Challenge, focus, inspiration and support: Processes of values clarification and congruence


Marilyn Fitzpatrick, Alisha Henson, Robin Grumet, Gauthamie Poolokasingham, Clare Foa, Thea Comeau, Claire Prendergast


Explicit attention to clarifying and behaving congruently with values has important psychological and social implications. Research on the structure of values and on the relationship between values and well-being is well developed, but less is known about how to help people to articulate, change, or enact values. The current study investigated how 16 working adults undertook the processes of articulating or changing a value and increasing values-congruent behavior. Participants were interviewed approximately three months after participating in a five-session values clarification and congruence workshop. A qualitative method, Thematic Analysis, indicated that participants were generally motivated to work on values because of life challenges. To enact behavioral changes related to values, participants needed to bring focused attention to the process at both cognitive and behavioral levels. Those participants who changed were often inspired by their value and drew on the support of others. Implications related to interventions for values development and directions for research on values clarification and congruence are discussed.

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