RO DBT is Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy
In the last few years, emotion skills classes have evolved to more effectively target distinct emotion coping styles. This exciting development in our field led me to become formally trained in Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) with the founder of the treatment model, Tom Lynch, PhD.
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is a treatment targeting overcontrolled behavior that has been developed and tested in clinical trials over the last 25 years. It has been used to treat some of the rigid responses and emotional inhibition thought to underlie many treatment-resistant conditions.
Who is the treatment for? People who have chronic depression, treatment-resistant anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, avoidant, paranoid and obsessive compulsive personality disorders and autistic spectrum disorders.
What do these disorders have in common? Self-control -- defined as inhibition of urges, impulses and desires -- is highly valued by most societies, and failures in self-control characterize many of the personal and social problems of modern civilization. However, too much self-control can be equally problematic. Overcontrol (OC) has been linked to social isolation, poor interpersonal functioning, hyper-perfectionism, rigidity, risk aversion, lack of emotional expression and the development of difficult-to-treat mental health problems such as chronic depression, anorexia nervosa and obsessive compulsive personality disorder.
RO DBT was developed by Dr. Tom Lynch, Professor Emeritus at the Psychology Department of the University of Southampton. Professor Lynch, an international expert on personality disorders, is Director of the Emotion and Personality Bio-behavioral Laboratory in the School of Psychology at the University of Southampton. He is currently the Chief Investigator on PROJECT REFRAMED, an NHS multi-centre randomised controlled trial investigating RO-DBT for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression.
I occasionally co-teach a 30 week RO DBT skills classes for adults with Kristi Colwell, LMHC, a well known regional mental health therapist also intensively trained in RO DBT and, as part of the US training team, an approved presenter for the one-day training to clinicians. Currently, I am not co-teaching RO-DBT and am focusing instead on developing my more general emotion skills class incorporating theory and tools from many psychotherapies. Please see Living With Emotions if you are interested.
I have previously taught a 10 week RO DBT skills class for adolescents. At the time, I am shifting to developing separate Living With Emotions classes for both adolescents and adults and hope to have these ready to offer in the fall of 2022.