What does both/and mean?
It is about collaborating together and looking at a more complex, non-judgmental perspective of human experience. It’s about being curious. It’s about stepping back and expanding our understanding of the spectrum of possibilities, rather than always limiting things to either/or, good/bad, black/white. Looking at the both/and is about seeing the grey.
Using dialectics is a great tool for addressing the both/and nature of life. Dialectics is about looking at opposing points of view, finding the balance, and acknowledging that multiple truths exist. For example: it can be sunny and raining, you can be independent and dependent, you can accept yourself for who you are right now and work towards change. Life is messy. Looking through a both/and lens can help sort through some of the mess - validating that opposites exist at the same time can help expand our perspective to better understand complexity and increase compassion towards ourselves and others, which ultimately is freeing!
Dialectics is similar to the word dialogue - and in therapy we dialogue - we collaborate by talking together about experiences, ideas, and feelings. In both/and counseling, it’s both of us (therapist and client) in the room, holding curiosity, recognizing complexity, connecting, and fostering growth.