The “dialectic” is one of the most important concepts in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Originating from the ancient Greeks, the term “dialectic” was used to refer to illusion of truth. Both Socrates and Aristotle discussed that there are opposing points and counterpoints that exist in philosophical discourse. Today, DBT describes the dialectic as being part of the world view that arises when we act from wise mind and avoid extremes. Recognizing dialectics is about holding things that seem to be dissonant or contradictory in balance. It’s about identifying the shades of gray rather than living in the “black” or “white.” Finding the synthesis of these opposites supports clients in being to tolerate and then manage the ambiguity of life. In this session, we will review the philosophical underpinnings of dialectics, describe how contemporary theorists have re-defined the concept and review how the integration of dialectics in clinical practice helps our clients find a life worth living in recovery. Participants will leave this session with tools that support the use of dialectics in their clinical practice.
• Discuss the benefit of supporting clients in living in wise mind, in balance and in managing the ambiguities of their lives
• Describe how DBT integrates dialectics into skills training groups and individual therapy
• Practice a variety of approaches that teach and support clients in recognizing, tolerating and managing dialectics