For those who started therapy at the beginning of the New Year, you will be approaching the 3-month goal check in period.
How would you rate your progress?
Please choose one of the following:
- No Progress
For those who have considered therapy or not had optimal success with results in therapy, that is OK. Sometimes it can take months or even years before one is ready to make a committed action in an area they have been contemplating. The Stages-of-Change model can be helpful with understanding how people go through changes in behavior. The six states are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and relapse.
Depending on where one is at in their journey, sometimes goals are in progress or completed. It is exciting to reflect on progress on goals to where there are visible improvements and committed actions.
Sometimes goals are not addressed. This may happen if one terminates therapy early. If you have ever met with a therapist for three sessions or less, then you likely did not make much progress in addressing goals. Goals may be deferred or put on hold.
Regarding stages of change, contemplation is where many people stay. It is a comfortable spot but will not help you make progress with behavioral change. It is by taking “baby steps” such as the initial contact to scheduling an appointment that can help gain momentum. This is then followed up with action such as active engagement in the therapy process and taking steps outside of session to practice learned skills.
It can be helpful to reflect on any barriers to change.
- What are your thoughts and feelings about therapy? Do you have enough information about the therapy process?
- Where you are at regarding stages of change?
- Are there any barriers or therapy-interfering behaviors that are getting in the way of your personal goals?
With behavioral change, it is important to maintain gains and avoid relapse. If or when a relapse does happen, don’t give up on your goals! Having an accountability partner can help provide support, encouragement, and motivation to get back on track. When something is not working, consider being open to trying something new. This could be a willingness to meet with a different therapist, try a new approach, and a renewed commitment to your goals.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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