Goals of therapy

by Rod Smith

Sometimes a would-be client will ask how talk therapy (with me) works. Here are some of the goals I have up my sleeve. It’s important to know approaches vary widely: 

  • To guide, stimulate, and provoke healthy growth for the client after taking all the time necessary to hear about how he or she views and experiences given dilemmas. By “given dilemmas” I mean whatever circumstance landed the client in my office.
  • To encourage the preservation, and empowering of families, churches, groups with the understanding that not all relationships can or ought to be preserved.
  • To help the client identify his or her multiple micro and macro systems. We are all “part of” a larger network of family and an even larger network of multiple communities. Seeing the role we each play in each is usually very empowering.
  • To challenge the client move him or herself to greater levels of maturity and to higher functioning. My sometimes subtle question is always “How can we all grow (up) from this?”
  • To teach responsive (as opposed to reactive) living.
  • To encourage self-differentiation: the simultaneous increase in levels of interpersonal intimacy and purposeful autonomy.
  • To help people find helpful ways to reduce their own levels of anxiety and to model respect, equality, and mutuality for all relationships.


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