International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 15 Num. 2 - June 2015


A Structured Approach to Goal Formulation in Psychotherapy: Differences between Patients and Controls

Volume 15 Num. 2 - June 2015 - Pages 181-190


Billy Jansson , Kåre Tham , Jonas Ramnerö


Therapeutic goals are considered a vital component in psychological treatments, but to date relatively little attention has been paid to the assessment and evaluation of these goals. In order to validate of a self-rating version of the Bern Inventory of Therapeutic goals checklist (BIT-C), the present study investigated if goals, measured this way, can differentiate between patients (n= 147) and healthy controls (n= 106). Results suggested that BIT-C was successful in discriminating between client and non-clients. Most importantly, clients had a higher tendency to endorse goal categories related to depressive symptoms, substance abuse, coping with somatic problems and current relationships, but a lower tendency to endorse goal categories relating to eating behaviors compared to non-patients. Further, patients perceived attainment of prioritized goals as more distant than non-patients did. The results were discussed in terms of BIT-C being a measure that can be readily applied to identify key targets in psychological treatments.

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