The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
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WALKING THE MIDDLE PATH
& THE BIOSOCIAL THEORY
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Walking the Middle Path
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ACCEPTANCE AND CHANGE
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Walking the Middle Path
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HOW DO WE WALK THE MIDDLE PATH??
DIALECTICS
VALIDATION
BEHAVIORISM
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Dialectics:
What does it mean?
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WHAT DOES DIALECTICS MEAN??
HOW DO WE THINK AND ACT DIALECTICALLY??
 Multiple points of view
Examples – Multiple ways to solve a problem

Both/And thinking
Examples: Avoid “my way or the highway” or “all or
nothing” thinking

Change is constant
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Dialectics:
Dialectical Dilemmas
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Forcing
Autonomy
Excessive
Leniency
Pathologizing
Normal
Behavior
Normalizing
Pathological
Behavior
Foster
Dependence
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Authoritarian
Control
Validation:
Levels of Validation


Level Four

Validate the person’s behavior in
terms of causes (like past events)

Validate feelings. I.e. “since your
new boss reminds you of your
past boss, I can understand that
you would feel fearful of meeting
with her.”
Level One



Overall showing interest in the
other person (verbal and non-verbal
cues)

Level Two

Reflective Listening. Summarizing
what the other person has said.

Take a non-judgmental stance
Level Three

Try to “read” a person’s behaviors,
imagine what they could be feeling,
thinking, or wishing for. Walking in
their shoes. Check for accuracy.
Level Five


Communicate the person’s
behavior is reasonable,
meaningful, and effective.
Level Six

Treat the person as a valid human
being- not patronizing or
condescending.

Recognize a person as they arewith strengths and limitations.

Be genuine! And Believe in that
person, while seeing their pain.
Validation:
Validate Self
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WHAT DOES VALIDATE MEAN??
COMFORT YOURSELF BY...
OBSERVE AND DESCRIBE CURRENT EMOTIONS
ACKNOWLEDGE EMOTIONS AS REAL NO MATTER WHAT THE EMOTION OR
SITUATION
YOU ARE THE EXPERT ON YOU!
DON’T EXPECT OTHERS TO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – work to communicate
feelings to others and deal with feelings in a more productive way
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Validation:
Validating Others
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
OBSERVE THE EXPERIENCE – NON JUDGEMENTALLY AND
WITH ACKNOWLEDGMENT

DESCRIBE THE BEHAVIOR YOU SEE WITH FACTS

VALIDATION DOES NOT MEAN AGREEMENT OR APPROVAL

VALIDATION = TELLING SOMEONE YOU “GET IT”

LEVELS OF VALIDATION
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Validation:
An invalidating environment is one that:
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Pervasively:
negates,
punishes,
corrects,
ignores or
dismisses behavior…
…whether it is valid
behavior or not.
- Indiscriminately rejects
communication of private
experiences and self-initiated
behaviors
- Intermittently reinforces
escalation of emotional
responses and displays
- Instead, the environment
teaches individuals to
actively self-invalidate and
search social environment for
cues about how to respond.
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
Validation:
An invalidating environment teaches adolescents to
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1. Invalidate themselves and look to their social
environment for cues on how to respond because
their environment unknowingly rejects
communication of private experiences and
uncomfortable behaviors.
2. Oscillate between emotional inhibition and
extreme emotional styles due to the environment
punishing emotional displays and unintentionally
reinforcing emotional escalation.
3. Form unrealistic goals and expectations as the
environment over-simplifies the ease of problemsolving and meeting goals.
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
Behaviorism
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PROMOTING CHANGE IN BEHAVIORS
 REINFORCEMENT
 SHAPING
 EXTINCITION
OF MALADAPTIVE BEHAVIORS
 INCREASING
HEALTHY AND EFFECTIVE USE OF DBT
COPING STRATEGIES
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behaviorism
The Child, Adolescent and Family Development Center
would recommend reading Don’t Shoot the Dog! The
New Art of Teaching and Training, by Karen Pryor.
Behaviorism:
(Adapted from Don’t Shoot the Dog)



Reinforcement
Shaping*
Untraining- Using reinforcement to get rid of
behaviors you do not want








Eliminate the object/person
Punishment
Negative Reinforcement
Extinction
Train an incompatible behavior
Put the behavior on cue
Shape the Absence
Change the motivation
BIOSOCIAL THEORY
WHERE DIALECTICAL
BEHAVIOR
THERAPY COMES FROM
Biosocial Theory
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Biological
dysfunction* in
the emotion
regulation system
+
an Invalidating
environment
=
Pervasive Emotion
Dysregulation
Pervasive Emotional
Dysregulation
=
Emotional
Vulnerability*
+
Inability to
Modulate
Emotions
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
Biological Dysfunction in the emotion
regulation system of adolescents:
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Problem Areas
Skills
1. Confusion about self
1. Mindfulness
2. Impulsivity
2. Distress Tolerance
3. Emotional Instability
3. Emotion Regulation
4. Interpersonal Problems
4. Interpersonal Effectiveness
5. Adolescent-Family
5. Walking the Middle Path
Dilemmas The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
What do we mean by Emotional
Vulnerability?
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•High Sensitivity
•Immediate reactions
•Low threshold for emotional reaction
•High Reactivity
•Extreme reactions
•High arousal dysregulates cognitive processing
•Slow return to baseline
•Long-lasting reactions
•Contributes to high sensitivity to next emotional stimulus
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
So what do we mean by Inability to
Modulate Emotions?
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
Difficulty managing inappropriate behaviors related
to strong emotions

Difficulty acting in a way that is not mood dependant

Difficulty self-soothing

Difficulty refocusing attention in the presence of a
strong emotion
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
What is Biosocial Theory?
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Biological Dysfunction in the emotion
regulation system
+
an Invalidating environment
=
Pervasive Emotion Dysregulation
The Child, Adolescent & Family Recovery Center
Behavioraltech.org
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Walking the Middle path - The Child, Adolescent and Family