William Glasser Legacy

A Virtual Tour: The Positive Impact of The William Glasser Legacy

This is the future home of a place where people can tour from room to room to explore everything William Glasser has ever contributed to the world all housed in one place. It would include descriptions of books written by him and also books and articles written about him by people from all over the world who have been teaching for years for the William Glasser Institute. The tour could also include links to all the William Glasser Institute websites that have been created around the globe to keep everyone connected and aware of what work is being done using Choice Theory and Reality Therapy and who is doing it. It will also include many other exhibit-worthy items captured in pictures of him, videos of his talks and role plays, as well as stories of the impact his ideas have had and are still having on people’s lives.

An Invitation to Contribute Information

This is where you come in. We are looking for ideas that you may have or memorabilia you have collected to feature on this special website. Please contact us with your information or resources to include in the collection of William Glasser's legacy.

William Glasser Timeline


William Glasser is born on May 11th in Cleveland, Ohio to Ben and Betty Glasser.


Graduates from Cleveland Heights High School. Enters CASE School of Applied Science.


Completes B. Sc. Degree in chemical engineering and begins work as a chemical engineer for Lubrizol at CASE.


Enrolls in a psychology program at Western Reserve University in the spring and enters Master’s program in the fall.
Is drafted into the army and after basic training in Alexandria, Virginia, goes to Dugway Proving Ground in Utah where he tests German poisonous gases.


Is discharged from the chemical corps after 7 months service and re-enters Master’s Program at Western Reserve.


Completes Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and enters the doctoral program at Western Reserve.


Enters Western Reserve University Medical School.


Graduates from Medical School.
Begins internship as a physician at Veterans Administration Center in Los Angeles, CA.


Begins work as a psychiatrist for the Ventura School for Delinquent Girls and also at the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Outpatient Clinic at UCLA.
Meets with G.L. Harrington who says “join the club” of those who do not believe in mental illness. Opens private practice office.


Completes residency at VA Hospital and at UCLA.
Commences work with paraplegics at the Orthopedic Hospital.


Begins lecturing on mental health versus mental illness for the California Youth Authority.


Published first book Mental Health or Mental Illness?


Becomes a Board Certified Psychiatrist.
Starts using his ideas in public schools in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto, CA.
Is invited to a “think tank” at the Corning Conference in New York.


First coins the term for his ideas as "reality psychiatry" at an America Correctional Association lecture in Seattle, WA.
In October, while lecturing at the British Columbia Correctional Association, he changes the name to "Reality Therapy" to reach all people working in the helping professions, not just psychiatrists.


Extensive lecturing in Addictions and Corrections while maintaining a private practice.


After consulting for eight years with G. L. Harrington, Dr. Glasser prepared for his upcoming book.


Reality Therapy is published by Harper and Row and is a huge success.
Begins working in Watts in the Los Angeles unified Public School District.


Finishes work at the Orthopedic Hospital.


Establishes The Institute for Reality Therapy.
Continues work at the Ventura School for Delinquent Girls.


Educator Training Center is established with Doug Naylor as the Director.
Works with Donald O’Donnell, Principal in Palo Alto, to create a model elementary school program.


Schools Without Failure is published.


Is interviewed by U.S. News and World Report.


Consults with schools to create Schools Without Failure.


Identity Society is published.


Continues to consult with schools.


Books sell all over the world and are translated into almost every language in the civilized world.
Interview by Berges in the Los Angeles Times.


Produces a play (which he wrote) called “Beehive,” which runs for 6-7 months in LA theaters. (Coincidentally, the TV series, Three’s Company, airs the following season with the same theme as Beehive.)
The first reality therapy certification class was held.


Positive Addiction is published.
Meets William Powers after reading his book, Behavior: The Control of Perception.


Goes to Chicago to consult with Powers.
Interview by Muro for article in "The Humanist Educator."
Begins to develop a theory of human behavior based on William Powers’ ideas.


Writing and working with the ideas of Control theory.


Lecturing extensively throughout the United States and Canada.


What Are You Doing?, a book on case studies, is published, edited by Naomi Glasser, his wife at the time.
The 1st Reality Therapy Convention is held in Los Angeles, CA.


Stations of the Mind is published.
The 2nd Reality Therapy Convention is held in St. Charles, IL.
Advisory Board of Directors of The Institute for Reality Therapy is formed.
The "International Journal of Reality Therapy" is launched with Dr. Larry Litwack as editor.


Interview by Evans for "The Personnel and Guidance Journal."
The 3rd International Convention is held in Houson, TX.


The 4th International Convention is held in Boston, MA.


Take Effective Control of Your Life is published.
The 5th International Convention is held in Copper Mountain, CO.


Take Effective Control of Your Life is reprinted in paperback as Control Theory.
The 6th Annual International Conference is held in Montreal, Quebec.


Control Theory in the Classroom is published. The Glasser Scholarship Fund is started to help provide training for Reality Therapy Certification.
Private practice office is closed due to extensive lecture schedule, worldwide.
The 7th international Convention is held in Seattle, WA.


Is interviewed by Gough for the Phi Delta Kappan Magazine.
Senior Faculty training program developed for instructors.
The 8th Annual International Convention is held in Hollywood, FL.


Brandt interview in Educational Leadership.
Robert Wubbolding becomes the first and current Director of Training.
The 9th Annual International Convention is held in Scottsdale, AZ.
Achievement Inc. is launched in Toyko, Japan.


