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J. Nicole Little Archive

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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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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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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Bitterness, revenge and fox gloves

One of the major themes that is covered in RO DBT is that of bitterness.  If you say the word out loud, it can sound like it tastes – harsh.  When I say the word out loud, my lip inadvertently curls into a contemptuous social signal.  It’s like bitterness and contempt walk hand in hand.  […]

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The Other F Word: FAKE

Much of RO DBT therapy includes an emphasis on practicing skills that will help people who lean toward overcontrol (OC) get back into the tribe, and as a result, back to optimal mental health.  According to Lynch, psychological health or well-being in RO DBT is hypothesized to involve three core transacting features: Receptivity and Openness […]

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My Obsession with Eyebrows

I’ve done a few degrees, but I think I am now doing a post-doc in eyebrows.  I never really thought much about eyebrows, really.  They are just kinda there, aren’t they?  The first time I paid attention to eyebrows was with my dad, whose eyebrows are, I admit, quite impressive.  While he has precious little […]

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Emotional Leakage

RO DBT posits that many folks are experts at inhibiting emotions, delaying gratification and generally keeping things looking quite perfect.  And this is really important for keeping the world ticking along. But as we say in RO DBT, sometimes you can have “too much of a good thing.”  And a consequence of superior inhibitory control […]

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The Purple House: Learning to Forgive Yourself

My favourite colour has always been purple.  When I was in elementary school, living in a boring, grey stucco house, we had a neighbour who in my child’s eyes lived the charmed life.  Not only was her house raised via the slope of the road, it had a robust yard, wonderful views of our street […]

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Learning About Friendship: Lessons from Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Recently, my 14-year-old niece was visiting and overheard me talking about Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) with my partner: My niece: “What’s RO DBT?” Me: “It’s a therapy I use to help people who suffer from conditions of overcontrol.” My partner, being undercontrolled, pipes up and says: “Your Auntie helps people who don’t know how to make friends.” […]

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Heat on/Heat off

Most people can recall a childhood memory that stands out as significant in terms of pleasure or pain.  For those of us who lean to overcontrolled, we might have superior capacity to remember times that were especially embarrassing or in RO DBT terms, “heat on.”  For me, what stands out is being a grade one […]

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How Overcontrolled Clients Get Stuck in a Cycle of Disconnection from Peers: A Case Study

Alexis, a 13-year-old musical theater student, is overcontrolled. This means that musical theatre is the anchor of her life and the frame of her identity. She had recently approached her two theatre group friends to talk about why she had not been attending rehearsals and would be unable to participate in the next theatre festival.  […]

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