Brian Lennon

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  • in reply to: Professional Relationship Habits card #2771
    Brian Lennon

    Not sure I like that big purple flower. Looks a bit threatening, like a spider in the middle reaching out!!!

    I believe purple is a favourite colour of feminists but in many parts of Europe it is a sign of penitence! Also a flower might not appeal to everyone. A tree or tufts of green grass or a field of golden corn mabye.

    The mnemonic RENTALS maybe has wrong image! How about ANTLERS?

    The card idea (or as a fridge magnet) is excellent and Patrick has great ideas. I think this is an idea we should build on.

    in reply to: WGI Membership Proposal 2016-2017 #2543
    Brian Lennon

    Here are a few observations on this document …

    There is no mention of the facilitator membership level, those leading the Take Charge of Your Life seminars.

    I think we need to spell out more what members will receive: registration with WGI, special website access, receipt of newsletters, voting rights (where relevant). (At some time in the past I have posted a table showing how this could be presented.)

    I think it is important that when members are registered through a member organisation, they should have their details recorded with WGI so that we can send them direct communications. Obviously local organisations might send translations but we need to ensure that everyone receives the original messages. When forwarding membership fees, member organisations can send a list of names and email addresses we can import into our newsletter utility.

    in reply to: Stages in Processing New Ideas #2392
    Brian Lennon

    Jean what you suggest is good but I believe we do need something very tangible so that we know exactly where a new idea is in our system. Someone suggests it, we tease it out, we refine it into a more concise form and approve it. We then present it to members and work on the feedback received to create a “final” document published as such on the website but revised annually. Your phases are there but more operationally defined.

    in reply to: Research Policy Draft #2390
    Brian Lennon

    Perhaps we should be adding another dimension to the policy.

    Why not require those aspiring to become Glasser Quality Schools to present research?
    Those training in RT could be encouraged to present research in their certification presentation OR perhaps have a chartered member level awarded to all those who present at least one piece of research.
    Part of RT and QS training should be to foster a research mentality in our trainees. How do they know that what they are doing is working?

    As part of an overall fostering of research we could create an online course in basic statistics and experimental design!

    in reply to: Database & Digital Signatures #2388
    Brian Lennon

    Jean, that would require quite a lot of programming and it’s not a database type of thing in itself. However, there is a solution. When a course organiser seeks approval for a course, the status of the faculty member can be checked.

    Eventually I would like to see our database go online and have a situation where course details can be entered there. The faculty member would be selected from a list of faculty. Those not official would not be listed there.

    If we are to represent the authenticity of the CT brand, some sort of central registration of faculty and courses is essential.

    Some time ago we agreed that we should have a system of numbering certificates so that we could stand by certs issued in the name of WGI. When courses are being organised, the organiser needs to touch base with that system so that valid numbers are issued to trainees. I do have ideas about how to administer all of this but it would take quite a bit of writing to explain it here. We can go into details later.

    Brian Lennon

    My difficulty with a 5-year plan is that we seem to have difficulty with our one year plan as initiated at our first physical meeting in Dublin. Many of the objectives we set ourselves could be completed in one year provided an efficient work format is used.

    in reply to: The Term MEMBER ORGANISATION #2371
    Brian Lennon

    The difficulty I have with “local organisation” is that it does not define the relationship with WGI. All around the world almost every town or village has “local organisations” but we are looking for a term to describe those who are part of WGI. I would worry about those who do not want to be “member organisations”.

    in reply to: GQS Membership and Endorsement Proposal #2357
    Brian Lennon

    Hallelujah!! What a great document! This provides a basic template for the core of GQS training and yet at the same time has built-in flexibility so that each school can work out a training model that suits it. For me it’s a model of how we as WGI should be approaching training.

    I love the idea of each school working out its training model in consultation with WGI. I also like the idea of identifying two angles: membership and training. Membership is something that can help school personnel get familiar with the concepts.


    I would omit the $2,000 reference. Each country and even area will need to work out the cost depending on local conditions. What might be important here is to specify what percentage of the cost should be sent to WGI as dues. I would keep the renewal amount very low. (Related to this is how we involve our local member organisations and what portion of dues goes to them. This is an issue that needs discussion elsewhere so that all our courses can have a common approach to this.)

    I like the idea of the alternative name BUT I would omit the word “international”. Around the world the term “international schools” tends to refer to private schools set up to cater for the children of diplomats and the like. Use of the term “Choice Theory International Schools” would be misleading and even off-putting for some.

