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02

The Power of Validation

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Happiness

Validation is a powerful tool that can be implemented in almost every relationship we have. According to Karyn Hall, PhD: “Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors as understandable. Self-validation is the recognition and acceptance of your own thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviors as understandable.”

Why Do We Need Validation?

Validation is important for us to feel accepted by others. As most of us can attest to, feeling like you belong and matter is an important part of  feeling good about yourself. When we validate others, it brings us closer and strengthens the relationship. Additionally, validation helps us to build understanding with others and aids in effective communication. Validation also helps people feel important and cared for. This is especially true for kids who need validation to feel connected to their parents, express emotions and to develop a secure sense of self.

Levels of Validation

Marsha Linehan, PhD, has identified six different levels of validation and some tips on how to implement them.

  1. Being Present: giving your complete attention to the person struggling in a non-judgmental way
  2. Accurate Reflection: Summarize what the person has said, try to really understand and not judge the person’s experience
  3. Reading someone’s behavior and guessing what they may be thinking or feeling: pay attention to the person’s emotional state and label their emotion or infer how they may be feeling. Be sure to check in with the person to make sure your guess is accurate!
  4. Understanding someone’s behavior in terms of their history and biology: think about how someone’s past experiences may be affecting how they are feeling now, in this moment or situation.
  5. Normalizing or recognizing emotional reactions that anyone would have: recognize that many people may feel the way that you or the other person is feeling in a given situation and let them know that it’s okay to feel this way as many people do.
  6. Radical genuineness: this happens when you are able to understand how someone is feeling on a deeper, personal level. Perhaps, you have had a similar experience. Sharing that with the other person can help to validate their feelings and reactions.

Putting Words Into Action

Learning to validate others can be easier said than done. However, being more conscience of how our words affect others and even implementing the first few levels of validation can make a big difference in our relationships and interactions with others. An essential tenant of the therapeutic relationship is validation. It is important to know that we must first be able to validate ourselves before being able to validate others. Therapy can help you to achieve self-validation skills as well as learning skills to validate others. For more information about our clinicians and how they can help, visit: https://www.collaborativemn.com/meet-our-team.

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18

Embrace Your Mistakes

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
New thinking

Some may find this a shock but I make mistakes. Seriously! Okay, well now that you are over the shock of it all, let’s talk about how to embrace your mistakes and love your imperfect self.

How Do I Embrace My Mistakes?

It is inevitable that you will make mistakes. While making a mistake may feel discouraging or may cause you negative thoughts, they can be useful opportunities to help us improve ourselves.

When you discover you have made a mistake, embrace it by acknowledging any consequences or damage done. Apologize if necessary and take ownership for your mistake. Then identify what you can learn from the situation and move on knowing you will do better next time!

See mistakes as wonderful opportunities to learn. When we accept our mistakes, and ourselves we can learn and realize how our imperfections can help us grow.

It may take some time to adapt to this new style of thinking about mistakes, but there are little things that you can do to incorporate this kind of thinking into your everyday life. If you have a family, make it a practice to create an environment of acceptance towards mistakes. For example, at dinnertime have everyone share a mistake and what he or she learned from it. When we model for our children that we can be imperfect, it gives them the space to feel positively about themselves in spite of the lessons learned through mistakes.

More than anything ~ have the courage to be imperfect, because we all are! Learn more about how we can help you be your best self at: https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/individual-counseling

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17

Are You Made of “Solid Gold”?

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Two Friends Hiking During the Golden Hour

These days we frequently hear advertisements luring us to sell the “old gold” we having lying around the house. However, how do we know if it’s real? If it’s pure through and through? That got me to thinking about congruence within ourselves. Are we pure gold through and through?

What Does It Mean To Be “Solid Gold”?

It has to do with values. Not WHAT you value, but what DO you value. By this I mean living and behaving according to our values. We all know and admire folks like this. They do what they say and they believe what they do.

In counseling others, I encourage clients to think about this. Are you living and behaving according to your values? When you do, peace will be yours and so will respect. It’s a challenge to really sit back and take our own inventory. It can be much easier to take the inventory of others, however then change doesn’t really occur.

Counseling is a way to gently guide you to your true golden self.

For more information about counseling visit: https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/individual-counseling

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05

Be Conscious and Present

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Woman Practicing Being Present and Mindful

Multitasking vs. Presence

Often our attention is in too many places. When we try to do too many things at once, it increasingly distracts us from being present in any one thing. Our mind can be fractured into many pieces, decreasing our effectiveness. Think of the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Mother Theresa. A lot goes right when people are conscious and present. All of these leaders showed up for hard decisions, courageous conversations, and to care for themselves and others. They showed up for the good, the bad and the ugly. It quickly becomes clear when we think of these leaders that being conscious and intentional makes a world of difference in how effective someone is when they are focused and present.

Choosing To Be Present

You might be wondering what does this have to do with me? We propose your presence or lack thereof, has everything to do with how effective you are being in both your professional and personal life. A French Proverb reminds us, “The one not ruled by the rudder, will be ruled by the rocks.”.  Those who keep the rudder in the water by staying focused on their intention, values and mission tend to reach their goals. If you don’t have a sense of these things it’s easy to get knocked off course by life’s everyday rocks.

Make The Change

Our challenge to you is to start being intentional and present in each interaction with others and as you work on each task throughout the day. Start noticing the difference in the outcomes of communication when you are present versus times when you are multi-tasking. Observe the difference in your energy when you are acting out of intention and presence.

It’s not always easy to be present and focused but the benefits are life changing. What difference do you notice in yourself when you are being present and in the moment versus distracted and fragmented?

Learn more about how we can help you to become your best self at: https://www.collaborativemn.com/meet-our-team

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