In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we use the term values to refer to activities that give our lives meaning. Values are not goals in that we never “accomplish” a value. Instead, values are like a compass–they help us make choices based on the directions in which we want our lives to go. Values are who we want to be and what we want our lives to be about. When we connect with our values, we are able move our lives in meaningful directions, even in the face of difficult or painful experiences. Moreover, values are very individual. They are not based around what others expect of us, or what we think we should be doing. We choose our own values.
The links below are not audio files. Instead they will take you to some webpages, posts, or videos that give you some guidance on how to identify, articulate, and live your own values:
- Obituary Exercise (The Career Psychologist)
- Virtual values card sort activity
- Virtual career values card sort activity
- Values in Action (VIA) Survey
- Value worksheets from The Happiness Trap
- Pain, values, compassion, and a dying dog (Portland Psychotherapy Blog)
- Pain and values: two sides of the same coin (Portland Psychotherapy Blog)
- Passengers on a bus – metaphor
- How to set SMART goals for yourself (based on your values)
If you are a therapist interested in doing work with values with your clients, you might consider checking out our book, Values in Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide to Helping Clients Explore Values, Increase Psychological Flexibility, and Live a More Meaningful Life.
Return to main Exercises and Audio Files page.