Dialectics: Learning How to Find Balance and Walk the Middle PathMar 25, 2022
This episode was pre-recorded as part of a live, on-demand continuing education webinar. CEUs are still available for this submission across all CEUs. Register in all CEUs. We're talking about dialectical strategies, so we're going to start by defining dialectical strategies and, you know, we could have put this at the beginning of the series on dialectical behavior therapy, but I
findthat a lot of times people want to get into the nitty-gritty of it. I know what tools I can use, so we're working backwards and we're going to define the theory that underlies much of dialectical theory, and then we're also going to review some dialectical strategies to help clients identify truth and truth. remember that we talk about truth as something that can be synthesized from multiple points of view, there is not necessarily one single truth and the ever-changing and ever-evolving reality that many clients, if you put it that way, look at you as if you have three heads, what are you talking about, so let's try to figure out how to break it down and make analogies.
I encourage you to think about whatever environment you
findyourself in. The kinds of analogies you could use to help them understand how to
pathand understand the dialectic. Remember, if you're new, other people have heard this before. have anything to add any comments you've worked with this before and want to do your bit that's awesome just go ahead and put it in the chat window and i'll follow you as fast as possible so the universe is filled with opposing sides or Wet forces, so we want to look at things like good vs. bad, happy vs. sad, right vs. wrong, will vs. stubbornness, content vs. process, and following the rules vs. reinforcing assertiveness, so let's think in terms of losses.
Think of a loss. your clients usually experience and we can be left with really obvious tangible losses like death or loss of custody or something that's less abstract than loss of hope for the purposes of what we're doing right now so let's talk about the death everyone experiences death in their life and it can feel really oppressive and honestly it can seem like it really sucks so we mean how can there be two sides to death good and bad well you know when my dad died it was devastating for me it was just horrible and you know i can identify the bad very easily in that but the good was a bit harder to come by until i thought back to the fact that he was not suffering anymore and depending on what your spiritual beliefs about souls and after life and that kind of thing, you can also find other good things in death, so by looking you know what are the good and bad things about this because when dad was alive he was going through chemo and it was very stressful not just on him i mean he was in a lot of pain but it was stressful on everyone so it was a relief in a way for my stepmom when he finally passed because he was in peace so that she could be at peace, so she was looking for the good and the good. bad now when good things happen we usually don't look for the other shoe to drop so a lot of times we don't do this in Reverse you can do it but it's not as productive in my opinion again thinking about sticking with death. happy vs sad now metaphor now some people see death and going to heaven as a happy occasion but those of us who are still here on earth see it as a sad occasion again it is going to depend with that particular loss of their beliefs spiritual not much right or wrong well when people start thinking about death they may be angry and they may think it was wrong that this person had to die now or this person had to die and they had to be left behind so who looks good that person passed and you're still here so w is right about that how can you do that right if that person was a wonderful person? accept that something has happened in the face of the obstinacy of covering your ears and closing your eyes and leaving.
I'm just not going to pay attention when, again, my personal experience when dad passed away. I didn't want to accept it so for two years after he passed I didn't go back to South Florida and in my mind I could pick up the phone I mean I knew I couldn't but it wasn't that much different than when he was alive because you know we weren't very sensitive. -Happy family calling and talking all the time, so it took me a while before I realized that I was willing to accept that he was gone and that it was actually another stage of the grieving process for me, so experiencing and being willing to experience pain and c Accepting acceptance rather than denial or resistance is an important part of
path, understanding that you have to be willing to accept it, but also doing it deliberately and forcing yourself to look at what which is to be willing to do it and then force yourself. yourself content versus process you know we are actually seeing what is really happening you know the physical manifestation of what this loss is and if the person has died the person is no more but the process is what does that mean to you what does that mean that you already they're not in the physical body, you can combine both sides, you know, yes, the person is physically gone completely, but is their memories still there, is their spirit, is it still there, you know again I'm treading on some really delicate territory ? for a reason some people so obviously I investigated with my clients where their spiritual beliefs were before going down this path to know where the dialectic was that we were going to talk about, but understand that there is manifest content and latent content, if you want , or the process, and then the last one is following the rules versus reinforcing assertiveness and this doesn't always apply.
