Yes! You have completed and achieved your goals in therapy. Congratulations on this big milestone in your personal life that should be celebrated! Whether you have been in therapy for a month or a year, you now feel at peace that your goals in therapy are being implemented effectively outside your sessions. What now?
This means it’s time to talk to your counselor and express to them you feel it may be time for termination. The termination session allows for you and you counselor to recap all of your steps you implemented that led to your therapeutic success. Having this open communication with your counselor can also be an important step in your therapeutic goals.
While it’s important to know that it is also a very rewarding experience for the counselor to see you succeed in helping facilitate growth in your personal life, you ultimately were the one to achieve these goals!
Just like fitness goals such as losing weight and maintaining your new healthy lifestyle can be challenging, maintaining your mental health goals can be just as hard, if not harder, than your fitness goals.
Below is a simple guide on how to maintain your mental health goals.
- Celebrate. You have dedicated hours to achieve the best version of yourself. Treat yourself to a special treat as your hard work is paying off!
- Keep a routine. If your sessions were Wednesdays at 6:00pm weekly, attempt to implement using that time to reflect on what your initial goals were. This could be a good time to journal your thoughts and feelings to continue to practice implementing your goals.
- Use your support system. Keep in touch with your support system of family, friends, or your significant other. Right after termination, it can be very challenging to keep up with your goals. It is important to keep in touch with your support system to keep you motivated.
- Allow for barriers/setbacks. Coming to terms that life can throw challenges at you after you complete your therapeutic goals can be a helpful insight to reflect upon. Embrace the barriers as a way to simply practice all of the strategies you learned in your sessions.
- Consider tune-up sessions. If these barriers become too overwhelming, perhaps consider a tune-up session. Most counselors, if not all counselors, will be more than happy to set up an appointment with you to check in, even if that means you do not feel the need to see them weekly. This can be another important way to implement your maintenance goals.
- Tell your story to others. After completing your goals, share what it was like for you to be in therapy with your support system. They too could be struggling with something and could be hesitant to go to therapy. You could be an inspiration to others by explaining the positive outcome of your therapy!
- Practice self-care. Regardless of what your therapeutic goals were, keep implementing self-care on a regular basis, as that will certainly maintain your goals to some degree whether it is working out, meditating, or treating yourself to something special!
While this list provides a variety of ways to maintain your therapeutic goals, try to focus on the one(s) that you think will help you the most as you truly know you more than anyone else. Once you identify what works the best, try to be consistent with it.
If you are currently struggling with maintaining your therapeutic goals, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.