Duncan Law and Mick Cooper

in Working with Goals in Psychotherapy and Counselling

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print January 2018 | ISBN: 9780198793687
Published online March 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191835490 | DOI:

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This conclusion draws together the main themes of Working with goals in counselling and psychotherapy and revisits complex reasons people choose to engage in therapy. It explores the debate around the use, and usefulness, of goals in therapy. It sees the question ‘What do you want?’ as central to the therapeutic endeavour; but sees this a deceptively simple question that draws on complex psychological processes and requires great therapeutic skills to help clients answer. The chapter argues that therapeutic goals are about how therapists can help clients start in therapy, how therapists can remain flexible and open to changes in the directions that therapy may take, and how therapists can be as helpful as possible in joining clients on their journeys. The chapter concludes that the best kind of therapy is the one that best fits the goals, wants, needs, preferences, and context of the client.

Keywords: goals; goal-oriented practice; counselling; psychotherapy; therapeutic alliance; shared decision making; co-production; collaboration; therapeutic processes; client treatment matching

Chapter.  983 words. 

Subjects: Psychotherapy ; Psychosocial Interventions and Psychotherapy

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