Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
Our day to day patterns of behavior emerge from the promptings emanating from our inner world. The most of us, our goal in life is to be able to choose behaviours that are congruent with our values and vision for our lives. We increase our freedom to choose behaviours by growing in awareness of our inner world, different from being mindlessly and impulsively dictated to by thoughts and emotions that emerge within us.
The primary objective of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) then, is to equip us with skills that will facilitate this growth process toward increasing our freedom to choose our behaviour, particularly in our relationships with others.
A dialectic can be likened to an internal debate that we have with ourselves. DBT urges us to be more aware of this inner debate, and accept the reality of the inner conflicts that emerge between competing needs and emotions. Much of life involves compromises between competing inner demands and wants. A dialectical domain then is an area of life where you have to struggle to negotiate two different, frequently competing sets of needs and wants. Dialectical problem solving assumes that you have to compromise. You have to give up something in order to get something else. You have to move from an extreme end of a continuum toward a different position. Dialectics are found around emotions, thoughts, values, needs and how these impact on our behaviour in relationships.
DBT is a therapy that facilitates a growing consciousness of inner dialectic conflicts and offers us skills to direct our inner beings in a way that enhances our well being. The therapy encourages us to embrace the assumption that inner conflict is a part of life, unavoidable and natural. If we accept this assumption, we will begin to experience a decreased sense of urgency to resolve your inner conflicts.
In essence, DBT guides us towards walking that middle path of how to change ‘what is’ and how to accept ‘what is.’