Silent Treatment Trouble

One of the most common social signals I see treating overcontrolled individuals in Radically Open DBT is the silent treatment. A social signal is any behavior a person completes in the presence of another person ( rehearse a speech, have a conversation, dance, etc.). Silent treatment is to be in another’s presence but not speak. It can be denied easily as not actually happening intentionally (plausible deniability): “oh I was just thinking” or “I don’t have anything to say” or “stop pestering...


The Difference Between Kindness and Compassion

From a Radically Open DBT (RO DBT) perspective, we teach that kindness is our go to skill. This blog entry explores the difference between kindness and compassion and why RO finds kindness acts so essential to psychological well-being.

Kindness is a behavioral action that others can see (aka a “social signal”). It has the qualities of affection, warmth, and playfulness. When we are kind, we are able to admit our wrong doing and reconnect with others. Kindness models openness and humility. This allows us...


Afraid of Romantic Relationships? Here’s Why.

I see many adults in my Radically Open DBT (RO DBT) clinical practice that tell me that they don’t want to have a romantic relationship or date anyone seriously, yet they talk about how lonely, anxious and depressed they are. It made me really scratch my head and wonder what’s going on here? I assumed that they realize that the only cure for loneliness, is to be with people they care about… but do they get that?

Here’s the most said list of “excuses”...


Focusing on What You Don’t Want Creates Emptiness

One of the very first questions I ask a Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) client in around session two or three is, “What are your value goals?” This stumps most of my clients. Maybe they say a few things like, “I want to be less depressed,” or “I want to find some friends and be less lonely.” But what you might notice is these are the negative of what the person wants, not actually goals.

Here’s some more things I might hear...


Learning to End Relationships Well

This past month I moved from Houston, Texas to Denver, Colorado. It’s always been a dream of mine to live near the mountains, and at 38 years old, I had to ask myself, ‘What am I waiting for?’

Moving states and a therapy practice was challenging enough logistically, but what I didn’t expect was the experience of having to say goodbye to so many people: 45 clients, 12 co-workers, two nieces, my beloved sister, family, and many wonderful friends.

I became a reluctant expert at...


Choose Hope Over Bitterness for the New Year

Many people are happy to say goodbye to 2018 and hope that 2019 has better things in store for them. Yet a single day gone by on the calendar doesn’t bring a change of habits or emotions as quickly as many would like.

Many of the overcontrolled clients I see, tell me they feel resentment, hatefulness, melancholy and discouraged regularly. Hello bitterness! Bitterness is a mood state of anger, hurt, resentment, pessimism and sadness.

Steps to Work through Bitterness

First you have to identify what it’s...