I have found that most of my clients struggle to name the values that they think are important in their everyday lives. They also struggle to know how to make those values part of their goal-setting and decision-making. It is helpful to know what values we consider important because value-based living can allow us to feel like our decisions, choices and goals are more self-motivated, attuned or a ‘better fit’.
In order to simplify the process, there are a few broad steps we can take towards living our values more fully:
There are many values that we can choose from! Selecting a few essential values can be a tricky task. It is suggested that we start off identifying about ten values that grab your attention and that seem immediately important to you. You can then whittle this longer list down to two or three main values to work around.
Once you have selected your main values, you are more able to operationalise these values. This means we can find ways of taking these values from being abstract ideas to actionable concrete activities. The Values Mind Map attached, provides some questions to guide you to find ways to take your values from ideas to behaviours.
Working towards value-based living, goals and decision-making is a complex task. It can be helpful to go through this process together with friends, family members, or as part of your therapeutic journey. Getting external encouragement and support helps to keep you focused when you might steer away from your values at times.
Download the free ‘Values Mind Map’ here!
Michelle Nortje (M.A. Clin Psych, B.Psych Hons, B.Ed.Psych Hons, BA) is focused on establishing a therapeutic relationship that is safe, trusting and supportive. Michelle aims to use integrated psychological tools and approaches in order to help her clients make sense of their difficulties, gain insight into their patterns of behaviour and relating, and work towards co-constructed and workable goals. She uses Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, mindfulness-based approaches, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Attachment theories and psychodynamic theories in order to tailor the therapy to best suit the client’s needs.
Michelle’s clinical training and diverse experience have equipped her to intervene in a variety of mental health issues and age groups. She has gained experience working as a clinical psychologist across non-profit, government hospital, school-based and private settings. Across all her roles, Michelle has expanded on her interest in working with children, adolescents and adults experiencing a range of mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, adjustment difficulties, trauma and grief.
Michelle is dedicated to consistent professional development by engaging in peer consultation groups, receiving regular supervision and expanding her knowledge through frequent webinars and courses in order to ensure effective interventions with her clients.