Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is an evidence-based treatment developed specifically for people who suffer from emotional and behavioral over control. It has been used to treat some of the rigid responses and emotional inhibitions thought to underlie many treatment- resistant conditions. Diagnoses of over control include: refractory depression, anorexia nervosa, treatment-resistant anxiety disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, avoidant, paranoid and obsessive compulsive personality disorders, and other internalizing disorders.
Adolescents characterized by overcontrolled coping tend to be serious about life, set high personal standards, work hard, behave appropriately and have perfectionistic tendencies; yet inwardly they typically struggle with knowing how to join in with others or establish close bonds. This therapy is designed to help adolescents relax rigid or inflexible control, learn to chill out and be playful, and decrease emotional loneliness.
RO DBT has four components to the treatment delivered over an average of 30 weeks (although it can be longer). The first three components are specific to clients and the fourth component is specific to the RO DBT therapist. Specifically, the components are:
- weekly individual therapy (one hour in duration)
- weekly skills-training class (1.5 hours in duration)
- telephone consultation to the client (if needed)
- therapist participation in RO DBT consultation meetings
If you or someone you know insists on doing things “the right way,” struggles with perfectionism, likes order and structure, is quiet by nature, likes to plan ahead, struggles making friends and feeling connected to others, then RO DBT might be just the fit for you.