This chapter describes collaborative goal-setting steps and a protocol that is underpinned
by goal-directed principles, It is important to recognise that goals have different sources
of motivation and that a major strategy in our approach involves linking goals with
underlying values and strengths to tap into those sources of motivation. As part of this
process, we try to help the person shape a personal life vision. Thus, goal setting creates
'a concrete road map that mediates between where the person is and where he or she
desires to go' (Ades, 2004, p.1S). Whilst collaborative goal setting is important, the values
underpinning the goal and the vision driving the goal are also very important. This chapter
focuses particularly on helping the person with a mental illness clarify life values and a
vision. This vision is a great source of motivation and is essential for identifying goals,
particularly approach-oriented goals (Le. goals moving towards something positive).
Goal setting is most effective when it occurs within a working relationship where the
practitioner is sensitive to the client's readiness, motivations and orientation to his/her
recovery process. There is often a need to socialise the client to goal setting and to build
hope. Most clients come with needs-based goals that tend to be driven by an 'avoidance'
motivation (i.e. to move away from or change an undesirable experience) and while these
should be attended to, the aim is to help the client move toward growth-based goals that
tend to have an 'approach' motivation.
Goal setting is a fundamental part of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery support.
The quality of goal setting is determined by:
• the authenticity of collaboration
• the degree to which the client 'owns' the goals
• the number of goal-directed principles used
• the effective balance of the meaning and manageability of goals
• how well specific goals are integrated with the action steps to attain the goals.
Clarke et al. (2009a) found that the goal attainment of people with enduring mental illness
mediated the relationship between their ratings of symptom distress and their perception
of personal recovery. That is, goals are central to the recovery process, patticularly in relation
to facilitating growth, empowerment and wellbeing. The steps outlined below are
designed to operationalise the goal-setting principles.