I’m going to write a post here for all the inpatient therapists that might stumble across this page. My advice – GET RID of the question “What are your goals?”. Before I had my stroke, I was a physical therapist for 4 years. In that time, I worked solely in outpatient orthopedics. This is a standard question that we’re taught to ask. My opinion, in the outpatient population – important. These patients have dealt with their issue for a while, know what their limitations are and what they would like to be able to do again. I think that this goes for any kind of traumatic event but I have personal experience with a brain injury so I KNOW it applies to strokes and TBIs. DO NOT ASK THESE PATIENTS WHAT THEIR GOALS ARE IN THERAPY! After I had my stroke and woke up from brain surgery, I was in serious, serious shock and denial. I had absolutely no clue what my deficits were let alone what areas I needed to improve. Yet, I was wheeled to the therapy room and every therapist I saw asked “so what are your goals?” Seriously? I thought my life was over. Please don’t ask your patients that have just endured a traumatic event about their goals because they have no goals. These patients are scared, confused, and in shock. Their only goal is to be back to normal, to make this not have happened and they don’t understand yet that they’re going to be dealing with this for a long, long time – possibly forever. You might be the most caring therapist in the world but take it from me, looking back that question is going to make you seem very insensitive.