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Better When Together: First International RO DBT Supervisor and Trainer Retreat

Radically Open Ltd organized the very first International RO DBT Supervisor and Trainer Retreat last September. A wonderful group of Senior RO DBT clinicians and researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, France and the Netherlands got together with the aim of learning how to teach and supervise other clinicians wanting to learn RO DBT and how we can improve our existing teaching program.

The retreat was held at Tom and Erica’s beautiful house in the French mountains. If the above picture deceives you into thinking we were enjoying a relaxing holiday retreat, think again …. The agenda for the three days was packed!

We started out by sharing the latest research updates with each other, followed by Tom’s talk “How To Know You Are Closed When You Think You Are Open” (or “Why I hate radical openness” 😉 ). We then focused on common issues arising during RO DBT supervision and the biggest and most common adherence problem: identifying maladaptive social signaling targets. And that was just day 1! The second day the focus was on teaching self-enquiry and RO DBT, accompanied by spontaneous role-plays and micro-supervision. The final morning Sophie taught a session about working with diary cards; everybody loved it and we all agreed this should become part of our regular teaching program. The whole team also agreed that Tom’s talk “Learning How to Grieve” that followed Sophie’s session should be incorporated into our regular teaching program. Finally, we practiced giving supervision on treatment tapes and during role-plays. Phew… everyone worked incredibly hard and we have all learned so much! I already look forward to the next one.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an RO DBT retreat without some playfulness! The very last line of the agenda said:

7:30 and Beyond!!—Dinner, Dancing, and Passionate Dialogue

Here’s some proof that we all dutifully complied with this agenda item: