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(p. 35) The psychology of goals: A practice-friendly review 

(p. 35) The psychology of goals: A practice-friendly review
(p. 35) The psychology of goals: A practice-friendly review

Mick Cooper

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date: 23 April 2019

This chapter, ‘The psychology of goals: a practice-friendly review’, examines psychological evidence and theory on goals and goal processes, and draws out implications for clinical practice. Research indicates that psychological wellbeing is associated with the actualization of goals: having important goals in one’s life, believing that they are attainable, progressing towards them (at an appropriate pace), and achieving them. These processes, however, are mediated by several significant goal dimensions, such as how important the goals are, whether the goals are ‘approach’ or ‘avoidance’, and the extent to which the goals are conscious. Goals can be conceptualized as existing in a hierarchical framework, with ‘higher order’ goals achieved through ‘lower order’ goals. Here, wellbeing is also associated with lower levels of goal conflict, and more effective means of goal-actualization. This conceptual framework can be used to facilitate the process of formulation in therapy, and to inform therapeutic practice.

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