Card Sorting of Personal Values

Building on principles from Motivational Interviewing (MI), this card sorting exercise focuses on students’ own personal values, with a task led by a SEd counselor, either individually or in groups, wherein students are given approximately 100 cards with one “value” on each card. The task is to go through the cards in stages, each stage entailing a hierarchical prioritization of values culminating in a final short list of “very important” values. Participants will execute the card sorting task, whether it be a student or a SEd professional.

Learning Objectives
As is the case with MI in general, this card sorting exercise helps to delimit values and juxtapose these against actual behaviors. What we thus identify is a measure of discrepancy between each student’s internal motivation and how he/she actually strives to maximize said values.
Our experience is that this exercise can be helpful in strengthening the insight of the student and also help to guide the student-SEd counselor relationship. The exercise itself is evocative in that very many values, many with overlapping meanings/connotations, come from everyday life and each individual’s life history. Our experience is that upon completion of the exercise the student feels a strengthening of resolve, a deepened understanding of identity as student, and because the student himself/herself executes the delineation of his/her reflected identity, the superordinate process of personal recovery is strengthened.

Evan Toft: Teacher of Social Sciences, Clinical Psychologist, SEd project leader since 2006
Mette Kolbjørnsen: Master of Health Promotion, Nurse, Family therapist, SEd project leader since 2006