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A People Primer


A People Primer   
by Shelly Roy

$ 18.00


Format: 6 x 9 softcover, 224 pages

ISBN# 978-0-944337-47-9


Using an in-depth understanding of Perceptual Control Theory, Shelley Roy challenges readers to re-examine their core beliefs about behavior and explore how we learn, how best to change, and why we behave the way we do. With humor and a love for teaching, Shelley shows readers how to take more effective control of their lives, reduce stress, and live artfully using PCT principles.

What a blast of a book! Shelley Roy obviously has a deep and clear understanding of perceptual control theory, and her style of presentation shows respect for the intelligence of the reader while at the same time making sure that her message gets across. Shelley successfully suppresses the writer's ego and never condescends -- a very nice combination. - William T. Powers, originator of perceptual control theory

Shelley Roy's book had a profound effect on me both professionally and personally. This is not another 'how to' book; rather, Shelley gives you the knowledge to figure it out for yourself, which is what perceptual control theory is all about! - Linda V. Jones, Staff Development Coordinator, Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District, MN

author information

Shelley Roy is president of Synergy Transition Consulting. She began her career as a teacher and administrator. She then worked in school improvement nationally for more than 20 years, consulting on topics such as change, transition, and effective communication. Shelley provides ongoing training to a variety of audiences, including school improvement teams.


1. Dear Reader: Welcome to taking control of your life ... 1

2. Dear Julius: Basically, it's all about you ... 13

3. Dear Jodene: Controlling is what living is all about ... 25

4. Dear Chris: The loop is a diagram of the process of control ... 41

5. Dear Max: We are a mess of levels ... 52

6. Dear Billy: So who do you want to be when "dis" happens ... 72

7. Dear Johnson: Untangling the entangled loops ... 91

8. Dear Twilight: The mystery of awareness, consciousness, and the observer ... 108

9. Dear Linda: Relationships, conflict, and disturbance ... 123

10. Dear D.J.: The secrets of internal conflict ... 141

11. Dear Tomas: Change and perceptual control theory ... 162

12. Dear Sandy: Reorganization and learning ... 193

13. Dear Reader: It's the mind that moves ... 214

PCT in a nutshell ... 219

TLC ... 220

For further reading ... 221


From Chapter 1: Dear Reader, Welcome to taking control of your life

I was walking through a local bookstore the other day looking at the self-help section, and I was thinking that so many things we read about helping ourselves and others are based on Eighteenth Century thinking. We have this box-like mentality -- we put people into one box or another and slap labels on the boxes. Most often this is followed by a plethora of strategies or programs that give us a list of specifically what to do and what to say based on what box we are in and what the label is. Examples of this are Phillip C. McGraw's Life Strategies, Zig Ziglar's Success for Dummies, and John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which professionals use to place people into one of sixteen boxes, is intended to help people find work that fits them, help people develop more appreciation for individual differences, and suggest how people can use the differences constructively rather than divisively.

At times, this "box and label" type of thinking can provide some important data, but it also ignores a lot of very valuable information. Understanding how to get out of this "box thinking" will help you reach your greatest potential. In short, you need to think about the world and living systems in a whole new way.

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