About this presentation

Mental health providers at various levels of care will at some point encounter high-risk patients with chronic personality factors that make treatment gains challenging. Many providers are familiar with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment modality that uses philosophical and behavioral principles to treat clients with severe emotion dysregulation common in pervasive conditions such as borderline personality disorder. However, evidence also suggests that many patients may commonly present with avoidant social behavior and a hyperfocus on self-control that isolates them and as such contributes to risk (e.g. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder).

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is an evidence-based treatment paradigm was developed with a common foundation in dialectical and behavioral philosophy, but with the goal to increase behaviors that facilitate connection to social networks. It has emerged as an alternative treatment for anorexia nervosa and chronic depression.

This presentation will discuss in depth the similarities and differences between DBT and RODBT so the therapists can identify the best treatment for different clients and improve client outcomes in therapy

What you'll learn

At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees should be able to describe some of the core similarities and differences in the practice of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and radically open dialectical behavior therapy (RODBT) and what client presentations may be a better fit for each treatment modality to improve client care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe some of the similarities between DBT and RODBT
  • Describe some of the differences between DBT and RODBT
  • Describe factors that would help you determine whether DBT or RODBT might be a better fit for a client

About your teachers

Katie Flanagan, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist who graduated from PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. She is an official RO DBT Practitioner who has completed all three levels of RODBT training and receives ongoing supervision from a RO Institute-certified supervisor. She is now offering the full outpatient RO DBT model at UCEBT comprised of individual treatment sessions, RO Skills Training Classes, and optional phone coaching. She also serves on both the Anxiety & Mood, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and couples teams at UCEBT.

Jessica Flynn, Ph.D., C. Psych., is a clinical psychologist licensed in Utah and Ontario, Canada. She is currently running a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program for adolescents and young adults at Sageview Health in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Flynn was trained in DBT through the Utah Center for Evidenced Based Treatment (UCEBT) where she also was intensively trained by Behavioral Tech. Dr. Flynn has experience working as a DBT clinician, both as a therapist and a clinical lead, with a broad range of ages, presenting problems, racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Dr. Flynn is also trained in CBT, ACT, family systems theory and trauma treatment (CPT and PE). Dr. Flynn is passionate about providing a compassionate, and decolonized (e.g., anti-racist, lgbtq+ ally) approach to evidence-based care for those with complex mental health difficulties.

CE Approval

UCEBT is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCEBT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Additionally, this presentation is approved for ethics homestudy CE credit through UPA, NASW-UT, UAMFT, and UMHCA.

Program Notices

This lecture discusses the research regarding factors influencing parental engagement and evidenced-supported strategies for increasing parental engagement in the service provisions of children and adolescents. Misapplication of strategies could result in poor outcomes.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Commercial Support: None.


Borges, L. M., & Naugle, A. E. (2017). The role of emotion regulation in predicting personality dimensions. Personality and mental health, 11(4), 314–334. https://doi.org/10.1002/pmh.1390

Gilbert, K., Hall, K., & Codd, R. T. (2020). Radically open dialectical behavior therapy: Social signaling, transdiagnostic utility and current evidence. Psychology research and behavior management, 19-28.

Robins, C. J., & Chapman, A. L. (2004). DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY: CURRENT STATUS, RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS. Journal of Personality Disorders, 18(1), 73-89.

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