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What Is the Goal of Therapy?

June 10, 2024

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The goal of therapy is to help people make positive changes so they can feel better emotionally and socially. This leads to greater satisfaction and an improved quality of life.

This guide highlights common therapy goals and how to find effective mental health treatment.

6 Goals of Therapy

People who want to feel and function better go to therapy to work on various problems and issues. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves more than just talking. Here are six common therapy goals:

  1. Make positive changes to behavior or routine
  2. Learn and practice healthy methods of coping with stress
  3. Improve communication skills
  4. Become less driven by emotions
  5. Improve confidence and self-esteem
  6. Address the root causes of stress and difficult emotions

1) Make positive changes to behavior or routine

One major goal of therapy for many people is changing harmful or unhelpful behaviors or routines. For example, therapy can help you develop better time management skills if you procrastinate. This process might include creating a daily schedule, setting priorities, and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Making these positive changes can lead to a more productive and satisfying life. It can also help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety associated with missed deadlines or last-minute rushes.

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2) Learn and practice healthy methods of coping with stress

Another key therapy goal is to find better ways to handle stress. Therapy can introduce you to techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness. For instance, you might learn to take deep breaths and count to ten when you are stressed, or practice mindfulness to stay present and focused. Practicing these new skills can help you stay calm and focused during difficult times, reducing the negative impact of stress on your life, and improving your overall well-being.

3) Improve communication skills

Therapy often focuses on improving communication, especially when expressing your needs and feelings. You might learn to use “I” statements, like “I feel upset when…” to share your thoughts more clearly and assertively without blaming others. This can help prevent misunderstandings and reduce conflicts. Improved communication skills can lead to healthier and more supportive relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. It also helps you feel more understood and valued by others.

4) Become less driven by emotions

Therapy can help you manage your emotions so they don’t control your actions. This goal involves learning to recognize your emotions and understand their triggers. If, for example, you often feel overwhelmed by anger, therapy can teach you techniques to cool down before reacting, such as taking a timeout, engaging in physical activity, or practicing relaxation techniques. You can make more thoughtful and rational decisions by becoming less emotionally driven. This can improve your relationships and help you handle challenging situations more effectively.

5) Improve confidence and self-esteem

Building confidence and self-esteem is another common goal of therapy. Therapy can help you recognize your strengths and accomplishments and work on areas where you feel less confident. This might include setting small, achievable goals to build your sense of success or challenging negative thoughts about yourself. If you often think “I’m not good enough”, for example, therapy can help you replace the thought with a more positive one like “I have strengths and I’m capable.” Over time, this can make you feel more positive about yourself and confident in your abilities. Improved self-esteem can lead to better mental health and better life satisfaction.

6) Address the root causes of stress and difficult emotions

Therapy can also help you explore and understand the root causes of your stress and difficult emotions. This might involve discussing past experiences, current challenges, or deeply held beliefs. For instance, you might explore how past trauma affects your current feelings and behaviors, or how unrealistic expectations you set for yourself create stress. By addressing these underlying issues, you can gain insights that help you manage your emotions better and develop more effective coping strategies. Understanding the root causes can lead to long-term emotional health and stability, helping you lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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Can Therapy Goals Change Over Time?

Therapy goals can change over time. You might find that your needs and priorities shift as you progress in therapy. Maybe you initially focus on managing anxiety, for instance, but later decide to work on improving your self-esteem or resolving relationship issues. This is normal and part of the therapy process.

Your therapist will regularly review your progress and help adjust your goals as required. This ensures that therapy remains effective and relevant to your current situation. Flexibility in setting and adjusting goals allows therapy to address new challenges and support your ongoing personal growth. This way, therapy continues to deliver the most benefit as your life evolves.

How Do I Find Effective Mental Health Therapy?

Finding the right therapy can make a big difference in your mental health. Here are some steps to help you find effective therapy:

  • Ask for recommendations: Talk to friends, family, or your doctor for therapist suggestions.
  • Research online: Look for therapists in your area with good reviews and the right qualifications.
  • Check credentials: Ensure the therapist is licensed and has the proper training.
  • Meet with potential therapists: Have initial sessions to see if you feel comfortable and understood.
  • Consider specialty: Choose a therapist specializing in the issues you want to address.
  • Evaluate progress: Regularly check if you are progressing with your therapist. If not, consider trying a different one.

For more information, you can visit Connections for mental health treatment options.          


What is the goal of therapy?

The goal of therapy is to help people feel better emotionally and socially. It aims to improve their overall quality of life. Therapy helps people become happier and healthier.

What are examples of goals for therapy?

Examples of therapy goals include improving communication skills, managing stress better, and building self-confidence. Other goals might be resolving conflicts and changing negative thoughts. Personal growth and achieving milestones are also common goals in therapy.

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Get Residential Therapy for Mental Health at Connections

If you or someone you love needs residential therapy for mental health, contact Connections in Southern California. Whatever your reasons for seeking therapy, we can help you function and feel better.

We treat a maximum of six people at one time. This provides personalized care as well as support from others in therapy.

All mental health issues are unique, so all treatment programs at Connections Mental Health are tailored to individual needs. You can access these treatments and more:

  • Talk therapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Motivational therapy
  • Counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy

Get effective mental health therapy in Southern California by calling 844-759-0999.

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