Working with your patients’ values to increase change in psychotherapy

Prof. Marilyn Fitzpatrick, Psychologist

Develop an evidence-based understanding of values work and a range of strategies to use to help clients reduce distress and live more meaningful lives.

Excerpt: objectives

Download an outline here

  • 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


In this course, Dr. Marilyn Fitzpatrick, Professor Emerita, McGill University draws on insights across psychological disciplines to address the when, why, and how of values work in therapy. 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 and are becoming more prominent in psychotherapy research. Commitment to values-based action is also a core element of ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Studies indicate that values-congruent living relates positively to a range of valued outcomes including decreases in depression and anxiety and increases in subjective well-being and life satisfaction.

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 clients clarify the values that they prize most. Relevant research Illuminates the case material. Marilyn highlights a range of clinical strategies that were used in the cases, as well as strategies that might be used in similar situations. The strategies focus on ideas about how to integrate values work into your practice regardless of your theoretical orientation. The seminar addresses common clinical dilemmas. How do I help clients recognize situations where values can be key to change? How can I inspire clients draw on values as the foundation for action? How do I 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 these questions and more beginning with the research base and elaborating it with case examples. She will focus attention on the special role of intrinsic or caring values for 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.

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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 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.

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