Interpersonal Effectiveness: Receiving & Giving Validation

Written by: Brittany Glaser, M.A., M.Div.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Receiving & Giving Validation

When we are running our DBT classes, a lot of clients will ask me what to expect with each specific group. One of the groups that we run is called Interpersonal Effectiveness. In this group, we focus on learning and practicing skills that will help clients build healthy relationships, end destructive ones, nurture self-respect, and maintain balance in interactions with others.

One huge part of these skills is validation. We focus on both receiving and giving validation as an important aspect of creating and maintaining healthy relationships.

Validation is: acknowledging that someone’s perspective/ behaviors have causes and are understandable while not having to agree completely with that perspective/ behavior. Validation is about building empathy and understanding. It can improve relationships by showing that we are listening to another and deflate anger or the pressure to prove you are right.

Here is a DBT “how to” guide to validation:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Reflect Back – try to say back what you hear/ understand from someone
  3. “Read Minds” – listen to nonverbal cues
  4. Understand – look for how someone is feeling
  5. Acknowledge the Valid
  6. Show Empathy – try stepping into their shoes

Validation can be extremely helpful in a relationship and create so much understanding and empathy!

If you are interested in learning more about DBT skills or our DBT skills groups, then feel free to reach out to me via email at or phone at 678-893-5350 and I’d be happy to talk with you!