Sunday, November 14, 2021

Helping patients to differentiate between internal values and internal rules

In counseling, it’s hard sometimes for patients to different between “internal values” vs “internal rules”.

For example.

If one has a strong values around fairness and justice.

Then one may develop certain internal rules around those values. Some rules are very rigid, and some are less so. The more rigid ones often include “should and must” in its expression.

Rules around values of fairness and justice may include:

1. Life should be fair.
2. When someone does something wrong, they must be punished for their wrong doings.
3. We aim to help others who are less fortunate than us.
4. When someone does something wrong, fair consequences may be useful.

Rules are more rigid than values, and when they are too rigid, it can create excessive stress or become unhelpful/unworkable.

We may choose to “soften” some of the rules to make it more flexible and workable, without going against our internal values.

This helps with more psychological flexibility. It helps with workability without compromising on our values.

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