Is invited to join the distinguished faculty of pioneers in the Psychological professions for the renowned Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference.
Cokrum interview in "Psychology, A Journal of Human Behavior."
Control Theory in the Practice of Reality Therapy is published.
The 10th Annual international Convention is held in Kansas City, MO.


The Quality School is published.
Chance/Bibes interview in Middle School Journal.
Receives honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, from the University of San Francisco. Begins disassociating himself from discipline programs in schools.
The llth Annual Convention is held in Cincinnati, OH., marking the 2th anniversary of the book, Reality Therapy.


The Quality School ideas spread and training to establish the first Glasser Quality School in Michigan takes place.
No Annual Convention is held this year, but regional conferences take place.


Naomi Glasser, wife of 46 years, dies of cancer. The institute members sadly mourn her death.


The Quality School Teacher is published.
The 12th Annual International Convention is held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.


The Control Theory Manager is published.
Begins a serious relationships with Carleen Floyd, an instructor for The Institute, with a school counseling background.
Together they begin work in the Schwab Middle School in Cincinnati, OH, to train staff in the Quality School ideas. The 13th annual International Convention is held in Dublin, Ireland.


Staying Together is published.
Marries Carleen, July 8, 1995 at the 14th Interational Convention in Philadelphia, PA.
While in Ireland, Irish instructors say the title “Control” Theory is misleading and should be changed to reflect the rejection of external control.
Presents at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Las Vegas, NV.


Choice Theory replaces Control Theory in a talk just north of Brisbane, Australia – part of an extensive three month speaking tour in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Japan, and Singapore.
The name of The Institute for Reality Therapy, Control Theory, and Lead Management is changed to The William Glasser Institute.
At the 15th International Convention in Albuquerque, NM, Glasser takes a formal stand against the use of discipline programs in all schools.


Educator Training Center is dissolved.
The 16th International Convention is held in Portland, OR. The Glassers speak throughout Europe, Norway, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, and Great Britain. Coins the subtitle for the new book Choice Theory to be “A New Psychology of Personal Freedom” because to the Croatians and Slovenians, Choice Theory represents “freedom”.
Presented the Quality Community ideas to the Corning New York School District.


Choice Theory is published.
The 17th Annual Convention is held in Orlando, Florida.
The Glassers speak in Galway and London.


Choice Theory the Flip Side of Control (co-authored by Carleen) is published in 1999 by Harper Collins as The Language of Choice Theory.
The 18th William Glasser Institute International Convention is held in Los Angeles, CA.
The Glassers speak in Bogata, Colombia in August. Four more books are in production.


What is This Thing Called Love? co-authored with Carleen is self-published, as is Every Student Can Succeed. Getting Together and Staying Together (also co-authored with Carleen) is published by Harper Collins. Reality Therapy in Action (later called Counselling with Choice Theory, the New Reality Therapy) follows. Speaks at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim, California. The 19th International Convention is held in Ottawa, Canada. Speaks in Israel and Slovenia. The Glassers speak in Bogata, Colombia in August. Four more books are in production.


Fibromyalgia: Hope From a Completely New Perspective is self-published.
Control Theory in the Classroom is reprinted as Choice Theory in the Classroom.
The 20th Annual International Convention is held in Sydney, Australia.
Dr. Glasser promotes Linda Harshman, Administrator, to the position of Executive Director of The Institute.


Nelson interview for Teacher Education Quarterly.
Unhappy Teenagers is published and later called For Parents and Teenagers.
The 21st International Convention is held in San Antonio, TX. Consultation with staff of Torrance Memorial Hospital, CA begins.


Warning Psychiatry Can be Hazardous to Your Mental Health is published.
Glasser Biography book by Jim Roy is commenced.
The 22nd International Conference is held in Seattle, WA.


Is honored by the American Counseling Association as a Legend in Counseling for developing Reality Therapy.
The 23rd William Glasser Institute International Conference is held in Schaumburg, IL.


Defining Mental Health as a Public Health Problem (later called Defining Mental health as a Public Health Issue) booklet is published. Sixty-five thousand copies are released and eight thousand and five hundred are given as handouts at The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim, CA.
The 24th International Conference is held in Dublin, Ireland, marking Carleen and Bill’s 10th wedding anniversary.


Begins teaching Choice Theory as a class in the addictions counseling program at Loyola Marymount University with Bradley Smith.
Receives an honorary degree of Doctorate of education from Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA..
The 25th William Glasser Institute International Conference is held in Jersey City, NJ.


The William Glasser Foundation is started at Loyola Marymount University.
The book, Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage is copyrighted for publication by Harper Collins.
The 26th International Conference is held in Seattle, WA.


The William Glasser Institute for Research in Public Mental Health is established in the Psychology Department at Loyola Marymount University and funded by Foundation donors.
Japanese company, Achieve, Inc. celebrates 20th anniversary of teaching Glasser’s ideas to business with a speaking tour by the Glassers in Japan and the release of the book Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage in Japanese.
The 27th International Conference is held in Colorado Springs, CO.
Through the efforts of EART President Leon Lojk, Reality Therapy is recognized as a scientifically validated psychotherapy by the European Association for Psychotherapy.


Charges Les Triché with responsibility to create a program to teach Choice Theory to imprisoned women.
The 28th William Glasser Institute International Conference (also the 4th European Conference) is being held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Choice Theory and Reality Therapy have, to date, spread to over thirty countries. There are 77,405 people who have taken at least a Basic Intensive Week and a total of 10,851 people have become Reality Therapy Certified.