How are Individual Therapy Goals Determined

Therapists and psychologists create a safe place for individuals to talk through and process difficult emotions, and to discover and eliminate troubling symptoms to improve your mental health and quality of life. However, like many other aspects of life, you get from therapy what you put into it and the success of therapy starts with setting your therapeutic goals. 

Let’s take a look at how to determine your therapeutic goals, duration of therapy, and frequency of therapy.


What are the Goals and Objectives of Therapy?

Therapy is only helpful if the participant actively takes charge and understands their role in achieving their mental health goals. A therapist or psychologist can’t “fix” you – only you can. A therapist can, however, help you establish goals for therapy by accepting responsibility for your life and taking active steps to make positive changes.

The goals of the therapy will vary based on the specific needs of each patient. Together with your therapist, you’ll work to develop an individual plan that meets your specific mental health and medical needs. As you set goals, you’ll also determine what you would like to accomplish or experience during your therapy sessions. 


Common Goals of Therapy

In the broadest terms, the goal of psychotherapy is to talk through mental health concerns to heal, grow, and move toward a happier and healthier life. However, therapy is client-driven, and you and your therapist will determine specific goals for treatment.

  • Changing Behaviors: Everyone has behaviors in their life that they’d like to change. Changing your behaviors requires practice, patience, and determination. Establishing a goal to change a specific behavior in therapy can help you stay on track with small, measurable objectives. You’ll also work to understand the triggers behind your behaviors. Whether you want to quit bad habits, like smoking or binge eating, or cultivate new, healthy behaviors, your therapist will collaborate with you on your journey. 
  • Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships: Relationships are the foundation of our lives. Suppose you suffer from social anxiety and find it difficult to make friends or sustain professional relationships. In that case, your therapist can help you develop actionable goals to grow in this area of your life. On the other hand, if you find yourself drawn to unhealthy or abusive relationships, your therapist can help you understand why you are choosing these relationships and how to make better choices in the future.
  • Developing Positive Coping Mechanisms: Whether you are depressed, struggle with anxiety, or are dealing with an unexpected loss, the ability to cope and live a healthy life during difficult situations is essential to your wellbeing. Everyone has coping mechanisms. Some of these coping mechanisms are positive and some are negative. Your therapist will help you identify your unhealthy coping mechanisms and how to replace them with healthier strategies. 
  • Achieving Mental Growth and Development: Throughout life, we are constantly evolving and growing. During your sessions, your therapist can help you evaluate your strengths and challenges to help you realize your inherent potential and achieve your personal goals. Whether it’s working to improve communication, build self-confidence, develop healthier relationships, or establish personal boundaries, therapy can help you on your path to achieving your personal growth.
  • Improving Decision Making: If you are constantly second-guessing your decisions, it can leave you feeling anxious, uneasy, and in an unhealthy state of limbo. Therapy can help you discover ways to become more decisive so that you can take control of your life.
  • Improving Communication Skills: Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Therapy can help you develop the tools and skills to actively listen and communicate in a positive manner to experience healthier outcomes in your professional and personal life.


How to Determine Duration and Frequency of Therapy

Typically, individual therapy sessions last between 45 and 50 minutes. The frequency and duration of therapy will depend on your needs, treatment goals, and progress. While some concerns can be resolved with short-term treatment, other more complex or chronic circumstances may require long-term treatment to achieve improvement and therapy goals.

For example, some people seek therapy to work on one specific problem, such as situational anxiety, a sudden loss, or to help during a challenging period in life. Others may seek treatment for acute trauma or a chronic condition, such as abuse. Ultimately, the duration and frequency of your therapy sessions will depend on your specific mental health goals and treatment plan.


Is Therapy Right For You? 

Therapy provides a safe and secure space to discuss fears and anxiety while helping participants discover the tools and solutions they need to manage their stress in a positive manner. Whether you or a loved one needs help managing anxiety, a sudden loss, or help managing a recent trauma, our team of mental professionals can help. 

At Be Psychology, our team of therapists and psychologists are trained to help treat both children and adults with any mental health concerns. You do not have to face these challenging times alone. Contact a member of our team to schedule your therapy appointment.


reem shaheen counseling psychologist


Reem Shaheen – LMHC