Intensive Training

Our Intensive Training is a 10-day course, delivered in two five-day sessions of instruction with six months in between. During the training we use role-plays, live demonstrations and videos to deepen your learning.

  1. The focus of part 1 is on the theoretical foundations and basic principles of RO DBT including radical openness, as well as treatment structure, targeting, alliance ruptures and repairs and chain and solution analyses. 
  2. The focus of Part 2 is on how to become a better RO DBT therapist. This involves practicing and deepening your own self-enquiry practice, recognizing your own perceptual biases, chain analysis, targeting, and skills.

The specific learning objectives for each part are listed further down this page, as well as a generic training schedule.  

After attending an RO DBT Intensive training, you are qualified to:

Teach RO Skills to your Patients

After 5 days of training (part 1), you can start teaching your clients RO skills! You are allowed to make copies of the handouts and worksheets from the skills manual so you can give these to your clients during skills classes.

Share your Experiences of RO with Other Professionals and Clients

We’d love to hear how you and your clients are experiencing the treatment. You are free to give short informal presentations to others using materials that are in the public domain, such as our research papers. Please do not share the Training Slides, Textbook or Skills Manual with others without our permission (but feel free to ask, we’re happy to help as long as we know what it’s about!).

Do Research With RO

RO-DBT is an evidence-based treatment. We highly value independent research about RO, and we encourage you to evaluate the effectiveness of your service or any other research question you may have. We can also help or advise you, just get in touch!

Request Supervision to get even Better at RO

We have several trained Supervisors who are able to provide micro-supervision and/or team consultations. Typically, the supervisor watches a treatment tape together with you and gives you hands-on feedback and advice. Our list of endorsed RO Supervisors is on the Who We Are page.

You are not qualified to:

Provide Professional RO Training and/or Supervision

Attending the RO Intensive Training does not qualify you to train other clinicians in RO. Becoming an RO Trainer or Supervisor takes time and dedication. We do not believe that attending only one Intensive enables or qualifies you to train others without receiving supervision on this from our team. Our trainers and supervisors attend regular Senior Clinician Meetings and receive on-going micro-supervision to ensure the highest quality of teaching.

We have a ‘Train the Trainer’ program at Radically Open Ltd and would be happy to talk to you about this if this is something you are interested in.

Share RO Training Materials

The slides and training materials you receive from us are intended for your own learning and to help you treat your patients. They are not to be shared or copied for other clinicians. The exception is for your clients: you are free to make copies of the handouts and worksheets to facilitate skills training with clients.

Intensive Training Course Overview

This intensive training provides a strong foundation in the theory and practice of RO DBT including:

  • A transdiagnostic approach to treatment
  • The neuroregulatory model
  • The bio-social theory for overcontrol
  • Treatment strategies for activation of the PNS social safety system
  • The importance of pro-social co-operative signaling – strategies and skills
  • Assessing overcontrol
  • Treatment structure
  • Radical Openness and self enquiry
  • Strategies for maintaining the OC client in therapy
  • Individualising treatment targets
  • RO states of mind
  • RO skills
  • Treating envy and bitterness
  • Role play and case studies
  • Micro-analytic supervision

Delegates will get access to our Radically Open E-learning website with pre-training materials 3 months before the start of part 1. Homework assignments are handed out after part 1, to optimize learning and RO-DBT practice.

Delegates are encouraged to attend in teams; individual practitioners who attend without a team will be encouraged to form study groups for the duration for the course.

Previous training in DBT is not a requirement for the RO-DBT intensive: Apart from a professional qualification in a mental health or related field there are no further prerequisites for the course, and it is not necessary for participants to have had any previous DBT training.

