The Validation Breakthrough

Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias, Third Edition

By Naomi Feil, M.S.W., and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A., M.S.W.

ISBN 978-1-932529-93-7
6 x 9 papercover
304 pages
© 2012

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(12 customer reviews)


Validation is a successful way of communicating with older adults with Alzheimer’s-type dementia and responding to their challenging behaviors. The Validation method helps reduce stress, enhance dignity, and increase happiness for both the elder and the caregiver. Since its inception in 1989, Validation has helped thousands of professional and family caregivers improve their relationships with residents and loved ones with dementia by acknowledging older adults’ expressed feelings rather than focusing on disorientation and confusion.

In this revised edition, you will learn how to:

  • Build relationships with residents based on empathy and compassion
  • Understand and deal with challenging behaviors
  • Interpret nonverbal cues to promote better communication
  • Implement Validation in your own care setting through the experiences shared by Authorized Validation Organizations around the world

The Validation method is easy to learn and positive results can be seen in both residents and caregivers.

  • Residents express less anger and anxiety, decreasing the need for chemical and physical restraints.
  • Residents communicate more freely and more often.
  • Residents often move better and experience an improved sense of self-worth.
  • Staff members express a greater sense of fulfillment at work and feel better prepared for handling difficult situations.
  • Families visit more often.

The Validation Breakthrough is an essential resource for professionals in all settings serving adults who may be confused and disoriented, including assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, home health care, adult day services, and family care settings.

Join the 10,000+ agencies in over 16 countries that are successfully implementing Validation in their organizations and start improving your care for individuals with dementia today!

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-938870-18-7

E-book available through:

Also available through: Baker and Taylor, OverDrive, Gardners, and Follett

The Validation Breakthrough (Table of Contents)

The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer’s and Other Dem… by Health Professions Press

Naomi Feil, M.S., A.C.S.W., is the developer of Validation. She was born in Munich in 1932, and grew up in the Montefiore Home for the Aged in Cleveland Ohio, where her father was the administrator and her mother, the head of the Social Service Department. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York, she began working with the elderly. Between 1963 and 1980, Mrs. Feil developed Validation as a response to her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with the severely disoriented older people who were her clients. In 1982 she published her first book, Validation: The Feil Method, which was revised in 1992. Her second book, The Validation Breakthrough, was published in 1993, and updated and revised in 2012. Feil and her husband have made many films and videos about aging and Validation. Feil is the Executive Director of the Validation Training Institute and a popular speaker in North America and Europe. Since 1989 she has toured Europe 3 times a year offering workshops in Validation to participants in Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, and Austria. Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, Italian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, and Japanese.

Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, R.N., M.B.A., works full-time as a Validation Master-Teacher and lecturer as well as Naomi Feil’s manager in Europe. As European Manager, she was a founding member of the European Validation Association (1993) and assisted in the development of Authorized Validation Organizations in Austria, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America. She taught the first formal Validation course in 1994 and since then has been training internationally, delivering certification courses at all levels. As AVO Coordinator for the Validation Training Institute, she has assisted in the development of Authorized Validation Organizations in the United States, and written the AVO Guidelines. Ms. de Klerk-Rubin, working with teams of Validation Teachers, has shepherded the development of standardized course curricula, levels of certification, quality guidelines and testing materials. She has been an advisor to the Validation Training Institute Board of Trustees since its inception and a member since 2009. She currently holds the dual positions of Board Secretary and AVO Coordinator. Ms. de Klerk-Rubin received her BFA from Boston University (1978), an MBA from Fordham University (1983), and a Nursing degree from Hogeschool Holland, Amsterdam (1997). She has published numerous articles on Validation in Dutch and British magazines and co-authored the revisions of Naomi Feil’s publications. Her book, Validation Techniques for Dementia Care: The Family Guide to Improving Communication has been published in multiple languages.

12 reviews for The Validation Breakthrough

  1. admin

    The Validation Breakthrough [is a] useful resource on communication skills for professional staff working with adults who are confused or disoriented … Readers who have not come across Feil before are warmly recommended to look into the techniques described.”
    Journal of International Psychogeriatrics–Fran Bulloff

  2. admin

    “Naomi Feil has developed practical techniques to open doors previously shut, span bridges across vast communication divides, and bring comfort and joy to disoriented elderly, their caregivers and loved ones.”

    Fran Bulloff, J.D., President, Validation Training Institute

  3. admin

    “Validation can and does help individuals with agitation and aggressive behavior. This book gives you the approach, the tools, and the opportunity for healing. I highly recommend it to my medical colleagues and all those caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.”

    Craig P. Solberg, MD, HealthEast Medical Care for Seniors, St. Paul, Minnesota

  4. admin

    “Validation is a moral imperative in our time. Read this book and learn how to communicate with people—with and without dementia. On virtually every page is an insight that helps us break through the fears of aging, dependency, and death.”

    Michael Verde, Memory Bridge, Founder and President

  5. admin

    “The previous editions of this vibrant book have influenced and instructed so many people—including me—in how to better communicate with and care for older people with dementia…it was life changing…This third edition offers even more stories, ideas, directions, and information about the Validation Method and the respect, fulfillment, and human connections it creates. It deserves to be read and applied by everyone having a sincere interest in dementia work and caregiving.”

    Stephen Klotz, Certified Validation Master, M.Div., and Executive Director of Validation Education, Country Meadows Retirement Communities, Hershey, PA

  6. admin

    “Naomi Feil and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin present an artful, sensitive, and caring intervention approach to working with confused and disoriented older adults. The case studies and examples are rich with insight and provide clear examples of techniques that may be used. The approach is empowering to older adults and to their caregivers.”

    Harvey L. Sterns, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology, The University of Akron

  7. admin

    “As an organization we have a goal to spread the message about Validation Therapy and provide training so that people with the disease can receive the care that they deserve.”

    Wayne Olson, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Operations, Volunteers of America

  8. admin

    The Validation Breakthrough teaches caregivers and families how to stay connected to their loved ones even in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and how to communicate with them even when they no longer can.”

    Donna Beveridge, watercolorist, teacher, and literacy specialist diagnosed with probable early-stage Alzheimer’s in 2007

  9. Virtual Private Server

    A part of me believes that changes in the brain probably cause some of that agitation, regardless of whatever psychiatric issues there might be. In any case, I am going to try the techniques and I can see why they would be useful.

  10. Virtual Private Servers

    I think this approach sounds fantastic– but I also think learning to use it could be very challenging. Our culture in general has way too little respect for the old, and this is a step in the right direction.

  11. Virtual Private Servers

    Touching, amusing, and informative, The Validation Breakthrough shows caregivers how to dramatically enhance the quality of their relationships with people in the early to middle stages of dementing illnesses. Helpful, practical strategies will show you how to stop patronizing and arguing with people with dementia and start building trust by stepping into their world.

  12. Hosting

    I think this is perfectly possible for some actions, but others simply don’t make sense and have no meaning – to validate the emotion however is a great approach that prevents aggression on the long term. A Freudian and Jungian approach, but the method is valuable and pretty much the most effective and humanistic one found to date.

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