Sometimes informally referred to as talk therapy, the field of psychotherapy is very broad with many types of methods used. In other words, treatment may vary greatly from patient to patient. Though much of it involves sitting down with your therapist, talking (and listening) through some of the issues you are facing.
Lives are complicated mixes of experiences and emotions - even more so when a mental illness is included. So, having some direction when it comes to your treatment will always be beneficial. This is why goal-setting is so important.
Not sure where to start?
Here are a few of the most common goals of psychotherapy.
Goal #1: Learn the Source of Your Emotions
Feeling your emotions is part of being human. It’s natural. However, when you are struggling with those that are unhealthy and negative, it is crucial to uncover their source so that you can free yourself from them.
These unwanted emotions could stem from a current or past toxic relationship, poor work environment, bad outside influences/peers, and so forth. Working with your therapist, you can discover where the emotion is coming from so that you can address it.
Don’t be surprised if this dredges up even more emotion. The good news is you have a safe space with your therapist to work through them.
Goal #2: Take Action
Once you get to the source of your struggles, you cannot sit still. Without forward movement, you are allowing yourself to remain in the situation. Instead, you will want to take action, making changes that are positive and beneficial to your life.
You may have to change the way you respond in certain situations, distance yourself from certain influences, adjust your perspective, etc. Changing learned behavior is tough, but with the help of your therapist, you can create an action plan so that you feel empowered and supported enough to take the first step.
Goal #3: Build a Support System - Including Coping Skills
You may have support from your therapist during your session, but what happens when you go home? What happens when you walk out of the therapy office? Do you have a support system? Have you developed coping skills to get you through tough situations?
Your therapist will likely make it a priority to help you build healthy relationships that will become a foundation of support for you. Coping skills will also be discussed and put in place so that you know what and/or who you go to in times of need. This will allow you to continue to heal and grow in a positive manner long after your therapy session has ended - and even your treatment entirely.
Goal #4: Caring For Yourself
If you aren’t looking out for your best interest, who is? You will want a goal that will help you to implement ways in which you can have your needs met. Of course, this may differ based on your situation, but caring for yourself may include things like:
- Communicating your needs more
- Being more mindful
- Developing better sleeping habits
- Eating well
- Setting boundaries
- Maintaining an exercise routine
- Writing daily gratitude lists
You need to take steps so that you can become the best version of yourself.
Personalized Psychotherapy Goals
If you find yourself struggling, work with an experienced therapist to set goals for your treatment. With the right focus and dedication, you can build up your strengths, change your mindset, and feel empowered to make lasting changes.