Validation Examples



What does validation mean?
  • To confirm, to verify, to authenticate.
  • Validation can be verbal or nonverbal.

What are the different types of validation?

1. Focus on listening and observing; staying aware; be in the moment
Your mom is upset about her cat dieing.  When she is talking and crying, you are nodding your head and holding her hand.

2. Focus on accurate reflection; restate what the person had said.
Your brother is upset about not getting a raise at work. He said he is furious and it looks like he has “steam” coming out of his ears. You say, “You are furious about this.”

3. Focus on observing and stating the unspoken; restate what the person’s  nonverbals are.
You sister is talking about how she does all the housework and her husband only spends 20 minutes a week cutting the grass. Now her husband wants her to cut the grass too. You say to your sister, “You’re thinking it’s unfair and that you shouldn’t be asked to do that.”

4. Focus on causes of behaviors including past and present; restate past and connect it to current issue.
Your friend was raised by alcoholic parents; she put up with constant lies and raising her siblings.  When she got old enough and was dating, she said she would never put up with drinking in her immediate family.  It’s been 25 or so years now and she just found out her 17 year old was at a party drinking.  You say to her, “Hearing your outlook, based on your home environment when you were raised, it makes sense you’d respond so angrily.”

5. Focus on person’s history and point out how current response is not helpful; restate the past and connect it to current issue and their choices
Your friend was raised in a home with a physically violent father and a neglectful mother. Your friend is in his forties and has never hit his children. He saw his fiancé threaten to hit his children. The scene brought back a lot of memories for him so he threatened his fiancé. You say to your friend, “Because others have treated you badly in the past, it makes sense that you’d be angry, but threatening to harm someone only prevents your progress and makes you miserable.”

6. Focus on treating the person as an equal; hope for the person; genuinely believe the person is capable of change
Your friend has been divorced for 3 years. He feels uncomfortable doing activities with other couples because he is the only single person in the group. You say, “It’s normal; most people feel this way.” 

Source: Validation Examples


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