Change is the essence of dialectics; it is also the essence of psychotherapy. In this paper, dialectics is explored in terms of how it might be applied to both assessment and psychotherapy. A dialectical approach to assessment would emphasize the person as process, shift the assessor’s priorities from finding only weaknesses to finding strengths, place assessment in a human context, and advocate the use of positive labels. A dialectical approach to psychotherapy would change the usual context of therapy, stress relabeling, and expand the modes of therapeutic communication. A dialectical therapist could also use many of the techniques of gestalt and paradoxical therapy since it is demonstrated that they are both grounded in a dialectical theory of change.

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