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10 Goals of Going to Therapy

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Those of us in therapy are all there for different reasons. Our diagnoses may not be the same, but we all want the same thing; to feel better. There are 10 goals we can make for our time in therapy, and each time we achieve one of those goals, we become one step closer to feeling better.

1. To share our stories.

Our history with mental illness can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. We should use therapy as an opportunity to share our stories to our unbiased, nonjudgmental therapists. When we share our stories, a weight is lifted, and that is the goal of sharing.

2. To get feedback. 

Whenever we tell someone something we aren’t sure about, it’s helpful to get feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Getting feedback isn’t something we should be afraid of — we should welcome it and welcome a fresh perspective of our situations.

3. To face our fears. 

Therapy is a safe place to verbalize and face the fears that have plagued us for so long. Putting our fears into words can be difficult, and facing those fears can be scary. But with the help of our therapists, we can face our fears and be one step closer to feeling better.

4. To learn to cope. 

Sometimes when we’re stuck in the dark, we have a hard time finding the light at the end of the tunnel. In therapy, we can learn how to cope when we’re in the tunnel, and learn coping skills we can carry with us out of the tunnel, too.

5. To learn healthy thought processes.

Mental illness can distort the way we think, so we may need help learning how to process our thoughts in a positive way. Some of us have unhealthy thought processes; we think in terms of black and white, we catastrophize or we believe in an all-or-nothing way of thinking. We can turn our thought process from negative to positive if we make learning how a goal for therapy.

6. To change something.

It’ll be different for each of us, but we should go into therapy with the intent to change something. Whether it’s how we see relationships, our outlook on life in general or how we act in social situations, we should all make it a goal to change one negative in our lives to a positive. 

7. To understand triggers.

When we know what triggers us, we can effectively cope through whatever is happening to us. Understanding triggers is an important goal to make for therapy, and is an important step toward feeling better. 

8. To get some relief. 

Our shoulders and minds are heavy with stress and emotions that are difficult to rid ourselves of. Opening up and releasing that weight will help us to feel better — and lighter — by the time our therapy session is over.

9. To find peace.

It can be difficult to find peace when we’re fighting a battle every day, but with the help of therapy, peace is attainable. It may take awhile to find it, but finding peace in our lives and with our mental illness will bring us to acceptance; another important step toward feeling better. 

10. To overcome obstacles.

Obstacles in our lives can be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. Our goal should be to overcome what stands in our way of feelings better, and therapy is a safe place to do that.

Going into therapy can be intimidating, and can be even more so when we’re unprepared and unsure of what to talk about. Set these 10 goals with your therapist and achieve each one together, with the ultimate goal being feeling better and being at peace with your mental health.

Originally published: July 20, 2016
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