Whenever a client comes to me for therapy, I will ask them what their goals are for therapy. This can be a nebulous question and one that some clients find difficult to answer, but it is vital that they do, because if you don’t know where you want to be, it can be hard to recognize when you actually get there. Goals can be anything from as simple as ‘I want to feel happier’ to ‘I want to know why I can’t leave a relationship that I am miserable in’ or ‘I want to understand why at the age of 37 my parents still push ALL my buttons.”
To help my clients come up with goals or an idea of what is bringing them into therapy in the first place, I ask them the following question: Imagine that you leave this office and you go about the rest of your day as normal, and you go home tonight, and while you are asleep in your bed, I wave my magic wand. The magic wand I wave makes everything in your life the way you want it to be. When you wake up in the morning, how would you know that I had waved my magic wand?
What would be different in your life? Would you feel happy about waking up? Would your kids smile at you more brightly? What career would you be pursuing? Who would you be dating, or be married to? Would you find yourself happy to be working out? How about you? How would you know I had waved my magic wand?