Deciding on your goals for therapy. How to decide.

Your first therapy session might come with a mix of emotions including anxiety, uncertainty, and anticipation. It’s common to feel a bit nervous or apprehensive because it’s a new experience. There might be uncertainty about what to expect. What is common is preparing exactly what you want to say and planning your goals before starting.

Therapy offers you a safe space to open up about their concerns.

However it might take a few sessions to feel fully comfortable and start to open up.

When starting sessions, you will be asked some variation on ‘What brings you to therapy today?’. This question is dreaded as it can be difficult to pin down your exact reasons into one succinct thought.

Are your goals for therapy set in stone? 

Your goals can change and evolve over time. When starting therapy, you will often have certain objectives or issues you want to address. Usually, it will be what is on your mind at that very moment. These thoughts may not be your biggest issues, the ones you initially wanted to bring up, but these thoughts and the goals attached to them will be what is fresh on your mind that day. 

As you continue, new challenges or aspects of your life could come to the forefront, leading to a change in focus or the development of new objectives. A successful therapeutic journey often involves reassessing your goals to ensure they align with your current situation and aspirations.

Through successful therapy you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your concerns during therapy, which will influence priorities and lead to adjustments in the goals you set for yourself.

The flexibility to change goals allows therapy to remain relevant and effective as you progresses through personal growth.

Achieving your goals is the first priority

It’s important to have an answer to what brings you to therapy, as this creates a healthy starting point, but that doesn’t have to mean that the finish line is cemented down. Your first thoughts will never be what you initially thought, and so allow yourself the freedom in sessions to digress.

So rather than going in with a set goal that you won’t allow yourself to change, instead answer yourself these questions to ensure you can have the most successful therapeutic journey:

  • Am I allowing myself to divert from those initial goals in order to circle back?
  • Am I openly discussing what is on my mind at the moment?
  • Am I being transparent with myself in sessions?
  • Do I feel comfortable enough with my therapist to be transparent?
  • Are my sessions regular and embedded in my routine in order to gain the most benefit? 
  • Are you attempting to action the changes you discuss outside of therapy?
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