When we can clearly express ourselves and really listen to others, it is easier to understand and be there for each other.
Empathy is when we put ourselves in someone else's shoes, and try to understand and share the feelings of another. Validation is communicating to the other that their feelings are valid and true to them. You must have empathy to validate. Learning how to validate is a communication skill that takes practise and when done effectively, can create long lasting positive effects in your relationship with your loved one.
The Family Support Services team invites you to spend some time checking out the communication resources in this section and remember that practice will make you feel more comfortable with a new skill.
Recordings for families – National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD)
These two family recordings are taped sessions with Dr. Alan Fruzzetti, Ph.D. and Marie-Paule deValdivia. Each recording is about an hour long and both recordings provide valuable information on how to communicate effectively with your loved one.
NEABPD was initially created as a resource and support group for families of a loved one with a diagnosis of BPD diagnosis. NEABPD has now grown to be a large community of both people and information worldwide.
Sashbear Organization is a non-profit organization that provides Family Connections™ (FC). FC is an evidence-based 12-week group that teaches communication skills to people who are in a relationship with someone who has emotion dysregulation or related challenges. It is provided free of charge and all groups are peer-led.
The FC program was developed by practicing clinicians/researchers (Drs. Fruzzetti and Hoffman) based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counselling people with emotion dysregulation or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and their loved ones. The program was developed in consultation with family members and is coordinated internationally by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD). Sashbear oversees and provides Family Connections™ in Canada.
Supporting recovery - National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
This one-page article describes the challenges involved when supporting a loved one with a mental illness and provides tips on how to be supportive to your loved one.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an American grassroots organization and today they are the largest mental health organization in the U.S.
Use the Listen Empathize Agree Partner (LEAP) Communication Model when supporting a loved one with a mental illness - Dr. Xavier Amador
The LEAP Communication Model shows you how to work toward developing a trusting relationship with someone who does not believe they are unwell. This model can support you in having difficult conversations with your loved one.
The LEAP Institute was founded by Dr. Xavier Amador, who is an internationally renowned clinical psychologist.
Starting a conversation with someone about their mental health - Mental Health America
Community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT)
CRAFT is an evidence-based, therapeutic approach, which teaches families and friends supporting a loved one with substance use communication skills on how to engage in conversations that will help motivate your loved one to consider engaging in treatment.
Read a five-page fact sheet explaining what the CRAFT model is and how it can help you as a support person. The fact sheet is a Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction publication.
Training for CRAFT is offered through the Robert J. Meyers website.
Family Huddle Newsletter: July 2020 edition on validation - Family Support Services, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Fraser Health Authority
In this July 2020 edition of the Family Huddle newsletter, you will learn about what validation is, what it is not and why it is an important skill to learn in your supportive role.
Family Support Services (FSS) is a program within Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which supports families and friends who are supporting a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use. The Family Huddle is the FSS a newsletter, open to anyone who wishes to sign up at the link above. This newsletter is how the program shares program information, events and group offerings.
Videos and voice recordings
Empathy - Brené Brown
In this three-minute video, Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to acknowledge our own vulnerabilities.
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor and best-selling author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead (Penguin Portfolio, 2013). She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.
Validation: It’s not about the nail – Protmac Programs
This two-minute video demonstrates with humour how to, and how not to, validate the feelings and experiences of others.
This 16-minute video, presented and produced by Protmac Programs, teaches you about the power of validation as a family skill to help you in your communication with your loved one.
Dialectical behaviour therapy skills for families - National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD)
This series of videos demonstrates how dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helps people and their families. DBT is an evidence based therapy for the treatment of borderline personality disorder and/or dysregulation. DBT skills are also taught to families and friends to help them learn skills to become more effective in their communication with the person they are supporting.
NEABPD was initially created as a resource and support group for the families of the BPD diagnosis. NEABPD has now grown to be a large community of both people and information worldwide.