dialectic behavior therapy

Essay by vivianzhang2014University, Master'sA, October 2014

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Running head: MID TERM ASSIGNMENT � PAGE �1�

Mid Term Assignment

Manru Vivian Zhang

New York University

Silver School of Social Work

Submitted to:

Professor Besa Bauta, Ph.D.

Social Work Practice III

Oct, 22, 2014

Theoretical Underpinnings of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has demonstrated considerable efficacy in clinical social work practice, especially in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) (Hoffman, et al., 2005; Rakfeldt, 2005; Panos, et al., 2014; Schulz, & Rafferty, 2008). Very little research, however, has explored the theoretical roots and mechanisms of change underlying DBT.

Dialectical Theory

As a worldview, dialectical philosophy provides a foundation for DBT (Lynch, et al., 2006). Western philosophy proposes that the world embraces constant change, with creative and destructive forces constantly operating upon each other. Also, dialectical philosophy has its roots in the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang: all aspects of the universe contain the seeds of its opposites (Petrov, 2002).

The Chinese philosophers perceived the universe as Chin energy, which is mean for interaction between world forces of Yin and Yang. Yin symbolizes dark, cold, evil, bad, female, and negative things; and Yang symbolizes light, warm, good, male, and other positive nature (Petrov, 2002). Forces of Yin and Yang interact, overcome and transform one to another as illustrated as bellowed:

Vladimir Petrov (June, 17, 2002) Retrieved from: http://www.triz-journal.com/laws-dialectics-technology-evolution/

Dialectic theory embraces three essential laws: the unity of opposites, transformation of quantity into quality, and the negation of the negation (Petrov, 2002). Dialectics is implemented not only in the presence of specific DBT interventions, but also in the style and manner in which interventions are delivered (Lynch, et al., 2006).

Systems Theory

Systems theory also shares similar philosophy with dialectic theory. DBT treats the whole patient, rather than a discrete disease or disorder. When...