Intensive Training Course Learning Objectives

Upon completion of part 1 of this training, participants will be able to

  1. Describe the empirical research supporting the efficacy of RO-DBT
  2. Describe the different temperaments underlying undercontrolled and overcontrolled coping.
  3. Explain that bio-temperamental factors may be the driving force behind excessive self-control because these factors can influence and interfere with perception, learning, and overt behavior at the preconscious level.
  4. Explain that overcontrol is a problem of emotional loneliness
  5. Explain how OC patients bring hunting dogs, shields and swords into their social interactions
  6. List the three core features of psychological health that are used by RO DBT
  7. Explain a new biosocial theory for OC
  8. Explain neuro-regulatory theory to guide clinical interventions
  9. Describe the five relevant emotional stimuli that influence receptivity and openness and explain the neuroregulatory response tendencies associated with each of these stimuli.
  10. List examples of strategies designed to improve pro-social cooperative signaling via activation of the parasympathetic nervous system’s social-safety system
  11. Describe how the OC coping style is reinforced
  12. Integrate the theory and science supporting the importance of accounting for the motivating, communicative and facilitative components of emotional responding with RO DBT treatment strategies
  13. Describe a novel treatment mechanism positing open expression = trust = social connectedness
  14. Describe new approaches for engaging and maintaining OC client’s in therapy, including signaling cooperation during confrontation and “Deer in the Headlights”
  15. Explain what radical openness is
  16. List the three different ways in which self-enquiry can be practiced
  17. Describe the two OC subtypes
  18. Apply the RO therapeutic stance of ‘tribal ambassador’ and practice kindness first and foremost
  19. Describe the RO-DBT treatment structure
  20. Describe the RO individual treatment target hierarchy
  21. Describe the five OC social signaling themes
  22. Describe RO-DBT Consultation Team Principles
  23. Describe the importance of RO therapeutic sequencing strategies
  24. Use skills to orient the OC patient to treatment and to gain commitment
  25. Describe therapeutic alliance-ruptures from an RO DBT perspective
  26. Use contingency management principles for OC – including “Push Backs”, “Don’t Hurt Me’s”
  27. List individualized treatment targets oriented around five OC themes—emotion inhibition, behavioral avoidance, rigidity, aloof and distance, and envy/bitterness.
  28. Explain how to use the Diary Card for OC
  29. Describe “Heat On and Heat Off” principles for individual and group skills class
  30. Describe five social signals that cannot be ignored in class
  31. Use a script to help clients self-identify as OC

Upon completion of part 2 of this training, participants will be able to

  1. List the four core deficits of overcontrol
  2. Integrate the three components of the bio-social theory for disorders of overcontrol into your case formulization of clients.
  3. Use the biosocial theory script to teach the bio-social theory for disorders of overcontrol to your clients early on in treatment.
  4. Integrate the neuroregulatory model with the bio-social theory for overcontrolled disorders and teach the neuroregulatory model to your overcontrolled clients.
  5. Use body postures and facial expressions to activate neural substrates linked to social safety and reward.
  6. Apply the Big Three +1 Skill to activate social safety within yourself and teach this skill to your clients whenever tension is present
  7. Use neuro-regulatory theory to guide clinical interventions
  8. Use therapeutic teasing as a form of playful irreverence
  9. Apply the ‘Step by Step Protocol for Self-Enquiry In the Heat of the Moment’ during challenging or emotionally charged social interactions
  10. Use the handouts from the skills manual to teach the ‘Flexible-Mind DEFinitely skill to promote Radically Open living’ to your clients.
  11. Explain why sequencing matters in RO DBT
  12. Use the RO DBT scripts to orient your client to the treatment and ensure your client is committed to starting treatment
  13. Use the RO DBT manual to sequence your individual treatment sessions and set up your treatment room the ‘RO DBT way’
  14. Apply the ‘Preventing Treatment Dropout Protocol’ to reduce the risk of the client dropping out of treatment
  15. Assess the two OC subtypes
  16. List homework tasks specifically designed for each of the two OC subtypes
  17. Identify push-backs and don’t hurt-me’s and apply contingency management principles
  18. Apply skills to manage and repair therapeutic alliance-ruptures
  19. Develop individualized treatment targets oriented around five OC themes—emotion inhibition, behavioral avoidance, rigidity, aloof and distance, and envy/bitterness.
  20. Utilize Diary Cards for OC
  21. Analyze the chain of events moment-to-moment leading to the Social-Signaling Problem Behavior using the step by step protocol in Appendix 7 from the RO DBT Textbook
  22. Identify solutions from the RO DBT Skills Manual that might prevent future occurrences of the problem behavior
  23. Demonstrate how to manage maladaptive social signals that cannot be ignored in skills class
  24. Assess whether you are doing adherent RO DBT
  25. Explain new skills to help break down overlearned inhibitory barriers associated with OC
  26. Describe new positive mood enhancing skills involving loving-kindness meditation
  27. Describe new RO-DBT treatment strategies designed to enhance willingness for self-inquiry and flexible responding
  28. Diagnose overcontrol step by step
  29. Use the step by step protocol for in-session targeting
  30. Describe the RO skills training treatment hierarchy

