Happiness, Reality Therapy, and TMS I read today (Sept. 6, 2013) of the death of Dr. William Glasser, 88, a psychiatrist who published more than two dozen books on his view that mental health is mostly a matter of personal choice. At least to me, it brings up questions of happiness, reality therapy, and Dr. Sarno’s theories that our pain, including depression and emotional problems besides physical pain may largely be caused by our repressed emotions. Glasser’s first book, Reality Therapy, published in 1965, sold 1.5 million copies and began a series of books about resolving emotional and mental problems by accepting responsibility for them. People should avoid the urge to blame others, or to relive past hurts, he said. They could find happiness essentially by choosing behaviors that improved their relationships and increased their chances for happiness. “We choose everything we do, including the misery we feel,” he wrote in a 1998 book, Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom. “Other people can neither make us miserable nor make us happy. Choice therapy teaches that we are much more in control of our lives than we realize.” He also emphasized the ability of people to shape their own lives rather than be shaped by personal history. He theorized self-reliance as follows: The only person one controls in the world is oneself. The effort to change others is doomed and, worse, is the actual cause of most emotional problems. To meet “the most profound human need, to love and be loved, people must repair strained relations with their family, friends, and co-workers by adjusting the one variable within their control: their own behavior.” He further said people can control their own behavior through an atmosphere of love, friendship, negotiation, and trust.” A recent post on TMSWiki.org/forum was one in which a wife and mother of three young sons talked a problem over with her husband and they agreed to cooperate regarding communicating with each other that had to do with her feeling stressed when he didn’t tell her he invited his family for a visit and expected her to cook for them. This effort of negotiation between them could lead to relief of at least some of her physical and emotional pain. Glasser also urged teachers to help pupils assume responsibility for their own behavior and academic record, and to develop “caring relationships” with students, even signing contracts binding both teacher and pupil to certain standards of behavior and performance, and never give a failing grade. “Once children start failing,” he said in a 1988 interview, “they begin to believe that they can’t do anything. They give up.” He didn’t suggest parents do the same with their children as teachers should with students, but it’s more food for thought. Glasser said that patients he worked with at a veterans hospital were not victims of factors and circumstances beyond their control. He believed that “patients have to be worked with as if they have choices to make. My question is always, ‘What are you going to do about life, beginning today?’” That theory resulted in him being thrown off the staff. But those of us who have healed our pain through TMS and discovering the cause from repressed emotions may feel he was closer to the truth in that we can think ourselves to be unhappy or happy, in pain or pain-free. Dr. Sarno’s theory of mind-body therapy to becoming free of pain and happy may be the missing link in Dr. Strasser’s theories. I add faith and God to that. We should reflect on our repressed emotions and then try to forgive others and ourselves for grievances. We should try to live in the present and be grateful for the blessings we have. We should practive meditation, deep breathing, and I add, laughing. What do you think?