Numerous theories of motivation have been formulated over decades, but only in the last 25 years has the field of motivation research been dominated by powerful and more sophisticated theories organised around personal agency beliefs and goal-related processes. Goal setting is a motivational technique that is routinely recommended for enhancing task performance. If goals for performance are established that are specific and challenging, substantial increases in performance have been reported. The basic assumption of goal-setting research is that goals are immediate regulators of human action. If goal setting is viewed primarily as a motivational mechanism, it is relevant to ask how it affects performance. Similarly, are there ways to enhance the processes of goal setting and goal attainment, and are there strategies that can be implemented to prolong and maintain motivational levels until the desired outcome has been reached? First and foremost, can theories of goal setting be applied successfully in a psychological therapeutic setting? In psychotherapy, goal setting is usually used to give direction to a treatment plan, and emphasis is seldom placed on the goal-setting process as such. A goal-setting model, with the emphasis on strategies to enhance the goal-setting process, as a motivational mechanism, seems to have application relevancy in therapeutic settings. The application and incorporation of the goal-setting process into the therapeutic process represents a symbiotic relationship, where the two processes function on a parallel level, but are also intertwined. The present study endeavours to apply such a model, as a motivational technique, in the context of therapeutic intervention. The method of research is a qualitative investigation, using a case study strategy of inquiry.
Dissertation (MA (Counselling Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2005.