OBJECTIVE:This study explored experiences of validation andinvalidation among clients with severe mental illness in treatmentwith either peer providers or traditional providers.
RESULTS:Mixed analysis of variance showed that communicationsfrom and interactions with providers were perceived to be morevalidating than invalidating by clients in treatment with peer providers than by those in treatment with traditional providers.
CONCLUSIONS:Peer providers, who reveal their experiences of mental illnessto their clients, were perceived to be more validating, andtheir invalidating communications were linked with favorableshort-term outcomes. Both peer and traditional providers sometimesexpress disapproval of clients' attitudes, values, or behaviors—aform of invalidation. This study found that early in the courseof treatment peer providers may be effective in fostering progressby challenging clients' attitudes, values, or behaviors.