Working with your patients’ values to increase change in psychotherapy

Prof Marilyn Fitzpatrick, Psychologist

Evidence-based values work and strategies to help clients reduce distress and live more meaningful lives.

Excerpt: objectives

Download an outline

  • 5h of continuing education
  • 26 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee
  • 97% of participants who completed the satisfaction survey declare they would recommend this course to a colleague


Empirical data strongly indicates that perceiving your life has meaning not only makes it happier but also prolongs it. Furthermore, it has been shown that values-congruent living relates to a range of positive outcomes, including reduced depression and anxiety, as well as increased overall happiness.

However, traditional psychotherapy techniques frequently overlook the importance of identifying and committing to values.

In this course, Dr. Marilyn Fitzpatrick, Professor Emerita, draws on insights across psychological disciplines to help you integrate values work in psychotherapy.

Values clarification and committing to values-based living have a long history in humanistic theory and in philosophy. In the research realm, values have been extensively studied by social psychologists, by organizational psychologists and by vocational psychologists. They are becoming more prominent in psychotherapy research. Notably, commitment to values-based action is a core element of ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy).

This course presents a therapy-relevant definition of values and highlights the importance of helping clients find workable personal values. Using case material as a base, Marilyn introduces a range of instruments to assess values and shows how to use them therapeutically to clarify the values clients prize most. Relevant research illuminates the case material. Marilyn highlights a range of clinical strategies that will help you integrate values work into your practice regardless of your theoretical orientation.

Common clinical dilemmas are also addressed:

  • How to help clients recognize situations where values can be key to change?
  • How to inspire clients to draw on values as the foundation for action?
  • How to help clients recognize and address values conflicts?
  • What strategies are effective for motivating clients to consult their values instead of ruminating on decisions?
  • Marilyn will answer all these questions and more. Special emphasis will be placed on the unique role of intrinsic or caring values in enhancing client well-being.

You will leave the course with an evidence-based understanding of values work and a range of strategies to use to help clients reduce distress and live more meaningful lives.

About the expert

Picture of Marilyn Fitzpatrick

Dr. Marilyn Fitzpatrick is a Professor Emerita, McGill University, where she was the Director of the Counselling Psychology Program for many years. Her research focused on establishing an evidence-base for therapeutic processes, including the role of values. In her work as a psychologist for more than 30 years, she has helped clients to use their values to improve mental health and recover from many common clinical conditions like anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. She is passionately committed to helping others create lives of meaning and purpose. Prof. Fitzpatrick has launched a social media initiative named @hero_nextdoor on Instagram and YouTube. The account showcases caring values in everyday people and offers easy to understand suggestions about living according to values. She is currently writing a popular book on how to identify and live in congruence with values.

More →

Learning objectives

  1. Understand values and their value in therapy.
  2. Know the clinical benefits of values work.
  3. Identify a range of tools that are useful for assessing values and values-congruence.
  4. Implement research-based strategies to help clients live in congruence with values.

Learning material

A theoretical course illustrated with clinical examples. This course is composed of videos of 5 to 15 minutes each. The PowerPoint of the course to download.


  • PowerPoint
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Objectives
  • A therapy-relevant definition of values

  • 3. The definition of values
  • Why focus on values in psychotherapy

  • 4. Why focus on values in psychotherapy
  • 5. Presenting the Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • The case of Shauna: using values to cope with adversity

  • 6. The case of Shauna
  • 7. Tools to identify values
  • 8. Naming and affirming values
  • 9. Person-environment fit
  • 10. Values and anxiety
  • The case of Jarret: using reason and inspiration to promote values congruent behaviour

  • 11. The case of Jaret
  • 12. Identifying domains for action
  • 13. Using reasoning in values
  • 14. Accessing the inspirational qualities of values
  • 15. Conclusions on the Jaret case
  • The case of Anya and Lucas: using values to reduce conflict in relationships

  • 16. The case of Anya and Lucas
  • 17. Value cards and the circumplex
  • 18. Recognizing the worth of values
  • 19. Values instantiations
  • 20. Values conflicts
  • The case of Eden: developing under-used caring values

  • 21. The case of Eden
  • 22. Self-transcendent values and well-being
  • 23. Value priming
  • 24. Finding meaning
  • Caring values in social media

  • 25. The -normal- heroes
  • Summary of processes for working with values in psychotherapy & troubleshooting values block

  • 26. Conclusion
  • Bibliography

CE Credits

Download a certificate of successful completion.


This training is intended for mental health professionals.

What our customers are saying

« The trainer's communication and popularization skills were very helpful in stimulating my interest in the subjects covered in the training, as well as facilitating my understanding of the research results presented.
The clinical examples were well-chosen and supported by concrete courses of action and evidence-based data.
The presentation was well structured, fluid and engaging.
I would be very interested in taking further training from this trainer on related topics. Many thanks! » (automatically translated)

A (Canada)

« The course was very well taught and I like the fact that concepts were backed up by research and case presentations. I would be very interested in taking more courses by Marilyn in the future. »

A (Canada)


  • 5h of continuing education
  • 26 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Legal notice

The courses offered by ASADIS are accredited by different professional organisations. In addition, ASADIS is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. ASADIS maintains responsibility for the program.

The CPA’s approval of an individual, group, or organization as a CE Sponsor or Provider is restricted to the activities described in the approved application or annual report form. The CPA’s approval does not extend to any other CE activity the Sponsor or Provider might offer. In granting its approval, the CPA assumes no legal or financial obligations to Sponsors, Providers, or to those individuals who might participate in a Sponsor or Provider’s CE activities or programs. Further, responsibility for the content, provision, and delivery of any CE activity approved by the CPA remains that of the CE Sponsor or Provider. The CPA disclaims all legal liability associated with the content, provision, and delivery of the approved CE activity.

Want to know when new courses are available?

Sign up to our mailing list →

Upon joining, you'll receive a 25% welcome promo code, and you can always unsubscribe at any time!

Find us on: LinkedIn   Facebook   Instagram