When a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? I remember when I first heard this question. I was taking Philosophy as one of my elective classes. The argument was, if no one was there to hear and perceive it, was a sound made? Today, I happen to be contemplating it yet once again. As a therapist, I now see a different perspective. I am not concerned whether a sound was made or not, but rather, was it validated and acknowledged when it fell.
As I practice in the counseling field, I am constantly brought back to the understanding that acknowledgment is a very powerful tool. It says: “I am aware of you. I acknowledge your presence. I see you as you are and it’s okay. You are okay.” There is no judgment. Acknowledgment not only strengthens a relationship but also allows the other person to be herself or himself without fear of repercussion…in any way. It is the foundation of honesty and trust.