sources but in a lot of instances it seems to be an outdated book. As far as I know, no one wants an ipod but instead its an iphone or ipad.


I have to say that the whole book reads like a propaganda leaflet rather than anything else. The author rarely mentions how he knows these people, and whether or not they're fictional. The whole book sounded extremely arrogant to me and there is a sort of condescending tone of 'I know best'. The author didn't really list negatives of using choice theory and instead did nothing but promote it which caused me to roll my eyes a lot. The book itself really upset me and I wished for him to either use a different tone, in particular when he begins to relate the unhappy marriage story. I'm sorry to be giving it a low grade, but I am making a choice in being honest and not compromising my reputation or this blog.

This is for Pump Up Your Books Book Tour

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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