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What is RO-DBT?

While self-control is often seen as a good thing, coping with emotions by exercising excessive self-control — also called “overcontrol”— can impair functioning and is associated with social isolation and poor interpersonal relationships. Too much self-control contributes to difficult-to-treat conditions, including anorexia nervosa, chronic anxiety, and depression.

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a state-of-the-art, evidence-based behavioral treatment for individuals who exhibit rigid, perfectionistic tendencies, including those who have tried other treatments with little to no result in the past.

About the Program

About the Program

Our RO-DBT program is a comprehensive, 26-week skills class designed specifically to help teens and young adults increase their flexibility and social connectedness. During each class, participants are taught essential skills informed by current research.

Program participants must be in individual therapy as well, and we welcome patients joining with individual providers who are not affiliated with the Child Mind Institute.

Program benefits include:

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Expand ability to adopt alternative points of view
  • Improve emotional expression
  • Reduce intense focus on perfection
  • Address and loosen overly cautious, rigid, or rule-governed behavior
  • Decrease aloof and distant styles of relating
  • Decrease social comparison
Program Details

*To accommodate summer schedules and travel, sessions will be virtual and open to remote participants based in NY, NJ and CT. Our college/young adults program will remain virtual, but our fall teen program will be in-person at our New York City clinical practice.

Program Details

Our RO-DBT programs both operate on rolling admission basis, with either a 26- or 24-session treatment cycle. Patients learn core RO-DBT skills in a class format with other individuals of similar ages and with compatible goals. Both programs are enrolling now! (Rolling admission. A minimum of 5 participants is required.)

College/Young Adults, Ages 18+

  • Dates: Wednesdays
  • Length: 26-week cycle
  • Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm ET
    (one 90-minute session per week)
  • Location: Virtual*

Teens, Ages 14 – 17

  • Dates: Tuesdays
  • Length: 24-week cycle
  • Time: 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm ET
    (one 90-minute session per week)
  • Location: In-person
Who Would Benefit From Our RO-DBT Program?

Considerable research has been conducted on RO-DBT, and multiple randomized, controlled research trials have demonstrated its effectiveness for over-control symptoms in many diagnoses, including treatment resistant anxiety and depression, autism, and obsessive-compulsive personality styles.

Who Would Benefit From Our RO-DBT Program?

Adolescents and young adults with overcontrolled coping tend to approach life with intense personal standards. They typically struggle with knowing how to join in with peers and establish close bonds. This therapy is designed to help them relax rigid behavior, learn to chill out and be playful, and decrease emotional loneliness.

We treat teens and young adults who have:

  • Rigid, rule-governed behavior (including restrictive eating)
  • Trouble making and/or deepening current friendships
  • Perfectionism and a hyper-focus on achievement
  • A tendency to hide or avoid experiencing and expressing emotions
  • Issues with intimacy and connectedness
  • Self-injurious and/or suicidal behaviors
  • Depression and/or anxiety, especially when these issues are not resolved with therapeutic interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

RO-DBT Program Hallmarks


Provider Flexibility

Program participants must also be seen in individual therapy. Providers outside of the Child Mind Institute are allowed.


Coordinated Care

Our clinicians meet regularly as a consultation team to support one another and think creatively about the best ways to help young people and their families.


Medication Management

Treatment may be accompanied by medication management as needed. We have a team of expert psychopharmacologists in our office.


Parenting Support

At the Child Mind Institute, we frequently work with parents. Separate RO-DBT parent consultation is available.

Who Can Apply?

New Patients: The program is open to patients new to the Child Mind Institute, including those with an outside provider. These patients will participate in our pre-screening assessment with treatment recommendations. Full diagnostic evaluations are available for those who also wish to receive individual therapy or other services we offer.

Current Patients: Will also participate in the pre-screening assessment and work with their individual providers.

Program Cost

Program Cost: $250 per 90-minute session (Total program fee: $6,500 for 26 sessions)

Pre-screening Assessment Cost: $900, which includes:

  • Evaluation of symptoms (1 hour)
  • Feedback appointment (30 min)
  • Collateral contact with outside providers (15 min)

Our Team

Meet the Team

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning more, or enrolling a child or patient, please reach out to Isabelle Orlan at, or fill out the following form.

More Mood Treatments & Services

Our Mood Disorders Center also offers the following specialized group treatment programs and services.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) | New York

Group-based therapy for those who struggle with mood swings, depression and anxiety, and self-injurious or suicidal behavior. Skills groups are offered for children (7-12), adolescents (12-18) and young adults (18-25).


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) | California

Group-based therapy for those who struggle with mood swings, depression and anxiety, and self-injurious or suicidal behavior. Skills groups are offered for children (7-12), adolescents (12-18) and young adults (18-25) in California.


College Readiness Program

Support for students who are entering or enrolled in college and need help managing new social and emotional challenges.


Not Sure Where to Start?

Request an appointment at the Child Mind Institute to get your child evaluated by one of our expert clinicians today.