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What Is Emotional Validation?

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Updated June 17, 2014

Definition:

Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding, and expressing acceptance of another person’s emotional experience. Emotional validation is distinguished from emotional invalidation, in which another person’s emotional experiences are rejected, ignored, or judged.

A few dominant psychological theories of borderline personality disorder (BPD) assert that many people with BPD did not receive sufficient emotional validation over the course of their development (see also “emotionally invalidating environment”), which may be one factor in the development of the emotion dysregulation characteristic of the disorder.

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