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Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover

Posted by Dinah on April 4, 2005, at 21:09:24

In reply to I don't know where else to post this, so....., posted by Larry Hoover on April 4, 2005, at 19:53:21

Lar, I'm so tired I can hardly see, much less think.

But I do understand, I think. Marsha Linehan has done such wonderful work with the effect of invalidating environments. My parents weren't physically abusive, and I don't remember overt invalidation, yet I too have a major issue in the area.

It's utterly astonishing to me how much difference a minor change in presentation can make to how I react. I used to blow up all the time in therapy. I think more by trial and error than anything else, my therapist found he could say a lot more things to me than he thought he could - if he preceded what he had to say with some validation.

It's such a powerful interpersonal tool, and yet so few people seem to understand that. They go immediately into defensive posture, when that isn't what's called for at all. Since my therapist has given up doing that, we've been able to climb that communicative hurdle.

I congratulate you on being self aware. I think you're a lot further along in that than I am. (Although having just celebrated my tenth anniversary in therapy, I should be the most self aware person alive.) Not only does being self aware allow you to modulate your own responses (maybe not immediately, but sooner than if you weren't self aware), but it also colors your responses to others.

We're all works in progress. It would be nice if being aware of something made it go away. Unfortunately, there are only a rare few of us who can operate on that level. The rest of us have to become aware over and over and over again when we catch ourselves in something.

But, objectively speaking, a bit of validation seldom comes amiss and is usually quite appropriate. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to be validated on some level. I suppose it's also realistic to know it's not always going to happen.




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