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Good to know

RO-DBT is a transdiagnostic approach and helps us to learn about our own social - emotional functioning and how this can sometimes get in the way of experiencing ourselves and ourselves in relationships. 

RO-DBT has a range of skills that can help you learn more about the skills that you do use to cope with the demands of life and relationships, while also discovering new ones that you can use tap into when the situation calls for it. 

RODBT should not be confused with learning behaviours to "mask better" - masking is a compelx and exhausting survival strategy for autistic people! RODBT does not involve intentionally learning neurotypical behaviours and minicking these in social situations. We are not into this! Autistic people don't need to mask just to make others comfortable. There are benefits to RODBT for individuals on the spectrum and other neurotypes. As with any therapuetic intervention, it needs to fit each person's unique lived experience. Set intentions, purpose and goals with your individual therapist that works for you!

What is Radically Open-DBT?

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a relatively new evidence-based treatment for individuals with excessive emotional over-control.  ‘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. 


Maladaptive over- control is seen as a problem of emotional loneliness - not necessarily lacking contact with others…...but lack of social connectedness with others. If there is a part of you that wants to feel and be closer to others, RO-DBT may be for you. 

We are social beings and we know that 3 core components of emotional well-being are:

1) Openness to feedback, even when this is challenging

2) Flexibility in our responses, to ever changing demands

3) Communication of our emotions, recognising that expressing emotion is crucial when forming close interpersonal bonds.


RO-DBT treatment strategies aim to build:

1) Flexible responding to the demands of the moment

2) Emphasis on the importance of authentic emotional expression to build positive interpersonal relationships

3) Self enquiry into our usual responses

4) Ability to manage unexpected or challenging feedback

Are you the sort of person who is some of the following (not necessarily all or in all contexts!) - remember it is only when these things get in the way of being you!... dutiful, avoids risk and novelty, plans ahead, struggles to genuinely and authentically connect with others, follows rules, feels unappreciated, struggles to relax and be playful?

The key question really...

"Is what you show on the outside different to your inner experiences, thoughts, and sensations?"

Would you like help to be more:

1. Receptive and open

2. Flexible

3. Socially connected

Image by Anthony Tran

More information about Radically Open DBT can be found at


If you would like to talk to us more about RODBT and whether this approach fits you, please contact us on 9555 4810 or email us at

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