How does a therapist help you with your Values?

Today I wanted to talk about the intellect and logic. A lot of the time we use our intellect to make the most of a situation. Unfortunately, when we are going through a tough time in our lives our brain is not the most reliable of witnesses to what is happening around us. We feel a certain way and start looking for information that justifies how we feel. There are a few obvious methods for solving this. You can speak to a friend and get an outsider's independent perspective, though sometimes a friend will just want to agree with you because sometimes a friend won't challenge you. You could see a psychologist, but you might think that that is making "too big a deal" of the situation. You could speak to family, but often the advice is so emotionally loaded that you have troubles taking their advice seriously.  

Often, we just want to "fix" these things ourselves, and we rely on our intellect and logic to work out what we want to do right now. Therein lies the problem. Sometimes asking yourself what you want right now is reliant on your inner experience (that is, your emotions or thoughts). Sometimes when we are going through something tough, those experiences can be deceptive and lead us down a path that we wouldn't chose if we were feeling differently. 

This is where Values come in. What direction do you want to head in in your life? To be Honest, or Respectful in relatioships? Maybe you want to be Ambitious or Creative in your work. These Values are "directions" and can never be reached, only walked toward. That path is marked by particular goals.  Work out what the goals are, be very specific and stay realistic. Now, this is good intellectual work, logical stuff. However, when an obstacle gets in the way, it is often the case that a person who is feeling exhausted or anxious will put intellectual/logical weight behind the excuse. Maybe it is your intellect that makes your obstacles look so complex, and that that leads to the feeling that this goal is too hard. Maybe your intellect is doing it's best to help you avoid the effort.

Remember, You Are Not Everything You Think.