At our Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, October 22, LuAnn Lundquist, Executive President of Alzheimer's and Dementia Society, presented an interesting talk on Communication Validation.
Communication Validation is one way we can communicate acceptance of ourselves and others, supporting them and strengthening a relationship while maintaining a different opinion. Validation doesn't mean agreeing or approving. It is especially helpful in interacting with people with Alzheimer's or dementia.
Validation builds relationships and understanding and shows the other person that they are important. Often one of the reasons other people are uncomfortable with intense emotion is that they don't know what to say. Just being present, paying complete attention to the person in a nonjudgmental way, reading a person's behavior and guessing what they might be feeling or thinking and understanding their behavior in terms of their history and biology is how to help. For emotionally sensitive people, self-validation and validation by others helps them manage their emotions more effectively.
You can listen to the audio of LuAnn's presentation here.