What is a Dialectic?

wise mind

A dialectic is is the synthesis of two seemingly opposite ideas.  It is basically like saying that both sides of a story are valid and have truth.  

So, rather than saying that in order to live a happy life you either have to accept everything the way that it is OR you have to change everything, we say the dialectic solution is to embrace both ideas. We can learn to mindfully accept that things are the way they are AND we can change reactions, habits and other behaviors.  

Another example — Instead of valuing only reasoning and logic OR only our feelings and emotional impulses when choosing action, we learn to consider and value both to reach a “wise mind balance“.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy seeks to help people learn skills for finding balance and stop the chaotic, and often exhausting, ping-ponging between extremes such as:

  • vacillating between love and hate for others or self
  • feeling totally incompetent but acting as if you don’t need help
  • feeling every feeling very intensely and then numbing out completely