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Social-Signalling Matters: Using Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy to Enhance Social Connectedness

Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands Date 8 Jun 2018Trainer Dr. Sophie Rushbrook, D.Clin.Psy & Dr. Roelie Hempel, Ph.D.Co-Host IFP World Congres of Psychotherapy

Course Objectives

When it comes to long-term mental health and well-being, what a person feels or thinks inside is less important than the extent they feel connected or part of a tribe. Robust research has confirmed that signalling matters when it comes to psychological well-being. For example, chronic inhibition or disingenuous expression of emotion has been linked to social isolation, poor interpersonal functioning, and severe and difficult-to-treat mental health problems, such as anorexia nervosa, autism disorder, and chronic depression. Plus, personality matters when it comes to social signalling: while undercontrolled (UC) signalling is big and loud, overcontrolled (OC) signalling is often subtle and indirect and serves to keep others distant.

The aims of this workshop are (1) to provide participants with a basic understanding of the differences between OC and UC signalling and (2) to practice some of the social-signalling skills emphasized in a new evidence-based treatment known as Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (Lynch, 2018) that stresses the importance of forming intimate and meaningful social connections with others. RO-DBT teaches skills using body postures, gestures, and facial expressions that activate social safety responses, which function to increase emotional expressiveness and openness, crucial for successfully becoming part of a tribe.

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