Styled Garden

Radically Open - DBT

Trans-diagnostic Treatment for Over Control

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is a new evidence based treatment targeting a spectrum of disorders characterized by excessive self control, often referred to as overcontrol (OC). It is supported by 20 years of clinical experience and translational research that parallels established guidelines for treatment development (e.g., UK Medical Council, 2008; Rounsville & Carroll, 2001; 2006).

Self-control – the ability to inhibit competing urges, impulses, behaviors, or desires and delay gratification in order to pursue future goals

RO DBT significantly differs from other treatment approaches, most notably by linking the communicative functions of emotional expression to the formation of close social bonds and via skills targeting social-signaling and changing neurophysiological arousal. RO DBT treatment involves both individual treatment sessions and skills training classes, and centers around five OC themes: inhibited and disingenuous emotional expression; hyper-detailed focused and overly cautious behavior; rigid and rule-governed behavior; aloof and distant style of relating; and high social comparison and envy/bitterness.

Psychological health or well-being in RO DBT is hypothesized to involve three core transacting features:

  1. Receptivity and Openness to new experience and disconfirming feedback in order to learn.

  2. Flexible-control in order to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

  3. Intimacy and social-connectedness (with at least one other person) based on premises that species survival required capacities to form long-lasting bonds and work in groups or tribes


Radical Openness is the core philosophical principle and core skill in RO DBT. Radical Openness is a way of behaving, but it is also a state of mind informed by the central premise that emotional well-being involves the confluence of the above three features: openness, flexibility, and social connectedness. As a state of mind, Radical Openness involves actively seeking our personal unknown in order to learn from an ever-changing environment. Radical Openness also enhances relationships because it models humility and the willingness to learn from what the world has to offer.