Invalidating my feelings
In some families, the invalidation becomes extreme, leading to physical abuse and even murder.
However, invalidation can also be accomplished by verbal manipulations that invalidate in ways both subtle and confusing.” This post will discuss two aspects of invalidation that Dr. The first involves the relationship between the concept of invalidation and a similar concept from family systems pioneer Paul Watzlawick that he called . When I first read Linehan, I thought of a similar concept that I had read about in a classic book in family systems theory by Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson first published way back in 1967 called .
Unfortunately, when someone disqualifies what they are saying in this manner, the other people listening are on shaky ground when trying to determine what is actually being communicated to them. In fact, just when listeners think they have a fix on it, such people may contradict themselves, leaving listeners to start to doubt their own perceptions about what was just said.
The clue I was referring to was that suddenly, in the middle of an hours-long conversation, the mother unexpectedly exclaimed, “I was a bad little girl,” and went on to describe how horrible a daughter she had been.
It suddenly occurred to me that, despite appearances, she might really have been thinking about a good deal of the time during the conversation.
While certainly one can feel conflicted over those things, the focus of the analysts was far too narrow.
Experiential therapists like Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers felt that a far more basic conflict was between one’s need to express one’s true nature () and doing what was expected by everyone else.
Family systems pioneer Murray Bowen framed this as a conflict between the forces of individuality and the forces of togetherness.
Those with such a conflict suppress parts of themselves that do not seem to conform to what they believe other important family members expect of them, but the suppression is never complete.
Are the people around you invalidating you and holding you back from progressing?
Invalidation is an element of toxic relationships, and I’m going to discuss both today.
(Making recordings this way is illegal in some states, but it is not illegal for me to listen to them).
Patients brought me these tapes primarily because they were tired of other therapists continually insisting that their memories and descriptions of interactions with their families were all distorted.
One patient, one of the worst self-cutters I have ever treated, used to have phone conversations with her mother nearly every day that lasted for hours and hours.