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While Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT; Lynch, 2018) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; Linehan, 1993) are both informed by dialectical philosophy and behavior therapy, the treatments differ substantially and aim to treat opposing ends of the self-control spectrum, or dialectic. DBT aims to treat clients characterized by undercontrolled personality features such as impulsivity and emotional dysregulation with Borderline Personality Disorder as the quintessential disorder. RO DBT aims to treat clients characterized by overcontrolled personality features such as emotional overcontrol and rigidity, with cluster A and C personality disorders (e.g. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder) as quintessential disorders.

In this 1-hour webinar, Dr. Thomas Lynch, RO DBT treatment developer and former Senior DBT Trainer, explains the differences between these two treatments in more detail. The aim of the webinar is to provide the viewer with enough information about these two evidence-based treatments to be able to make an informed decision about which treatment works best for whom. Topics such as differences in treatment population, primary treatment targets, the key mechanisms of change, radical openness versus radical acceptance, and the treatment hierarchy will be discussed. In addition, two training video clips will demonstrate what RO DBT treatment looks like, both in individual sessions and RO DBT skills class.

Duration of webinar: 1 hour & 4 minutes

Learning Objectives. At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  1. Explain why undercontrolled clients will likely benefit more from DBT and overcontrolled clients will likely benefit more from RO DBT based on the core problems of the clients and primary treatment targets of each treatment.
  2. Apply your new knowledge of the differences between undercontrolled and overcontrolled clients and DBT and RO DBT to client assessment and treatment allocation within your clinical practice.

Recommended Reading & Handouts:

  1. Brus, M. (2019). Book Review: Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Theory and Practice for Treating Disorders of Overcontrol. . Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(5), 547-549.
  2. Codd, R. T., III, & Craighead, L. (2018). New Thinking about Old Ideas: Introduction to special issue on Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The Behavior Therapist, 41(3), 109-114.
  3. Luoma, J. B., Codd, R. T., III, & Lynch, T. R. (2018). Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Shared Features and Differences with ACT, DBT, and CFT. The Behavior Therapist, 41(3), 142-149.

Entry Requirements: Apart from a professional qualification in a mental health or related field (e.g. psychology, psychiatry, social work, mental health nursing) there are no further prerequisites for the course. Previous training in standard DBT is not a requirement for the RO DBT intensive.

Certificate/Letter of Completion: After you have answered at least 80% of all quiz questions correctly, you will receive a certificate of completion stating the number of CE instructional hours.

Accreditation: we are accredited by the American Psychological Association and the Approved Continuing Education board of the Association of Social Work Boards.

Conflicts of interest: We don’t receive any direct commercial support for our training companies Radically Open Ltd and Radically Open Blended Learning. However, Dr. Thomas Lynch, the RO DBT treatment developer and chief RO DBT trainer, receives royalty fees for the RO DBT Textbook and Skills Manual from New Harbinger publishers. He is married to Mrs Erica Smith-Lynch, co-owner and director or Radically Open Ltd.