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Research on RO DBT

RO DBT has been informed by over 20 years of translational research, and is supported by experimental, longitudinal, and correlational research in a range of mental health disorders, including chronic depression, anorexia nervosa, and cluster A and C personality disorders (Chen et al., 2015; Keogh, Booth, Baird, Gibson, & Davenport, 2016; Lynch et al., 2007; Lynch et al., 2013; Lynch et al., 2018; Lynch, Morse, Mendelson, & Robins, 2003; Lynch, Whalley, et al., 2015)

The transdiagnostic nature of RO DBT approach has spurred new thinking and new research targeting a broad range of disorders and treatment settings. Current RO DBT research, training, and clinical work has extended to different age groups (adolescents, older adults, young adults), different disorders (anorexia, chronic depression, autism, OC personality disorders, treatment-resistant anxiety), different cultures and countries in Europe and North America, and different settings (forensic, inpatient, outpatient). In addition, training has been extended to a wide range of providers (psychologists, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, family therapists, occupational therapists), with development and application of a range of modalities (RO skills alone, multifamily training, RO couples therapy). More than three hundred patients have received RO DBT treatment in research trials around the world, and many more have been treated in clinical settings. The feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of RO DBT are based in evidence and informed by five completed trials as well as by one large multi-center trial (Lynch et al., 2015; Lynch et al., 2018)

Graph showing effect sizes of a range of treatments for chronic depression and non-chronic depression. The first column represents the effect size of RO DBT compared with Treatment as Usual (e.g. Antidepressants, CBT, Counselling, etc).

A selection of peer-reviewed journal papers

  1. Lynch T. R., Hempel R. J., Whalley B., Byford S, Chamba R., Clarke P., Clarke S., Kingdon D., O’Mahen H., Remington B., Rushbrook S. C., Shearer J., Stanton M., Swales M., Watkins A. & Russell I. T. (2018). Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy for refractory depression: the RefraMED RCT. Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, 5(7),
  2. Hempel, R.J., Vanderbleek, E., Lynch, T.R. (2018). Radically Open DBT: Targeting Emotional Loneliness in Anorexia Nervosa. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 26(1), 92-104.
  3. Lynch, T. R., & Hempel, R. J. (2016). Signaling Matters: Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa. In T. Wade (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Feeding and Eating Disorders (pp. 1-10). Singapore: Springer Singapore.
  4. Keogh, K., Booth, R., Baird, K., & Davenport, J. (2016). A Radically Open DBT informed group intervention for over-control: A controlled trial with 3-month follow-up. Practice Innovations, 1(2), 129-143.
  5. Lynch, T.R., Hempel, R.J., Dunkley, C. (2015). Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Disorders of Over-Control: Signaling Matters. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 69(2), 141-162.
  6. Lynch, T.R., Whalley, B., Hempel, R.J., Byford, S., Clarke, P., Clarke, S., Kingdon, D. , O’Mahen, H., Russell, I. T., Shearer, J., Stanton, M., Swales, M., Watkins, A. and Remington, B. (2015). Refractory depression – Mechanisms and Evaluation of radically open Dialectical behaviour therapy (RO-DBT) [REFRAMED]: protocol for randomised trial. BMJ Open, 5, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008857
  7. Chen, Eunice Y., Segal, Kay, Weissman, J., Zeffiro, Thomas A., Gallop, R., Linehan, Marsha M., Bohus, Martin, Lynch, Thomas R. (2014). Adapting dialectical behavior therapy for outpatient adult anorexia nervosa—A pilot study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, Article first published online: 27 OCT 2014 (doi: 10.1002/eat.22360).
  8. Lynch, T.R., Gray, K.L.H., Hempel, R.J., Titley, M., Chen, E.Y., O’Mahen, H.A. (2013). Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adult Anorexia Nervosa: Feasibility and outcomes from an inpatient program. BMC Psychiatry, 13,
  9. Lynch TR, Cheavens JS, Cukrowicz KC, Thorp SR, Bronner L, Beyer J. (2007). Treatment of older adults with co-morbid personality disorder and depression: A dialectical behavior therapy approach. International J of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(2), 131–143.
  10. Lynch TR, Morse JQ, Mendelson T, Robins CJ. Dialectical behavior therapy for depressed older adults: A randomized pilot study (2003). American J of Geriatric Psychiatry, 11(1), 33–45.

A selection of book chapters

  1. Lynch, T.R., Hempel, R.J., Clark, L.A. (2015). Promoting Radical Openness and Flexible Control. In John Livesley, Giancarlo Dimaggio, & John Clarkin (Eds.), Integrated Treatment for Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  2. Lynch, T.R., Seretis, D., & Hempel, R.J. (2016). Radically Open-Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Overcontrolled Disorders: including Refractory Depression, Anorexia Nervosa, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. In Alan Carr & Muireann McNulty (Eds.). Handbook of Adult Clinical Psychology, 2nd edition.