Helping yourself towards an outcome you really want

Self-help questions that are great to use in therapy or coaching, with a friend, or even by yourself

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Way back when I first began doing self-development work, I learned a set of questions called the Outcome Frame, part of the NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) body of knowledge. They are tremendously useful, sometimes so much so that they are all a client really needs to use to set themselves on the path they seek.

You can use these questions for yourself. The trick of it is to be REALLY honest with yourself, not to take your first answer, but to search yourself for deeper answers, and to surface any tensions and conflicts between what you think you want, what you think you ought to want, what you feel you want etc etc.

So, here goes:

1. What would I like to have happen?

2. What will that give me / what is the benefit of that to me?

3. What's the context? (when, where, with who do I want it?)

4. How will I know when I have it? (what will my evidence be, what will I see, hear, feel?)

5. What has stopped me so far and what do I need to do differently now?

6. What resources and support will I need from myself and others?

7. If I go it, would I really want it? Am I sure? What from now do I really want to keep?

8. Looking back from when I have achieved my outcome, what was the first thing I did? When did I do it? What is life like now?

As I typed these I resisted the temptation to add too much detail, you may have the sense that exploring this can be quite a conversation. It may be helpful to note things down or talk it through with someone. Before reaching for more in-depth support, I'd always give this a go first to see how much progress you can make yourself, You may just surprise yourself!

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Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited, BACP Registered, and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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