Monday, August 31, 2020

Counseling is a balance between validation and challenge of your current thoughts, beliefs and behaviors to impact change

Counseling is a balance between validation and challenge. It’s important to have a safe, compassionate, nonjudging space for the acknowledgement and validation of our current thoughts, thinking, feelings and behaviours. Validation is safe and supportive and at the same time, over-validate and things may be a bit slow to change. 

Challenge is an important vehicle for change, but if we are unprepared and over-challenged, our unwanted defensiveness and resistance may be triggered and hinder change. It’s a bit of a dance as one of my colleagues might say.

In practice, I often ask my patients which way do they prefer?  Towards the validation, towards the challenge, or somewhere in the middle, and use that as a rough guide. When in doubt, we would use validation as a default as it’s more foundational in counseling.  

No one size fits all. 

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