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I am truly curious with this question: when you validate someone’s feelings, do you ever get push back along the lines of “I just said that!” I say this because I can remember as a teen (in college, but still a teen) going to a counselor because I was having significant issues with a roommate. I told her what was happening, and she would parrot it back to me, maybe not using the same words – but essentially repeating what I had said; validating it. I cannot tell you how much I hated it. I didn’t say that, but I kept thinking of it. And I’ve experienced it since then in other therapy and while I can understand what’s going on and rationalize it, it completely unnerves me. Maybe I am unique, but I often find the more we think our way of doing something is unique, the more common our experience is.
I know exactly what you mean. When someone uses my name in conversation it always feels very patronizing to me.
When I do reflective listening, I always try to change the wording. So, if my son says “I’m so angry right now,” I’d say, “I can see how agitated you are right now. Thanks for sharing how you’re feeling with me. If ______ happened to me, I’d be frustrated too.”
Reflective listening, validating feelings, and offering empathy. That’s ideal. Does it work every time? Of course not. ????
I appreciate your comments above. I am just seeing the messages above and always welcome feedback and conversation. As a licensed therapist, a mother and as an individual who has experienced therapy myself; I do understand what ‘Dee’ from 2018 post has shared. I have experienced “validation” as reflective listening which was well received but I have also been frustrated with a more simplified, repetition of my words. I do feel it’s very important to empathize, seek to understand just as much as it is helpful to use reflective listening and validation. Thanks for your posts! Kim