One of the main ideas of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is dialectics. Your therapist will incorporate dialectics into your treatment to help make sense of conflicting ideas. Examples of conflicting ideas concerned with loneliness could be:
“I’m so stupid, nobody would want to be my friend,” while also thinking “I’m trying so hard to get people to like me, and I don’t understand why they don’t.”
“I’m empty inside, I have nothing to offer but sadness,” while also thinking “I don’t want to be a burden and I also don’t want to be alone.”
“I feel like an outsider, nobody gets me,” while also thinking “I have so many people around me, so I should feel connected.”
The purpose of dialectics is to take thoughts on extreme ends of the spectrum and bring them together. Bringing these thoughts together helps your brain process the discomfort that opposite ideas bring up. This merging concept is called “synthesis.”
Working with a DBT therapist will help you explore the pain you are experiencing while helping you make changes toward your goals of reducing your feelings of loneliness. And this will help improve the quality of your relationships. This synthesis brings harmony to your brain and body. While “harmony” in this context does not mean that you’ll be “cured” or that everything will be okay, it does mean that you will be able to more clearly identify and work through thoughts and feelings.
Before you have synthesized your opposing thoughts, harmful behaviors are likely to result. When you feel the push and pull in your mind of contrasting ideas, it can be exhausting and stress-inducing. So, the first step of DBT is to analyze your behaviors. Once you have identified the challenging thoughts and feelings that result in troubling behaviors, you can move forward in creating positive habits.