What is DBT?

An out-patient DBT program at Tampa Bay DBT includes weekly individual therapy sessions and weekly skills training classes. In individual therapy, the focus is on developing an understanding of problematic behaviors, emotional suffering, and interpersonal chaos. Additionally, we pin point what prevents individuals from being able to change and what contributes to their emotional suffering. Individuals learn new ways to cope with intense emotional experiences and alternatives to solving life’s problems. During the first four sessions, individuals and their therapist agree on goals and orienting to all the aspects of treatment. DBT is separated into stages.

The individual’s goals are organized based on 3 stages of

Stage One: Decreasing and eliminating life-threatening behaviors including suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors, therapy-interfering behaviors and any behaviors that interfere with the quality of life such as eating disorders, substance abuse, joblessness, living situations, and relationship difficulties.

Stage Two: Addressing symptoms and difficulties related to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

Stage Three: Resolving ordinary problems that arise in life, increasing the sense of self, and reaching personal goals and Maintaining a sense of joy.

The skills training group meets weekly for 2 hours. In the group, individuals are taught four sets of skills including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. It takes 6 months to complete all four skills sets, and it is recommended that the group is repeated for a total of one year of group attendance. Every individual is not able to attend the group for various reasons. This issue will be address on an individual basis. It is important to note that the evidence-based treatment includes group participation for a minimum of one year. 

Radically Open DBT

Tampa Bay DBT is the only practice in the Tampa Bay area to offer Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT), a breakthrough evidence-based treatment for disorders of over-control.

While ‘self-control’ is usually thought to be positive, excessive self-control has been linked to loneliness, social isolation, rigid beliefs and behaviors, inhibited emotional expression, and maladaptive perfectionism.  

Over- control is seen as a problem of emotional loneliness - not necessarily lacking contact with others…...but lack of social connectedness with others

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

1. Receptivity and openness to feedback, even when it is challenging
2. Flexibility in our responses to daily life challenges
3. Authentic emotional expression to build positive interpersonal relationships

This evidence-based treatment includes weekly individual therapy sessions and weekly 2 hour skills training classes over the course of approximately 30 weeks. In class, participants learn and practice new skills.  The class is not group therapy and does not focus on processing individual class member issues.  Instead, participants will learn such skills as how to activate their social safety system to significantly decrease anxiety in social situations, how to adapt a more flexible mindset that promotes openness to new experiences, and how to give up mindlessly giving into urges to engage in compulsive behaviors.

RO-DBT is a trans-diagnostic treatment developed by Dr. Thomas Lynch, PhD.  20 years of research have shown treatment effectiveness with hard-to-treat mental health disorders of emotional over-control, including Anorexia Nervosa, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Chronic Depression and Anxiety.

Our clinicians Kelly Turner, LCSW, Victoria Potocki, LMHC and Heidi Petracco, LCSW have received direct training from Dr. Thomas Lynch, PhD in this cutting-edge treatment approach.

If you or a loved one are struggling with issues related to over-control, or you have additional questions about RO-DBT, call us today.