Resource Activation: Bringing Values into the Flesh

  • Gernot HaukeEmail author


Without the right power sources, clients can achieve very little in therapy. It is no surprise, therefore, that empirical research has identified the activation of resources as an essential effective factor. Personal values are powerful resources. They always have a positive significance for the person, and indicate what is truly important and valuable to that person. They provide information on what the person wants to be involved in. Their origins lie in the correspondingly powerful and reinforcing experiences the client is happy to identify himself with. This resources orientation also helps the client to submit to a therapy which, it has to be admitted, look more like deficit orientation. Often the aspired-to changes are not easy to achieve, clients have to withstand anxieties and go through motivation crises. A felt value helps to justify this strenuous enterprise. Clients can then feel again why they are taking on all these efforts and want to invest the necessary energy. The activation of a suitable value system reinforces self-confidence, reduces stress, and increases the willingness to open oneself and to work on achieving difficult goals. The work in the spirit of embodiment takes the term “value stance” quite literally. Body posture and movement are linked in a suitable way with a value stance. This ensures both the rapid availability as well as the reinforcing effect of this resource—even in difficult situations.


  1. Brosch, T., & Sander, D. (2013). Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying value-based decision-making: from core values to economic value. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Creswell, J. D., Welch, W. T., Taylor, S. E., Sherman, D. K., Greunewald, T. L., & Mann, T. (2005). Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychological Science, 16, 846–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Damasio, A. (2005). Human values: The issue of origins. In J. P. Changeux, A. R. Damásio, & W. Singer (Eds.), Neurobiology of human values (pp. 47–56). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ent, M. R., & Baumeister, R. F. (2014). Embodied free will beliefs: Some effects of physical states on metaphysical opinions. Consciousness and Cognition, 27, 147–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Förster, J. (2009). Cognitive consequences of novelty and familiarity: How mere exposure influences level of construal. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 444–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fujita, K., & Han, H. A. (2009). Moving beyond deliberative control of impulses: The effect of construal levels on evaluative associations in self-control conflicts. Psychological Science, 20, 799–804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fujita, K., Trope, Y., Liberman, N., & Levin-Sagi, M. (2006). Construal levels and self-control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 351–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gallese, V., & Lakoff, G. (2005). The brain’s concepts: The role of the sensory-motor-system in conceptual knowledge. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22, 455–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hauke, G. (2010). Reinforcing goal commitment: Work with personal values in Strategic Behavioral Terapy (SBT). European Psychotherapy, 9(1), 93–116.Google Scholar
  11. Deonna, J., & Teroni, F. (2015). Emotions and Values. In D. Sander & T. Brosch (eds), J. Deonna, F. Clément, E. Fehr, P. Vuillemier (co-eds.), The Handbook of Value, Affective Sciences Series. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Kirsh, D. (2010). Thinking with the body. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2864–2869). Austin: Cognitive Science Society.Google Scholar
  13. Kross, E., Ayduk, O., & Mischel, W. (2005). When asking “why” doesn’t hurt: Distinguishing rumination from reflective processing of negative emotions. Psychological Science, 16, 709–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  15. Lepora, N., & Pezzulo, G. (2015). Embodied Choice: How action influences perceptual decision making. PLOS Computational Biology, 11(4), e1004110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schmeichel, B. J., & Vohs, K. (2009). Self-affirmation and self-control: Affirming core values counteracts ego depletion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 770–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 1–65). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Schwartz, S. H. (2016). Basic individual values: Sources and consequences. In D. Sander & T. Brosch (Eds.), Handbook of value (pp. 63–85). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Storch, M., & Krause, F. (2007). Selbstmanagement – ressourcenorientiert. Grundlagen und Manual für die Arbeit mit dem Zürcher Ressourcen Modell ZRM (4th ed.). Bern: Huber.Google Scholar
  20. Tschacher, W., Munt, M., & Storch, M. (2014). Bewegung und Psychotherapie durch den Embodimentansatz. Körper – Tanz – Bewegung, 2, 54–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wakslak, C. J., & Trope, Y. (2009). Cognitive consequences of affirming the self: The relationship between self-affirmation and object construal. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 927–932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Embodiment Resources Academy (ERA)MunichGermany

Personalised recommendations