Valuing as a Choice

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Purpose: To clarify what the client values for its own sake: what gives your life meaning?

General Method: To distinguish choices from reasoned actions; to understand the distinction between a value and a goal; to help clients choose and declare their values and to set behavioral tasks linked to these values

When to use: Whenever motivation is at issue; again after defusion and acceptance removed avoidance as a compass

Examples of values techniques

Coke and 7-Up Define choice and have the client make a simple one. Then ask why? If there is any content based answer, repeat
Your values are perfect Point out that values cannot be evaluated, thus your values are not the problem
Tombstone Have the client write what he/she stands for on his/her tombstone
Eulogy Have the client hear the eulogies he or she would most like to hear
Values clarification List values in all major life domains
Goal clarification List concrete goals that would instantiate these values
Action specification List concrete actions that would lead toward these goals
Barrier clarification List barriers to taking these actions
Taking a stand Stand up and declare a value without avoidance
Pen through the board Physical metaphor of a path – the twists and turns are not the direction
Traumatic deflection What pain would you have to contact to do what you value
Pick a game to play Define a game as “pretending that where you are not yet is more important than where you are” -- define values as choosing the game
Process / outcome and values “Outcome is the process through which process becomes the outcome”
Skiing down the mountain metaphor Down must be more important than up, or you cannot ski; if a helicopter flew you down it would not be skiing
Point on the horizon Picking a point on the horizon is like a value; heading toward the tree is like a goal
Choosing not to choose You cannot avoid choice because no choice is a choice
Responsibility You are able to respond
What if no one could know? Imagine no one could know of your achievements: then what would you value?
Sticking a pen through your hand Suppose getting well required this – would you do it
Confronting the little kid Bring back the client at an earlier age to ask the adult for something
First you win; then you play Choose to be acceptable

These clinical materials were assembled by Elizabeth Gifford, Steve Hayes, and Kirk Stroshal