What are core values?
As we go through life, we develop principles and beliefs that are of the highest importance to us. These are our ‘core values’. Our core values are unique to us. Every single person on the planet has a different set of core values, though some may be similar. Our life experiences help form these core values and those same experiences can generate changes in our values, as our priorities change. In addition, key aspects of our personality also affect our core values, giving us the standards by which we live our lives. With a combination of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ helping in the formation, maintenance and constant development of our core values, no two people, even if brought up together, will have identical core values. Indeed, they could be dramatically different.
Why would you want to know your own core values?
Have you ever done something and it hasn’t felt quite right at the time? Perhaps you accepted a job opportunity that looked good to others, but wasn’t quite you? Or even let go of a friendship without really knowing why it wasn’t working for you? It may be that the values associated with that job, or that friend, were not compatible with your core values.
When people live by their core values, they tend to experience a greater level of emotional fulfilment, than if they were to go against them. Some people even find that going against their core values leads to psychological disturbance on some level, whether subtle or extreme. Core values can be thought of almost as a ‘code of conduct’ that we have developed for ourselves, that helps us choose how to act and react in a way that is congruent with the things that we value most. That said, many people, including hypnotherapy clients, are unaware and unfamiliar with the idea of core values, so it is fairly unlikely that your clients will already know their own core values, but they’re definitely worth knowing!
Why would you want to know the core values of your hypnotherapy client?
By finding out a client’s core values, you will be better able to formulate your treatment strategy, in a way that is congruent for them. Where strategies and treatment approaches meet one or more of a client’s core values, they will resonate better with them on both a conscious and a subconscious level. Clients may simply find that they ‘feel right’. The better focused your therapy work, the more effective it is likely to be, and the more successful the outcome for you and your client. This is where core values can be a fantastic help!
How do you find out a clients core values?
It’s actually relatively simple. Let’s say you are at the start of a session with a new client, you can give the client a list/set of core values, containing at least 100 different values, and ask them to consider each and every core value briefly, arranging them in low, medium and high importance piles. Then, from the high importance stack, you want your client to whittle the core values down to around five that are of the highest importance. Many more than five and their focus is likely to be too diluted. The key to getting a ‘true reading’, is to have the client sort through their core values quickly, without giving them a chance to over-think the selection process. They need to do it based upon their immediate gut feeling.
How to use core values information
When you have established what the client’s core values are (for example; Free will, Creativity, Independence, Freedom, Diversity), they can then be applied in various ways throughout the hypnotherapy process. They can even influence your entire approach with that client. For example, if they value independence and creativity, you are unlikely to do well with a very direct and commanding hypnotherapy session and a prescriptive homework task, but they may do better with an exploratory therapy process where they get to feel more independent and creative.
A key application of core values, particularly from a solution-focused perspective, is within the goal-setting process. If your client’s goals are connected and congruent with their core values, or with at least one of them, then the goal is much more likely to resonate with the client on a personal level in a way that they can truly engage with. If a client comes to you with a goal that goes against any of their core values, this is something that you’d be best knowing before you start your hypnotherapy process. Also, by becoming aware of their core values, clients are able to consider their day-to-day decisions and plans in relation to their values too. This enables them to live by their values more in everything that they do, which can increase self-esteem, self-fulfilment and self-actualisation.
Which client conditions are core values helpful with?
Popular applications of core-value congruent change include; addictions, anger, anxiety, bereavement, grief and loss, binge eating, bruxism, confidence, disordered eating, exam/interview/test nerves, fears and phobias, goal achievement, insomnia, nail biting, memory, pain management, performance anxiety, public speaking, relationship issues, sadness, low mood, self-esteem, self-confidence, smoking, sport performance, stress management, weight management, and much more.
Add core values to your hypnotherapy practice
If you feel that core values are something that you’d either like to use for yourself, or integrate into your own therapy or coaching practice, then you might like to check out our Core Values Cards. These 108 core values have been strategically selected so that any client, regardless of age, sex, race or location, will be able to choose the core values that best resonate with them. When you buy your set of Core Values Cards, you’ll also receive detailed (online) instructions on how to use them even more effectively with clients, helping them to engage with their core values throughout various parts of their therapy process.