Validation Part I

It’s hard to talk about validation without considering what it is NOT. Hopefully you can immediately see that the statements above are examples of invalidation. Although we don’t need to validate everything (and in fact, it would be unwise to validate everything), we need to at least know HOW to validate. Validation is a skill and it can be learned. It is actually possible to validate ANYTHING. Yes, anything.

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Why Don't More Men Go to Therapy?

I snarled as I scrolled past yet another one of those patronizing posts on Instagram from a therapy practice. You’ve seen something similar, I’m sure. There’s usually a mountain or some other form of nature background along with a silhouette of a person you are supposed to identify with who may or may not appear to be in some form of pain…or maybe they are leaping or climbing on something? This particular post indicated that it was “proud” of me and implied that, because of this, I had accomplished enough for the day. My first thought: “f^^^^^^*k youuuuuu.”

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Are you a "Turtle Dove"?

As a psychotherapist, one of my absolute, favorite moves of all time is when I meet a new client who sheepishly admits that they want a romantic relationship in spite of believing that they shouldn’t:

So you’re a “Turtle Dove.”

With this statement, my hope is that I begin to unravel the years of twisted thinking they’ve been exposed to suggesting that they “need to learn how to be ok with being alone.” Why should they be alone? Because they REALLY don’t want to be alone? Because they are uncomfortable and sad being alone? Because they desire a significant other more than anything else in their lives? So there must be something wrong with them. They must be deficient in some way. They must have a “love addiction” or low self-esteem. Wow. Are we really that sadistic???

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When "Reaching Out" is Harmful

Sometimes it is actually not beneficial to ask for help.

Excuse me, what??? Aren’t we supposed to call on people when we are distressed? Doesn’t EVERY social media account hosted by mental health professionals post frilly quotes about how important it is to ask for help and how “it’s ok to not be ok?”

Well that’s one part of the elephant.

Yes, asking for help is a life skill. We all need to do it sometime if we are going to survive and have satisfying relationships. But just like any “good thing,” we can use it too much.

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There's No Such Thing as Suicide "Prevention"

Apparently, September is “Suicide Prevention” month and since it’s the end of the month and no one has said it, it looks like I will have to be the bad guy.

As a DBT therapist for 12+ years, I have worked with multiple people with chronic suicidal urges, people who have attempted to cause their own death on several occasions, and those who have lost people to suicide. I teach licensed therapists all over the country how to use DBT to help clients who want to end their life and I supervise therapists-in-training on working with people who are suicidal. In short, I think my opinion might be worth sharing.

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F*ck “Self-Care"

Just in care you needed one more reason to feel like you aren’t keeping up, let us consider whether your “self-care” is up to standard.

No???? Wow. Shocking.

KNOW WHY? Because getting the “recommended” amount of sleep, water, exercise, “me time,” journaling, vitamins, etc., etc. is abso-freakin-lutely impossible. Wait—sorry, actually, you know who is able to do self-care 100% on a daily basis? Liars. That’s who.

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