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Therapists’ Values

Values are standards and principles that guide decision-making and influence human behavior. In this sense, values provide criteria by which information can be assessed, judgments are determined, and actions are taken. Everyone has values, whether acknowledged or not; it is impossible to be “valueless.” Therapists are sometimes directed to be neutral and “leave their values at the therapy door” when working with clients, but this is not feasible. Instead, therapists should work to identify and understand their own values, and they should consider how their values may intentionally or unintentionally influence the therapy process. For example, values about what helps create change (i.e., behavior, emotions, thoughts, relationships) are a part of the therapy process for every therapist; however, there are other values that, if imposed ...

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