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Values: Self-Exploration

Values are an important part of many psychotherapies, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). When a person fails to live in accordance with their values, they will often feel unsatisfied. For example, someone who values their family very highly, yet spends little time with them, is unlikely to feel content.

Taking the time to explore one's values can help to illuminate facets of life that are over or under-attended to. This worksheet will guide your clients through the self-exploration of their values by asking questions about several topics, such as family, career, and spirituality. Each question is designed to get clients thinking about what matters the most, to them.

This worksheet is intended to be a prompt for further discussion. Be sure to provide ample education about the importance of values, and how increased insight into this topic can be beneficial. Discussion of values can be especially powerful within the context of addictions. Try exploring how substance abuse fits into a person's value system. Has addiction caused any problems in areas of life that are highly valued?

For an interactive values exploration exercise, try the Values Assessment tool:

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Alternate languages: Spanish
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1. Schwartz, S. H. (2012). An overview of the Schwartz theory of basic values. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), 2307-0919.

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