"Dialectics" means bringing together two seemingly opposite and opposing concepts or ideas. It is a "both/and" approach, instead of an "either/or" approach. For example, a person can be both happy and sad; happy they are getting to go on a trip, and sad they won't see their family for two weeks. Marsha Linehan teaches that it is in the extremes of either/or living that we are often most miserable, so we seek ways to integrate our extreme positions and live a more balanced life.
"Behavior" used to mean only which can be objectively observed. For example, a person is dancing. However, in many forms of newer therapies, including DBT, recognize what cannot be observed by the eye can be observed in other ways. For example, the person can observe the urge to dance. Some of our external behaviors, and internal ones, can cause us problems and prevent us from achieving our goals. Therefore, we work toward changing those behaviors in order to be more effective in life.
There are two types of Dialectical Therapies: the Marsha Linehan Model and the Thomas Lynch Model. While the two share commonalities, they target very different challenges people face. Click below to read more about them.