Dialectic contemplation requires the student to draw an event - called a dialectic problem, such as a drama, dream, daydream or distraction - as a single image with brief descriptions, phrases, and mental and emotional states, as a way to describe the reality of what happened, as opposed to how the event appeared.

To understand the reality of the problem is to be liberated from it.

A series of questions are used to keep the student with the details of the event, because the student will consistently attempt to move away from the particulars to interpretations, generalisations or beliefs. 

Sessions can last anything from 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on experience and practice, and can be conducted in 2 ways:

Self Guided

You use the dialectic to guide yourself through a problem. 

Guiding Others

You use the dialectic to guide someone else through one of their problems.

If working with someone from outside of the school, or someone who isn’t a student, you will need to draw the image for the client. A flip chart or blackboard is good for this.

(For a developmental path in using the dialectic, see The Critical Path.)

Below you will find PDFs of an overview of the dialectic stages with keywords to aid understanding, the dialectic itself - the series of questions to guide you in the dialectic contemplation, and a dialectic worksheet.