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Introduction to Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Melbourne, Australia)

Location Melbourne, Australia Date 24 Sep 2019Trainer Dr. Sophie Rushbrook, D.Clin.PsyCo-Host The Victoria Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders

Course Objectives

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

The aim of this workshop is to introduce clinicians to the theoretical foundations and new skills underlying Radically Open-Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO DBT) for disorders of over-control (Lynch, in press). RO DBT is fully manualized and supported by three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for refractory depression, two open-trials targeting adult Anorexia Nervosa, and one non-randomized trial targeting treatment resistant over-controlled adults.

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 over-control, not emotion dysregulation. The biosocial theory for over-control posits that heightened threat sensitivity and diminished reward sensitivity transact with early family experiences emphasizing “mistakes as intolerable” and “self-control as imperative” to result in an over-controlled 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, and encourage genuine self-disclosure will be introduced using slides, handouts, video clips, and role plays.

Upon completion of this one-day training, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain a new biosocial theory for Over-Control
  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

Target Audience: Health Professionals working with clients with anorexia nervosa.

Health Professionals working with other illnesses with extreme over-control. E.g  obsessive   compulsive personality disorder and refractory depression

Registrations from Victorian public mental health services clinicians will be prioritised

Prices & Booking

Clinicians employed in Victorian public mental health services:  $200.00

Other health professionals:  $295.00

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided

How to Register


Registrations close Friday 13 September 2019 or when places are full.

Travel Information

Hospital Education Centre (HEC)

Royal Melbourne Hospital – Royal Park Campus

34-54 Poplar Road, PARKVILLE, 3052, VIC