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Man Walking in Fields

Radically Open
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT)

First of its kind in Atlantic Canada!


Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour (RO-DBT) is a new evidence-based treatment created by Dr. Thomas Lynch for people with emotional/behavioural ​over-control which often leads to loneliness. "Self-control' is usually seen as a good thing, however, too much self-control can cause difficulties. Excessive self-control is associated with social isolation and poor interpersonal relations and it contributes to conditions like anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, chronic depression and autistic spectrum disorders. This treatment has also proved beneficial for the treatment of refractory anxiety (meaning you have tried treatments and they haven't worked) and maladaptive perfectionism. 

How is RO-DBT different from other psychotherapies? 

This therapy prioritizes social signalling as the primary mechanism of change. The way we present ourselves to others (i.e. body language, voice tone, behaviours) often impacts how others perceive and interact with us. How others interact with us, can affect how safe we feel, and this influences how we behave in return, potentially creating a problematic cycle.

Skills training groups teach the client new skills to skills and social-signalling strategies to achieve emotional well-being. It also emphasizes actively seeking one’s “personal unknown” to learn from our experiences. Each group skills training session is run like a class. After a brief mindfulness practice, the previous weeks’ content is reviewed, homework (to practice skills) is shared, new skills are taught, and new homework is assigned.


RO-DBT teaches that there are 3 core components of emotional well-being:

  1. Receptivity & Openness to feedback, even when this is challenging

  2. Flexibility in our responses, to ever-changing demands

  3. Communication and expression of our emotions to support Social Connectedness

Individual therapy helps the client apply the skills learned in the group more effectively in their own lives, using a specific framework to do so. Phone coaching gives the client access to support from their individual therapist through the week outside of sessions. Phone coaching sessions typically last approximately 5 minutes.

Are you the sort of person who is dutiful, avoids risk and novelty, always plans ahead, struggles to really connect with others, follow rules, feels unappreciated, has a hard time receiving feedback, or struggles to relax and be playful?


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