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Using the WDEP Procedures

The use of the WDEP system is not a step-by-step process. In fact there is no absolute delineation between environment and procedures (see Figure 12.1). The counselor asks Maria what she wants to gain from the counseling process, what she wants to accomplish today, that is, what she wants to do differently when she leaves the counseling office (W). The reality therapist asks her, for instance, if she would like to seek a marriage annulment (W). If so, the referral to the appropriate priest could occur immediately. The counselor would ask her to evaluate (E) the impact of this choice on her relationship with her parents and how her return to the sacraments of the church would satisfy her needs. Among the many explorations of her current behaviors (D) Maria describes her relationships in the context of how she talks to the people around her and how they talk to her (i.e., the use of tonics or toxins). She would be encouraged to evaluate the effectiveness (E) of three toxic behaviors: ABC – arguing, blaming, criticizing. Maria and the counselor would practice communication skills that replace what Glasser calls deadly habits.

Ongoing assurances would accompany her descriptions of her wants, her current actions, and her evaluations. The counselor provides information, for instance, that Maria's nightmares are more than likely a temporary condition and that when she more effectively satisfies her five needs, especially her need for belonging, they will probably diminish.

Some examples of future plans for Maria are outlined in Table 12.1.

Table 12.1. Examples of Maria's Future Plans

The above summary represents several interventions and goals of the counselor's work with Maria. Throughout the process, the reality therapist asks Maria how she feels right now. She will undoubtedly respond that she feels slightly better. The counselor emphasizes that even talking about solutions and taking initial positive steps is the road to symptom replacement. Rather than overcoming problems, Maria replaces them, leaves them behind, abandons them, and emerges from the quicksand. Before her lies the solid ground of a path bathed in the sunshine of effective choices.

It is clear that reality therapy deals with presenting problems, diagnostic issues, and embedded behaviors. However, the reality therapist believes that dealing with them is not always equivalent to analyzing them or engaging in repetitive introspective scrutiny. The path of ineffective behaviors with its external constraints and onslaughts is replaced by alternative choices.

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