People’s internal experience should be acknowledged as valid during therapy. Validation helps to build and sustain healthy connections. It also supports the therapeutic relationship. The client may become angry or shut down when faced with challenging conversations or unjustified criticism.
Communication can break down if they feel ignored and misunderstood, and if the issue is left unaddressed, it may potentially harm therapeutic alliance. Empathetic comprehension and communication are both necessary for validation. Empathy alone is insufficient; therapy must also draw inferences and share what has been heard. Supportive actions can help the therapist come across as sympathetic and thoughtful. Validation, when used sensibly and correctly, can aid clients in building confidence. The techniques used to validate the client include:
The therapist should be attentive and invite the person to open up. To comprehend people better, pay special attention to their nonverbal cues. Congruence can also be increased by emulating the client’s disposition and energy. The therapist can microvalidate to help them open up. This demonstrates that they are being heard without being judged.
Validating the Emotion
After a pause in the conversation, people ought to be more thoroughly validated. This can be achieved by accepting their reported emotions and providing an explanation for why they feel that way. The likelihood that someone will listen to an opposing viewpoint amplifies when they are validated.
Offer Feedback(if Appropriate)
Giving feedback isn’t always required or suitable. The client’s openness to feedback by either getting their expectations in advance or getting their consent should be determined. If feedback is offered, it ought to be introduced with a remark that supports it. It will reaffirm that you understand them and identify with their situation.
Re-validating the sentiment at the conclusion of the session indicates that the individual has been heard and understood and puts an emotional high point on the interaction. It can be challenging, difficult, or even scary to express oneself. The person’s vulnerability should be acknowledged by the therapist.
Responses that are invalidating convey a lack of comprehension or acceptability, or a rejection of the behaviours, thoughts and feelings. Within psychotherapeutic relationships, certain therapist behaviours, such as paying little attention to the client, insisting on a specific interpretation of a behaviour, criticising the client’s choice or ignoring their emotional disclosures, are believed to occur occasionally. It has been suggested that the experience of having one’s therapist invalidate them might ruin the therapeutic alliance and perhaps delay therapy goals.
Therapists typically have strong empathy and validation abilities, but they must be careful not to validate distortions because doing so could enable people to be caught in their own beliefs. Unintentionally validating a distortion is a common error that therapists make. When an incident brings up past memories, it is probable that the reaction will project interpretation rather than facts of the present situation. The individual need to learn to think about what is happening in the current situation and become aware of their “trigger points” and ways of interpreting events.
Validating responses convey awareness and acceptance of the reasonable components of a person’s experiences. These responses acknowledge the truth of the experience being shared.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Iqra Qureshi is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.