Apply now I'm going to get through a little faster Another loss that people experience a lot is losing a job, it can happen and it can be a loss because you got fired or a loss because you quit but the job isn't any longer so there's good and bad aspects, there are things for which you will be happy and things for which you will be sad. I just had a friend who retired and you know there are certain aspects that she's just excited that she doesn't have to get up at 5:00 am. m. every morning to go to work but he misses the people he used to work with and is sad that he is not working with clients so you have to be able to look both ways and accept that some things are bittersweet If he will, when he is Making the decision to lose a job or change jobs, this process of job loss is going to have good and bad things.
If you're preparing to do it voluntarily, you're going to see basically what are the benefits, what are the right things, the right reasons to stay in this job and what are the wrong reasons to stay in this job and make that decision, no job it's perfect so encouraging people to see if it's a job they just left or got fired or where they're going you know it can feel really bad getting fired or fired so how can you turn that into lemonade? How can they correct that? How can you turn that into an opportunity? doing something new and wonderful and amazing which is about willingness vs. stubbornness willingness to accept change or stubbornness digging into your feet like one of my donkeys trying to get into the barn and saying no you know I liked it the way it was I want to go back there Well we know we can't go back in time we haven't figured out how to time travel nor would we probably want to if we had the chance so we encourage people to see what you're willing to do , you are willing? to embrace the change and resist that stubbornness there's a part of them that's going to be stubborn and won't want to make the same mistake again so that's good content versus process again you lost this particular job but the process is what does that mean?
What does losing this job mean about you? What does it mean about your situation? the rules vs reinforcing assertiveness and this is really passivity vs assertiveness and sometimes it's not worth making waves sometimes you just say yeah ok I'll take my lumps and carry on because it's something you decide isn't worth it. energy in that moment versus making the decision that you know what I need to stand up for myself and I need to be assertive in this situation and make people understand that there are times for both of us and that it's important to be able to walk that middle path and figure out when the time is to be assertive and when is the time to just let it go Changes are the same every time there is a change you move you have a child you get married there is going to be dialectic in that nothing is 100 percent perfect but I really believe that nothing has to be 100 percent wrong, so I look at where the good stuff is and what we can find in between so we don't feel stuck here in the pit of despair. it's useful now I don't want I don't encourage you to tell your clients you know, just look on the bright side because that's really annoying and disabling. no lemons you know let's go experience sadness pain anger unpleasant useless or helpful however they are emotions and you go through it but once you experience them and address them it's time to move on because we can't stay stuck there forever , so we have to decide how to do that and that's where the dialectic really comes in handy, is when you choose to improve in the next moment and you say, okay, I've identified this whole side of the dialectic and again most of the time when we talk about that in the counseling they already identified the negative sides of everything, so let's see how we can find the positive side or put a little light on it or whatever metaphor you want to use, there is always more than one way to see a situation and more than one way to solve a problem and I've noticed that many of the people on my Facebook friends list are people in recovery and I value their opinion.
I love reading about different recovery stories and all that kind of stuff, but one thing. What I find disturbing to some degree is how vehemently some people cling to the idea that their recovery process is the only recovery process for anyone who is not a dialectician. The dialectic says that there is more than one way to solve a problem and not everything is going to work for everyone and it is just as important as doctors that we realize that yes, the 12 steps are there and with the right sponsor and in the right circumstances. , especially if there are no major co-occurring problems.
The 12 Steps can be very, very helpful and helpful and many people have recovered using the 12 Steps without counseling. I'm not going to argue with that, however, there are plenty of people who haven't made it this far for whatever reason they were overlooked, so to speak. to embrace recovery from a dialectical point of view that we want to acknowledge and when I say recovery I don't just mean addiction recovery I'm talking about anxiety depression bipolar even schizophrenia a Although there are some more standard protocols for schizophrenia medication wise that helps that person settle into a better quality of life, it's going to be different for each person, so there's always a slightly different path to recovery, there are good and bad aspects to each approach, whether it's medication-assisted recovery that's like your methadone and you're not vivitrol and that kind of thing or twelve step recovery or smart recovery or celebrating recovery or any of those there are great aspects and for some people they are amazing and they work but there are also negative aspects and if those negative aspects outweigh the good aspects, then we may need to look for a different path and ta We must also understand that two things that seem opposite can be true.
