Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Goal Setting in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Sarah B. WoodsEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_562

Name of the Strategy or Intervention

Goal setting in couple and family therapy

Synonyms

Contracting; Treatment planning

Introduction

Goal setting occurs in the beginning phase of couple and family therapy, during which the therapist works to identify the most salient aspects of clients’ presenting problems, prior attempts to change, barriers to success, and strengths to be used during the treatment process. The purpose of goal setting in couple and family therapy is to develop consensus with each family member regarding the definition of the presenting problem and their desires for how the problem will be solved, in order to develop a roadmap for the ensuing process of therapy. As Haley (1978) suggested, “if therapy is to end properly, it must begin properly – by negotiating a solvable problem and discovering the social situation that makes the problem necessary” (p. 8).

Theoretical Framework

Common Goals Across Theoretical Approaches

Goal setting in couple and family therapy...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family SciencesTexas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA