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Posted January 16, 2010
Not Quite "The Grail," But Getting Really Close
There's a reason this book has held its value on the used market, and it's this: M&A is a classic. I'd come from what I'd thought to be a solid grounding in the psychodynamic, client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, disease-model and neuropsychological traditions.
I thought I had a good grip on the dialectical view, but I didn't really "get" radical acceptance as the path to informed, experientially driven commitment to cognitive, affective and behavioral change.
In this =remarkable= assemblage of 13 articles on the state of the "dialectical arts," the authors have pulled off little less than a one-volume sea change. Without having to fork over a few thousand to fly to a three-day conference, we get a panoramic picture of the startling progress made by the DBT-influenced crowd owing to the influx of Eastern meditation and resurgent experientialism upon behavioristic practice.
Read =this=, and you may feel that you really =do= have the tools in your hands to break through complex personality disorder defenses chop-chop.
Do I think further progress is possible? Absolutely.
My own work has shown me that a firm grasp of modern psychodynamic principles can provide the therapist who would use DBT, ACT, MBCT, etc., with a sense of cognitive, affective and behavioral function -- and purpose -- at a breadth and depth rarely grasped by the behaviorists. It also tells me that an equally firm grip on sub-cortical physiology provides the clarity needed to design behavioral interventions on the basis of how the mind works the brain and vice versa.
For now, however, M&A makes complete sense of Seligman's helpless rats, the reality-distorting function of language, what intimacy really is (and isn't), and the Big Lies of our "cultural norms," as well as the use of operant validation, distress tolerance, affect regulation, Vipissana meditation for both acceptance / self-identification and maintenance / relapse prevention, the power of what just =is=, and a lot more.
The client really can learn to identify, question and revise his core-to-current cognitive schema. Combined therewith, the client sit still and feel his feelings in a continuous feedback loop that results in ever-more reality-based, effective and functional perception, critical thinking, affect management and behavioral expression.
Read =this=, and find out how.
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