Family T session #32 2-17-11
Chapter 6. Learn the Effective Validating Phrases and Questions
we started the session w/BPDd-13 reading aloud from the first and second pages of the chapter.
t: so being kind and gentle is the same as care and concern...the terminology is different and they mean the same. if we are not open to the care and concern and reply with "sounds like one of those validating phrases" what will happen?
BPDd-13: it will shut down communication
t: honesty in communication is important. when we are in a bad mood we can sometimes reply sarcastically or dig in our heels. what skills do you use, BPDd-13, when you recognize that you are digging in your heels?
BPDd-13: humor, take a walk down to the coral.
t: this happened yesterday. you were not being difficult but I recognized your non verbal communication. I saw that look you get when your brain gets stuck and doesn't want to change gears. I validated you and you were not accepting it so we walked down and you introduced me to nugget. when you get home you can do the same w/mom and dad. they can ask you to take a walk with them or lighten up the mood with humor. mom what did you get out of this chapter?
me: I learned about asking validating questions in order to keep communication flowing, aid the speaker in exploring their emotions and options for problem solving. I also recognize that this must take place only after validation occurs. I think that sometimes the speaker may not be open to answering or considering validating questions right after being validated...sometimes it may be best to wait a while. perhaps some self time is needed between the validation and the validating questions.
t: when BPDd-13 first gets home the transferring of skills may be rocky. we are only a phone call away if you need us. do you think that the skills you learned and use here will work at home?
t: we would not teach you skills that only work in a controlled environment. that would not be very helpful in the long run. ok, each of you read some of the list of validating phrases from the book. BPDd-13, you go first.
(BPDd-13 read about 14 phrases out loud).
t: ok dad, now your turn.
t: mom, go ahead.
t: BPDd-13, I noticed you smiling while they were reading these phrases. how did it feel to hear those validating statements?
BPDd-13: it felt good.
t: sometimes we can relate the phrases to past experiences and feel the comfort of the words. ok, dad, choose 2 validating questions to read.
dh: well before I would say "BPDd-13, why did you do that". now I would ask "how can I help you make a better choice for yourself?", "what did you mean?"
t: did you notice the voice inflection. you can hear the care and concern in the question. it sounds very sincere doesn't it?
BPDd-13: yea it really does.
t: ok your turn mom.
me: "did that hurt your feelings?", "what do you think caused the problem?"
t: how did it feel when mom and dad asked these questions? what were you thinking?
BPDd-13: well, I was thinking of solutions. I felt like I could express my feelings.
t: mom might need to ask another question if "yes" is the only answer you give to her question "did that hurt your feelings?"
BPDd-13: oh yeah, because I can explore my feelings more then.
t: can you think of an incident where your feelings were hurt here?
t: it has been a long time since your feelings have been hurt then?
t: any more thoughts on this?
me: I was going over chapter 5, it is about when to teach. I kept coming back to an idea expressed in the book about needing to establish a safe environment for honest and open expression of feelings and open mindedness for problem solving. I hope that BPDd-13 knows that home is a safe environment where she is loved and cared for. I hope she feels understood and not judged here. I don't think she felt that way at home before going to falcon ridge and that is why we weren't able to resolve any issues or problems no matter how long we waited after the storms passed.
t: BPDd-13, do you think that your parents would ever hurt you intentionally?
BPDd-13: no, I know they wouldn't.
t: you can see now how hard they have worked to improve themselves and get you the help you needed. it took a lot of love to do all this. if you are not in your Wise Mind your feelings may tell you that your home is not a safe environment. it is very important to get into your Wise Mind asap before the fight/flight response kicks in. if you are in the outside world from your home, and you don't feel safe, you may not be.
dh: I think she honestly and truthfully knows she is safe with us.
t: I have given BPDd-13 a packet of worksheets to do on mindfulness. we won't have family therapist next week as I will be at home recovering and resting after surgery. mindfulness is gaining a lot of ground in the world of therapy. mom, I have a new book for you to get.
me: oh great.
t: dbt skills to help your child with intense emotions or something like that.
me: oh, I already have that book. I found it helpful but I think it is geared more towards younger children.
I should have known you would have that one.
me: did you get my email yesterday?
t: yes, but I haven't read it yet.
me: I sent you a link to a new dbt skills work book for teens. it is coming out march the first.
t: great. well, we are finished with this book. keep it handy and read it over occassionally to sharpen and refresh your validation skills. BPDd-13 that includes you when you get home. while I am home I will do some reading too. my students will be receiving extra counsel from nale and extra equine therapy in place of our time together in the schedule. the equine specialists are very impressed with BPDd-13. they say she has the ability to feel what the horses feel. that is a gift.
me: yes it is. it is not something that you can learn. around here we say that "horses need help with their people".
t and BPDd-13:
t: well, it is time for us to go.
me: we will lift you up to the Lord in prayer for a successful procedure and ask for extra comfort for you and your family during this time.
t: thank you so much. the surgery is an answer to our prayers.
goodbyes to BPDd-13 and I love yous
here is the link to the new book coming out:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1572248831/ref=pe_5050_18786600_snp_dp#reader_1572248831
thanks for reading