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BLOG | 21 APR 2021

Shoalhaven Psychology Services Values

Humility. Equality. Growth. Gratitude. These are the four core values that represent what we stand for and how we provide our services at Shoalhaven Psychology Services.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) guru, Russ Harris describes values as ‘your heart’s deepest desires for how you want to behave as a human being’. He goes on to say that values are ‘not about what you want to get or achieve but are about how you want to act or behave on an ongoing basis, how you want to treat yourself and others and the world around you’.

It makes no difference whether you are the one providing the service or the one receiving the service. Our four core values are the heart of the experience we hope to provide and that you receive from the first point of contact with Shoalhaven Psychology Services.

Humility. What does the value of equality mean to you?

To me, humility means to allow yourself to be open and vulnerable. Each and every person who walks through these doors has already done that by initiating the first step. Humility is about openness to learning and to understanding. It is allowing yourself to be vulnerable as you unlayer yourself to the very core; it is allowing yourself and others to see and accept you as your whole self. As a therapist, I learn so much from every individual and family that I work with. This learning not only shapes the work I do but it also shapes me as a person and adds to my humility as my own value.

Equality. What does the value of equality mean to you?

To me, when I think of equality, I think of inclusion, of fairness and of safety. To walk into a therapist’s rooms and accomplish your goals of therapy, you need to feel safe, connected and included. Therapy is a collaborative approach, it will be very difficult to elicit change with a person who does not value you as an equal participant in the therapeutic relationship. It is hugely important to us at SPS that each and every one who walks through these doors is given the same experience and opportunity no matter what culture you are from; what gender or sexual orientation you identify with, whatever your religious beliefs; whether you are a service provider or a service receiver, whether you are young or old.

Growth. What does the value of growth mean to you?

When I think of the value of growth the word courage comes up. We cannot grow as human beings without the courage to do things even when we are fearful. To be courageous does not mean we do not experience fear, it means we have a go at the things we are fearful of. Growth means to take risks, to step outside of our comfort zone, to try and to be vulnerable. As a therapist I grow each day with each new experience; I regularly participate in personal and professional development and supervision opportunities. I firmly believe that if I am to expect growth from the people I provide a service for, then it is an invaluable experience to work on my own growth equally.

Gratitude. What does the value of gratitude mean to you?

I love the concept of gratitude, what kind of life can we possibly live if we have nothing to be grateful for? Even in the face of adversity gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. When we identify the things in our lives that we are grateful for we tend to feel more pleasant emotions, are more mindful of good experiences, have better health outcomes, sleep better, deal more effectively with adversity and build stronger relationships. I often reflect on how grateful I am to be able to do the work that I do, to be able to do it in a beautiful part of the world and to learn from so many inspiring people.

Identifying your values provides you with the motivation to work on the goals that keep you moving in your valued direction. It provides a source of inner peace. If living a healthy lifestyle is a value, it will motivate you to eat well, sleep well, exercise and so on. The flow on effect is that you feel good about yourself. This is attributed with better mental health outcomes and an increased ability to face challenges as they arise.

So now that you know more about our values here at Shoalhaven Psychology Services, we would love to hear your comments about what values are important to you and how you implement these into your daily life.

Emma Lightfoot
Principal Psychologist



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