At times we all find ourselves struggling with extremes within our lives: going from unrestricted eating to strict diets; drinking alcohol to excess then stopping drinking for a period of time; exercising then not exercising; working non-stop then losing motivation. Extremes are part of being human and are a normal part of life. Extremes become problematic is when you they start to become harmful to yourself or those around you. In DBT we think about how we can 'walk the middle path,' holding the wisdom at one end of the extreme whilst also acknowledging the truth in the other end.
In DBT, we acknowledge that two things that might seem like opposites can both be true. For example, on a day with a clear blue sky, the sea is blue; and the sea is also colourless. Both aspects of this are true and it may seem possible to acknowledge the truth in both. Yet for things that directly affect us, it can be harder to hold onto both ends of the spectrum. A thought such as "I hate my job" can throw us into despair and strong emotion states rather than exploring whether there is any truth left at the end of loving your job. Putting this into action in our lives is one of the central aspects of DBT.
Simple ways to manage extremes in thinking by being more dialectical includes:
There are many other ways to use dialectics to manage extremes. If you'd like to explore how DBT can help you then please contact our service.