The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama once posited that “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly, live.” There are two ways of interpreting this. One is that we have no control, and the other is that we have all control. It is this latter interpretation that we focus on in our offering called reality therapy.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we offer a variety of therapeutic modalities. One of the lesser-known therapies we offer is reality therapy. We utilize this form of therapy to help our students realign their values, repair relationships, improve communication skills, and gain better control over their negative behaviors.
We subscribe to the belief that all humans require five basic needs to be met. These needs are survival, freedom, fun, power, and love/belonging. However, for most, love and belonging are what is most desired. Reality therapy helps our students better meet their need for love and belonging. Additionally, it teaches them how to continue their growth after these needs are met.
Understanding the Basics of Reality Therapy
According to the Global Journal of Health Science, “Reality therapy is a method that emphasizes the accountability and the current behavior of individuals. Setting negative emotions, reality therapy promotes metacognition and, through increasing accountability to self-behavior improves hope.”
From our standpoint, there are two key takeaways from that description: “increased accountability,” and “hope.” Reality therapy can help our students begin to see that the way they interact with the rest of the world is not only creating strain in their relationships but also may be manifesting the type of mental health issues that are creating such struggle.
One of the primary focuses of reality therapy is helping the student better understand they have more control over outcomes based on the choices they make. Gaining this understanding not only creates an understanding of accountability but also creates more desire for accountability. When a student can equate responsibility with positive results they can see and experience, they begin to truly flourish.
Integrating Reality Therapy Into a Recovery Plan
Reality therapy is similar to other forms of talk therapy we offer such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in that it tends to focus on the here and now. The difference is that in reality therapy, the focus tends to be a little more solution-oriented and technique-driven rather than on unearthing and evaluating the effects of deeper emotions.
While we feel that some form of therapy is crucial for our students’ development here at Clearview Girls Academy, psychotherapy is certainly not our only approach to healing. Our treatment programs incorporate many different tools and resources from all over the current recovery spectrum.
We offer holistic practices like yoga, mindfulness, and breathwork. We offer talk therapy like CBT, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and reality therapy. Another part of our healing arsenal is spiritual exercises like meditation and prayer. Our goal is to use every resource available to help our students get back on the path of recovery. We do not limit ourselves to one treatment modality here, and with so many options at our disposal, we don’t have to.
The Importance of Individualized Planning
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we feel that no matter how exceptional a recovery facility is, the result will be diminished if an individualized approach is not utilized. To us, your daughter is not a statistic, she is someone who is momentarily struggling to find her way in the world. Our goal is to help her find her way.
Whether your daughter is dealing with an active alcohol or substance addiction or struggling with a different mental health disorder, we will take an individualized approach that focuses on three tenets. Those tenets are academic achievement, positive behavioral change, and spiritual growth. We have already seen how reality therapy can help our students create behavioral change. What’s more, it can aid in the other two areas of focus.
In the academic arena, reality therapy can help our students understand the control they have over their accomplishments. It can also help them see how these accomplishments could help them advance in the world. Reality therapy can also bring our students closer to God (or a Higher Power of their understanding) by helping them gain a new perspective on how their actions can impact the rest of the world around them. Essentially, it empowers them to fulfill that need for love and belonging in something greater than themselves.
The Clearview Girls Academy Difference
Going back to the words of the Dalai Lama, as we embrace that which is out of our control, we discover our sense of true power.
When students come to us, they usually either regret the wreckage of their past or fret about the failings of the future. Oftentimes they worry about both. Reality therapy helps remind them that the past and the future are out of their control, but by working on themselves in the present moment, they can create a life they can be proud of and a future with limitless possibilities.
One of the biggest things mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs) affect is our relationships. This includes relationship strain between caretaker and child. That is why it is so critical to repair these relationships over the course (and beyond) of a recovery plan. Reality therapy can play a part in repairing those relationships. Rather than delving into the past, reality therapy focuses on what can be done currently about one’s relationships. This can go a long way toward helping the entire family recover. However, reality therapy may be only a part of your daughter’s recovery plan. We utilize an individualized multifaceted plan for all of our students. Please call Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.