The term value is thrown around often, but how often do we recognize values for the importance they have in directing our lives? When examining the term value, whether it is used as a noun or
a verb, two salient applications come to mind. One explains value as the material or monetary worth of something or the act of estimating the material worth of something. The other places emphasis on the regard or esteem something is held in, such as one’s principles. While this distinction may seem simplistic, much of modern discontent can be traced to the confusion of these concepts.
One of the key reasons that many people have high levels of discontent in their lives is that they have chased value over following their values. This can be an easy mistake to make because, with so many responsibilities in life, many people do not take the time to sit down and define their values. This contributes to why there are so many people in lucrative careers who feel unhappy or stuck. It can also explain why the greatest regret of many individuals towards the end of their lives was sacrificing too much time at work. Fortunately, there is something that can be done to help with this distinction.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy developed by clinical psychologist Stephen Hayes, which involves using a blend of cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness-oriented principles to promote psychological flexibility. One of the principles of psychological flexibility is values, which serve as a foundation for helping direct one to take committed action so they may live in alignment with their values (Hayes, 2019). There are many books on the subject, and values-based exercises can be found online, which can help individuals explicate what their values are. However, to get the most out of ACT and values work, it is recommended to find a psychotherapist who is experienced in helping others utilize these exercises to uncover their principles.
At Torus Therapy, we take a holistic approach to healing by incorporating a blend of psychotherapy, EMDR, spiritual therapies, yoga, massage, and wellness coaching to help individuals access their innate healing abilities. ACT is one of many modalities of psychotherapy used at Torus to promote self-awareness so individuals can access their unique strengths and gain clarity on their values.
Hayes, S. C. (2019). A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters. Avery.
Written by: Nick Shaw