Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy / RO DBT


Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO DBT)

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is an evidence-based therapy for a person who exhibits excessive self-control or one who is overcontrolled. Self-control is the ability to restrain acting on our impulses and emotions in favor of longer term objectives. Most of the time, self-control is a good thing, but for some people being overly inhibited and cautious, and feeling exhausted by social interactions, can be debilitating.

This type of therapy often helps clients with extremely difficult-to-treat over-control (OC) disorders like anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior focuses on a person understanding the connection between communication through emotional expression, also called social signaling, and creating close social bonds with others. RO DBT treatment involves both individual treatment sessions and skills training classes, centering around five over-control themes.

  • General Self-Contained Emotional Expression and Awareness is demonstrated by inhibited expression, and/or disingenuous expression; for example, exhibiting a flat-face when complimented, smiling when under stress, and a minimization or low-awareness of stress and body sensations. 
  • Low Flexible Responding is manifested by compulsive needs of order and structure, hyper-perfectionism, hyper-detailed focused and overly cautious behavior, compulsive planning/rehearsing, rigid rule-governing behavior, and moral certitude. 
  • Low Receptivity and Openness is demonstrated by an aloof and distant style of relating, high risk aversion, hyper-vigilant for threat, avoidance of novelty, and automatic discounting of critical feedback. 
  • Low Social Connectedness and Intimacy is shown by high social comparison, envy and bitterness, and low empathy and validation skills. 


RO DBT, a relatively new treatment created in the early 2000s, builds upon Dialectical Behavior Therapy and focuses on a person who is emotionally over-controlled. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, sometimes called “talk therapy” incorporates a philosophical process called dialectics. Dialectics is based on the concept that everything is composed of opposites and that change occurs when there is a sort of “dialogue” between opposing forces. RO DBT teaches a person to increase openness, use flexible responding, enhance social connectedness, and display vulnerable expressions of emotion. 

It is estimated that 70% of the population struggles with over-control. As a certified clinician in RO DBT, Jill Reese, LSCSW, has been able to offer a progressive, rigorous treatment program that provides relief and freedom to those individuals struggling under the umbrella of over-control. 

At The Magnolia Institute, our approach to RO DBT has the following modes for treatment delivery. 

  • Individual Psychotherapy 
  • RO DBT Skills Training Group 
  • Phone Coaching 
  • RO DBT Consultation Team for Therapists 

As trained and certified therapists, we are able to provide a treatment program that allows you to change; we believe in your ability to grow, to adapt, and to create a life worth living. 

How do you know if Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy is right for you? We can help you uncover the best type of therapy for you. At The Magnolia Institute, we will work together to see if Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the right fit for you. 

The following therapists are trained in Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO DBT): 

Types of Treatment

We offer an array of therapy options for individuals, families and couples.

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