The lighthouse metaphor
In ACT, metaphors are commonly used to relay the concepts of the therapy and to creatively apply them to our own lives.
The imagery of a lighthouse is used to represent the role that values can play in our lives, if we let them.
When negotiating lifes' circumstances and its inevitable ups and downs, it's easy to get caught up in the battle of avoiding the rocks and surviving the rough seas. Understandably, that takes a lot of energy and concentration. We are there putting all our efforts into steering our boat away from the rocks, that we forget to look up for the guiding light of the lighthouse.
Values are like the reliable light that shines from a lighthouse. Visible in all weather conditions, the lighthouse provides stability and direction. Just as it can guide us through storms, it still glows when all is well, consistently leading the way forward.
How does this work, I hear you ask? To be guided by our values, we first must understand what they are, and then manage to look at them in all weathers. For some, this is one of the purposes of attending counselling - to clarify what you value, and to learn skills for living from these values, rather than being pushed around by the rocks and stormy seas.