You were fun once. Or maybe not. You’re known for being on time or being early to every appointment. If there’s a schedule you never deviate. You’re perfectionistic and you struggle when things don’t go as planned. You have a hard time trying new things. It’s impossible to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Maybe you’re comfortable this way, or maybe those close to you have pointed out that this is a
problem. Life should be more fun than this.

There is such a thing as too much self-control. Self- control is good to a point. However, after a certain level it becomes problematic. Self-control is the term we use to describe our ability to control impulses, acting on urges without thought, and dealing with emotions in a way that favors long-term outcomes. In small doses, it’s a good thing. However, too much and you’ll struggle with an inability to relax control when necessary. This can create perfectionism, inflexibility, being overcautious, and feeling exhausted by social interactions.

How do I know if I’m overcontrolled?

Overcontrolled people often struggle with loneliness, perfectionism, guilt and shame, and difficulty dealing with change. For someone like you it’s important to never show vulnerability, make mistakes, or not win at something. In general, a person prone to overcontrol feels more anxious, is much more sensitive to criticism, struggle responding to difficult things in life, and is more anxious and sensitive. While overcontrol helps to alleviate anxiety in the short term, in the long term it actually creates more anxiety!


  • higher anxiety and emotionality
  • difficulty relaxing inhibition; difficulty exploring all life has to offer
  • loneliness and social difficulties
  • being overly committed to rules
  • struggling to take criticism or feedback
  • masking emotions or only showing socially acceptable emotions
  • related difficulties like depression, anxiety, anorexia, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • suffering in silence due to others now knowing they are struggling

How Does RO-DBT Help?

Personalities differ. This is partly biological and partly due to experience. According to the basic tenets of RO-DBT experiences combined with basic temperamental differences can lead to overcontrolled behaviors, which then lead to struggles with social bonding. As humans, social bonding is critical for us. RO-DBT works to help you better express yourself emotionally in appropriate social context so that you can create the social bonds that you are lacking. This then leads to better social experiences, which reinforce the ideas that you are safe to express yourself without rejection and safe to trust others. It teaches you a new set of skills to help you interact and bond with others and create a richer life for yourself.

I’ve Heard of DBT but not RO-DBT. How are they different?

DBT was created to help individuals who are emotionally volatile and dysregulated. This is the opposite of who RO-DBT is designed to help. RO-DBT assists in more emotion, not less.

Maybe you want to get back to who you once were or maybe you’ve always been this way and would like to change. Either way, RO-DBT can help you get there.

If you struggle with excessive self-control, Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) may be for you.