Goal setting is an important part of the rehabilitation process, but why? Don’t we know what we are working towards, what makes it necessary to formalise this process?
Occupational therapists (OT’s) should work in a client centred manner focussing their assessments and treatment plans around a client’s wishes, aspirations and goals. Therefore it is important for the OT and the client to have open communication about what these are; the goals then will influence the direction of the occupational therapy pathway.
Although there may be imminent things that an occupational therapist must address as a priority, for instance to minimise risks and ensure safety, the long-term goals will assist a framework for shaping shorter term goals and action plans for the OT to work with the client.
It is important that these goals are clear, concise and achievable, to allow progress to be documented, measured and input validated. Clients can see the areas where they are progressing and changing. This helps to ensure that their treatment plans are meaningful and aids motivation.
Occupational therapists are skilled at understanding and evaluating a client’s areas of strengths and weaknesses which may influence the component parts of being able to fully carry out activities they need or want to be able to carry out. By sitting down with the client the OT is able to work with them to identify what that person’s wishes and needs are. Through assessment the OT can identify areas of intervention that will help assist the client to overcome some of the issues that impact on their ability to achieve these agreed goal areas.
Often you may hear the acronym ‘SMART goals’. This helps to structure a goal so that it is Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. By using this acronym the goals can be written in a style that is simple to follow and easy to decide if the goal has been achieved.
At OT partners we value the importance of the client being central to their goal setting process. With the client we will endeavour together to create the stepping stones which may then be the smaller steps to work towards ones overall longer term aspirations.
If you have goals which you feel that occupational therapy intervention may assist with, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org