Hey Morgan,
You speak of the importance of goal setting and i concur with your statments on this. I find there is often a grey area in which to discuss and identify client goals and how they grey part of it arrives because, as you mentioned, from friends or family members (usually parents of course) tell us what they think would be good for their child, whcih may be good, but are not necessarily the clients. This is often based on what the client has done in the past. Most of the time it appears the parents, often scared or unsure about how to help/support their grown child, are have good intentions because they do care about their child. Additionally, I have to be very concious and ‘check myself’ when working directly with a client around their dreams, desires, and general goal setting and that my ideas of what their goals should be doesn’t try to become their own goals. If I see myself leaning toward this type of behaviour then I try to focus on acitive listening with the client as they likely have some great ideas around client goals that may fall on my lap and I can turn around and support the client in their direction. For me I know it will be an ongoing process to make sure I’m focusing my listening to the client, and that I, and the client, will have greater benefit if I practice more listening than talking – I have two ears and only one mouth.