RO-DBT Intensive Schedule

The following is an indicative schedule for intensive training events. The exact running order may be subject to amendment and change, but this timetable gives a good feel for the scope and depth of the material covered in the 10 days — this really is an intensive course!

Typically, the training will open for registration on the Monday morning at 8.30am with training starting at 9.30am and ending at 5.00pm. Training for the rest of the week will be from 9am – 5pm, with the exception of Friday, when we anticipate training will end at approximately 4.30pm. We will break for lunch for an hour each day.

Part 1

Day One

8:30 – 9:30          Registration and CE/CME Sign-In

9:30 – 10:30        Welcome and introductions RO DBT research

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 – 12:30     Radical Openness

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:00          Radical Openness

3:00 – 3:15          Break

3:15 – 5.00          Tribe Matters

Day Two

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Bio-social Theory

10:30– 10:45       Break

10:45 – 12:30     Neuro-regulatory Theory

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:00          Social Signaling

3:00 – 3:15          Break

3:15 – 5.00          Key Mechanism of Change

Day Three

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Social Signaling

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 – 12:30     Assessing Overcontrol

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:00          RO DBT Structure

3:00 – 3:15          Break

3:15 – 5.00          RO DBT Structure

Day Four

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Alliance Rupture and Repairs

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 – 12:30     Behavioral Principles & OC Subtypes

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:00          Targeting 1

3:00 – 3:15          Break

3:15 – 5.00          Targeting 2

Day Five

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Chain Analysis

10:30– 10:45       Break

10:45 – 12:30     RO DBT solutions

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3.00          Skills Class Demonstration

3.00 – 3.15          Break

3.15 – 4.30          General Questions and Answers, Closing Exercise and Farewells

Part 2

Day One

8:30 – 9:30          Registration and CE/CME Sign-In

9:30 – 10:30        Welcome Back! Overview of week and task sign up, RO DBT update: research & other news

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 –12:30      Returning to Basics – Tribe Matters, Social Signaling. Various practices – as needed

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:15          Returning to Basics – Bio social theory and the neuroregulatory model. Various practices – as needed

3:15 – 3:30          Break

3:00 – 4:45          Returning to Basics – Emotions in RO. Various practices – as needed

4:45 – 5:00          Q & A, Completion of Evaluation, and CE/CME Sign Out

Day Two

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Therapeutic teasing – practice and role plays

10:30– 10:45       Break

10:45 –12:30      Returning to Basics: – Key Mechanism of Change. Practice using stories

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:15          Deepening self-enquiry practice

3:15 – 3:30          Break

3:30 – 4:45          Micro-analytic videotape Supervision

4:45 – 5.00          Q & A, Completion of Evaluation, and CE/CME Sign Out

Day Three

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Structure – Stance, sequencing and scripts. Practice – as needed.

