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(p. 1) Introduction 

(p. 1) Introduction
Chapter:
(p. 1) Introduction
Author(s):

Mick Cooper

and Duncan Law

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780198793687.003.0001
Page of

date: 13 December 2018

This introduction to Working with goals in counselling and psychotherapy outlines the key concepts, debates, and scope for the book. Goals can be defined as ‘subjectively desirable states of affairs that the individual intends to attain through action’. They are closely associated to such phenomena as strivings, desires, purposes, and personal strivings. Goal-oriented therapy can be understood as including goal-setting, goal-monitoring, goal-discussion, and goal-based formulations; as well as attempts to achieve goal-agreement. Recent developments in policy, research, and practice have supported the use of goals in therapy. Goals can help focus therapeutic work, empower clients, and are consistent with many clients’ therapy preferences. However, when applied in rigid ways, there is also the risk that they may increase clients’ feelings of self-judgement, and reduce the depth of the work. The aim of this book is to explore these issues and to detail an effective goal-oriented practice.

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