The school counselor can validate a student by helping him feel that, while his emotional outburst during class was consistent with how he was feeling at the time, there are more effective ways of getting your needs met.As we have explored, individuals who experience emotional dysregulation are highly sensitive to emotional stimuli.Often these patients report feeling invalidated by therapists, friends and even family.Invalidation can take the form of judging, blaming and even matching the emotional intensity of the individual.Invalidation often occurs as a result of frustration and the lack of tools necessary to effectively communicate with these individuals.The research in this area suggests that individuals who have difficulty regulating their emotions respond well to what we call “validation.” This was a key insight from Dr. Validation is a form of communication by which the thoughts, feelings and actions of the individual are heard and valued. Those who communicate well with individuals struggling with emotional regulation actively listen and stay focused on the conversation.Your feelings are just temporary emotions that you’re having in the moment.When you share a feeling with somebody, what you want is for them to get “this is how I feel.” Imagine you tell somebody, “I’m really scared,” and they look at you and they say, “Oh, you shouldn’t be scared. Now, imagine you’re telling somebody something that happened, and you’re telling them how scared you were and they look at you and they say, “Wow. I got it.” Can you see the difference in how you felt? When you don’t validate somebody’s feelings, they can’t even hear what you’re saying because they’re so stuck in that feeling because it hasn’t been gotten. The feeling disappears, which is what happened when somebody said to you, “Wow.
However, after staying out past curfew last weekend I do not think going out this weekend is a good idea.” In doing so, we use coaching techniques of honoring how the person is feeling while also respecting their goals.
If you can put yourself in your daughter’s shoes, for example, you may feel more calm and able to validate more easily.
Educate yourself about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and emotional dysregulation in order to provide a more validating environment.
The person’s feelings are reflected back as a way to convey understanding.
Tolerance of beliefs are demonstrated when validation is used.