Do they want to lose weight? To stop feeling depressed? To stop feeling scared, anxious or guilty? Is there a physical issue or problem they want to try to work on?
I like setting tangible goals for a few reasons:
1) Goals provide a clear measure of whether a particular approach is working
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be amazed how many people spend an awful lot of their time, money and effort on therapy and other alternative and conventional health stuff, without having a clear measure of whether their investment is actually paying off for them, they way they want it to.
2) Goals provide structure to the work being done
Having a clear goal to work towards provides 'structure' for the sessions: when I know what goal I'm working towards, I think about what mix of Jewish Emotional Healing (JEM) and energy medicine, and energy psychology techniques may get us there the fastest. I also pray on it, and ask God to show me what's the best approach, and what things to try, to help my clients achieve their goals.
3) Goals provide a clear, specific end-point
One of the things that used to scare the pants off me about going to therapists and healers etc, is that I could be signing up for some five year long-haul. As well as promoting unhealthy dependency, long-haul stuff also seriously depletes the bank account. When you have goals, you can measure the progress being achieved in weeks, not months. When the goal is achieved, there's a natural 'end-point' to the process.
The client can then take a breather, and decide, without any pressure, whether or not they want to work towards other goals right now and if yes, whether they even need to do that with someone else.
Goals empower the client. They help them to:
- Evaluate whether a specific approach, or therapist, is working for them;
- Provide focus and structure
- Keep the client's investment of time and money as efficient as possible.