In the movies, therapy is a relationship that lasts forever and doesn't accomplish much. Instead, you just lie on the couch and endlessly talk about feelings—and maybe your mother. In the real world, especially when you work with me, therapy is a goal-oriented undertaking that endeavors to make itself obsolete! Good therapists help their clients establish clear, achievable goals at the beginning of therapy. Here's how to ensure you're setting the best goals for your needs.
Specific goals make it much easier to be accountable. Don't resolve to “be happy” or “lose weight.” Work with your therapist to set specific benchmarks. Maybe you want to go out twice per week. Maybe you want to be in a romantic relationship. Perhaps you want to commit to more self care activities. Whatever it is, be specific; otherwise you'll never know when you've achieved your goal!
Life is full of possibilities, no matter how old you are or what skills you have. To feel good about therapy, though, it's wise to start small, with realistic goals. Don't resolve to become a bestselling author if you've never published anything; instead, consider working on a blog or reading more to hone your craft.
Establish Actionable Steps
A goal is useless if you don't have a road map to get there! Work with your therapist to establish specific goals—weekly, daily, monthly, or even annually—for achieving your dreams.
Re-Evaluate Your Goals
Your most beloved dreams aren't things you should set and forget! Therapy should involve continually re-evaluating your goals so you can assess what's working, tweak what's not, and bask in the glow of your successes.