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VARIEs is the Spice of Life

The point of trying something new is to try something new. I frantically repeat this Radically Open DBT principle in my mind while standing with wobbly legs and then falling from my paddle board into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  This wasn’t even my idea! Embarrassment knocked at the door of my […]

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A Novel Idea: Bibliotherapy in RO DBT – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

One of the things I love about working with clients who lean to overcontrol is that generally speaking, they are articulate, intelligent and due to their risk and social adverse nature, often very well read and creative.  Long before I began working in the RO DBT realm, I was a keen proponent of bibliotherapy.  Bibliotherapy […]

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Oberon’s Cape

The year I was cast as Puck in A Midsummer’s Night Dream was supposed to be the highlight of my high school experience.  Contrary to popular belief, people who lean to overcontrol (of which I am one) often excel in activities that involve audiences.  This can include public speaking, teaching, and positions of leadership.  As […]

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Keeping Score of Kindness

It was early in the morning as I was walking through the plane aisle. I was grumpy from plane delays and feeling pain radiate from my back (somewhat chiding myself for using a backpack to travel rather than a suitcase). As I found my seat, I glanced at the overhead compartment sighing at the inevitable […]

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The Competent Cook

“I want to create a sense of community.” That’s me, sharing one of my valued goals with my colleagues and partner.  Like many folks who lean to over-controlled temperament, I’m a great planner and find achieving goals rewarding, so I had already identified how to achieve my goal: by sharing food. I visualized a diverse […]

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What Beowulf Taught me about Playfulness

Since my involvement as RO DBT, I have learned a lot about playfulness.  Clinically, I have learned that bringing playful irreverence into the therapy room and skills class functions to model to people who lean to overcontrol (OC; of which I am one) that chilling out is therapeutic. After all, if we are not playful […]

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Which Witch is a Witch? The Power of Perceptual Biases

For many years, I taught at the post-secondary level, mostly in the field of Child and Youth Care (or social pedagogy as it known in Europe).  The first teaching gig I had involved me holding my breath behind the lectern hoping I would pass out, but that is another story for another blog.  One of […]

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A Story In Two Parts: A Supervisee’s Tale Part 2

Part 2: Rupture and Repair Last week, I did something that felt pretty vulnerable and shared on this blog about my relationship with my supervisor during internship/post doc, the special connection we have and the ways in which we used Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RODBT) in supervision. There were many parts of this RODBT […]

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A Story In Two Parts: A Supervisee’s Tale Part 1

Part 1: The Connection “Before I can answer a client’s question, you respond. I don’t feel like we are co-leading, but like I’m observing you lead,” I say to my supervisor three months into my predoctoral internship in clinical psychology regarding a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills group we are running together. What I leave unspoken […]

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Chilling Out is Therapeutic – Even for RO DBT Therapists

When I teach skills class, I will confess I kinda cringe when we get to lesson 5.  Week 5 is dedicated to Engaging in Novel Behaviour and includes a discussion of the art of non-productivity.  For someone who leans toward over control (OC), my brain automatically switches the term “non-productivity” to “laziness.”  I cringe because […]

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The Art of Teasing

“Are you going to give him a dog treat too?” My friend teases with a coy smile. Her tone is warm and friendly and I can feel her gaze just out of my line of sight. Just a moment before I had been mechanically rewarding a child I hardly knew with a “well done” for […]

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Take it Teasy

I have been giving more thought to the concept of teasing lately. Often in my experience as an educator and clinical supervisor, I have noted how clinical assessments and case conceptualizations sometimes conflate teasing with bullying. “Oh, he was really teased in middle school” or “my parents were relentless teasers.”  And the use of these terms […]

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