Recently, someone asked what my reasons are for developing Mental Freedom®. I don’t know if I can pinpoint just one—there are many. As so often happens when important things are developed, a whole collision of seemingly meaningless, disconnected events helps make it all happen. The creator’s job is to follow the path the Universe opens, and I haven’t always been good at that. I have seen the path, but fear has sometimes kept me stuck. I’d like to think that is behind me now, but it probably will happen the next time something is placed in front of me that scares the pants off me!
In some ways, my whole life led me to Mental Freedom. It began when a boss with paranoia led me to leave the first job I had out of college. The next one I found just happened to offer training in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. I was hooked after the first week, but I was a neophyte. I used the ideas in my work with foster kids and their biological and foster parents, but I wasn’t using it at home. I was still nagging my husband and yelling at my kids.
After my husband became sick, I leaned into Choice Theory to help me through that situation. Then, nearly five years later, he died. Choice Theory helped me again.
Later, as I was poorly attempting to single parent two strong-willed teenage boys, I realized I needed to start practicing what I preached to parents at work. I had become, and perhaps I always was, a permissive parent. Since my husband was so strict, I leaned toward permissive, which caused him to move further toward strict and so on. It was a downward spiral. When we had the other to balance ourselves out, it wasn’t too bad—although I wouldn’t call it great parenting. However, after he died, my permissive tendencies weren’t going to raise two responsible young men. I leaned into Choice Theory parenting, and it helped.
Later, my youngest son, Kyle, wanted to enroll in the Army and fight in Iraq. After losing his father, you can imagine how much I didn’t want him to do that. I wanted to forbid it, but I knew Kyle would only wait a week for his 18th birthday and sign up himself, so I took him to the recruiter’s office and signed his life over to the Army. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I couldn’t be prouder of him. He served two tours in Iraq, and applying Choice Theory in my life is what helped me survive those tours.
I quit my job of 17 years, moved from northeast Pennsylvania to Chicago’s south suburbs, and started my own business, and Choice Theory helped me again. Later, when I ended an eight-year relationship with someone very important to me, I needed Choice Theory again.
And about six years ago, I was in a hot air balloon accident and broke both my ankles (three bones in the left), which required surgery and quite a bit of hardware. I spend two weeks in a rehab in Arizona, and then there was a wheelchair and a lot of physical therapy before I could walk again. Guess what helped? You got it—Choice Theory.
In 2010, I was invited to be the executive director of William Glasser Institute – US, and in 2013, I became the executive director for William Glasser International. You can imagine the debt of gratitude I feel toward Dr. Glasser for his ideas in Choice Theory and how they helped me through so many challenges in my life. Not only is Choice Theory the basis for all my work, but it also got me through my toughest times.
2020 happened and, with it, came a pandemic. I was visiting my mother at the time, and I ended up staying three months. That’s the longest time I’ve spent with my mother since I was 17, and it wasn’t without its challenges. But thanks to Choice Theory, things were easier than ever, and I would say we developed a much stronger relationship.
The pandemic also brought the cancellation of about 60% of my work, so I had a ton of time on my hands. I started thinking about how so many people have told me what a good example of walking my talk I am. I realized what they were really noticing is that I have been practicing Choice Theory in my life for so long, that it really is relatively easy for me to recover from painful emotions. When I experience sadness, anger or fear, I can almost immediately change those emotions to neutral or positive ones.
When I reflected on how I do that, I realized my program, Mental Freedom, while based on Choice Theory, has become something different. It is the integration of Choice Theory into a person’s life to make the user a master of their mental state, affording them freedom very few enjoy. Dr. Glasser was never a man to allow his work to become stagnant; he was constantly adjusting and creating new ideas. I know if he were alive today, his Choice Theory would look different than it did when he passed away. He built Choice Theory on the foundation of Control Theory, the work of Dr. William Powers, and I have, in turn, built Mental Freedom on the work of William Glasser. I’m standing on the shoulders of greatness. This is my way of honoring Glasser’s work and taking it to a different level.
I want my life’s work to become freeing people from the bars of self-created misery in which we imprison ourselves. I want to work with strong people who embrace the work of Mental Freedom until it isn’t work anymore. I know for a certainty that these concepts can be applied to just about any circumstance you may be struggling with—you do not have to stay sad, mad or scared for very long.
How do I know? Because it’s been successful with me and with the beta clients I’ve worked with. It can be successful with you, too, if you are willing to learn and apply the six principles. If you’re interested, schedule a complimentary Mental Freedom Strategy Session.