Values Clarification in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Practical Strategies for Individual and Group Settings

ISBN : 9780199972180

Howard Kirschenbaum
224 Pages
155 x 236 mm
Pub date
Apr 2013
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This work meets a long-standing need in the helping professions by being the first and only comprehensive book devoted to these priority-defining and goal-setting values clarification strategies for counseling and psychotherapy by providing a clear description of what values clarification is and is not. The book demonstrates, with great precision and hundreds of clinical examples, how counselors and psychotherapists in many fields can ask good clarifying questions, and employ dozens of strategies with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Values clarification is perhaps best known for the many values clarification strategies that can be used with individuals and groups to explore a myriad of counseling topics. Values clarification is compared and contrasted to other approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, including person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, reality therapy-choice theory, existential, individual psychology, solution-focused, narrative, motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, appreciative inquiry, life coaching, and positive psychology. Helping clients determine their priorities, set goals, make decisions, and take action to improve their lives are common tasks for virtually all helping professionals when engaging with clients. This is the process known as "values clarification" (or "Values Clarification"). While counselors and psychotherapists widely practice values clarification-some knowingly, others unaware-they typically do so with a limited understanding of its theory, methods and various applications. The book illustrates extensively how strategies can be carried out in individual counseling and psychotherapy, group counseling and psychotherapy, and psychoeducational work, whatever the subject or topic. The examples throughout the text are often grouped around more specific applications for marriage and family counseling, career counseling, substance abuse and recovery counseling, geriatric counseling, grief counseling, pastoral counseling, financial counseling, school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, counselor/clinical education and supervision, health counseling and personal growth.


1: Paul's Case
2: The Values Clarification Approach
3: Implementing Values Clarification
4: The Value-Clarifying Question
5: The Clarifying Interview
6: Values Clarification Strategies
7: Tara's Case
8: Handling Strategic, Values and Moral Conflicts With Clients
9: Some Applications of Values Clarification Counseling
10: Values Clarification and Other Approaches to Counseling and Psychotherapy
11: Theory and Research

About the author: 

Howard Kirschenbaum, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus & Former Chair, Department of Counseling and Human Development, Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, University of Rochester

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