Leading the world with Choice Theory Psychology
The mission of WGIS is to promote and teach Choice Theory psychology and its applications using Reality Therapy and Lead Management, as an effective, empowering, socially responsible and practical approach that can help people lead satisfying lives.
In 1989, Dr. Robert Wubbolding (Ed.D) first introduced Reality Therapy to Singapore at the invitation of the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC). Subsequently, he made several visits to Singapore to conduct Intensive Training trainings in the 1990s with the first batch of counsellors certified in Reality Therapy in 1994 in Singapore.
Dr Glasser first visited Singapore in 1994. He addressed an audience of 500 at the then NIE at Bukit Timah campus. At the end of his day-long workshop, he handed out certificates to the first local batch of graduates who completed the Certificate level of Choice Theory/ Reality Therapy. They comprised Dr Aziz, a GP from Johor Bahru, Irene Loi, a social worker from Boys’ Town, Seng Boon Kheng, a medical social worker from IMH, two teachers from Raffles Institution and a few others. It was a historic milestone for WGI Singapore as it was the launching pad for the founding of the Association for Reality Therapy later in 1996 by Sister Elizabeth Tham, Ms Irene Loi and Ms Seng Boon Kheng.
Dr Glasser’s second visit was in November 2001 when he came with his second wife, Carleen. Among the events organised for him by then President Irene Loi, he also spoke at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital to some medical practitioners and others.
Dr Glasser’s visits and the visits of other overseas trainers in the early years were instrumental to having CTRT spread its influence widely into diverse social sectors like schools, social services, medical and nursing sectors, business and training institutes like ITE, and MINDEF and, of course, Changi Prison.
The Association for Reality Therapy was re-named the William Glasser Institute Singapore (WGIS) in October 2006.
One of the most significant milestones for WGIS is the teaching of CTRT to prison inmates at Singapore Changi Prison. In 2003, the first group of prison counsellors started training in CTRT with Sr Elizabeth, a WGI Senior Faculty Instructor. Some of these continued the certification process and were instrumental in gaining policy approval for all 56 prison counsellors to undertake CTRT training. In the process, some uniformed non-counselling staff were also exposed to CTRT concepts as well.
At the request of a prison supervisor, Sr Elizabeth gathered a team of CTRT volunteers to conduct training and follow-up practicum sessions within the confines of the prison. After the first batch of 20 inmates who opted to participate in the initial programme in 2006, 60 others have benefited from the programme in the following years 2007 – 2009.
Sr Elizabeth Tham and Dr. Clare Ong are the first two Singaporeans to be certified in Reality Therapy by Dr Glasser in USA. They currently hold international Senior Faculty status with the William Glasser Institute International.