Can you love someone and hate them at the same time and those are two really strong words so it could be a whole different therapeutic discussion but when we're talking about opposites let's talk about that right now to illustrate the point yes you can love someone but hate their behaviors and when we talk about opposites, that's what I encourage people to look at, let's really define what these extremes of the dialectic are, what seems opposite? parents have loved you but also abandoned you in general you know it's a therapeutic problem for people can your parents love you and abuse you and again that would be something you have to go through with the client to figure out what it is your position at that point and with your knowledge of what the father was going through at that time what we do influences our environment and the people in it and they influence us if you are at work right now whatever you did today has had an influence on everyone you've come in contact with and just touched whether or not physically touching is irrelevant the person you smiled at in the lobby the person you share an office with the clients you've seen today is amazing how many different ways we influence and touch other people so let's take a happy example because i like those if you agreegood mood and you're going through the day and you really try to make eye contact and smile at people how does that affect them in general not all the time but in general it lightens their load a bit it may not make them delusionally happy but A lot of times people notice that, oh, that's weird, someone really likes to make eye contact and smile, how cool is the way we are. we are so busy with our nose and our mobile devices and trying not to make eye contact with anyone but when someone actually does and smiles it has a positive influence and people influence us if I see someone on my way to work. who smiles and they smile back at me that makes me feel happier thats how it affects me but still if i see someone who seems to be struggling when i am on my way to work my heart aches so how does that affect me when i get to work work in general that puts me on some social work tangent and making sure people know how to get the resources they need but it does influence how we act and how we interact little things it doesn't have to be huge like I said just one smile on more than one occasion when i was working in residential treatment well it was I Oh P but i had clients come in and have a bad day and it wouldn't take much to get them through this side of this day it really sucks at least in the middle where there are some positive things about today and I encourage clients and staff to always look in the middle and see what benefits, what beneficial things are happening today, don't just focus on the negative because some Some of the things that can be more poignant, they can stand out more because they triggered a stronger emotion, true, however, we can counteract the good that happened today and we should encourage ourselves to try to keep the
balancebecause a lot of negative things happen.
It's thrown at us that we have to
balanceit with the good other example on Facebook when you like things that will show you similar posts from now on and forever and when you know everyone knows I do animal rescue whenever I would. i see a rescue post that says there was a dog at a shelter that needed it was on the urgent care list i would like to share and cross the post and that's what i did ok i went from seeing one of those you know maybe one a day I couldn't open my Facebook feed without seeing six of them and was overwhelmed to see that because there was no balance, I always saw death, destruction and despair.
Unfortunately, that's not a way to live. with Facebook because you're dealing with a computer logarithm. I had to stop liking and sharing those posts for a while and it made me a little sad, but I had to balance the dialectic of good and bad if I kept seeing all of that. the time that it was going to have a negative impact on me and it would have a negative impact on my family and blah blah blah so acknowledging that to make sure you have credit pay attention to your social media or even if you just watch the news , pay attention to what you see most of the time. time and one of the reasons I don't even watch the news anymore because it's just death, destruction and crime after death, destruction and crime.
I'm like there's something good in the world. You have to go out and find it. find those
dialecticsour clients who feel the world is scary feel like they are always in a threatening place feel like they are always dispossessed are often bombarded with those messages constantly and cannot repel them with opposing messages saying yes yes that happened but this also happened is like a wobble everything is interconnected somehow recovery recovery is interconnected if you are happy well one of the acronyms we use is hungry angr and lonely and tired stop if you are hungry how does that affect your recovery good if you are hungry for interaction with other people yes you're hungry for love if you're hungry for something as abstract as that or if you're just not getting the nutrients you need to make the neurotransmitters to help you be happy and content, then your recovery may be in jeopardy. its right there angry is self explanatory if you feel angry you are probably alienating other people who could support you probably not eating the best diet because most of us when we are in a bad mood we tend to eat for comfort not for nutrition and not you sleep so well if you're angry you're on high alert you have that stress response system that feels lonely good if you feel lonely again you don't have those support systems that you can feel disempowered isolated rejected asleep may not be doing very well, most of people I know when alone tend to eat more but not necessarily eat well and tired when we're tired it's hard to get excited it's hard to concentrate and when we're tired it probably means we're not getting a good night's sleep which means we all those other vulnerabilities are unstable, so we're in danger of bouncing back, but equally if we're well fed, happy, have good relationships, and are well rested, as opposed to hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, then things are probably going well in our recovery. journey so you can see how things interrelate but remember loneliness doesn't necessarily have to do with us if we are interacting with people who are not supportive then that loneliness can come out we don't