One of my favorite activities to do with clients is explore their values. This is a technique that comes from the counseling modalities motivational interview and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). I love exploring values because it helps me and my client understand the actions they take in their life that contribute to them living according to their values or where they lack. The approach I take is as follows:
- Identify the most important and least important values in someone’s life through an interactive sorting activity. I also remind clients that the definition of the values is up to them. Love may mean love from family or romantic love. However, you define the value as you see fit to your life. Some examples of values I use in our sorting activity include:
- Begin to identify your top 5-6 values.
- Examine how closely you live according to your values using a bullseye technique to see how each of your values compares to living in accordance with them, or where you may need work.
- Identify committed actions to working towards you goals within your values.
It is important to realize there are no good or bad values, but our actions with them may be good or bad. For instance, someone may value power, but using cohesion to obtain power is a “bad” action. I also like to point out that values are not goals, but vessels to help us reach goals congruent with what is important in our lives.
5. I may also help someone explore how their values may be different from those closet to them, which can cause sometimes cause conflict.
If this is something you are interested you are welcome to contact our office to arrange an appointment to start learning to live according to your values.
Written by: Kristina Zufall, M.Ed., LPC-Intern