Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO-DBT)

RO DBT - Individual Therapy

The Clarity team are  Level 1 or Level 2 certified in Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO-DBT) by the developer, Dr. Thomas Lynch, PhD.  The entire staff completed training in 2023 and are passionate about supporting those who are over controlled. This treatment an ideal intervention for individuals who are over controlled and are presenting with symptoms of depression, eating disorders, anxiety, grief and/or OCD.  To learn more about RO-DBT, please keep scrolling down and there is information listed, a video from the developer himself, and information about our program. 

Skills Classes

Clarity is thrilled to be the first outpatient treatment center in Virginia to offer RO-DBT classes in-person AND offer an RO-DBT program that includes all aspects of RO-DBT in its truest form.  RO-DBT has a skills portion to the treatment and Clarity is committed to providing evidenced based treatment both in-person and virtually.  Clarity is running classes in-person in the Gainesville and Reston locations in Winter 2024 and will be launching a virtual cohort for adults in Spring of 2024.  To learn more about our upcoming classes, please visit our groups page HERE.  The classes are intended for those who are in the RO-DBT program, however for those working with an RO-DBT trained provider elsewhere, clients are able to just take classes and the Clarity team simply requires a release of authorization (ROI) for the class facilitators to collaborate care while enrolled in the class.  Please contact us to learn more about our RO-DBT program and classes.  Also, below lists more information regarding Clarity's RO-DBT Outpatient Program.

Take a moment to learn from the developer, Dr. Thomas Lynch, PhD,  what over control and radical openness is and why RODBT is a powerful and effective treatment.

Clarity's RO-DBT OutPatient Program

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy developed by Dr. Thomas R. Lynch for disorders of emotional overcontrol. RO DBT is a transdiagnostic treatment indicated for patients with diagnoses of chronic depression, treatment-resistant anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, autism spectrum disorders, and avoidant, paranoid and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.


Clarity Counseling committed to training the entire staff in Level 1 RO-DBT by the developer, Dr. Thomas Lynch in the Summer of 2023.  Clarity’s team of providers are passionate and committed to supporting individuals who would benefit from RO-DBT and have created a comprehensive program.  Below is an overview and breakdown of Clarity’s RO-DBT Program.


 Components of RO-DBT Program:

Clients must complete a psychosocial assessment prior to enrolling in Clarity’s RO-DBT Program to ensure that RO-DBT is the best treatment intervention to support the client’s presenting needs.  Once someone meets criteria for RO-DBT, below are the core components for the program:


Weekly individual therapy (one hour in duration)

30 session of weekly skills training class (1.5 hours in duration with 10 - 15 minute break and snack)

Telephone consultation (optional)

Therapist participation in RO-DBT consultation meetings (optional)



How is RO DBT different from other psychotherapies?

RO DBT differs from other psychotherapies in several ways, but the most fundamental distinctions between RO DBT and all other treatments is that RO DBT is the first treatment to prioritize social-signaling as the primary mechanism of change. This is based on research showing that overcontrolled individuals have a heightened bio-temperamental threat sensitivity that makes it more difficult for them to enter into their neurobiologically based social-safety system. When individuals feel safe, they naturally experience a desire to explore and flexibly communicate with others. To address this difficulty, RO DBT teaches clients how to express emotions in a context-appropriate way and to use non-verbal social-signaling strategies to enhance social connectedness. It also teaches skills that activate areas of the brain associated with the social-safety system. Finally, radical openness involves skills for actively seeking one’s “personal unknown” in order to learn from a constantly changing environment.


How is RO DBT different from standard DBT?

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy and standard Dialectical Behavior Therapy share a similar name because they both emphasize their common roots in dialectics and behavior therapy. Although they share this common ancestry, they differ in several substantive ways. Understanding their differences is important because the similarities in their names can lead to the misperception that they are substantially alike or even the same treatment. Some of the key differences between RO DBT and standard DBT include:



Several other differences between RO DBT and standard DBT exist and are well-articulated here. 


Is RO DBT effective?

The evidence base for RO DBT is robust and growing. The RO DBT Research website which can be found here, is comprehensive and lists the most up-to-date research. As of summer, 2017 most research support is for the treatment of chronic depression and anorexia nervosa.