The Dialectical Underpinnings Of

Dialectics has two definitions. One defines dialectics in terms of the method of argumentation by which two opposing views are synthesized and the truths of each position are verified to the point that neither has to completely give up its position. The second definition of dialectics is the philosophy that two polarities (the thesis and the antithesis) are merged into a synthesis.

Dialectics pervades DBT. Dialectics is seen in the biosocial theory of the development and maintenance of BPD. Clients with BPD are born with an extreme emotional vulnerability. This vulnerability is manifested in three different ways. The first is an extreme sensitivity to emotional stimuli. People with BPD often experience emotions in response to stimuli that do not trigger emotions, or as intense emotions in others. The second characteristic of emotion vulnerability is an extreme reactivity of emotion. The intensity of emotional experiencing of people with BPD is higher than that of others. Finally, people who are emotionally vulnerable take longer to return to a baseline emotional state than others. Emotional vulnerability, therefore, means that the vulnerable person experiences emotions easily, reacts strongly and then does not recover from the emotions quickly. However, emotional vulnerability alone is not enough to cause one to develop BPD. The second factor in the etiology of BPD is the invalidating environment. The invalidating environment is one that pervasively (frequently and independent of context) communicates to children that their behaviours (thoughts, feelings, actions) do not make sense in some way, or are unreasonable and/or pathological. The invalidating environment has often been defined as one that has physical or sexual abuse, but can also be having a parent who for some reason is not present (either physically or emotionally), or being reared in a family where children are expected to be perfect. The biosocial theory of the etiology and maintenance of BPD postulates that BPD develops from a transaction of the emotionally sensitive child with the invalidating environment. The environment invalidates the child and the child becomes increasingly emotionally sensitive in response to the environment. Then, of course, the environment responds to the child by invalidating more and the child becomes more dysregulated. The dialectic inherent in the biosocial theory is that it takes both polarities (the emotional hard wiring of the child and the environment) to result in BPD, not only one pole.

Dialectics is used by DBT therapists to balance the treatment through acceptance of clients at a given moment and to provide a means of changing their lives. In order to bring about behavioural change, DBT uses problem solving as a main treatment technique. DBT is a cognitive-behavioral treatment that analysizes and finds solutions for problem behaviors. However, emotionally sensitive clients, like those with BPD, have difficulty tolerating problem-solving strategies and can become dysregulated by the process of the change strategies. Therefore, behaviour therapy is balanced by validating clients where they are at that moment. When asked to engage in moment-by-moment analysis of dysfunctional behaviour, severe, multi-problem clients often become extremely dysregulated and the result is behaviour such as attacking the therapist (usually verbally) or leaving the session (either through dissociation or by actually leaving the therapy office). Validation is the highlighting of some piece of the client's reality as making sense, being wise or being understandable at that particular moment. A key to validation is finding that grain of wisdom in the client's responses without validating invalid behaviour. For example, a therapist could validate emotion associated with the experience of being rejected without validating the urge to suicide (an invalid response to rejection). The balance of validation and problem solving

(the dialectic of acceptance and change) is the primary dialectic of DBT. All other aspects of the treatment are either acceptance based or change based. The DBT therapist seeks to keep balance in all styles, so as not to push clients unreasonably or to accept clients without trying to help them facilitate change in their lives.

Exploring EFT

Exploring EFT

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It works to free the user of both physical and emotional pain and relieve chronic conditions by healing the physical responses our bodies make after we've been hurt or experienced pain. While some people do not carry the effects of these experiences, others have bodies that hold onto these memories, which affect the way the body works. Because it is a free and fast technique, even if you are not one hundred percent committed to whether it works or not, it is still worth giving it a shot and seeing if there is any improvement.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment