I’m very, very sorry that your life has had such a downturn in the past few years. I’m sure it feels relentless. I’m sure it’s discouraging. But you are an intelligent, educated woman. You are also a therapist so you have a skill set you can bring to bear on your own problems. Do consider what you would say to a client like yourself who has had terrible luck and is on the edge of giving up. I trust that you would find whatever core of resilience is present and build from there.
If you were working with me, we would take a hard look at how your physical illness is contributing to how you are feeling mentally. Those diagnoses need to be addressed for you to have the energy to keep on keepin’ on. Your therapy can help support your efforts to take care of yourself despite how bad you feel.
Have you been honest with your therapist? It seems to me that your only goal is to get well enough to have goals — which is a worthy goal.
SMART goals are simply a formula to help people think about what is possible and achievable. Don’t let a format get in the way of good thinking. If coming up with goals is what is required to keep your therapy, I’m sure you are creative and intelligent enough to come up with something.
S: I want to gather more information about my various medical diagnoses and to develop a treatment plan. Over the next 6 months, I will make and attend appointments with a neurologist for the skull lesions as well as specialists who can give me more information about chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. I will also see a nutritionist.
M: I will make a record of appointments and findings and will write about my concerns and reflections to discuss in therapy.
A: In order to stay on track, I will need the support of my therapist. But I do think it is a realistic goal.
R: The result of this goal is a more complete understanding of my condition and a focused direction for treatments.
T: By December 1, I will accomplish this information gathering and will have worked with my therapist to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
That’s just an example, not a recommendation. I hope you can come up with something that feels right for you.
Meanwhile, I suggest you consider getting into group therapy in addition to the individual therapy. You need more support. If the idea of joining anything is daunting, at least consider joining one of the forums here at PsychCentral. People from all over the world provide each other with information and support.
I wish you well.