feel supported we don't feel loved and we still feel lonely so it's not necessarily just the typical vulnerability we talk about but it's all interconnected your mood think about all the different things that influence your mood and i'm not going to go through all of them because we don't get that kind of time so much but anything can influence your mood but equally anything good can influence your mood in a positive direction making sure you balance if something bad happens try to counter it with something good when you start to feel irritable or moody or judgmental about something try to find something positive about it try to keep that balance as much as possible that you can if you change jobs you know how that affects everything everything is interconnected so if you change jobs then they are going to have to fill it with someone else and you are going to go to another place and you are going to meet new people that are going to impact you and you can end up going back to that old job but if you plan I can see how everything we do is connected in some way if I have a really hard day at work you may not have access to social media and so it's Facebook may not make as much money from showing me ads that day who knows but everything we do is not just about us we have to look beyond that and see how we impact other people how we impact our environment how we impact the world at large meaning and truth evolve over time, yes think of something that is meaningful to you now um that was meaningful to you as a child that is not significant to you now when i was a girl had this doll and it was called Madame Alexander's it was like a fluffy body and then it had the little plastic arms that were sewn on that doll it was the most important thing in the world to me and I took it everywhere I slept with it every night nights and it was my security some people have a blanket some people have you know a teddy bear whatever it was when I was a kid it was very meaningful to me because it gave me a sense of security and it represented a lot of things to me but now that I'm so much older I see that doll and I remember what it meant to me but it's not like I have to have her lay on my bed every night to sleep so things that are meaningful to us as children may not be a big deal now , Santa Claus, some children, you know, I think most children grow at least the first two years. years thinking there is a Santa Claus and getting excited about it and then gradually they grow up and realize that Santa Claus doesn't exist and it's not a big deal it's not that significant at Christmas if Santa doesn't bring you presents and you're not going to come out of his way to put out cookies for him and everything else so to think about how the things that are important now may not be six months or six years from now the same is true about the truth what is true right now what you what i need now may not be true six months from now one of my friends just got diagnosed with cancer so thinking about what she needs now is not what she expected to need six months ago then her needs changed its true changed and what's important to her has currently changed since she realized she was diagnosed with cancer and she's really going through a lot going on in her life with all you know always balancing ya know is, because we can get stuck if something unpleasant happens if we go inside. a dysphoric mood, we can get stuck there and focus on all the negatives and really nurture that, but if you're open and willing to look the other way and willing to look for the silver lining, you can see different perspectives, you can see, come on step back, you may see that there is more than one way to solve a problem or a situation, you may decide that you know someone can be a really awesome person, for example, but not be an amazing person for you to have a relationship with that kind of person. trace back to those who see opposites they could be great but it can be like oil and water but when two of you every moment is a new reality so thats not waiting until tomorrow maybe tomorrow will be but a better day that's take a breather then go well that was really nasty let's get better next time and most of us need to make that little pause right there to get better next time because it doesn't suc ede right away think about when you get a chance i am a big one for you to see when it comes to needles oh my gosh i dont get a flu shot because i am more scared on a needle than i am getting the flu but not that It's very rational, I know anyway, but when I have to get shots for something that's a really nasty thing that's happening, but the next moment it's a new reality, the nasty is gone and everything is fine and rolling.
I had a nurse who would give me the vaccine that I was receiving, I think. it was a tetanus booster and i was ready for it i was, i was just waiting because i knew it was going to hurt and i felt the cotton ball and that was it and i was like it was over she said yeah it's over so i was expecting the worst instead of walking the middle road going well as you know it wont be that bad it will be over in just a second i was like holding on for dear life so acknowledging every moment is a new reality even if you go through the same situation again, it doesn't have to. it hurts so much it doesn't have to be so horrible you have a chance to use new skills you have a chance to use new strengths and new relationships to make the next moment better so when people get stuck and we do and I say because we as doctors, as much as our clients, our family members and our coworkers, we all get stuck sometimes, that's just human nature, so you have to ask the wise mind what am I missing, why am I stuck, why am I still holding on . this anger or this unpleasant resentment whatever the dysphoric feeling is and you might have to look around a bit to go into your rational mind and go through that checklist of all the things you cite you should be happy about what you're angry about and then go to the emotional mind but then you have to open yourself up to the situation n to see if there is something else that might be missing an opportunity for example they say when one door closes another door opens sometimes all we do is walk down a dark hallway with our eyes closed because we don't realize there will be another door opening look for a shred of truth on the other person's side so if you're obviously possessive if you're dealing with someone else you're arguing you think you are right or you disagree look for a shred of truth what can you hold on to that?
