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Choices offers a course in living the best possible life. The author understands human life as an on-going process of meeting the needs of the total person — physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. Human beings choose the behaviors they assume will meet their needs. They base these behaviors on mental pictures that they develop through their experiences and creativity. Whenever a person has unresolved personal problems, problems in relationships, social problems, problems in group settings, and prolonged or frequently occurring emotional or mental distress, in all probability, he or she has behaviors that do not appropriately meet needs. This generally means the individual has inadequate mental pictures associated with particular needs.
In this series, Choices offers a group approach to identifying needs and developing adequate pictures and appropriate behaviors to meet those needs. For a basic model, Choices uses concepts found in William Glasser’s Reality Therapy and Choice Theory with the author redefining Glasser’s terms. The worksheets for the Introductory Session spell out the basic principles for this model. The author has worked generally with these principles for 35 years and specifically for 19 years at the time of this writing. He has applied these concepts in a variety of settings and applications, including individual and group counseling, academic classrooms for behaviorally disordered and severely emotionally disturbed students, educational programs in juvenile justice and correction educational programs, a behavioral hospital for children and adolescents, church settings, and an educational program for adolescents involved with the court system. The author also applies these principles in his own child rearing, marriage, and personal relationships. He developed Choices out of his work as a consultant for the acute unit of a behavioral hospital for children and adolescents.
Choices provides plans for 78 group sessions. It arranges these sessions in four tracks in four books: Book 1, Needs, Book 2, Relationships, Book 3, Emotional Management, and Book 4, External Control.
In the facilitators’ manual, the group plan for each session includes a list of session objectives, materials needed for the session, philosophical assumptions, the Choices principles involved in that session, procedures and activities, and participant worksheets. The author has designed Choices for adaptability in a variety of settings. He presents spiritual concepts as philosophical ideas to make them palatable to most philosophical worldviews.
In general, the procedures and activities involve participatory activities, debriefing of the activity related to the objectives of the session, and discussions of one of the Choices principles.
Teacher Manual, 102; Student Workbook, 70