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Therapy thoughts: Validation is the cure we all need

  • The paradox of emotion is when we accept it, it passes.

  • Validating our own emotion is key to allowing them to move.

  • Your emotions are valid but that doesn’t mean they’re true. In other words, they exist and need attention, but that doesn’t mean they are facts.

  • Invalidating environments are linked to mental health distress and emotional dysregulation.

  • Self-validation is a key component of self-worth.

  • Validation of self and others is a powerful deescalating skill. It puts down our defenses, allows us to be more authentic, and vulnerable.

  • Validation is a sign of empathy and emotional maturity.

  • Validation acknowledges and honors emotions as real, present, & important.

  • Validation is not the same as acceptance, approval, agreement, condoning, liking, or believing.

  • But in another way, validation is radical acceptance... not in the approval way...I mean in the mindful radical acceptance way. Meaning, emotional sensations and energy are here, and by validating, we aren’t denying their presence... in that sense we accept it because they are there... but it doesn’t mean approval. We stop fighting reality and accept the emotion as valid.

People who validate display the ability to delay reactivity, to reflect emotions, to hold deep empathy, to really show up for others, to transcend ego and really be present, and to be master listeners. The cultural revolution we need in mental health really must include validation education. We must recognize emotions as valid. We must recognize emotions matter. We must recognize that people are much more able to cope and regulate emotion when they can self soothe with self validation. And as friends and partners, we are much better able to support others when validation is part of our tool belt.

Therapy and tacos for all,