You can go yeah ok I see your point there now you don't have to agree 100% with that we're just looking at truths right now we don't agree or anything so if they say ok this is what i see happening you can validate that he tries to avoid extremes when talking to yourself as well as when talking to other people like always and never because most of us and actually there are very few things that always or never happen i mean thankful ly in right now the sun always rises and we can count on other things not so much you know everyone is going to die eventually we can count on that right now but other than that there are very few things we can say always or never happen so try looking exceptions whenever you start to feel extreme.
This always happens to me or I never seem to win or they never tell me the truth. Whatever you are thinking, stop and think about some exceptions even if it was only a partial exception as you were told a bit of the truth validate yourself and the situation or the other person or both what it means that yourfeelings your thoughts your opinions are totally valid the other person's let's assume they also think about going to the crime scene and interviewing all the witnesses, there could be six witnesses and probably the officer taking the statements will get six very different statements now, that means they're lying, no, that means they noticed you paid attention. ion to and/or interpreted different things if you put all six of those stories or accounts together you'll likely get something closer to what actually happened, but there's some debate as to whether you can ever know which quote is the real truth in certain situations, like so that i know there are always multiple viewpoints when i worked in administration i was constantly walking a dialectical path my staff would know they are overworked underpaid stressed they know what it is like at nonprofit work they love their job and upper management would want them to do more they would need more productivity they would need more of some of this because they weren't making enough money to show growth or even break even a few years to be able to balance that when the edict fell from above well this is going to change or we'll add a new program and guess what you can run they weren't always so happy about it so we would sit and we were going well, well part of the positive of this is if they are trying to put in a new program to keep us afloat.
We still have a job and that's a benefit let's figure out how we can make this work instead of being stubborn and resisting and saying no I'm NOT doing anything else dammit say okay let's talk about how we can make this work when you are ready. be open to an opportunity and look for different solutions accept reality and try to change it when reality happens is what it is you can improve in the next moment but you can't change what it is now if you get an opportunity that is unpleasant if you have had a child which can be really unpleasant the part of childbirth is not having a nice baby to hold but and at that point you're thinking what the hell did i do when that's over the next moment is better so you want to improve the next moment you can't change the fact that childbirth really hurts but you can change the fact that you can embrace the next moment and revel in the beauty of the next making lemonade with lemons will sometimes be hard for a while and you know my friend who i told you has cancer is doing such a job wonderful at modeling this because he could be really unhappy and nasty and he is taking it like a troupe he has faith he has hope he is very happy mu and happy to see so many of her family members coming to keep her company as she goes through chemo so she's looking on the bright side instead of saying, "I'm going through chemo and I feel really bad" so she serves as an excellent role model for me and many people, when it comes to you you know trying to make lemonade also accept confusion sometimes there is no right answer and you have to accept that and be okay you know if you got fired from your job or you know you got a diagnosis that you had cancer or something happened and your life was turned upside down sometimes it's going to be chaotic for a while and you can fight that which often doesn't work or you can accept the confusion and say okay, what is it?
The right next step for me is to improve in the next moment. What can I change? What can I focus on without trying to fix the whole situation? Finding a little sliver, and often that little sliver is the person you can play devil's advocate for if you're having trouble. find the good or the happy or the opposite side of something play devil's advocate i do this sometimes if you know like i said you usually don't do it with good things but sometimes if i have a crazy idea and go oh i really want to do this , I have to play devil's advocate, identify all the negatives to make sure that's what I really want to do, because sometimes it seems like a much better idea until you think about it. out of treatment and in this case I'm talking about substance abuse treatment and they decide that they want after being in residential treatment for 30 days and having probably 28 days clean, they're going to live together and even though that sounds good on a lot of level it's because they can share bills and yadda-yadda rides to meetings it also has some significant downsides from what we know of history so if customers are really excited about something and there's a spider-sense and you go hmm I'm not so I'm sure that and this is true for children and for us too.
