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validation in ''Courage to Heal''

Posted by badhaircut on June 9, 2005, at 20:15:19

In reply to the ''Courage to Heal'' quote » Daisym, posted by badhaircut on June 9, 2005, at 18:21:50

Okay, one last comment on this subject and then I'll stop boring your pixels off about it. (LOL)

Several people in this thread have spoken from the heart about the validation they found in "Courage to Heal." I know about that, the reassurance, the calm, the.....happiness of it. If others tell us all our lives – and we come to tell ourselves all the time – that our inner states must be just a certain way (resilient, confident, logical, loving, whatever) and our outer lives should be just a certain way (successful, orderly, assertive), we can become very, very distressed when ours seem almost never to be those ways. It can be a personally validating relief to be told, "Hey, your inner state and your life are just the way they ought to be – under the circumstances!"

I think, though, that looking to these books for validation is not a good method. The validation Bass/Davis provide is extremely conditional. Only if you meet their criteria and go along with their program, is validation given and continued. If my rotten feelings and screwed-up life have nothing to do with such abuse, then I'm still out in the cold. Worse, if I first "genuinely" (their word) suspected I may've been abused and now I doubt it, it's Bass & Davis who will then, in effect, be calling me crazy.

As I see it, their validation amounts to, "You're just the way you ought to be – UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES." It's that last clause that's the problem. No person, no authors, can require any historical or current circumstance to make it "alright" for you to feel what you feel or think what you think. If no one else in the entire world has felt the way you feel, your experience is still – I don't want to say "valid" – the experience is still *yours*.

Bass & Davis are playing the same game their demon patriarchy plays; it's just that they want to be the dealer, giving out chips for their chosen cards and for following their rules.

I've talked elsewhere about "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy," which I'm interested in. It ponders a different approach than Bass & Davis. 'ACT' raises questions like:

What if validation is not a feeling? What if it doesn't have to feel either good or bad? What if it doesn't come from anyone else nor even from yourself? What if it requires nothing? What if validation is simply being who you are right now...

...and taking any action toward something that's already important to you?





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