Welcome to the Therapy Practice of Dr. Lucy Smith

Radically Open Dialectical behavior Therapy (RO DBT)

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What is RO DBT?

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is new evidence-based treatment for individuals with emotional overcontrol. We tend to think of self-control as a good thing, but there are times when we might have too much of a good thing! Behaviorally, overcontrolled individuals tend to have rigid responses and tend to be emotionally inhibited (so much more rational/logical than emotional; sometimes not very emotionally open or expressive). RO DBT works to build three components of emotional well-being: openness, flexibility, and social connection. 

What sort of person will benefit most from RO DBT?

RO DBT works best for people who have a personality style of excessive self-control. 


Common characteristics include: 

  • Perfectionism
  • Lots of planning (and struggles when life does not go according to plan)
  • Hard working
  • Very detailed focused (sometimes lose sight of the big picture)
  • Rigid (flexibility is hard!)
  • Having a hard time relaxing and playing
  • Overly cautious, careful, and dutiful
  • Struggles with social connection (often don't feel like part of the tribe)
  • Avoid risk and novelty
  • Rule follower


Diagnostically, many individuals with overcontrol struggle with anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and treatment resistant anxiety (including social anxiety).

What does RO DBT Treatment entail?

The full treatment is designed to last 30 weeks and includes both weekly individual therapy and a weekly skills class. I am accepting referrals for both of these modalities, either separately or combined. 

More information on the skills class:

I plan to begin an RO DBT skills class in the Fall of 2019. For individuals who are unable to make the skills class, I am happy to offer the skills training on an individual basis.  Feel free to contact me at lucy@drlucysmith.com if  you are interested in more information about this approach.