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From strategy to process: Validation in dialectical behaviour therapy

Hadjiosif, Miltiades



Content and Focus: This paper explores how Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) elaborates upon the concept of validation as a strategic intervention and therapeutic stance. It examines the rationale for validating the ‘grain of wisdom’ in every client communication and problematic behaviour and outlines levels of validation articulated by Marsha Linehan and her colleagues before linking them to counselling psychology practice.
Conclusions: Validation is consistent with the humanistic underpinnings of counselling psychology that necessitate an appreciation of client phenomenology devoid of pathologising and pejorative assumptions. DBT’s focus on this intervention is illuminating yet conceptualising it as a strategy traversing the ‘acceptancechange’ dialectic might estrange us from validating our clients when attending to more process-oriented issues in therapy.


Hadjiosif, M. (2013). From strategy to process: Validation in dialectical behaviour therapy

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2013
Publication Date Mar 1, 2013
Journal Counselling Psychology Review
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 72-80
Keywords validation, counselling psychology, DBT, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, acceptance
Public URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This paper was undertaken under a scholarship from the A.O. Onassis Foundation