Dialectics is a way of observing how two views that may seem contradictory can coexist and finding the synthesis between the seeming contradictions. Dialectics moves us away from the all-or-nothing thinking that can keep people from solving problems effectively. In DBT the emphasis is on the dialectic balance between acceptance and change; though these concepts seem opposite, we need to flow between the two to get out of our “stuck” places. By both accepting things we can’t change and changing what is in our control, we can better reach our goals.
Behavior Therapy focuses on how and why people learn certain behaviors. As we respond to events in our life, we develop behaviors that help us cope. Some of these behaviors may no longer be useful to us, but they are habits. Other behaviors may be very effective to relieve pain in the moment, but have long-term consequences that cause chaos. Behavior therapy focuses on understanding the ineffective behaviors and replacing them with behaviors that help people reach their goals.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps us learn to control our mind instead of our mind being in control of us. Mindfulness helps us keep a present-moment orientation so that the pain of the past and the worries of the future are not clouding what is happening in this one moment.