Basic Practicum

On successful completion of a Basic Week trainees may choose to join a Basic Practicum group. This is normally made up of six trainees who work under the supervision of a WGI faculty member. In Ireland it is customary, but not essential, for people to engage in Practicum work during the winter months.


  • Hours: 26 supervised hours and 14 unsupervised hours as Focus Group. The unsupervised sessions follow the model of the supervised group, and are facilitated by one of the participants. A brief account of what was done during the session is sent to the Supervisor.
  • Case Studies: 4 Case Studies based on two relationships visited twice. Each case study is to focus on an aspect of a relationship that the participant is working to improve in his or her life. It will be drawn from the Journal that each participant will keep. The Practicum Supervisor does not read the journal, but reads and comments on the case studies.
  • Book Reviews: Participants read two of Dr Glasser’s books: “Choice Theory” and one other book e.g. “Warning: Psychiatry can damage your mental health”. They write a reflection on how reading the books impacts on their understanding of themselves and their relationships.

Overview of Basic Practicum

The Basic Practicum is designed to facilitate participants to move from an external control psychology view of life and relationships, towards an internal control psychology perspective.

Participants will not work with clients during the BP but instead will work on themselves and their own relationships. The idea is to facilitate the participants as they attempt to integrate Choice Theory into their own lives before using it with others in a helping relationship. Each participant will be asked to identify two current relationships that they wish to improve over the year. These can be two personal relationships or one personal and one professional. They will be asked to clarify the quality world pictures of those relationships, how they would like them to be at the end of the year; and to develop plans to realise the QWPs. They will be asked to journal about the process, and to bring issues about the process to the practicum group. Providing they feel comfortable doing so, participants may share with others as much as they wish of the process and the journey to a better relationship.

Each Practicum session will focus on a key concept in Choice Theory. Session one will be involvement, expectations (quality world pictures of the Practicum), contracting, information about Practicum content, and focus on relationships. Subsequent sessions will focus on Needs and Quality World, Total Behaviours, the Creative System, the perceptual filters and the Perceived world. In the stories that participants bring to the Practicum session, they are encouraged to focus on that particular aspect of Choice Theory in particular.

Role Play during Basic Practicum

Play in Basic Practicum is designed, not to improve skills using RT/CT to help others, but to improve participants’ internalising of Choice Theory. In Basic Practicum, there is no client as such.

For the practicum meetings, participants will be invited to share some of the relationship experiences they are having, and to invite the group to give feedback. They share only as much as they wish to at any time. This may lead to role-playing some of the incidents in the relationship. The participant tells the story – who was involved, what happened, what he/she did, etc. Then they can be asked if they would like to work on the relationship in the safety of the group, where they can get a clearer picture of what happened, and of their own choices during the incident(s).If they wish it, they are invited to chose members of the group to be him/herself, and the other person/people in the situation. The participant can then see others act out the situation, and can see the effect of their choices of total behaviour on the situation. They can see what might happen if they experiment with new choices, using Choice Theory. They can be invited to take over their own role from the role-player and experience what it might be like to try a new behaviour in that situation. The others give feedback. At all times there is the freedom to pass.

Chart Talk during Basic Practicum

Participants will have studied the chart in Basic Week. Discussion of the chart will continue in Practicum especially as it relates to events and occurrences in their lives. “Let’s put it through the Chart” will be a recurring invitation from the Practicum Supervisor.

Self Evaluation

This is at the heart of the Practicum Process. Participants are invited to include as much self-evaluation as possible in their case studies, and are asked to self-evaluate at every opportunity during the Practicum session.

Written Work

Participants are asked to begin a Journal of the two relationships they decide to work on using Choice Theory. The relationships can be a personal relationship and a business relationship or two personal relationships. The journal will be private and will inform the case studies, it will not be shared with the supervisor.

From the Journal, they are asked to write four case studies. These are based on the relationships they are working to improve using Choice Theory. They draw on the Journal, and present four issues/incidents that have happened in the relationship. They write them up, explaining what happened in Choice Theory terms, focusing especially on what they did themselves in the situation. Continuous self-evaluation is at the core of the learning process.

The other two written pieces are a personal reflection on chapters of “Choice Theory” and the “Warning” book. The participants apply the books to their everyday life. The two essays answer three basic questions:

  1. How did I encounter myself in this chapter?
  2. How can I use or apply ideas from this chapter in my life, in order to improve my relationships?
  3. Clarifications that I need, or questions that I need answered, in this chapter or in the book as a whole

In the four written case studies, the idea is to write about problems and frustrations in everyday life – not big problems perhaps requiring counselling, but those continuous challenges that we all face even in good relationships.


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