#38: What the Heck is Dialectics?

Today, Marielle and Ed discuss the D in DBT: Dialectics. Dialectics helps us remember that two seemingly opposing forces can both be true, change is the only constant, and that we are all connected. 

When emotions are heightened, either/or thinking can get us stuck and limit our ability to think and creatively problem solve. Dialectics encourages us to move away from either/or thinking and towards both/and thinking. For example, you can love someone and be very upset with them. You can want to work hard and also want to take breaks. You can be serious and silly. 

Dialectics also reminds us that change is happening all the time and that we can learn to work with change in ourselves and others rather than fighting against it.

Show Highlights

  • There is more than one way to solve problems
  • Moving away from polarization in relationships 
  • Everything is connected in some way
  • Things are always changing: our bodies, relationships, the world
  • Holding multiple truths at the same time
  • Black and white thinking narrows options
  • Change is transactional
  • If we change, others will change in response, and that will change us, and so on
  • Can you find the kernel of truth in the other side?
  • Letting go of extremes
  • Embrace confusion
  • If you extend kindness towards someone you are conflict with, it very well may change the interaction
  • Can you hold opposing forces as equally true?
  • Let yourself allow for things that seem contradictory
  • What am I leaving out? 
  • Embracing change as an Opposite Action for anxiety
  • As humans, we often crave security and certainty 
  • Everything has a cause, even if we don’t know what the cause is

DBT Skills Discussed

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Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.