Biosocial theory invalidating environment
An invalidating environment is one that pervasively rejects both valid and invalid behaviors, regardless of the actual validity of the behavior.
They oscillate between escalated emotional responses and shutting down completely. They internalize the invalidating environment and are quick to self-invalidate (e.g., “I overreact to everything;” “no one will ever love me.”) From a behavioral standpoint, we believe that all behavior is caused – even when we don’t know the causes of behavior – and all behavior makes sense in context.
This is invalidation to the extreme; the very people who were supposed to protect you did not do so.
But sometimes you have an “ordinary” family but there are so many other stressors (financial, medical) that they can’t deal with a child’s emotional needs.
Some of the skills our clients lack are the ones needed to effectively regulate their emotions; so many of their difficulties stem from problematic attempts to do so.
They start treatment without the skills to label or describe their emotions.They are highly sensitive to emotional cues, and have extreme, and often long-lasting emotions.