Healing From Trauma: The Impact of Invalidation

Written by an iTherapy Provider

Healing From Trauma: The Impact of Invalidation

Invalidation is denying or ignoring a person’s emotional experience and communicating that their thoughts or feelings are not valid or wrong.

Invalidation hurts the most when you feel like people are not listening to you, misunderstanding or minimizing what you are saying, or you feel that you are being ignored. Invalidation as a child or adult can come from family members, teachers, friends, people you work with, or your partner.

Invalidation, when used as manipulation by others, can be abusive and lead to damaging effects such as low self-esteem, depression, reliance on others, anxiety, and self-harm. –

What is invalidation and how can it impact you? How to heal from a lifetime of invalidation and trauma.

However, not all invalidation is malicious. People may unconsciously invalidate others because they are uncomfortable with emotions, they want you to feel better quickly, they do not understand you or why you feel a certain way, or they could just lack the skills to validate someone. –

Invalidation may hurt but it is not always unwarranted. Sometimes invalidation is used as a way to challenge you to change and grow. 

Before reacting defensively to invalidation you need to determine if the person’s comments are valid or not. You can do this by examining all of the evidence. Who is the person who made the comment? Is this someone you trust their judgment? Does this person usually make invalidating comments that are not warranted? Take a step back from the situation and analyze it closely before you respond. –

One step in healing from a lifetime of unwarranted invalidation is to learn about how to validate yourself and others and to respond to invalidation in a healthy way. Learn to give yourself self-compassion and start exploring and identifying how you really feel rather than relying on the words of others. Only you know how you feel.

Engaging in self-care and finding healthy and supportive people in your life is a good step in recovering from invalidation.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.

Original Post April 15, 2019 – Healing From Trauma: The Impact of Invalidation

Dr. Tslil Feinberg of Cast Wellness Online, is a licensed clinical psychologist in California providing online counseling in sleep, trauma, and anxiety-related disorders. She also specializes in training and supervision in CBT for insomnia. Her focus is providing client-centered care using treatments informed by research. She believes that therapy should be a collaborative and active process between therapist and patient. Call (619) 452-2544 or email cast@itherapymail.com  to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Visit Dr. Tslil Feinberg’s Profile.

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