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Assessing Expectations for Change


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How would resolving this (complaint, situation, problem) make your life better, or improve your quality of living?

How about significant others (spouse, partner, family, friends)?
assess expectation, establish motivation
How confident are you that we can resolve this (problem, situation, issue) by working together?
assess expectation, sense of efficacy
How do you see us working together on this?

- mainly in session, or using sessions to develop plans that you will carry out in other places
assess expectations of roles
About how much time per day would you be willing to invest to get a handle on this (problem, situation, issue)?
assess willingness ability to invest time and energy in solving the problem
How would you like to work on this, one step at a time, or in large chunks?
assess expectation of pace of therapy
This (problem, situation, issue) has been going on for X amount of time. How long do you suspect it will take us to get a handle on it?

- time, number of sessions
client's expectations regarding time to resolve the problem
If we run into difficulties dealing with this (problem, issue, concern), what kinds of things would you guess we'd find getting in our way?
assess expectation of difficulties, predict difficulties
What are the most serious kinds of difficulties/challenges you have faced before, and what kinds of things did you do to successfully overcome those challenges?
assess previous efforts, establish strengths
What kinds of things have you done that have been at least partially helpful in dealing with this (problem, issue, concern)?
assess previous change attempts, build on strengths
[If the patient has been in therapy previously] What kinds of things did you like or find helpful in past therapy work?
What did you not like, or not find helpful?
assess potential resistance, build on strengths

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