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.
Individuals characterized by overcontrolled coping tend to be serious about life, set high personal standards, work hard, behave appropriately and oftentimes will sacrifice personal needs in order to achieve desired goals or help others; yet inwardly they typically struggle with knowing how to join in with others or establish intimate bonds. This therapy is designed to help individuals relax rigid or inflexible control and decrease emotional loneliness. It focuses on helping individuals open doors to self discovery with goals of becoming more receptive, open, and connected to others.
RO DBT has four components to the treatment. The first three components are specific to clients and the final component is specific to the RO DBT therapist. Specifically, the components are:
- weekly individual therapy (one hour in duration)
- weekly skills-training class (2.5 hours in duration with a 15 minute break)
- telephone consultation to the client (as needed)
- therapist participation in RO DBT consultation meetings
If you or someone you know identifies with doing things “the right way,” struggles with perfectionism, has rigid and rule-bound behaviors, prefers order and structure, is reserved by nature, and likes to plan ahead, then RO DBT might be just the treatment for you.