Question: Does Reality Therapy work with everyone? When would you not use it?
Answer: My answer depends on how you define “work.” If by work you mean that you can get your clients, friends, children and others to do what you think is the right thing for them, then I say no, it won’t always work. However, if you define “work” as people being able to evaluate their behavior, options and choices to come up with the best decision for them at that point in time, then I would say, “Yes, it almost always works.”
There are two parts of Reality Therapy—the first is creating the counseling environment and creating a relationship. The second is the procedures that lead to change. If you are attempting to use the procedures that lead to change and experiencing resistance, then my advice would be to focus more on building the relationship. So, I would use reality therapy in most situations but which part I focus on would change depending on the situation.
Some possible exceptions would be people whose reasoning power is impaired such as in autism, organic brain dysfunction, and dementia. However, even in those extreme cases, I would work on creating an environment where those individuals are able to get their basic needs met. This is another way of saying I would work on creating the counseling environment.