108. Is Your Self-Control Out of Control? Radically Open DBT with Hope Arnold (part 1)

Are you good at doing things right, following the rules, and controlling your emotions? Maybe a little too good?

Having some degree of self-control, emotional regulation, and willpower can be useful in a lot of ways! But having too much self-control has some downsides. Many people who have an Overcontrolled style of coping look like they have it all together on the outside, but in reality, they don’t feel like they do, and their suffering often goes unnoticed. Focusing too much on doing everything “right” can lead to rigidity, perfectionism, and loneliness, making it hard to connect with others and enjoy life.

In this episode, the first of a two-part series, Debbie talks with Hope Arnold, a therapist, and trainer who specializes in Radically Open DBT (or RO DBT), which is designed to help people who are Overcontrolled learn to loosen up and reconnect socially.

In Part 1, we discuss:

  • The difference between being overcontrolled and under controlled
  • Characteristics associated with overcontrol
  • Some of the common pitfalls of overcontrolled coping
  • How overly controlled facial expressions can affect social connection.

In Part 2 of the series, Debbie and Hope will discuss evidence-based clinical strategies for helping people with overcontrol to loosen up and reconnect socially!


About Hope Arnold:

Hope Arnold, LCSW, MA is a Senior Clinician and one-day Trainer in Radically Open DBT (RO DBT). She began her RO DBT training with Dr. Tom Lynch, treatment developer, in 2016. Hope writes a blog for PsychCentral on RO DBT topics called Radical Hope. In her clinical work, Hope is the founder of RO DBT Denver in Denver, Colorado, a center dedicated to evidence-based care and treating disorders of overcontrol. She specializes in personality disorders (Obsessive Compulsive PD, Paranoid PD, Dependent PD, Avoidant PD), eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders (special interest in female autism), and treatment-resistant disorders (depression and anxiety). Prior to opening RO DBT Denver, Hope was in private practice at the DBT Center of Houston and was the RO DBT Lead Clinician. Hope graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a BBA in marketing. She worked for two of the largest private financial and consulting firms in the world before transitioning to clinical work. She has master’s degrees in social work from the University of Houston and psychology from Saybrook University with a concentration in Jungian studies. Hope has presented at the local, national, and international level on topics related to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Radically Open DBT, and Jungian Analysis and Theory. She is licensed as an LCSW in the states of Colorado, Texas, and Virginia. For fun, Hope enjoys hiking, traveling, visiting with friends and family, and creating art.


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Episode 108