Values Clarification in Eating Disorder Recovery

EDIT™ Worksheets | Love Your Self
Self-Image #5 | My Values

Aesop once said, “Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth—don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.” Aesop was onto something. Values are at the essence of who we are and that’s the great secret—what we value is who we are when no one else is looking.

The voice of ED enjoys wrecking havoc in the lives of our clients. The clients we sit with might have difficulty naming what they value because ED has gained a foothold in their life. It is our job as intuitive therapists to help our clients find freedom from ED and an important part of this journey is helping our clients connect with his or her values.

The “Love Your Self – My Values” worksheet is used to walk clients through the process of becoming reconciled to one’s True Self. When using this worksheet with a client, first walk through each value and make sure the client understands what each means. Encourage your client to fill in the “other” space if they know of a value that isn’t listed on the worksheet.

Have your client circle their top ten values. Before they begin, have them circle the number one value that stands out to them. Explain to your client that this is a snapshot of what a client values right now, in the present moment. Other values might become a part of their lives later on.

Let your client describe the importance of each value on their list. Why did the first value they circled stick out to them? What about that word resonated with them? As your client talks through each value, ask them questions such as:

  1. When did this value first become important to you?

  2. Who taught you about this value?

  3. How was this value lived out in your life before ED?

  4. How was this value lived out in your life after ED?

Help your client assess how ED has affected the things he or she has deemed important in life. How will continued recovery help your client connect with the things they value? After your client has walked through their list and assessed how ED has affected the truth of who they are, ask your client what is one value on the list they would like to pursue. What value would they like to own in a deeper way?

At the end of the session encourage your client to select one value to focus on for the upcoming week. If your client chose “Family” as a value, what is one way they can feed this value during the week? By ending the session this way, the client will be able to walk away with one tangible way they will be able to connect with their True Self again. And just as Aesop said, our clients will have a chance to once again connect with the “secret self” they hold inside.

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