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CONTEMPLATING AN OUTCOME
The following is a list of questions you might ask yourself before you begin seeking a therapist. It is not necessary to have well-formed answers for all of these questions. They are meant to serve as a guide to help you organize your thoughts and to prepare you for the issues you will be likely to address in therapy.
Questions to consider:
- Why now? What is happening in your life that causes you to act on this interest at this time?
- What do you want to accomplish by going into therapy at this time? Do you have a specific goal in mind?
- In what areas of your life are you experiencing problems? Or what positive areas do you want to enhance? For example, are you having difficulty meeting goals; concentrating, building or deepening satisfying relationships; operating from self-assurance and self-trust; to name just a few?
- What moods or emotions are you trying to alter? For example, you might want to move:
- away from anxiety or fear, toward inner calm and peace;
- away from resentment or anger toward acceptance or forgiveness;
- away from resignation or depression toward hopefulness and engagement;
- away from feelings of isolation, toward those of acceptance and value.
- How will you know when you have achieved your goals? What will be different in your life? For example, your results may look something like:
- "I would be more effective in managing my emotions. I would be in better control of my feelings and responses."
- "My personal relationships would be more satisfying."
- "I would be able to trust myself more easily, and would therefore have less self-doubt."
- "I would be more effective at work and in my career."
Giving some thought to these questions will make it easier for you to be clear about what you are looking for as you begin to consider therapy.