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Pre-Congress Workshop “Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) For Disorders Of Overcontrol”

Location Rome, Italy Date 13 May 2021Trainer Dr. Thomas Lynch, PhD, FBPsSCo-Host 10th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Rome, 13-16 May, 2021

Course Objectives

Failures in self-control are often posited to characterize many of the personal and social problems afflicting modern civilization. Yet, too much self-control or overcontrol has been shown to be equally problematic and highly associated with difficult-to-treat disorders such as anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, autism spectrum disorders, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.  Individuals characterized by excessive self-control can be difficult to identify because they are expert at not ‘appearing’ deviant on the outside (in public). Their hyper-detailed focused brain tends to see ‘mistakes’ everywhere (including in themselves) and they compulsively work harder than most others in order to achieve long-term goals or prevent future problems occurring. They have too much of a good thing and suffer (quietly) as a consequence. The aim of this workshop is to provide an overview of a manualized transdiagnostic treatment for disorders of overcontrol known as Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT).

RO-DBT is supported by 25+ years of translational research; including three NIMH funded randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with refractory depression, two open-trials targeting adult Anorexia Nervosa, one non-randomized trial targeting treatment resistant overcontrolled adults, and one multi-center RCT targeting overcontrol in refractory depression. Interventions are informed by a neurobiosocial theory linking current brain-behavioral science to the development of close social bonds and altruistic behaviors. Participants will learn novel strategies designed to assess overcontrolled problems, relax inhibitory control via activation of differing neural substrates, recognise the importance of social signalling targets and increase social connectedness using slides, handouts, video clips, and role plays.

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