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Choice Theory Terms

Choice Theory changed our lives, in fact it might have even saved them. On many levels it seems incredibly simple and that's part of its powerfulness but there is a lot to learn and part of that is Choice Theory terminology. Glasser created new terms like the "Quality World" and he also used words in new ways such as "anxiousing".

This page is a reference tool that supports our work so that you can look up anything you don't understand as you learn to  navigate your life through the lens of Choice Theory. 

Jeff has also created daily memes to help us keep Choice Theory and Internal Control Psychology at the forefront of our minds every day. Subscribing to these memes will also allow us to keep you informed about our upcoming online courses.

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What is Choice Theory?

Choice Theory was developed by Dr William Glasser as a way of empowering individuals and improving relationships. It is based on the understanding that the only real control we have is over ourselves and everything we do is an attempt to meet one or more of our five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, fun, freedom and power. Check this out for a snapshot.


"Choice Theory, the gift that keeps on giving. When we use Internal Control Psychology , we will never know how far the ripples have spread in time or in space.

Jeff Steedman 2015

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Internal Control Psychology 

This is the concept that we are not controlled by circumstances outside of ourselves. We are the architects of our  Total Behaviour, which includes our thinking. 

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Total Behaviour

There are four components to Total Behaviour: Thinking, Acting, Feeling and Physiology. Glasser illustrated this with his Total Behaviour Car. The front wheels of the Total Behaviour Car are thinking and acting which are the behaviours we have direct control over.

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The Quality World

The Quality World is very much Our Quality World because it is individual to each of us. It is made up of all the things we believe we need to be happy. 

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We all have five basic needs to varying degrees: Survival, love and belonging, freedom, fun and learning, power. Everything we do everyday is in an attempt to meet one or more of those needs.

Your best self  and your best  life awaits

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