Without Willingness…oh, I already said that somewhere else. Let’s just say that Willingness is really, really important. Sometimes you’re going to want to sabotage all kinds of things related to treatment, and you’ll need Willingness to get you through. It’ll also help tremendously to remember your goal. Sometimes that can prod you into Willingness.
If you’re in treatment with a therapist, s/he will probably talk about your goals pretty quickly. What do you want out of treatment?
Here’s what I put on the daily dbt facebook page yesterday:
What is the `goal’ that is going to motivate you to practice, even when you don’t want to? Something specific. Something you’re passionate about. (Even just a hint of passion is fine…just a little kernel). Maybe it’s to have a good thanksgiving dinner with your family next year, or to be able to volunteer one day per week for a `cause’ that is close to your heart. State it in the positive if you can.
My goal at the beginning was to be a more stable partner for my then-boyfriend. Now this was a little strange because he and I actually weren’t together at the time – but I hadn’t accepted that at all. So, my goal switched a little bit to: When he’s ready to get back together, I want to be able to be a `better person’ in that relationship. Still in denial? Yes. However, it really got me to work. Two years later I don’t even speak to the guy, but I’m grateful that I was in enough denial to actually be able to hold onto that goal…until I didn’t need to anymore. My rockin’ ex-therapist said I was in: functional denial. That works for my overly analytical brain. As long as there’s a term for it, that’s cool. And it was really functional!
I’m definitely not showing my goal as an example of a `good one’ – but as one that got me to work. And goals can change, of course. They are long-term, so they don’t change as often as your short-term `targets’ – but as you continue on in treatment they may very well change. If they change too often though, you might not feel supported or moved by them. So, choose Wisely. (Yes, of course, you’ll most likely find your goal while engaging with Wise Mind).
Speaking of which, it’s valentines day! *Grimace*. I just put a yummy tofurkey dinner into the oven for dinner. Wise Mind and Gratitude have been invited to come over. And Mindfulness.
(Thanks K. Comtois for the inspiration for this post, and the fb page)