The clinical and research work we do day-to-day includes a basic goal – to help families live their healthiest, happiest lives possible. For us, this includes working with families to make and maintain healthy lifestyle, behavioral, and cognitive (LBC) changes to prevent or manage obesity. There are a number of factors that determine the LBC decisions and choices families make to work towards this goal, factors that are usually based on their values and core beliefs.
It’s safe to say that we don’t spend much time, in our clinical discussions or program of research, talking with families about what they value (When was the last time you asked someone: “What are your values? Can you tell me about your core beliefs?” Heavy stuff to discuss, right?). Most often, I suspect families’ values tend to reveal themselves over time and indirectly through our ongoing conversations and interactions; some of these values we’re sure to share, some of which we’re certain to disagree over.
For an interesting political perspective on communication strategies designed to understand and influence individuals’ values, which might shed new perspective on LBC changes, check out the article below published recently by The Atlantic.