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 – 12:30     Structure – Stance, sequencing and scripts continued. Practice teaching push backs and don’t hurt me’s

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:15          Alliance ruptures: Practice alliance rupture repairs

3:15 – 3:30          Break

3:30 – 4:45          Targeting: – Subtypes, themes, in session behavior. Micro-analytic videotape supervision

4:45 – 5:00          Q & A, Completion of Evaluation, and CE/CME Sign Out

Day Four

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Targeting: Practice pulling out targets from themes

10:30 – 10:45     Break

10:45 – 12:30     Targeting: In session targeting. Practice demonstrating maladaptive social signals

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 3:15          Chain and Solution Analysis. Practice chain analysis

3:15 – 3:30          Break

3:30 – 4:45          Practice weaving solutions into chain analysis. Micro-analytic videotape supervision

4:45 – 5:00          Q & A, Completion of Evaluation, and CE/CME Sign Out

Day Five

8:30 – 9:00          CE/CME Sign-In

9:00 – 10:30        Deepening Solution Analysis: Enhancing Intimacy

10:30– 10:45       Break

10:45 – 12:30     RO Skills class: Lesson 1. Flexible Mind DEF

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch

1:30 – 2:30          RO Skills class. Practice managing social signals that cannot be ignored in class

2:30 – 2:40          Break

2:40 – 4:00          Program Q & A. General Questions. Closing Exercise and Farewells

4:00– 4.30           Q & A, Completion of Evaluation, and CE/CME Sign Out

What our Training Delegates say ...

RO DBT Intensive Training: Paradigm Shift! Paradigm Shift! Viewing problems as OC UC moves from pathologizing the human condition to embracing our challenges as opportunities for learning [and] growth in relationships with ourselves and others.

New Jersey Intensive Training May 2017, Social Worker

RO DBT Intensive Training: role-plays are profoundly impactful I wanted to share with you that role play and the entire training was one of the most profoundly impactful experiences of my life. I seriously could have kept role playing all...

RO DBT Intensive Training: Wonderful Training What a wonderful training. The best Intensive I have ever attended. I am so inspired by each and every one of you to learn this thoroughly and practice this!!

New Jersey Intensive Training, May 2017, Psychologist

RO DBT Intensive: Loved! Loved! Loved! Loved! Loved! Loved! I’m so glad it was different than traditional DBT and created a solution/avenue for the ‘missed’ clients! Amazing presenters.

RO DBT Intensive Training: delivered excellently in an engaging manner The course was delivered excellently in an engaging manner that caught and held my interest. Nicole and Sophie were fabulous at delivering complex concepts and delivering these modelling RO themes...

Dorset 2020 Part 1 Training, Clinical nurse practitioner

RO DBT Intensive Training: everything clicked into place Thoroughly enjoyed the week. I felt that by the end of the week everything clicked into place and I feel able to practice on my own to enhance and refine the skills.

Dorset 2020 Part 1 Training, Mental health nurse, 1-5 years experience

RO DBT Intensive Training: I learnt so much Overall it was really worthwhile training. I learnt so much. The training team were a “well-oiled” machine; adapting to feedback and ensuring the learning experience benefited the whole learning tribe. I have...

Sydney 2020 Part 1 Training, Psychologist, 11-20 years of experience

RO DBT Intensive Training: I’m learning so much about myself The teaching material and practice regarding RO were really impactful – forget about my patients – I’m learning so much about myself, my world and my own style that the...

Natasha, NHS Therapist and DBT specialist

RO DBT Intensive Training: Overall an excellent training! Overall an excellent training! Materials were clear and comprehensive. Presenters were knowledgeable and engaging. Organizing team were very effective. Videos very useful in demonstrating and enhancing understanding of concepts. Group discussion was...

Sydney 2020 Part 1 Training, Psychologist, 11-20 years of experience

RO DBT Intensive Training: Really excellent. Really excellent. I am so excited to start to apply RO-DBT! I loved the role plays and the way the instructors modelled RO-DBT principles in the way the material was presented.

Sydney 2020 Part 1 Training, Psychologist, 11-20 years of experience

RO DBT Intensive Training: we’ve realized how many of our clients are OC In the practice I work at our RO program has grown pretty quickly, which has been super cool to see! We started out as a practice mainly...

Jordan Morehouse, Toledo, Ohio