Validation vs. Praise: Therapist Reveals Top 3 Mental Health Pet Peeves

New York, USA – Exploring the realm of mental health offers individuals a pathway to self-discovery and growth. Through therapy, individuals have the opportunity to unravel the patterns that shape their lives, distinguishing between those that propel them forward and those that hold them back. By delving into their past, contemplating their future, and engaging in the challenging work of healing, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards self-improvement.

One notable aspect of contemporary society is the widespread availability of mental health information on social media platforms. While this accessibility has helped reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and fostered open conversations, it has also led to the oversimplification and distortion of certain aspects of mental health awareness and practices.

Steph, a licensed family therapist and mental health content creator, shares both her admiration and criticism of the mental health community, shedding light on the nuances within the landscape. Specifically, she highlights three key areas that she finds particularly irksome within the ‘mental health space.’

One common phrase often perpetuated in mental health circles is the notion that “connecting to the present moment will bring calm.” However, Steph challenges this idea, emphasizing that the present moment is multifaceted and can encompass a wide range of experiences, including discomfort and unease. She stresses the importance of embracing all emotions, even the uncomfortable ones, as a vital part of the healing process.

Another point of contention for Steph is the distinction between praise and validation in interpersonal relationships. While she lauds the practice of validation for its ability to deepen connections, she cautions against the potentially invalidating effects of excessive praise. Validation, she explains, involves acknowledging and understanding someone’s emotional experience, whereas praise may inadvertently overlook the complexity of their feelings.

In her practice, Steph encounters a common issue where therapists fail to address secondary emotions lurking beneath surface displays of anger or annoyance. By emphasizing the significance of acknowledging and honoring these underlying emotions, she underscores the importance of thorough emotional exploration in therapeutic settings.

By candidly discussing her pet peeves within the mental health space, Steph not only sheds light on areas for improvement but also underscores the imperfect nature of all communities. Her willingness to address these shortcomings contributes to a culture of honesty and growth within the mental health community, encouraging individuals to embrace imperfection as a natural part of the healing journey.