The aim of this workshop is to introduce clinicians to the theoretical foundations and skills underlying Radically Open-Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO DBT) for disorders of over-control (Lynch, 2018). Self-control, the ability to inhibit competing urges, impulses, or behaviours is highly valued by most societies. However, excessive self-control has been linked to social isolation, aloof interpersonal functioning, maladaptive perfectionism, constricted emotional expressions, and difficult-to-treat mental health problems, such as anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and refractory depression.
While resting on many of the core principles of standard DBT, the therapeutic strategies in RO-DBT are quite different. For example, RO-DBT contends that emotional loneliness represents the core problem for over-control, not emotion dysregulation. The biosocial theory for over-control posits that heightened threat sensitivity and diminished reward sensitivity transact with early family experiences emphasizing “mistakes as intolerable” and “self-control as imperative” to result in an over-controlled coping style that limits opportunities to learn new skills and exploit positive social reinforcers. A novel thesis linking the communicative functions of emotional expression to the formation of close social bonds will be introduced, as well as new skills emphasizing receptivity, self-enquiry and flexible responding. New approaches designed to activate a neurobiological-based social-safety system, signal cooperation, and encourage genuine self-disclosure will be introduced using slides, handouts, video clips, and role plays.

This event will cover:

  • Explain a new biosocial theory for Over-Control
  • Describe the RO-DBT treatment structure
  • Describe new RO-DBT treatment strategies designed to enhance willingness for self-inquiry and flexible responding
  • Describe the RO-DBT treatment hierarchy
  • Describe a novel treatment mechanism positing open expression = trust = social connectedness
  • List examples of strategies designed to improve pro-social cooperative signalling via activation of the parasympathetic nervous


  • Dr Sophie Rushbrook (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) — Head of the Intensive Psychological Therapy Service in Dorset

Categories: Capability 9 - Delivering holistic and collaborative assessment and care planning, Capability 10 - Delivering compassionate care, support and treatment
Disciplines: Allied Health, Lived Experience Workforce, Medical, Nursing
Levels: Intermediate
Lifespans: Youth, Adult

Wednesday 17 April 2024
09:00 to 17:00
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Carlton 3053

Specific location and venue confirmed by provider upon registration.

Clinicians employed in Victorian public mental health services: $200.00
Other health professionals: $295.00

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Provided by The Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED)
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