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Radically-Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy

About RO DBT

RO DBT is a trans-diagnostic, evidence-based treatment for people with emotional over-control. It has over 25 years of research supporting its efficacy and has been shown effective in multiple clinical trials.

Self-control is usually seen as a good thing and many therapies provide skills to attain more self-control. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing and people with emotional over-control often don't benefit from therapies that focus on skills to develop more self-control. Excessive self-control is associated with feeling emotionally isolated and plays a role in anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, chronic depression and autism.


The challenge comes in how to address problems of over-control without applying more self-control. In RO DBT we start by focusing on what is healthy in all of us; the need for social-connectedness. Rather than working on how to regulate-emotion or apply more self-control, we prioritize the ways in which over-control is leaving us feeling disconnected from others. RO DBT considers the core components of emotional well-being to be:

  1. Receptivity; openness to feedback. 

  2. Flexibility; the ability to recognize that we don't know what we don't know.

  3. Social-connectedness in the forming of close interpersonal bonds with at least one other person.

With these in mind, we target the challenges that interfere in ability to participate in life more fully and move towards life goals including a life worth sharing.​

If you'd like more information:

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