Because the principles of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy are universal, they apply to the most intimate of relationships, such as marriage and the family. All people have needs, quality worlds, behaviours made up of actions, cognition, emotions and physiology, as well as high-level and low-level perceptions. Wubbolding & Robey (2012) provide an important caveat for counsellors using Reality Therapy with couples. They suggest that empathy for the couples’ current pain is a necessary prerequisite for more explicit Reality Therapy interventions:

“When couples enter counseling, they often feel more out of control than they did before making the decision to seek help. They not only feel the pain of their problems but they also now feel the pain of having to ask an ‘outsider’ to intervene in their personal business.”

(Wubbolding & Robey, 2012, pix)