“Values clarification is a counseling approach designed to help people
- recognize or establish their goals, directions, and priorities;
- make choices and decisions to help them achieve their goals, directions, and priorities; and
- take action to implement their choices and decisions and thereby achieve their goals, directions, and priorities” (Kirschenbaum, 2013, p. 3).
Valuing has been proposed to consist of seven sub-processes tapping each of the three components of a value: affective, cognitive, and behavioral (Raths,
1966, as cited in Simon, Howe, & Kirschenbaum, 1995).
Affective -- PRIZING one’s beliefs and behaviors
1. prizing and cherishing
2. publicly affirming, when appropriate
Cognitive -- CHOOSING one’s beliefs and behaviors
3. choosing from alternatives
4. choosing after consideration of consequences
5. choosing freely
Behavioral --ACTING on one’s beliefs
7. acting with a pattern, consistency, and repetition
While Louis Raths began his work on values-clarification in the 1940s, it was not until the 1950s that he first implemented values-clarification as a
counseling intervention. Since then, work on the importance of value-clarification in the helping professions continues and has been spurred on by the
recent positive psychology movement. The Values in Action (VIA) Project takes values-clarification one step further by focusing on one’s strengths and
virtues which underlie several core values (Peterson & Seligman, 2004, as cited in Compton & Hoffman, 2013).
Steps for Implementing Values Clarification (adapted from Kirschenbaum, 2013, p. 17):
- Identify a values issue
- Use one or more questions or activities to engage the client or group members in reflecting and working on the issue
- Encourage the seven valuing processes
- Create an atmosphere of safety, respect, and non-imposition of values
- * Hendricks, W. (1984). Values: Suggested activities to motivate the teaching of values clarification. Stevensville, MI: Educational Service, Inc.
- * Kirschenbaum, H. (2013). Values clarification in counseling and psychotherapy: Practical strategies for individual and group settings. New York,
NY: Oxford University Press.
- * Simon, Howe, & Kirschenbaum. (1995). Values clarification. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.
Note: * indicates that the book is available in the CMU Park Library
- Compton, W.C. & Hoffman, E. (2013). Positive psychology: The science of happiness and flourishing. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Kirschenbaum, H. (2013). Values clarification in counseling and psychotherapy: Practical strategies for individual and group settings. New York,
NY: Oxford University Press.
- Simon, Howe, & Kirschenbaum. (1995). Values clarification. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.
- Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: creating excitement in the classroom. ASHE-Eric Higher Education Rep, 1. Washington,
DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.
- Doyle, T. (2008). Helping students learn in a learner centered environment: A guide to teaching in higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
- Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research, Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.
Posted by: Dina Battaglia
Original Posting Date: 10/27/14