    You have reduced the 6 Glasser characteristics of a QS to 3. I would like to see mention of all 6 characteristics even if it is within the description of the 3. Otherwise I would be afraid of a dilution of Glasser’s idea of a Quality Project, of his emphasis on grades above B, the teaching of CT to the broad school community and of joy in the school. Joy might be considered as an outcome of a school using CT but I think, knowing schools, that management might need to see that it’s OK to have a bit of joy in the place and not to be surprised by it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    There is a mention of research for ongoing work but maybe it should be built into the certification. We badly need research on the QS and it would seem to be relatively easy to accumulate from schools.

    Another idea you might consider is that of encouraging/requiring a school to pair with an established CT School as a way of improving their learning process, to have a “buddy school”.

    We have had a discussion in the past about “declaring as a QS”. I think it comes down to whether we see it as achieving a certain standard or as being fully committed to a process, my preference being for the latter. Use of the term “Choice Theory Schools” has the advantage of skipping the word “quality” which can sound pretentious and implies standards. Maybe we could say that once a core group has reached certification and, on behalf of the school, commit to QS ideas, they then become a Choice Theory School.

    I believe that the way this document was created could be a model for other WGI work. The committee consulted with QS experts in different countries and somehow managed to compress lots of ideas into a short summary. Congratulations to the team.

    in reply to: The Term MEMBER ORGANISATION #2339
    Brian Lennon

    You are right JP except that we need to change the other term. If we accept “Member Organisation” as the most appropriate/acceptable term to describe all those organisations that are actually part of WGI then we need a different term for other types of membership. That’s why I suggested “Group Membership” for the latter. This might apply, for example, to a school where a number of members have had our training and want to join as a group. I fully agree with you that there should be a clear difference between these two quite different types of membership. If there’s something here I’m missing in your understanding of these terms I would love to hear abut it.

    I believe we need to identify a lesser type of membership for those who simply want to link to us without being actual members and I believe the best word for this is “Associate”. So, for example, a counselling organisation in China might want to become “associates” or even “group associates” with WGI so as to receive news from us and maybe a special access on our website and/or discussions. They would not be accepting our ethics nor would they be administering courses. They simply want to associate themselves with us.

    The other issue about multiple organisations in a given region … as I said at the meeting there could be a good reason for such a development. For example, there may be multiple language groups. However, I would think that once WGI acknowledged a given organisation as its “member organisation” in that area, then applications from other groups in the area would need to be studied carefully and with due consultation with the original organisation. Looking at the multiplicity of political and geographical systems around the world I think we need to be flexible.

    In fact we already have overlaps. For example, WGII (Ireland) has had a “member organisation” since 1987 but we are also members of EART which is also a “member organisation” of WGI.

    in reply to: Draft Policy Document on Ethics #2306
    Brian Lennon

    I do believe there is an advantage in simplifyling our ethics document but this simplification should focus on streamlining it rather than making into a vague exhortation to follow best practice. The whole problem is that standards of good practice are not documented. Otherwise we could sum up our ethics in two words: “Behave well”. We all know from RT training that plans need to be specific and I believe that such clarity is a primary purpose of an ethics document.

    Our approach to counselling is radically different from others and I believe our code of ethics should indicate this and offer guidance and support to our members who use RT. For example we believe in a friendly relationship with clients and in using self-evaluation. In a grievance situation it would probably be compatible with CT for the complaint to be taken up with the offending party before relaying the matter to WGI.

    So, what do I want from our ethics policy? I want it to give clear answers about different situations partially as clear guidance to our members and partially as clear parameters if we as WGI are asked to deal with a grievance or complaint. Here is a selection of fictionalised examples. How well would our ethics policy give guidance to members and to anyone dealing with a reported ethical problem? Should our ethics cover all these scenarios?

