Choice Theory attempts to explain the psychological behaviour of all human beings.
It maintains that all we do from birth to death is behave, and that our behaviour is internally motivated and chosen. Specifically, all of our behaviour is our best attempt to satisfy one or more of five basic needs built into our genetic structure: survive, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun. In practice, the most important need is love and belonging, as closeness and connectedness with the people we care is a prerequisite for satisfying all of the needs.
Choice Theory is offered to replace external control psychology, the dominion psychology today. Unfortunately, this forcing, punishing psychology is destructive to relationships. When used in a relationship, it destroys the ability of one or both involved to find satisfaction in that relationship. This results in people becoming disconnected from those with whom they want to be connected.
Choice Theory contends that the only person’s behaviour we can control is our own. By using this theory, we help people learn that what they do is not determined by external causes, but instead by what goes on inside them. Since all that is taught by the institute (counselling, education and managing) is based upon this theory, teaching Choice Theory in great detail is an integral part of our programs.
The Ten Axioms of Choice Theory
- The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
- All we can give another person is information.
- All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
- The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
- What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
- We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our Quality World.
- All we do is behave.
- All behavior is Total Behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling and physiology.
- All Total Behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feeling and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
- All Total Behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.