Thursday, 16 November 2017

Higher Reality Therapy

Circle Network Book Review: Higher Reality Therapy Nine Pathways to Inner Peace By Anthony Falikowski Published by O Books

The psychiatrist, William Glasser developed Reality Therapy in the US in the mid 1960s and it was successful especially for those who did not respond to more conventional methods of therapy. The approach, mainly based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on negotiated methods to create improvements in current behaviour. 'Higher' Reality Therapy is an eclectic approach to a similar goal of problem solving. Reality Therapy, as devised by William Glasser is criticised rather severely but taken as the basic premise and improved upon to create 'Higher' Reality Therapy.

The author, Anthony 'Tony' Falikowski, is a full time professor of Philosophy and Human Relations and a Graduate of the University of Toronto. He holds degrees is psychology and philosophy and is a behaviour education specialist. His previous books 'Moral Philosophy for Modern Life', 'Moral Philosophy: Theories, Skills and Applications', 'Mastering Human Relations', 'Exploring Philosophy' and Experiencing Philosophy' have been widely acclaimed.

This book includes wisdom teachings of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions (such as A Course in Miracles, with a model for understanding personality called the Enneagram). The Enneagram is a method of assessing and categorising nine personality types and the author describes each of the nine, along with how each type can become unhealthy and how they can express their basic character in a healthy way. The excerpts from A Course in Miracles produces a book that highlights possible personal problems and offers advice on how to avoid difficulties by developing other strategies, such as overcoming egocentric propensities.

At first I didn't recognise any characters within Falikowski's Enneagram model. However, as I was reading, the murderer, Raoul Moat was hitting the headlines and people were asking questions about his personality and whether his behaviour could have been anticipated. I suddenly realised that Anthony Falikowski was describing Moat's character perfectly in my estimation as a number 'eight'. Out came my marker pen and I was underlining almost every sentence. While I was in the groove, I went on to enjoy every page. I think I will return to this book and will keep it on my bookshelf for reference. Though I might not recognise many work colleagues, friends and people in the public eye, I will enjoy the interesting general wisdom that the book provides. Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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