In an individual session the client and I determine early on what their goals are for therapy. Sometimes they could be concrete, kind of S.M.A.RT. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time specific.
Sometimes, someone has concrete goals such as alleviating their issue with depression and they want to stop or reduce bouts of crying from five times a week every weekday to twice a week, so we set a specific goal to help them achieve that.
Goals can also be less concrete, a more loose goal such as supportive therapy, self aspiration, self awareness, insight, better communication, or just gaining more coping skills.
Regardless of an individual’s needs in therapy, the goals are collaborative. It is easy for me to determine what I think the client needs, but it is really important that the goals are something that they want. Otherwise, they are not going to put as much effort into it. The goals will have to be collaborative where we work as a team to help the client achieve them.