The Validation Breakthrough, Fourth Edition

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

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

ISBN 978-1-956801-00-2
6 x 9 papercover
300 pages
© 2022


Product Description

Since the 1980s, the Validation method has been recognized worldwide as a reliable and effective approach used by care staff and families to communicate with people experiencing memory loss and disorientation. Put into practice, it can relieve distress and confusion, promote dignity, improve engagement, and reduce conflicts.

This easy-to-read book explains the essential principles and practices of Validation and illustrates them with compelling stories and photos. When a person’s actions or expressions seem inexplicable, the Validation method is a tool to bridge the gap and connect with that person’s reality. Care providers gain powerful tools for improving lives by focusing on the social and psychological needs of the person experiencing dementia.

Through case studies presented by a variety of practitioners, see how Validation works in different care settings. Also in this revised edition, learn how to:

  • Choose the best strategies to use for each situation or phase
  • Use empathy and compassion to build trusting relationships with residents
  • Move beyond facts to relieve hidden sources of stress, fear, and anger
  • Interpret nonverbal cues to promote better engagement

This resource is essential for professionals in all settings serving adults with memory loss. The Validation method empowers care partners to achieve surprising results and connections—in all manner of circumstances. Enjoy the many benefits of breaking through dementia to touch the true lives within.

Benefits of Validation:

  • Residents express less anger and anxiety
  • Use of antipsychotic medications declines
  • Improved communication produces increased engagement and feelings of self-worth
  • Residents often exhibit more flexibility and strength in their movements
  • Staff members feel better prepared to handle difficult situations
  • Work-related stress and burnout diminish
  • Families experience more joy in their relationships with loved ones

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-956801-01-9

E-book available through:

Also available through: Bowker, Chegg, Gardners, Kobo, OverDrive, ProQuest, Redshelf, and Trilogy

About the Authors
Preface, by Vicki de Klerk-Rubin
Prologue, Florence Trew 1872–1963: “I died,” by Naomi Feil

Part I. Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and the Use of Validation

  1. Aging, Development, and Alzheimer’s Disease
  2. The Concept and Techniques of Validation
  3. Using Validation with People Who Are Mostly Oriented in Phase One
  4. Using Validation with People Who Are in Phase Two
  5. Using Validation with People Who Are in Phase Three
  6. Using Validation with People Who Are in Phase Four
  7. Using Validation with Young-Old People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease
  8. Who Benefits from Validation?
  9. How Validation Differs from Other Methods Used with Old-Old People

Part II. Communicating with People in Different Phases Using Validation

  1. Communicating with People Who Are Mostly Oriented
  2. Communicating with People Who Are Living in a Personal Reality
  3. Communicating with People Who Express Themselves Mostly Through Movements and Sounds
  4. Communicating with Disoriented People Living in the Community

Part III. Validation in Different Care Settings

  1. Validating Family Members
  2. Group Validation
  3. Validation in Different Care Settings—Case Studies

Appendix A: Frequently Asked Questions About Validation
Appendix B: Validation Learning and Training
Appendix C: Validation Summary and Assessment Tool


Coming soon!

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.

2 reviews for The Validation Breakthrough, Fourth Edition

  1. HPP Admin

    “This book will transform how you communicate. I have watched people with dementia-related illnesses come to life as teams in our senior living communities use Validation, and I have witnessed family caregivers have intimate moments again when they learn and use this approach.”
    -Kevin Carlin, M.S., Principal, Meridian Senior Living

  2. HPP Admin

    “A true pioneer, Naomi Feil is considered the first care professional to take the emotions of older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease seriously. Her Validation method helps us support individuals in achieving the highest practicable well-being.”
    -Eilon Caspi, Ph.D., author, Understanding and Preventing Harmful Interactions Between Residents with Dementia

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