I am not just a customer. Stop if your spider-senses go off. devil's advocate and do well if i take this job that would take me across the country here are all the positives but what are the negatives always balance things and make sure you look at both sides that you know you don't want to live in the negative aspects, but let's at least be aware of them and decide if they are worth paying attention to or if they can be dismissed. Sometimes it can be helpful to try to think of a metaphor to describe your point of view or to describe what's going on in part, the reason is because when you use a metaphor it taps into that other side of your brain, so you have your left brain and right brain, and our left brain always confuses me, our logical brain looks at good and good. the bad, the true and the false and that sort of thing, but the creative side of our brain can help us find a lot of times can help us find a lot of good things in things that logically seem pretty abysmal. becoming an addiction counselor he spent a lot of time in jail and that he could have seen it as devastating and not been able to recover from it, but he used it as an opportunity to get his GED to learn and start studying and figured out what he wanted to do with his life so he accepted the mix up because he didn't know what he was going to do when he got out of jail he made lemonade out of lemons he was stuck in there he had to figure out what to do with his time and he made something better of the situation n and changed the next few years not even in the next moment we want to make sure we treat others how we want to be treated now this doesn't take much explaining if we are nasty to others then you know what giving often comes back to us if we give hope and optimism often comes back to us so that It can be a roadblock to being effective, but it can also be a roadblock to seeing the positive in the world if you're always giving up the negative if you're dealing with it.
When looking for similarities between the two of you with another person, one of the things we talk about in addiction recovery and to some extent I talked about with clients who are in any type of treatment or recovery is that the things we don't like about others People are often things we don't like about ourselves, so if you get irritated with someone, if you find challenges in dealing with a certain person, ask yourself, do you know who you are? too much alike is that person who reminds you of th The faults you find in yourself but you can also look for positives in the similarities on the bright side so yeah you have all these differences here.
I have some friends at the moment who I have very different political and philosophical leanings with and that's fine. they're entitled to their opinion and we just don't focus on those things, we focus on the similarities and the similar interests that we have. Try to notice the connection between all the things you know. I find it interesting when we work with people who are in recovery and all we focus on is their mental health, their depression, their anxiety, their this and we're not focusing on what life is like at home, what that environment is like. How is that job, you know why we are here.
Much of your time influences you and it can have a marked influence on your mental health, but you also impact that situation, so if you're depressed, you're angry, you're irritable, you go to work and you really don't. If you don't like your job and you project unpleasant emotions, then you could end up getting fired or fired or your hours are being cut, which adds to your sense of powerlessness and irritability and you can, I mean, even in a little microcosm, you can see how that. works brav and brenner and i wish i had copied that he has a theory and let me see if i can get it out real quick as we talk about a socioecological model that actually talks about the interactions between everything and it's so helpful just to look at it so anyway i'll continue as i try to talk practice letting go of blame when you're blaming someone you're wasting your energy you're wasting your power you're letting them take care of it looking at two fingers pointing you know look at their part in that but also all three fingers pointing at your part in that your interpretation of it or what you're doing with it now Urie bronfenbrenner ok let me see if I can blow this up big enough for you guys to see the control so he talked about the fact that there is an individual but the individual affects their family and their family affects them, it affects their work environment, and their work affects them, which also affects their family. ilia, her brothers, her classmates and the school. all of these interact with each other, but then in the larger system, family and siblings interact with each other, siblings interact with their peers, which affects their interaction with the family as well.
I'm sure we've all had friends our parents didn't like. school and work so that everything interacts if you have friends at school you meet people you interact with you work at school you bring them home they interact with your family or you interact with them at school or at work but their impact on you comes home with you to the family exosystem all of these things impact your extended family and the neighborhood media and the parent's work environment and you know there's a whole class w about this so I'm not going to spend much more time on this.
I spend some time looking at this and thinking about how the way a child interacts with parents has an effect on the parent's work environment. and a perfect example would be if jr. she's having problems at school and mom is always being called to the principal's office, that's going to affect work, and it may affect work policies about being able to take time off, etc., and then in the system more big, we're talking about how all these things impact the economic system, social conditions, laws, history and culture, it's a fascinating theoretical framework when you sit down to think about how an individual, a child, can have a domino effect and kind of impact some of these things here anyway remember that change is transactional which means whatever you give you probably give back and you give more you know it's not just what you give and you get back it bounces off one side to another, have you ever used one of those super balls we used to have? on but my dogs eat them and that's not really safe so we can't have them in the house anymore but i didn't feel like any more surgeries for the dogs not me the super balls just kee p va or a one of those little clicker things and it has a name with the little balls that go back and forth you start one and the energy travels through six balls and it makes the other one go out and kick back and you constantly have that back and forth like so that you must remember that the change of whatever energy you put out, whether positive or negative, will continue through the system and come back eventually and like a boomerang and we're going to keep going, remind yourself that all things, including behaviors, are caused.
