Dr. William Glasser 01

On Friday, August 23, 2013 Dr. William Glasser passed away with his wife Carleen, his children Alice and Martin and his grandchildren by his side. His entire life was about relationships and how we treat each other. Carleen has asked that we celebrate his life and I intend to do this through this blog.

For the next few weeks, I am dedicating my blog to my life spent with Dr. Glasser. Dr. William Glasser was a world renowned psychiatrist who was ahead of his time. He was a psychiatrist who did not believe in prescribing medication but rather who focused on the person in front of him and how he could help them meet more of their five basic needs.

In 1986, I was introduced to his ideas. I was working with Teenagers and I needed more tools. I went to University to take a course in The Theory and Process of Counselling. Through Debra Evans, I met Dr. Avery McCordick who introduced me to Reality Therapy and Control Theory and Lead Management.  I did my first basic training and after  basic training my life started to change. I learned about my own needs and how they were or were  not being met. I also learned I had choices and I could choose a different path. The most amazing thing is that I immediately started to apply what I had learned and I was beginning to connect with the Teenagers I was working with. It was so powerful!

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts for me was, making those choices. I was so engrained in External Control behaviour, a term coined by Dr. Glasser. The changes were going to be difficult. I continued with the studies and eventually became certified in Reality Therapy in 1988. This would be my very first in-person encounter with Bill Glasser. I will never forget it!

In those days I saw myself as a rather shy introvert but the learning I was doing inspired me to go to Certification in Scotsdale, Arizona. It was the furthest away I had ever travelled,  but I really wanted to do it! I was passionate about my learning then and continue to be today. I arrived at La Posada Hotel and immediately left my room to go check out the main lobby, etc. As I left my room, I immediately met Dr. Glasser.

I was awe struck. We walked together for what felt like 100 miles when in fact it was likely 100 feet. We did not say one word to each other, other than hello! I was in awe and he was in deep thought. We finally arrived at the main lobby and took the escalator to the restaurant where he met some people he was meeting. At that moment, I made myself a promise, I would never, ever miss an opportunity like that again just because I feel shy and afraid!

Have you ever lost an opportunity because you were too afraid?  Watch for my next blog when I talk about what happened next!

Maureen has been teaching this ideas for over 35 years. She is a Senior Faculty Member with William Glasser International, A Licensed Counselling Therapist and Certified Personal and Executive Coach.