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Introduction to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): What is Dialectical?

Dialectical means two things that feel opposite can be true at the same time. For example, you can be happy and sad; you can hate treatment and know that you need it; you can experience urges and utilize healthy coping skills. Dialectical thinking is the process of moving from black-and-white thinking to cognitive flexibility. It is the process of moving from “but/or” thinking to “both/and” thinking.

DBT is an evidence-based and skills-based therapeutic modality. Coping skills serve many purposes: helping individuals to be more mindful of thoughts and feelings; to manage stress, trauma, anxiety, depression and other difficulties; to express emotions; to process experiences; to tolerate distress; to be more intentional in reactions; to maintain wellness related to mental health.

Dialectically speaking, you can experience pain, grief, depression, and other forms of distress AND utilize coping skills. You can utilize the skills AND still experience the emotion fully.

July is dedicated to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). In the coming weeks, posts will explore lots of DBT skills meant to serve different coping functions. 'Hope the post are helpful to you in increasing your cogntive flexibility and coping resources!

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