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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is founded on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of treatment. The term “dialectical” derives from the idea that combining two opposites in therapy (acceptance and change) yields better results than either would on its own. The philosophical perspective of dialectics greatly influences and informs dialectical behavior therapy.

Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed dialectical behavior therapy in the late 1980s as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The Merck Manual explains that BPD is “characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability and hypersensitivity in interpersonal relationships, instability in self-image, extreme mood fluctuations, and impulsivity.” Emotional dysregulation is a term used within the mental health field to denote irrational, poorly modulated emotional responses, which is a core feature of borderline personality disorder. The focus of DBT is to improve patients’ quality of life by reducing “ineffective action tendencies associated with dysregulated emotions.” Dialectical behavior therapy allow participants to engage in individualized and collective treatment by focusing on the four modules of DBT, which are: core mindfulness (focusing skills), distress tolerance (crisis survival skills), emotion regulation (de-escalation skills), and interpersonal effectiveness (social/ relationship skills). The primary goal of DBT, according to Psychology Today, is to “transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.” Since its inception, dialectical behavior therapy has been and remains the gold standard method of treatment for individuals diagnosed with BPD and has since been deemed an effective method of treatment for many other mental health conditions.

What Is Dialectical Thinking?

Dialectical thinking is defined as “a form of analytical reasoning that pursues knowledge and truth as long as there are questions and conflicts.” In the 1800s, German philosopher Georg Hegel, developed a new form of thinking and logic that he called “speculative reason.” The concept of dialectical thinking, which is included in speculative reason, was established after grappling with the limitations of both common sense and of traditional philosophy at grasping philosophical problems and the relation between thought and reality. A dialectic is rooted in the notion that everything is made up of opposites, and a dialogue between the opposing ends ignites change. Dialectical thinking enables an individual to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives simultaneously. This, in turn, promotes balance and minimizes the tendencies to think in absolutes. Dialectical thinking fosters an inclusive worldview (both- and) instead of an exclusive (either- or) outlook on life. Dialectical thinking is a cornerstone of the DBT process.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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