- Painful feelings that are expressed, acknowledged, and validated by a trusted listener will diminish.
- Painful feelings that are ignored will gain strength.
Basic Concepts of Validation
- Acknowledging the other person’s feelings
- Identifying the feelings
- Offering to listen
- Helping them label the feelings
- Being there for them
- Remaining present physically and emotionally
- Being patient
- Being accepting and non-judgemental
This is simpler than we think!
We have found that if one just validates another, the other will usually be able to work out their own emotional problems even faster than if we were to give them our advice.
In summary the pastoral caregiver is present to help a patient and caregiver experience as fully as possible the love God has for them. Pain is often present in a patient’s room. We cannot fix pain. Emotions are always present. We can validate their emotions. We enter the room knowing we cannot fix those who are present; in fact, the pastoral caregiver should not even try. But we can love them. Loving them means “”hearing” them, that is, acknowledging their concerns and feelings as authentic. Loving them, depending upon circumstances, often means touching them; loving them often means praying with or for them. The purpose of the chart is to illustrate some of the ways a pastoral caregiver can bring the love of God to patients and their loved ones into the room.
To learn more register to our workshop below. A 15-hour intensive workshop designed to equip beginning pastoral caregivers with basic skills and concepts that will enable them to provide competent spiritual support to patients and families dealing with serious illness and loss.