The choice between focusing on the positive or the negative or acting one way versus another is always based on what is more rewarding. It is based on the triggers in the environment and the rewards and punishments that are available and a trigger. it's something that prompts you to do something if you put your hand on a hot stove that's a trigger to pull it off so the behavior was caused by the hot stove there are all kinds of triggers and when you have your hand on a hot stove it's triggered to to do something to make the pain stop, the most rewarding option is to remove your hand obviously so we want to remember that somehow every time we have a behavior it is caused and has a purpose and its purpose in that moment with the skills we had available it was the most rewarding option when someone is angry or anxious that is the fight or flight reaction is their brain working is there a problem you need to solve if it is a big problem we need to do something about or how to handle it if they are happy you know the brain is telling them to do that again but all those behaviors are caused by those emotions that come and go pay attention use the sage i care ask what am I missing.
Drop the extremes one or the other and both, and you may be right and the other person may be right. You don't have to have one or the other. work when you're working with clients and and you want them to do something they may not be as excited and ready to do look again at both of you and how you can create a win-win situationbalancing the opposites by validating both sides you know again saying i see your point try stepping in that person's shoes they understand where they are coming from and validate the validity you know they may have some assumptions and opinions you disagree with but from the facts you find the things you can validate make lemonade and find the silver treat others the way you want to be treated look for positive similarities and focus on them instead of focusing on potentially conflicting differences sometimes it's amazing to look at the differences and say oh i'm so glad that you have that ability because it doesn't and it can balance each other out, but we want to look at ways that it can become, whether it's a similarity or a difference, it can become a win-win practice.
Radical acceptance, which is simply accepting that it is what it is now, like the flu shot I get it, it hurts, it sucks better for the next few moments and practice accepting change because nothing is going to stay the same, which is amazing if right now it's an unpleasant moment that means things are going to change so we can make them change forever. better pay attention to your impact on others and how they impact you you surround yourself expose yourself to the people who build you up try to let go of the blame because there is an ax blame to be dished out we need to look at what we control and the only thing we can control is really what what do we do in the next moment do you want to remember to balance accept accept and change reality accept and change reality sometimes you have to accept what is and seek to make lemonade with it as you have to do my friend accepts that he has cancer but he can change the reality of how you deal with it validating yourself and acknowledging it acknowledging mistakes we can be 80% right and 20% wrong and that's fine but it validates that you know there are good things to balance work and rest you need and want self-improvement and self acceptance.
I like this one because a lot of times we want people, if they're in counseling, to work on self-improvement and toward a goal in yada-yada and that's wonderful, there are things about themselves that they may want to change, but there are also things about themselves. The same things that I want you to focus on that are absolutely amazing, like your patience, your courage, your creativity, and whatever else you have, so I want you to embrace all the amazing things. and there is also a time to take a break from emotion regulation and acceptance of self-improvement emotions.
You will feel angry. Sometimes you can't control all the emotions. balance that and don't try to control each and every emotion in hanging vs dependent we all need help sometimes openness and privacy self explanatory trust and suspicion you know Trust is earned sometimes there has to be a certain level of suspicion but finding a way to balance that so you can be safe but you can be happy and content at the same time and not always suspect someone is trying to hurt you undermine whatever and balance focusing on yourself first is focusing on others too often as doctors we spend too much time Focusing on others and our personal gas tank ends up too low to be there for our clients, we must make sure to balance our self-focus and self-care dialectic is based on the premise that truth can be found by integrating multiple points. out of sight because reality is constantly changing by walking the middle path with awareness of different forces we can radically accept reality we can accept how we perceive it right now is unpleasant but it will get better and we can minimize emotional turmoil because if there is any place in the back of our mind that we know to every yin there is a yang or things will get better is less distressing we know it's going to get better instead of feeling like we're stuck if you enjoy this podcast please like and subscribe in your podcast player or on YouTube.
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