Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 256623

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therapists always validating?

Posted by Penny on September 3, 2003, at 10:51:25

As most of you know, I'm having some problems with my roommate. So, of course, when I go to therapy, I talk a great deal about that - about her, about me, about how I'm having a hard time taking an objective view of the situation, etc.

I also focus a great deal on my family, especially my parents. But in both situations, what I find is that my therapist is very validating of my feelings (as was my former therapist). I don't mean that she just acknowledges that it's okay that I feel a certain way, etc., but she makes me feel often that I am 'right' in a certain situation. Then I think about my roommate and the therapist she sees on occasion, and I wonder if that therapist is telling her the same thing mine is telling me - that she's 'right.'

I guess what I'm wondering is, how often does your therapist disagree with you on a point (that doesn't involve putting yourself down) and do you think your T would do that regardless of your situation? I mean, from my perspective, I feel like the victim so to speak in my roommate situation but I don't deny responsibility for my part in the situation.

Yet, I doubt that most people (correct me if I'm wrong here, folks) go to their therapists and say "Yes, I'm a horrible person, I talk to her in a terrible way, I am intentionally trying to hurt her" and the therapist responds "You're right - you need to change the way you are treating her because what you are doing is wrong." It just seems to me that therapists are so validating, regardless of your role in a situation.

Am I completely off base here? Does your therapist ever play 'devil's advocate' when you are relating a scenario to them that made you feel hurt, etc.? Or does your therapist always seem to take your side?

I wonder this particularly in relation to family and/or friends coming to a 'group' session with *your* therapist, perhaps to work on a particular issue. Would your therapist still take your side?



Re: therapists always validating? Penny

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2003, at 11:03:24

In reply to therapists always validating?, posted by Penny on September 3, 2003, at 10:51:25

No, mine isn't always validating *at all*. :)


Re: therapists always validating?

Posted by Rigby on September 3, 2003, at 11:47:27

In reply to Re: therapists always validating? Penny, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2003, at 11:03:24

My therapist basically thinks I'm very, very hard on myself and am too fast to take responsibility and blame (which is true--I'm very quick to see the other side w/out ever seeing mine!) so she'll almost always err on my side. However, in situations where she feels I've been taken advantage of and I don't react she will disagree with me. For example, a friend's boyfriend French kissed me in a bar a few months ago and I had no reaction (it was kinda bizarre) and she got on my case for not being pissed at him. Not badly on my case but she disagreed with my "this is not a big deal" reaction. She also disagreed with me not confronting him. It ticked me off she wouldn't agree with me but I eventually did talk with him at my own pace. I also say too that she's just not always right--I didn't think it was a huge deal and I still don't. In the end I said, "Reasonable minds can differ." She now uses that phrase now too which I find kind of funny.


Re: therapists always validating?

Posted by Tabitha on September 3, 2003, at 13:48:22

In reply to therapists always validating?, posted by Penny on September 3, 2003, at 10:51:25

Mine is usually validating to me when I talk about conflict, and I've wondered the same thing.. how can she really judge the situation?

But she's not 100% validating, so I have to think maybe she's using some sensible judgement. I also think she's gotten the impression I'm generally too hard on myself, so perhaps she reflexively defends me.

Hey, have you ever considered taking your roommate to a session with you? I've never heard of roommate counseling before, but why not?


Re: therapists always validating?

Posted by allisonf on September 3, 2003, at 14:39:13

In reply to Re: therapists always validating?, posted by Tabitha on September 3, 2003, at 13:48:22

I've wondered about the same thing lately. Just like your therapist re: your roommate, mine is quick to side with me on issues relating to my mother and sometimes perceives my mother's words or actions as being more offensive than I do. Also, sometimes I ask her why taking care of my 2 kids should make me so crazy, when I know many mothers out there who stay at home with 3 or more and are fine. She sort of implies that a lot of stay at home moms have nannies or something--I'm not actually sure I'm understanding her b/c it just sounds so ridiculous to me! Like unsubstantiated validation.

Have you ever tried confronting your therapist about being too validating? I never have, but I'm curious to hear. Good luck...

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