Therapy is not a one size fits all sort of thing, nor is it a linear process. Therapy is a process of navigating highs and lows, digging deeper, and setting goals both big and small. Setting goals in therapy is a vital part of the healing process. Goals can act as benchmarks in the therapy marathon for you to gauge your progress. They can also provide valuable insight and motivation, and give you further direction.

So, when you’re setting your therapy goals, consider this: What are your wants and needs? What brought you to therapy in the first place? What do you want out of yourself in the future, both personally and professionally?

Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you flesh out your therapy goals. Now, what makes a therapy goal “big” and “small”?

Goals in Therapy

Big vs Small Therapy Goals

“Big” therapy goals ecompass the  “bigger picture”. Rather than being one singular goal, a “big” therapy goal may be a collection of  many “small” goals that together make up the bigger picture. These smaller goals are simplified statements, and can be things like “I wish to set X boundary with X person.” or “I want to be more confident asking for things I need.”

These smaller goals can act as milestones in your progress in accomplishing bigger goals. By setting measurable, manageable, and simplified goals, you will have an easier time understanding the progress you are making towards larger goals. Often, it is hard to notice progress in therapy because it’s less of a physical concept, unlike how you are able to measure your progress in the gym.

Big goals are much broader statements that often will take some time for the patient to dive deeper into. An example of a big therapy goal may be that someone who struggles with disordered eating may want to see themselves in recovery, with a healthier mindset towards food, and a healthier relationship with their body. This therapy goal, though measurable and manageable, may be best done overall by setting smaller goals to act as milestones.

These milestones will allow you to check in with your therapist on your goal progress, and will leave space to explore a smaller goal further if you feel the need to pause on a current progress point. Keep in mind, therapy is not a race. Think of it more as a marathon. One that you run at your own pace, allow yourself the time to take a breath, and cross the finish line whenever you’re ready.

By splitting your therapy goals into big and small categories, you allow yourself the space to explore topics and issues further, and to monitor your progress in a way that is tangible. At Chenal Family Therapy, we encourage you to set these types of goals, and to be open to them changing or becoming malleable. Your therapy goals are not set in stone. Instead, they can change with your progress, and grow with you!

If you feel that you’re ready to discuss your goals, or you have questions about therapy and goal setting, you can schedule a consultation at Chenal today.