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Introduction to Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Disorders of Overcontrol (Ohio)

Location Mason, OH Date 14 Jun 2018Trainer Jimmy Portner, LISW-S, LICDC-CS, BCD & Nathan D. Tomcik, PhD, ABPPCo-Host Lindner Center of HOPE

Course Objectives

Self-control, the ability to inhibit competing urges, impulses, or behaviors 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.

Based on 19 years of research, two NIMH funded randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with refractory depression, an open-trial
with adult anorexia nervosa, and a large ongoing multi-site RCT ( the aim of this workshop is to introduce clinicians to the theoretical foundations and new skills underlying Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) for disorders of overcontrol (treatment manual pending; Guilford Press).

While resting on many of the core principles of standard DBT, the therapeutic strategies in RO-DBT are often substantially different. For example, RO-DBT contends that emotional loneliness represents the core problem for overcontrol, not emotion dysregulation. The biosocial theory for overcontrol posits that heightened threat sensitivity and diminished reward sensitivitytransact with early family experiences emphasizing “mistakes as intolerable” and “self-control as imperative” to result in an overcontrolled 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, encourage genuine self-disclosure, practice loving-kindness, and change unhelpful envy/bitterness will be introduced using slides, handouts, video clips, and role plays.

Training Objectives:
Upon completion of this one-day training, participants will be able to:
1. Explain a new biosocial theory for OC
2. Describe the RO-DBT treatment structure
3. Describe new RO-DBT treatment strategies designed to enhance willingness for self-inquiry and flexible responding.
4. Describe the RO-DBT treatment hierarchy
5. Describe a novel treatment mechanism positing open expression = trust = social connectedness
6. List examples of strategies designed to improve pro-social cooperative signaling via activation of the parasympathetic nervous system’s social-safety system

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