Process-Focused Objectives


People come to psychotherapy sessions in search for solutions. They come and seem to say something like “Doc, fix me!”. They sometimes need advice, encouragement or clarification, but most of the time they are practical and have a clear objective: “I want that!”. However, some schools of psychotherapy have, hidden behind their façades, a different set of objectives: the process-focused objectives.

People often fail because they do something wrong. They come with goal-focused objectives. On the other hand, the psychotherapists know that a specific failure is often the byproduct of a more general dysfunctional process, and they work on optimizing the process, having as a result the overall optimization of the existence, which eventually results in achieving the goal. It’s like in that saying that it’s better to teach a man to fish so that he can always get his own meal, rather than offering him a fish once and letting him starve afterwards.

Even if the psychotherapy client imperatively asks for help in achieving a goal, the therapist has his own agenda as well: hidden process-focused objectives that must be reached so that the client can find a decent solution for his problem. So, what are some of these process-focused non-specific objectives?

– Expressing the right emotions in a given context
– Finding better support in others
– Correctly ending the unfinished emotional affairs or transactions
– Experiencing the feeling of unspoiled satisfaction
– Appropriating or gathering again the lost parts of one’s identity or sense of self
– Increasing awareness or self-consciousness
– Enabling a satisfying contact with the others
– Experiencing an authentic relationship with oneself and others.

Sounds peculiar, eh? Are these really therapy objectives? Yes, they are. As you can see, there aren’t any objectives like “get me out of my depression”, or “stop my panic attacks” or “find me a partner”. For this reason, psychotherapy is widely regarded as inefficient, magic or a waste of time. But take some moments and have a second look at the objectives above, looking from the widest possible viewpoint. What do you think? Being able to master these aspects (and some others that weren’t revealed) might improve significantly your life and help you get the goal-focused objectives you may have?

Read also – The Person:


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