Middle Path

December DBT Challenge: Walking the Middle Path

By Wesley Morgan, MA, LLPC

This month's challenge is timely with the holidays on the horizon. Often times, we are presented with life situations that causes us to feel overwhelmed. For example, having to attend the family dinner on Christmas knowing you dread all holiday dinners. What can I do in situations like this? Do I go and pretend as though I’m happy to be there? Or should I not go at all and shut off my cell phone for the night? Walking the Middle Path teaches you that there is more than one way to see a situation and to solve a problem. Walking the Middle Path is effective because it allows you to find an in between with your positions.


What is Dialectics?

Dialectics means that two things that seem like (or are) opposites can both be true. For example, you are doing the best you can AND you need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.

How do You Act Dialectically?

It is important not to see the world in “black and white” or “all or nothing” ways. The idea is to move towards acceptance and change. Try not to use extreme words as in: always, never, everyone. Instead be descriptive and say how you feel. Another way to act dialectically is to practice looking at all sides of a situation/point of view. Keep in mind that it’s not always about you. I often encourage clients to try using “I feel” statements. I feel statements keep you away from attacking others and helps you entertain a different perspective.

Let’s put this all together so you will be prepared for the holiday season

Instead of saying “everyone always treats me unfairly at the family dinner,” say, “sometimes I am treated fairly and at other times, I am treated unfairly.” Remember to look for the kernel of truth. The truth of the matter is that the holiday season is a great time for family to get together and it’s a great time to forgive and move forward. Keep in mind that you are doing the best that you can and you can do better (and so can your family).


Your DBT Challenge:

-Find one thing to accept and one thing you can change.

-Make a commitment (weekly) to practice walking the middle pat for the entire month of December. For example: 1) I will be more flexible and approachable. 2) I will avoid assumptions and blaming. 3) I will check my assumptions by asking for clarification.

-Enjoy the holiday season, it’s worth the change.

Try some new skills out today! Send us an email (AFBHS@comcast.net) or share with us on Facebook what skills your tried.


Wesley has experience treating anxiety disorders, depression, and domestic violence. He spent two years as a crisis counselor diffusing stressful situations, proactively resolving long standing issues, helping people set and achieve challenging goals and objectives, and steering people toward recovery from self-harming, suicidal ideation, and anger management issues. He has a seminary background which has also enabled him to address ethical and moral matters, including problems of conscience and family differences.

His goal is not to change people but to help facilitate the change that they desire. Learn more about Wesley here.

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