I’ve worked with hundreds of couples from all walks of life, naturally, they come to me for relationship counselling because things aren’t going as well as they would like.
In pretty much all of these couples, one very important thing was consistently missing – validation.
So, ipso facto, you could say with some confidence that couples that know how to validate each other’s emotions, don’t need my help (or a relationship counsellor in general).
There is a body of evidence and research that has proven the link between difficulties with emotions (i.e. emotional dysregulation etc.) and invalidation (especially if we were a child exposed to invalidating behaviours).
Ultimately, if you don’t validate the way the other human is feeling, you’re not validating the person.
I don’t know about you, but I know I start to get agitated when people don’t validate the way I’m feeling.
People do get confused about validation though, they think validation is agreement – this article explains how that is anything but correct.
Further to all this, invalidation is often a major theme in one way or another in my work with individuals too.
One example of the power of validation comes from an inspirational woman named Naomi Feil.
Naomi, who is now in her 90s, worked out that validation was the key to helping people with cognitive decline and dementia.
She developed what is called Validation Therapy, a holistic therapy that focuses on empathy and provides means for people with cognitive deficits and dementia to communicate.
The work that Naomi does is remarkable.
Her Validation Therapy (as seen in the video below) doesn’t directly challenge the people who are struggling with disorientation, instead, she goes with their feelings and thoughts, and validates them thoroughly.
This validation helps the person feel safer and less stressed, and the results are quite unbelievable.
Check out this video showing Naomi’s technique at work…
And Naomi also appeared as a speaker on a TedX Talk where she explains how she learnt how effective validation can be…
I have completed training with Naomi Feil’s Validation Training Institute, I look forward to hopefully helping you become a better validator too.