Rethinking Your Goals – Make Them Positive SMART Goals

When you start your hypnotherapy with us, you are likely to already have some goals in mind for the treatment. Your goals and aims of treatment are really important, so they will remain in essence. However, we would usually promote rewording these goals to be more positive if they aren’t already. We want your goals to something you do want, rather than something you don’t want. Call us on 07979 814388 to book in for your treatment today.

So, an imaginary client Paul comes in saying his goal is “I don’t want to be so anxious!”. You can see he is aiming at something he doesn’t want, something he wants to get rid of. We would need an initial rethink to make it more positive as a goal. Perhaps, “I want to be more relaxed.”

Then we would look to alter them a bit more to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym originally came about in 1981 and was developed for business goals by George Doren. It does however with a little fine-tuning work very well for our purposes and our goals in therapy.

SMART Goals for Hypnotherapy Explained

With some slight alteration we can easily do this. “I want to be more relaxed, especially before bed.” rather than the blurred goal of “I don’t want to be so anxious!”. You can see however the main essence of the goal has remained. That being reduction in anxious feelings. Just to explain further relaxation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Also, this rewording and slight change would be all done by Paul and remain in his own words, with a little prompting from the therapist. So, it will remain Paul’s own, personal goal.

We must be able to measure the results of your treatment to see how well things are going. Using a S.U.D.S. (Subjective Units of Distress Scale) we can do that.

If before and after each session we ask Paul, “On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best its every been, 10 being the worst, how relaxed are you right now?”. This allows us to easily see progress before and after the session as well as week by week.

There isn’t much point in having a ball the size of a hotair ballon if the goal is the size of a mouse hole.

For Paul we will want to make certain there is evidence hypnotherapy can help him. So, we will have to find scientific studies offering evidence he can feel less anxious. Also study that says he can learn ways to relax better through hypnotherapy, thus aiding his sleep and so reducing his stress and anxiety.

In Paul’s case that evidence is Peynovska R et al (2003) says cancer patients anxiety levels and panic attacks fell after 3 hypnosis sessions. Coelho H et al (2007) tells us of a Randomised control trial reporting hypnosis was better than music relaxation and no treatment for reducing anxiety. Lyles, J et al (Undated) says those who undertook relaxation training (which PMR and other inductions could be called) felt much less anxious. So, there is good evidence available that we can achieve our goals.

If it is a positive change you want to make to make your life better, it will certainly be relevant.

A time limit that is sensible to achieve your goal should be set. You as a client will want to know how long it may take to achieve you goal. So, we will make an estimate of the number of sessions would be suitable for your issues. Also being ethical therapists this means, it will be realistic and not an unreasonably lengthy time.



2 Responses

  1. For my thesis, I consulted a lot of information and yours was some of the best. After reading your article here on SMART I feel my knowledge benefited me a lot from it, thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Jate, Thanks for your positive comments. If you have time can you send me a link to your thesis when completed? I am sure it would be an interesting read.

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