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DBT Validation Basics Handout

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Validation is a vital component of any relationship, including your relationship with yourself. Practicing validation allows you to recognize emotions, thoughts, and behaviors as reasonably and accurately as possible in a specific situation. Meanwhile, invalidation happens when someone’s feelings and emotions are dismissed.

The DBT Validation Basics Handout offers simple definitions of validation, self-validation, and invalidation, and explains the reasons why validating others is important. At the end of the handout, clients are reminded that they can accept another person’s feelings without necessarily accepting inappropriate behaviors.

Using this handout encourages kids and teens to practice validation regularly, which improves the quality of their relationships. Caring adults can model validation at home by actively listening to their children’s emotions without dismissing them. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t be sad,” adults can respond with empathy by saying, “I understand you’re feeling sad.”

This handout pairs well with several other validation worksheets and handouts, including our DBT Validation Worksheet and our DBT Validating Others Worksheet.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of DBT worksheets and handouts.


  1. Benitez, C., Howard, K. P., & Cheavens, J. S. (2020). The effect of validation and invalidation on positive and negative affective experiences. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 17(1), 46–58. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2020.1832243
  2. Kuo, J. R., Fitzpatrick, S., Ip, J., & Uliaszek, A. A. (2022b). The who and what of validation: an experimental examination of validation and invalidation of specific emotions and the moderating effect of emotion dysregulation. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40479-022-00185-x
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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