When you walk into a therapist's office, it's natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to say. You may be tempted to simply say, “I'm a total wreck. Can we fix everything?” However, it's important to take the time to set specific goals for your mental health counseling. Doing so will help you personalize your therapy experience and make it more satisfying.
When setting goals for counseling, it's okay to start with a simple and sincere statement such as “I just want to be happy” or “I'm tired of moving on”. You can also share any fears or suspicions that you've been afraid to share with anyone else. Even being able to say, “I don't know what I want” can help. Your goals are likely to change throughout therapy, as therapy is a process of self-discovery.
However, having only vague goals can make therapy frustrating, especially if you don't plan on being in therapy for a long time. To make the most of your therapy experience, break down your goals into smaller, achievable objectives. For example, instead of saying “I want to cure my social anxiety completely in a year”, you can say “I want to go to at least two social events next month” or “I want to leave home at least once a day for the next week”. The overall goal of mental health counseling is to help you better understand and manage how to overcome life's challenges.
Taking the time needed to set specific goals related to your mental health journey can help you make the most of your counseling experience and achieve the results you desire.