    Ann’s business card states that she is a “Reality Therapist”.
    Bert is a faculty member who was reported by his trainees for arriving at a course in an intoxicated state.
    Charlie has been reported for becoming sexually involved with a trainee but he claims she needed such affection to counter-balance the bad experiences of her life.
    Dennis has been deemed by WGI to be in serious breach of our ethical guidelines but he says that WGI cannot do anything about this and to stop annoying him.
    Elaine offers her counselling clients a free Tarot card reading included in the price. One client writes to WGI claiming this is unprofessional.
    Fred is a faculty member who issued two course ceritificates to individuals who did not in fact attend the course.
    Georgina’s trainees claim that the Basic course she offered in CT/RT had at least 20% of unrelated content.
    Harry has sent in an anonymous complaint about a WGI member with claims of sexual abuse.
    Ivan and his fellow students have written to WGI claiming that their instructor is not competent.
    Joan writes to say that the RT counsellor she attends sometimes invites her to the cafe next door for a snack and wonders if the counsellor is being too familiar!
    Kevin boasts to you that he always takes cash for his counselling sessions as it “lessens the tax burden”.
    Leanne claims her Practicum Supervisor is constantly critical of the group. For example, when one trainee asked her to explain self-evaluation again, the supervisor said “No, you should have been listening the first time”.
    Martin believes that his supervisor regularly tells two members of her current supervision group that they are not yet ready for the advanced course and then charges them extra for additional sessions.
    Noeleen writes to WGI for advice. Her local professional ethics as a clinical psychologist require her to report all clients with suicidal intentions to her local psychiatry team where they are invariably hospitalised and medicated.
    Oliver has reported his RT counsellor for prohibiting him from seeing any other counsellor without permission. The counsellor claims this is standard practice and Oliver believes he can see whomsoever he wishes.
    WGI finds out by chance that Patricia offers training as “authentic Reality Therapy”. She did qualify as faculty some years ago but has not been a member of WGI for at least ten years.

    Have fun!

    in reply to: Draft Policy Document on Ethics #2302
    Brian Lennon

    As an aid to furthering the discussion on our ethics policy I will upload here all the documents that I have received in addition to the earlier one listed above from John Cooper. I believe it would be helpful for discussion of these to continue under this topic rather that spread it around through new topics. The advantage of a forum is threaded discussion rather than multiple discussion.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    in reply to: Terminology #2247
    Brian Lennon

    Bette I think we need to clarify this issue about terminology. I believe that the old certification model was designed to deliver REALITY THERAPY TRAINING and in more recent times was reshaped a little to accommodate CHOICE THEORY.

    However, I believe that most who seek certification are in fact looking for training in RT (which of course will include CT but that is not what they come looking for). Therefore I believe we need to offer different courses: (1) A specific RT course, (2) GQS courses, (3) a specific CHOICE THEORY PSYCHOLOGY course and other courses representing other applications of CT.

    I personally will continue to refer to the old certification course as an RT training since that is what I believe it is. We need to make a new version of that and then create other certification courses for GQS, CT etc.

    in reply to: Costs of Membership #1822
    Brian Lennon

    I had thought of the trust issue. My guess is that this is more a problem with individual faculty than with affiliates. Someone could tell us they charged $100 for a course where they actually charged $500 (so as to send us a smaller amount in dues)!

    If we have an online certificate verification scheme, that will offset any malpractice out there. When a person enters their cert number, they should see (1) that it exists, (2) that it corresponds to the course they received and (3) if the cost of the course is published it will help cover situations where the cost quoted to us was different.

    I have been working on a database for WGI-Ireland (WGII) and have an approach for the cert numbers.

    Coming back to the membership issue, I would suggest a figure of 2.5% rather than the 5% I mentioned in my last post. I believe that figure would be acceptable to members directly and to affiliates. If membership were collected via affiliates they would send the 2.5% (of the reference figure, locally recommended cost of a 30-hour course) to WGI together with a list of the members’ emails. Masaki has already shown that such figures are possible and I’m sure other affiliates would think the same.

    in reply to: Types of Membership #1674
    Brian Lennon

    An important issue with membership has to do with our move to an automated process.

    As things stand right now, anyone could go to our website, pay $75 and be regarded as faculty!!

    That means that people who have not signed an agreement, or people who have trademarked “Choice Theory” for their own purposes, or people who teach external control … all would have an easy route to our faculty status. What do we do about this?

    Your ideas on this are important … and have some degree of urgency before we launch the new site.

    in reply to: Family dynamics #1667
    Brian Lennon

    It’s always hard to give suggestions about a case as we do not know the full details and there are no formula answers. In the hope it might be helpful here are some ideas.

    Assuming you are dealing with the excluded person, I have found that in difficult relationship issues one choice a person can make is not to say or do anything that makes the situation worse. This may seem at first like a negative plan but it has a very positive motivation.

    My guess would be that the exclusion is not simply due to tidiness and such like. Your client may be holding back some information or might not even be aware of the implications of his/her behaviour. Inviting more detail about the client’s interactions with the family (and family values) might unearth more. Has this person betrayed some deep seated family value (and maybe not even realised it)? Are the family values somewhat fundamental? Hoping this is helpful!

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