Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

Values Review,continued

Two more steps remain to be done. The first of the remaining tasks is to examine your ranked lists of values to discover what, if anything, needs to be done to change them in some ways. The last task is to do the changing or the “healing” if necessary.

 EXAMINE YOUR LISTS OF VALUES, TAKING VALUE BY VALUE, ONE AT A TIME, to answer for yourself the following questions:

1.   ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR VALUES? One way to answer this question might be to look at the first 4 or 5 of them, IMAGINE yourself having a job/life/ relationship/feeling-state in which you have those first 4 or 5 values, and see how you FEEL inside yourself about that job/life/relationship/feeling-state having those values. If you feel pleased or excited about that job/life/relationship/feeling, you probably will be pleased with your values. If you do NOT feel particularly pleased or excited by that thought, you probably have something wrong or unsatisfying in your values –  proceed to find out what by answering the next questions.

 2.  ARE ANY OF YOUR VALUES IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER? One way to answer this question might be to examine your values in each area IN PAIRS to see if they PULL YOU in different directions. For example, in the area of work, two values, such as “Freedom” and “Money”, might lead you to feel that you are being pulled in two different directions – to get tied to work to make money, and also to be free of the demands of working. If you find any two values in any area which seem to you to conflict or to compete with each other, draw a line between them with arrows at the ends.

3.   ARE ANY OF YOUR VALUES IN “NEGATIVE FORMAT”? Most of most people’s values are in “positive format”. That is, the person feels drawn TOWARD them — TOWARDS Money or Freedom or Accomplishment. Some of most people’s values are in “negative format”. That is, the person feels pushed AWAY FROM them — AWAY FROM Mistakes (i.e., “Not Making Mistakes) or FROM Ugliness (i.e., “Not Being Ugly) or FROM Imperfection (i.e., “Not Being Imperfect”) or FROM Meanness (i.e., “Not Being Mean”). “Negative format” or “away from” values are those where the statement of the value has a “not” in it. Mark ALL your “negative format”/”away from” values with an ASTERISK*. They probably need to be “healed” because, if you think about it, they keep you under constant strain/stress in trying to avoid whatever it is they refer to — i.e., to avoid making mistakes, noticing ugliness, avoiding imperfections, avoiding meanness, etc.

  • DO ANY OF YOUR VALUES HAVE A “HIDDEN” “NEGATIVE FORMAT”/”AWAY FROM” VALUE UNDERLYING THEM? This is the hardest thing to notice. One way to answer this question might be to ask yourself about each one of your values in turn: “WHY is this value IMPORTANT?” “WHAT DOES THIS value DO FOR ME?” “WHAT UNDERLIES this value?” or “WHAT AM I trying TO DO TO PURSUE IT?” If the answers to any of these kinds of questions is a “negative format”/”away from”/”avoiding” kind of statement, you may have discovered a “hidden” “negative format”/”away from” value. Think about it carefully, and trust your unconscious to tell you. If you feel that there is a “hidden” “negative format”/”away from” value underlying any of your values, mark it with a DOUBLE ASTERISK**, so you don’t miss it. It will perhaps need “healing” too.


You may find it important to check with your Trainer about these four kinds of features of your values lists. Somebody else can sometimes see what it is hard for us to see for ourselves. However, it ought to be your trainer, rather than another friend. It is hard for other people to remain objective and they are likely to “read into” your values their own meanings, and thus distort your values for you.

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